If you are a menstruating woman and have mood issues, excess irritability, breast tenderness and other mild to moderate PMS symptoms, irregular menstrual cycle or painful periods, it might be a sign that you have hormonal imbalance. One simple way to help balance your hormones is to include the seed cycling protocol in your daily diet.
So what is seed cycling?
It is basically a protocol that involves rotating certain seeds in your diet based on the phase of your menstrual cycle. It is important that the seeds are raw and preferably ground.
The first half of the menstrual cycle is from day 1 to day 14 of your cycle based on a typical 28 day cycle. So you would eat 1-2 tablespoon of ground raw flax seed and 1-2 table spoon of raw pumpkin seed daily. Day 1 is the day your menstruation starts.
The second half of the menstrual cycle is from day 15 to day 28. In this cycle, you would eat 1-2 tablespoons of raw, ground sesame seeds and 1-2 tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds. If your menstrual cycle is longer than 28 days, then continue consuming these seeds until menstruation starts.
You can include these seeds in your diet in many ways:
- Add the ground seeds to your smoothie
- Sprinkle them on your salad
- Use the seeds as a topping for your oatmeal or cereal
- Make into a raw seed granola bar
So how does rotating seeds in your diet help balance your hormones?
The first half of menstrual cycle which is known as the follicular phase, is when estrogen rises and dominates. So the seeds involved in this half of the cycle help support adequate estrogen production as well as support production of progesterone in the next half of the cycle. Take flax seed for example, it has weak estrogen activity that boosts estrogen production and it also has lignans that binds excess estrogen and helps eliminate it from your body efficiently. Pumpkin seed extract increases estrogen production. The high zinc content in pumpkin seeds is necessary for progesterone production.
In the second half of the menstrual cycle which is knows as the luteal phase, progesterone hormone is at its peak. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds both support progesterone production. Sesame seed has lignans which binds the excess estrogen and helps eliminate it faster and has high levels of zinc that is important for progesterone production. The presence of selenium trace mineral in sunflower seeds aids body’s detox pathways to get rid of excess hormones.
Once you start using the seed cycling protocol to help balance your hormones, it takes at least one month to see any improvement in your symptoms. Infact for most women I see in practice, it takes about 3 months.
After 3 months if you do not see any improvement in your symptoms or if your symptoms are more intense to begin with, seed cycling alone might not be sufficient. Then it may be time to see a specialist to help address your symptoms.
The information and other content provided in this blog are for information purpose only, and not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider.
Have you downloaded our free ebook on simple strategies to manage stress? If not, get your free copy now by clicking on the below link.