Seed cycling is the practice of eating different types of seeds to support the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Benefits of seed cycling include supporting healthy hormonal balance, improving premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and regulating our periods.
How it works
During the first half of the cycle in the follicular phase (approx days 1-14), our estrogen levels are on the rise. To help support efficient estrogen production and metabolism consume 1 tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseeds and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds.
During the second half of the cycle in your luteal phase (approx day 14-28), estrogen gradually decreases, and progesterone becomes the dominant sex hormone. So, to help boost progesterone production switch to consuming 1 tablespoon of sesame and 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds.
How it can help with hormonal health
Seeds contain essential nutrients, dietary fibre, and healthy fats that we need for healthy hormones. When we don’t provide our bodies with the building blocks of sex hormones (fats) and nutrients, this can result in imbalanced hormones.
Additionally, seeds are rich in lignans and dietary fibre which helps to excrete unwanted hormones and prevent estrogen dominance (Gaskins et al., 2009). Lignans also help to increase sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels which are often low in women with PCOS (Deswal, Yadav & Dang, 2017).
How it can help with breast tenderness
Both flaxseeds and sunflower seeds have shown to be effective at reducing breast tenderness. Scientific literature recommends consuming three tablespoons daily of flaxseeds to reduce breast tenderness.
Sunflower seeds are high in linoleic acid which converts into gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that’s often low in women with breast tenderness (Goyal & Mansel, 2005). You can read more about how to treat breast tenderness naturally here.
How it can help with period pain
Seeds are packed full of plant-based omega-3 acids which slow the release of prostaglandins. If you’ve read our post on period pain, you’ll know these are the pesky hormone-like substances that cause painful cramps. We also recommend trying our Luna’s Gold Adaptogenic Elixir, your soon to be favourite anti-inflammatory brew for fighting period pain!
How it can help with acne
Seeds are high in dietary fibre that helps reduce excess levels of androgens and lower blood sugar spikes. Elevated testosterone and abnormal blood sugar spikes are two triggers for hormonal acne. Pumpkin seeds specifically are also high in zinc, which helps treat acne and reduce hyperpigmentation (Ogawa, Kinoshita, Shimada & Kawamura, 2018) (Yee, Richards, Sui & Marsch, 2020).
Do I need to seed cycle?
However, we can all understand and emphasise having a jam-packed schedule. We all could use a break from adding another to-do list on our plate! Fortunately for all you busy folks, we’ve created a super convenient way for you to get your daily fix of seeds in. Earth seeds are our hormone-loving organic blend of hemp, chia and sesame seeds.
To reap the optimal benefits, enjoy 2-3 tablespoons of Earth Seeds daily for 3 months but we recommend starting with 1 tablespoon a day and gradually building your way up. Seeds are packed full of health-promoting fibre but too much at once can result in flatulence, abdominal discomfort, and bloating (Makki, Deehan, Walter & Bäckhed, 2018).
Some delicious ways to incorporate seeds Earth seeds into your diet is using them as a base for seed crackers, cookies, energy balls and granola bars. Finally, don’t forget to tag us in any recipes that using our Earth seeds on our socials!
Curious to learn more about eating for happy hormones? Shop our Happy Hormones, Happy Periods E-book Bundle! This is our in-depth educational resource that you can use to read all about how to eat, move and live for painless and symptom free periods!
Deswal, R., Yadav, A., & Dang, A. (2017). Sex hormone binding globulin – an important biomarker for predicting PCOS risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Systems Biology In Reproductive Medicine, 64(1), 12-24. doi: 10.1080/19396368.2017.1410591
Gaskins, A., Mumford, S., Zhang, C., Wactawski-Wende, J., Hovey, K., & Whitcomb, B. et al. (2009). Effect of daily fiber intake on reproductive function: the BioCycle Study. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 90(4), 1061-1069. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27990
Horrobin, D. (1993). The effects of gamma-linolenic acid on breast pain and diabetic neuropathy: Possible non-eicosanoid mechanisms. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes And Essential Fatty Acids, 48(1), 101-104. doi: 10.1016/0952-3278(93)90016-p
Goyal, A., & Mansel, R. (2005). A Randomized Multicenter Study of Gamolenic Acid (Efamast) with and without Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals in the Management of Mastalgia. The Breast Journal, 11(1), 41-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1075-122x.2005.21492.x
Makki, K., Deehan, E., Walter, J., & Bäckhed, F. (2018). The Impact of Dietary Fiber on Gut Microbiota in Host Health and Disease. Cell Host & Microbe, 23(6), 705-715. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.05.012
Ogawa, Y., Kinoshita, M., Shimada, S., & Kawamura, T. (2018). Zinc and Skin Disorders. Nutrients, 10(2), 199. doi: 10.3390/nu10020199
Yee, B., Richards, P., Sui, J., & Marsch, A. (2020). Serum zinc levels and efficacy of zinc treatment in acne vulgaris: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Dermatologic Therapy, 33(6), 14252. doi: 10.1111/dth.14252