Everything You Need to Know and More About Seed Cycling

 

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

Seed cycling is a practice that has been around for several decades, but it’s only recently become popular with the advent of information sharing on the internet.

The basic idea behind seed cycling is to eat certain seeds at different times during your menstrual cycle. It’s a safe and effective way to restore balance in your body and manage hormonal imbalances.

What is Seed Cycling?

The seed cycle is the rotational consumption of certain seeds during your menstrual cycle. It’s a way to work with your body and nature to restore balance, support fertility, and bring harmony to your cycle.

Seed cycling is a natural remedy that supposedly balances hormones by regulating estrogen during the first half of your menstrual cycle and progesterone during the second half.

It is claimed to help regulate periods, reduce acne, treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and infertility, ease symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and mood swings, and more.

How Does it Work?

Seed cycling aims to help you balance your hormones by using food to reset how your body produces specific hormones.

Women’s bodies produce specific amounts of estrogen and progesterone during their menstrual cycles. Women with too much estrogen can experience bloating, weight gain, and other premenstrual syndromes (PMS) symptoms. If they have too much progesterone, they may experience breast tenderness or irritability.

Seed cycling helps balance these two hormones by introducing them differently throughout the month. On days 1-7, during the follicular phase, women should eat seeds that boost estrogen to encourage ovulation and increase fertility. On days 8-14, during the luteal phase, they should eat seeds that boost progesterone and eliminate excess estrogen, so their cycle returns to normal after ovulation.

Causes of Hormonal Imbalance in Women

Hormonal imbalance happens when there are too many or too few hormones in the body. This can occur due to disease, disorders, and other conditions like stress or anxiety.

The most common cause of hormonal imbalance in women is due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This condition has high levels of male hormones and a lack of female hormones. This can lead to infertility, acne, weight gain, and hair loss.

Other significant causes include hypothyroidism and menopause. Hypothyroidism is caused by the underproduction of thyroid hormone (thyroxine). It results in symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and constipation.

During menopause, a woman’s ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone, which causes her reproductive system to stop working correctly. The changes experienced during menopause can cause several symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

How the Consumption of Seeds Influence Hormones

The consumption of seeds is an integral part of the traditional diet of many populations. Seeds are rich in nutrients and minerals and contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fibers.

Research has shown that eating seeds can help balance hormones and reduce women’s risk of osteoporosis and menopause symptoms. The seeds consumed during seed cycling generally include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc. Flax seeds contain phytoestrogens, a plant-derived compound that mimics the effects of estrogen in the body.

Phytoestrogens can affect hormones in women by acting as estrogen or blocking the effects of natural estrogens. However, these compounds may also influence your metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Because phytoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen, they may be beneficial for women with low levels of natural estrogen due to menopause or other health conditions. For example, women who undergo breast cancer treatment often experience hot flashes caused by reduced estrogen levels in their bodies.

Similarly, pumpkin seeds contain zinc which is essential for the proper functioning of the reproductive system. In women, zinc promotes progesterone production to help them prepare for the forthcoming cycle.

Does Seed Cycling Help Balance Hormone Levels?

The reason why the seed cycling diet works so well for balancing hormones is because it’s all about eating natural and real whole foods and eliminating processed foods from your diet.

Processed foods are filled with chemicals, additives, and other toxins that disrupt the body’s natural hormonal balance. By eliminating these foods, you’re allowing your body to return to its natural balance state.

Seed cycling also helps balance hormones by increasing nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. These foods contain nutrients such as zinc, vitamin B6 and magnesium, which help keep hormones balanced by supporting healthy estrogen levels in women, testosterone levels in men, and thyroid function in both genders.

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