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  • Writer's pictureSophie Brockway

The Art and Science of Seed Cycling

Updated: Feb 5

Seed cycling, a natural approach to supporting hormonal balance, has gained popularity as individuals seek holistic methods to address hormonal fluctuations. This practice involves incorporating specific seeds into the diet during different phases of the menstrual cycle. While it's not a cure-all, many proponents believe that seed cycling may offer benefits in promoting hormonal harmony. Let's explore the principles behind seed cycling and how it might contribute to overall well-being.


seed-cycling

 

Understanding Hormonal Fluctuations:

 

Hormones play a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including the menstrual cycle. Throughout the menstrual month, oestrogen and progesterone levels undergo dynamic changes. The follicular phase, dominated by oestrogen, occurs before ovulation, while the luteal phase, marked by higher progesterone levels, follows ovulation.

 

Seed Cycling Principles:

 

Seed cycling involves consuming specific seeds during the two main phases of the menstrual cycle to support hormonal balance. The seeds chosen are flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.

 

1. Follicular Phase (Days 1-14):

   - During the follicular phase, when oestrogen is predominant, individuals are encouraged to consume a daily mix of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.

   - Flaxseeds: Rich in lignans, flaxseeds may help modulate oestrogen levels. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds contribute to anti-inflammatory effects, supporting overall well-being.

   - Pumpkin Seeds: High in zinc, which is essential for hormone production, pumpkin seeds are believed to complement the follicular phase.

 

2. Luteal Phase (Days 15-28):

   - As the luteal phase begins and progesterone becomes dominant, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are recommended.

   - Sesame Seeds: Containing lignans and minerals, sesame seeds may help balance hormone levels. They are a good source of zinc, magnesium, and calcium.

   - Sunflower Seeds: Rich in selenium, an antioxidant that supports hormone synthesis, sunflower seeds are a beneficial addition during the luteal phase.

 

Scientific Basis and Considerations:

 

While anecdotal evidence and personal testimonies support the benefits of seed cycling, scientific research on this specific practice is limited. However, individual seeds included in the seed cycling regimen have demonstrated potential health benefits.

 

1. Lignans in Flaxseeds:

   - Flaxseeds are known for their high lignan content, which may have oestrogenic and anti-oestrogenic effects, potentially contributing to hormonal balance.

 

2. Zinc in Pumpkin Seeds:

   - Zinc is crucial for the production of various hormones, including progesterone. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, supporting overall reproductive health.

 

3. Selenium in Sunflower Seeds:

   - Selenium is an essential mineral with antioxidant properties. Adequate selenium levels may contribute to optimal hormonal function.

 

Practical Tips for Seed Cycling:

 

1. Incorporate Seeds Into Meals:

   - Add seeds to smoothies, yogurt, salads, or oatmeal for an easy and delicious way to include them in your daily diet.

 

2. Use Freshly Ground Seeds:

   - Grinding seeds just before consumption can enhance nutrient absorption. Invest in a coffee or spice grinder for this purpose.

 

3. Be Consistent:

   - For the best potential benefits, aim for consistency in seed consumption throughout the menstrual cycle.

 

Conclusion

 

Seed cycling is a gentle and natural approach that many individuals find empowering in their quest for hormonal balance. While more research is needed to fully understand its effects, incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense seeds into the diet aligns with general principles of holistic health. As with any wellness practice, it's advisable to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice, especially if there are existing health concerns or conditions. Embracing a balanced and varied diet, along with lifestyle choices that support overall well-being, contributes to a comprehensive approach to hormonal health.

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