Updated: Nov 28, 2019
Having struggled with my hormones and PMT in recent years, a friend from CNM told me about seed cycling. Interested by the possibilities I looked into it and have been amazed at what I have discovered regarding the effect of seeds on your hormone balance. Having done a little research I realise there is no conclusive research and it is based purely on theory. However the phytooestrogenic properties of the seeds may have some affect on circulating oestrogen. Jury's out??????
In a nut shell (or seed husk :-D) the first part of your cycle (days 1-14 – day 1 being your first day of bleeding) is called the Follicular Phase. This phase is oestrogen dominant and lasts until one day before ovulation.
The seeds to support this phase are 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds/day and one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds/dayBoth seed types are rich in omega three fatty acids (which are the constituents of the membranes of all cells and play a vital role in our nervous central nervous system and thus hormone production)Flax seeds contain lignans (which can block excess oestrogen)Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc (this supports progesterone)To support this phase a 1500mg fish oil (combined EPA and DHA) could be taken daily
The second part of your cycle (days 15-28 lasts until 1 day before your next period) is called the Luteal phase. This phase is progesterone dominant and my fave part of my cycle – it’s when I actually feel happy (personally, I think free progesterone injections should be available at all times☺)
The seeds to support this phase are 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds/day and one tablespoon of sunflower seeds/daySesame seeds also contain lignansSunflower seeds support the liver in its detoxification process to maintain hormonal balance (the main mineral at work here is selenium)Evening primrose oil can be added to support this phase.
For your seeds to have most nutrient potency and enzymatic properties it is wise to activate them but non-activated are better than nothing, just ensure you buy organic raw seeds. Ideally you can grind them and put into smoothies, soups, salads etc but TBH if in a rush I’ve just taken a big spoonful and chewed them A LOT!! By grinding them you make the nutrients more bioavailable but I am acutely aware that the 'perfect' approach is not always feasible and there are often days where we have to 'just make do'.
Weirdly the seed cycling DID make a difference to my period this month but not in the way I expected. I only had 1 day of moodiness (which previously has lasted up to a week) however it was more intense - I HATED everyone and everything - but somehow thought 'this is okay it will pass' and it did. As for other symptoms - they all felt cleaner??? I know that's a weird way to explain it but I'm struggling to articulate how it felt 'different' it just did. I am hoping it's making some difference but will reserve proper judgement until after I have completed 3 whole months.