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Seed Cycling For Hormone Balance

This week, I want to talk about one of my favorite tools for hormone balance, which is seed cycling. This is an all-natural, nutritive way to nudge your body closer to where it should be and is especially helpful in high estrogen pictures.

Seed cycling is a gentle way to help your body balance your hormones naturally by adding different seeds into your diet at different phases of your menstrual cycle. Simply adding seeds like flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds to your diet at different times in your cycle can promote healthy hormones by encouraging your body to either produce or detoxify certain hormones. It is literally using foods to either promote estrogen detoxification, in the first half of your cycle, or to increase progesterone production in the second.

Seed cycling for hormone balance helps your body to smoothly find it’s way to a more normal balance and therefore can help with almost any symptom related to hormones including:

  • Acne
  • PMS
  • Irregular Cycle
  • Infertility or sub-fertility
  • Too light or too heavy bleeding
  • Peri-menopause
  • Post-menopausal hormone symptoms like low libido or depression
  • PCOS
  • Irregular cycle

Seed Cycling is Not A Quick Fix

This is a powerful tool, but it’s nutritive and simple. Remember, you’re working to re-establish the rhythms of your body and that takes time.  Typically you will notice changes by the third cycle after you begin. Because seed cycling is simply using foods, it is safe to combine with other therapies and can help to enhance their actions.  If you have one of the more serious hormonal issues like PCOS or endometriosis, then probably seed cycling isn’t going to fix it, but it can certainly help other measures to work better and help your body to find it’s rhythm

Seed Cycling And The Moon

 In a more “wild state” of being, you wouldn’t have exposure to artificial light and so very powerful signals were sent to your brain by the changing light of the moon, and this was one of the ways your body kept rhythms, including your hormone rhythms.  Women’s typical hormone cycles are 28 days, which happens to be the length of a full lunar cycle as well (actually 28 and a fraction days). This is not a coincidence! 

Some studies have shown that women are designed to be at peak fertility, meaning ovulation, at the full moon (coincidentally when nights are brightest and you’re more likely to enjoy the sight of a partner). Fertility is lowest, meaning menstruation, at the new moon when nights are darkest.  This isn’t a perfect system and most women’s cycles rotate around the lunar cycle as well, but the moon can give you good cues to follow if you are not cycling regularly and you want to start seed cycling. In this situation you would begin Day 1 at the new moon and switch seeds at the full moon.

seed cycling for hormone balance, natural way to balance women's hormones

How To Seed Cycle

  • This is very simply eating different seeds during different parts of your menstrual cycle because they help to restore your body to balance.  You’ll recall that women’s hormones change in a predictable pattern with our cycle – you can read more about that here if you want to brush up.  Men have fewer hormone fluctuations through the month, but their peak fertility still should match with women’s – and everyone’s peak fertility is typically at the full moon.

Day 1 – 14 (Follicular phase):

  • 1 tbsp flax seeds (ground)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Day 15 – 28 (Luteal phase):

  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Eat your 2 tablespoons of seeds every day according to your cycle. Flax seeds should be ground in a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or vitamix and added to smoothies, soups, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, salad or however else it’s easy to get them into you.  The other seeds are easily chewed and can be eaten as is or added to other foods. 

balanced hormones with nutrition, seed cycling

Expert Tips To Get The Most Out Of Seed Cycling

  1. Don’t snack on  any of these four seeds outside of their place in your cycle. Munching on sunflower seeds on your flax/pumpkin days is probably not going to help your body to find it’s rhythm. This is especially important for the first few months while you’re coming into balance.
  2. If you feel like you need a little extra push in the right direction, then you can also add supportive oils to this picture.  Fish oil, about 1500 mg combined EPA and DHA can be added to Days 1 – 14 and Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) can be added to days 15 – 28.
  3. The seeds should be organic and raw if  possible and ground fresh every day because the oils in the seeds can go rancid if they’re ground and exposed to air for too long.  If it’s easier to batch grind them (which I find to be the case) then store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. This will extend the shelf life significantly.
  4. You can add the seeds in anywhere that it’s easy for you and if you completely hate eating seeds you can mix them into a small glass of juice and gulp it down.

Why Does Seed Cycling Work?

The pumpkin and flax seed combo is a potent one to help your body detoxify the extra estrogen that can plague this time of the month (the lignans especially from the flax seeds bind to excess estrogen and help your body to eliminate it) High zinc levels in pumpkin seeds prevent the estrogen from converting to harmful forms of testosterone and also prime your body for progesterone production which will happen in the second half of the cycle.

The sunflower and sesame combo used in the luteal phase of the cycle has a much lighter dose of lignans from the sesame seeds, but is rich in zinc and selenium which helps progesterone production.  These seeds are also a rich source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid which can convert to gamma linolenic acid, which also helps the balance between progesterone and estrogen.

 

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Amy Neuzil
Amy Neuzil

Dr. Amy Neuzil, N.D. is a leading expert in MTHFR and epigenetics, and she is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellness for their genetic picture. She has helped thousands of people overcome health challenges using a simple, step-by-step approach that starts with where they are today. Dr. Neuzil's unique approach to wellness has helped countless people improve their energy levels, lose weight, and feel better mentally and emotionally. If you're looking for a way to feel your best, Dr. Amy Neuzil can help. Contact her today to learn more about how she can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

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