What is seed cycling?
Seed cycling is a simple method that aims to support female hormones. It involves daily consumption of four different types of seeds depending on the phase of your menstrual cycle.
What are the benefits of seed cycling?
Seed cycling supports hormonal balancing which has the following benefits:
Regulate cycle length
Decrease period pain
Improve premenstrual symptoms
Decrease ovulation pain
Improve fatigue and energy levels
What is the evidence for seed cycling?
Seed cycling is typically recommended by alternative medicine practitioners, rather than GPs, endocrinologists or gynaecologists. It has not been thoroughly studied and does not have conclusive evidence for or against its use. However, many small case studies have been completed along with anecdotal evidence which support its use. Regarding the lack of evidence, it is important to keep in mind that high quality studies require significant funding that often require a financial incentive to make the study worthwhile. Within the industry of health and medicine, this funding commonly comes from the pharmaceutical industry. Ultimately, whether the lack of mainstream evidence and application is important or not is entirely up to you. As seed cycling is considered low risk, so long as you do not have allergies to the listed seeds, many women are willing to try it and see for themselves.
How to do seed cycling?
During days 1 to 14:
1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon of flaxseeds
During days 15 to 28 (switch on the day of ovulation:
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
1 table spoon of sesame seeds
It is essential to understand that seed cycling relies on you knowing how to track your cycle in order to determine which phase you're in. You can do this by learning and practicing the fertility awareness method, or for a simple introduction to cycle tracking you can purchase the Cycle Charting Toolkit.
Always use organic and non-gmo seeds to avoid adding to your toxic load and to be sure they are of the highest nutritional quality. Ensure to grind the seeds to increase ease of digestion. It's best to buy them in their whole form and grind them yourself, you can do this with a mortar and pestle, nutri-bullet or coffee grinder. Grind one weeks worth of each (7 tbsps each) then store them in the fridge and repeat in one weeks time.
There are various ways to incorporate seed cycling into your diet such as adding them to smoothies, making crackers, sprinkling over salads or any meal, muffins, cookies or homemade bread.
Common questions about seed cycling
Q. Can it be used during peri-menopause and menopause?
A. Yes, women have found relief with seed cycling during these hormonal transitions
Q. If I am allergic to one of the seeds what should I do?
A. You can leave out the seed you are allergic to and continue with the remaining three.
Q. Can I do seed cycling while on the pill?
A. Your natural cycle and hormones are 'hijacked' while on the pill, however, you will likely still benefit from the nutrients these seeds provide.
While many women report experiencing the benefits of seed cycling, some suggest it is less about cycling and more about incorporating whole foods and healthy fats into your diet. Therefore, they suggest you will likely benefit by regularly including these seeds in your diet irrespective of where you are in your cycle.
If you feel called to give seed cycling a try then I'd love to hear about your experience! And if you require help to learn how to track you cycle accurately, including to avoid pregnancy, then don't hesitate to reach out. Alternatively, you can purchase the Cycle Charting Toolkit if you are looking for a simple start without cycle tracking for contraceptive purposes.