You might have come across seed cycling while looking for ways to naturally support your menstrual cycle and hormones. Or you might still be a little confused on how it works and where to even begin. So for this post, let’s review what seed cycling is all about, how you can get started, and some of my best tips to help you stay consistent.
Beginner’s Guide to Seed Cycling
WHAT IS SEED CYCLING?
Let’s start with a quick breakdown of seed cycling. Seed cycling is natural, food-based approach to help balance hormones. It’s the practice of eating specific seeds to support the hormone fluctuation that occurs during each phase of the menstrual cycle. The goal is to help embrace your natural hormone rhythms and alleviate symptoms associated with imbalances.
To get a better understanding of the seed rotation, we’re going to split the menstrual cycle into 2: first half of your cycle and second half of your cycle.
Seeds for first half of your cycle – phase 1 blend consists of flaxseed and pumpkin seed and it supports both estrogen production and metabolism. This seed blend is great to help balance estrogen, which is a key hormone during the follicular phase.
Seeds for second half of your cycle – phase 2 blend consists of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds and it supports progesterone which is key during luteal phase.
WHO’S SEED CYCLING FOR?
Seed cycling is one of those practices that are really great for everyone*! Seeds in general are a nutrition powerhouse loaded in vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, and other nutrients. So it’s a great addition into your day-to-day.
Having said that, seed cycling is a great way to naturally support hormones – being great for those who are:
- Struggling with PMS
- Having irregular periods
- Looking to come off the pill
- Having signs of hormone imbalance (period acne, low libido, fatigue, heavy periods, sleep issues…)
- Perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause
A little side note –> if you are on birth control you might not get the full hormone support benefits, but your body can still enjoy the vitamin + mineral and fiber support coming from the seeds.
*I feel this must be said, seed cycle can be a great addition for most. Those with seed allergies/sensitivities or have issues digesting seeds should look into a different approach since seed cycling is all about seeds.
HOW TO SEED CYCLE?
The easiest and simplest way to start seed cycling (especially if you’re not used to tracking your cycle), is to begin as soon as your period starts. Another quick note here, your period begins once the bleeding officially starts – it doesn’t include spotting days before. Period day 1 also marks the start of a new cycle.
Days 1 – 14 of your cycle –> take 1 TBSP of ground flaxseed + 1 TBPS of ground pumpkin seeds daily.
Days 15 – 28 of your cycle –> take 1 TBSP of ground sesames seeds + 1 TBSP of sunflower seeds daily.
WHY DO I SWITCH SEED BLENDS ON DAYS 14 AND 28?
You will typically see the recommendation to switch seed blend on day 14 of cycle because on an “average” 28-day cycle, ovulation occurs around day 14 when we switch from follicular to luteal phase. On a 28-day cycle, day 28 marks the end of your luteal phase and beginning of your next cycle – with the arrival of your period.
Now, this is where tracking your cycle makes a difference when wanting to be more accurate. Most people who menstruate actually do not have the average 28-day cycle. It can vary from 23-35 days. Which means that ovulation does not occur exactly on day 14. If you wish to accurately know when you’re ovulating, you can track daily your basal body temperature (as soon as you wake up). Your basal body temperature tends to rise right after ovulation.
Whether you are someone that tracks your cycle and are very into knowing EVERYTHING about your body, or you want a minimalistic approach sans tracking, you can seed cycle both ways. The most important thing here will always be consistency.
WHAT IF MY CYCLE IS NOT REGULAR?
If the reason that you’re looking into seed cycling is because your cycle and/or period are not very regular or even M.I.A., don’t worry, there’s a really great alternative. Instead of switching seed blends with the start of your period and then again when you ovulate, follow the moon phases.
New Moon -> Full Moon: Phase 1 Blend (flax + pumpkin)
Full Moon -> New Moon: Phase 2 Blend (sesame + sunflower)
I find seed cycling to be such a beautiful way to remind us that we are very much a part of nature. The phases of our menstrual cycle are reflected in nature through the moon phases and even the seasons.
WHERE DO I ADD THE SEEDS?
You can add it into smoothies, oatmeal, overnight oats, chia pudding, yogurt parfaits, soups, açaí bowls, top your avo toast – the possibilities are truly endless. If creativity is your thing, you can make recipes with the seed blends – like energy balls and cookies. But if you are a practical queen and like/need simplicity, just add your seed blends on top of whatever you are eating.
The important thing here is to do what helps you stay consistent. Personally, I started my seed cycling journey attempting multiple recipes. But I quickly realized that taking the simple route and just adding the seed blends into my breakfast was more my style. It became part of my morning routine and helped me not forget.
WHEN WILL I START TO SEE A DIFFERENCE?
Like most things in wellness, it varies from person to person. Our bodies are truly unique and have individual needs. Seed cycling is a food-based approach to giving our hormones much needed love and care. What this means is that change is more gradual. When it comes to seed cycling, it’s recommended to consistently do it for at least 3 months. Key word here is consistency! It’s OK to miss a day here and there. But this practice works best (like everything health/wellness related) if done daily.
It’s also important to remember that there’s no such thing as a magic pill solution. Seed cycling alone will not fix everything. Think of seed cycling as a food-based multi for your hormones. Like when you take a multi, it’s still important to eat nutritious meals, sleep, hydrate, move, manage stress, and nourish the soul by doing things that bring you joy.
THE NUTRINUT SEED CYCLE KIT
Ready to start your seed cycling journey? Check out The Nutrinut Seed Cycle Kit. Our seeds are organic, non-gmo, and freshly ground in small batches. And since sustainability is our jam here at The Nutrinut, our packaging is home-compostable! That’s right, our stand-up pouches break down (under the right composting conditions) within time, kind of like a banana peel!