Seed cycling is a naturopathic approach to balancing your hormones. By consuming specific seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower) either in the first or second half of your menstrual phase, you can support your body’s natural ebb and flow of estrogen and progesterone hormones throughout your cycle and potentially avoid life-interrupting symptoms like PMS, cramps, acne, and insomnia.
Now, let’s look at how to do seed cycling step by step and some of my favorite ways to incorporate the four seeds into your diet.
To do seed cycling well, you’ll want to commit to at least 3-4 cycles to start seeing results. It’s helpful to have a calendar or an app to track your menstrual cycle and stay consistent with your seed consumption. Here’s how:
Day one of your cycle is the first day of your period. For more information about the 4 phases of your cycle click here. Most women choose to start seed cycling on day one to be certain of where they are in their cycle. This is where a calendar or app comes in handy.
Starting on Day One, consume one tablespoon each of flax seeds and pumpkin seeds daily. The seeds should be freshly ground (pumpkin seeds can be left whole or ground, as long as they’re raw) for better digestion. Fresh-ground is best because the fats in the seeds oxidize too quickly. These two seeds help to support the natural incline of estrogen in the first half of your cycle while your egg is developing before being released during ovulation.
Note: If your period is irregular, Day One will be the day of the new moon. Check out this to learn more.
Starting on Day 15, switch from flax and pumpkin seeds to sesame and sunflower seeds. The same formula applies: have one tablespoon of freshly ground sesame and sunflower seeds daily. You'll continue consuming sesame seeds and sunflower seeds until the first day of your period. On this day, the cycle starts over.
If your period is irregular, Day 15 will actually be the day of the full moon. Continue this phase 2 cycling until the day of the next new moon.
This part is often overlooked but super helpful: write down the changes you notice. Pay attention to the absence of symptoms you used to have. The way you feel is all the proof you need that seed cycling is working.
Now for the fun part: finding the best recipes for seed cycling. Some of my favorites are simple, yet delicious.
Try mixing your seed combination with plain yogurt, a spoonful of steel-cut oats, and a dash of honey. You can also add some fresh berries to the mix instead of or in addition to the honey for sweetness.
Sprinkle your seed mixture into your favorite hummus. Or, make your own healthy hummus at home with this easy recipe.
If you love baked or mashed sweet potatoes, your seed mixture makes an excellent addition. It adds a little texture without altering the taste.
An Ayurvedic refreshment, moon milk is simply warm milk and honey. Add your seed combination to the drink, as well as your choice of adaptogens (see here), herbs, and spices.
That’s it! I hope you see some positive changes by trying seed cycling at home. For more healthy insights, head back to my blog.
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