Learn The Basics: Seed Cycling For Supporting Balanced Hormones
Whether your first seed cycling kit just arrived—or you stumbled upon this article in the pursuit of female health—welcome. Here at Funk It, we don’t shy away from a holistic approach to wellness. In fact, it’s in our ethos. From helping you heal your hormonal acne, to minimizing your PCOS symptoms, we want to empower you to take your health into your own hands.
Admittedly, certain things are more woo-woo than others. We get it. But being open to what does (and doesn’t) work for your body is the beauty of bio-individuality. There’s no better time to experiment, get curious, and be inspired. So today, we’re bringing you a new habit to add to your repertoire: seed cycling.
WHAT IS SEED CYCLING?
This hormone-supporting tool is one of the top trending wellness practices (and for good reason!). So, what is seed cycling? Seed cycling is a dietary remedy, designed for better hormone health. It’s one of the best food as medicine habits for getting your cycle back on track, balancing hormones, minimizing period woes, and increasing your chances of conceiving.
What Does Seed Cycling Do?
This hormone-supporting tool is one of the top trending wellness practices (and for good reason!). As a dietary remedy, seed cycling is designed for better hormone health. It’s one of the best food as medicine habits for all-things menstrual health:
- Getting your cycle back on track—due to irregular, absent, or anovulatory cycles
- Supports minimizing period woes—PMS, super heavy flow, cramps, and hormonal acne..
- Supports Improvement of symptoms of PCOS, endometriosis, etc.
- Supports your chances of conceiving.
How Does It Work?
Seed cycling involves eating flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds at different times of the month (we make it easy for you!). Theoretically, seed cycling either enhances or inhibits the production of estrogen and progesterone in the body. In turn, balancing and optimizing your hormones, along with relieving symptoms due to hormonal imbalance.
In essence, these particular seeds contain different amounts of lignans and essential fatty acids. Lignans can help bind up excess hormones, and fatty acids are essential for hormone production and balance. As you alternate between seeds, your body works to optimize the nutrients in pumpkin, flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds.
Who Is Seed Cycling Best For?
This hormone-supporting tool is one of the top trending wellness practices (and for good reason!). As a dietary remedy, seed cycling is designed for better hormone health. It’s one of the best food as medicine habits for getting your cycle back on track, balancing hormones, minimizing period woes, and increasing your chances of conceiving.
One of the best things about seed cycling is that it can be beneficial for any state of a woman’s life. However, we often suggest it to women who are in the process of coming off hormonal birth control as a way to get their cycle back, naturally, and improve hormonal health.
Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Before we dive into how to seed cycle, where are you at in your menstrual cycle? Knowing which phase you’re in will guide which seeds to start with.As a refresher, these are the four distinct phases of the menstrual cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal.
- Menstrual: the start of your period (when you bleed)
- Follicular: 7-10 days leading up to ovulation
- Ovulatory: 3-5 days of ovulation
- Luteal: 10-14 days before your period begins again
Keep in mind that everyone's cycle is different, and it is normal for lengths to vary. Your cycle may be longer or shorter than the phases listed above. If your menstrual cycle is absent or irregular (less than 20 days or longer than 40 days), you can use the moon phases to seed cycle. More on this, below!
How To Start Seed Cycling
Taking a step back, your cycle has two main phases: follicular and luteal. These are the two main phases we want to focus on for seed cycling.
THE FOLLICULAR PHASE:
When: Days 1-14 of your cycle. During this phase, you need a balanced amount of estrogen to build the uterine lining.
What Seeds: 1 tablespoon ground pumpkin seeds and 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, daily (2 tablespoons total). Use Funk It’s Nurture seeds.
PUMPKIN SEEDS are rich in zinc, which aids in progesterone production and supports healthy testosterone levels. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which help protect your ovaries, eggs, and reproductive system as a whole.
FLAX SEEDS contain lignans, which aid in estrogen release, meaning they bind excess estrogen and help eliminate it to support ideal estrogen levels. Both flax and pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fats, which encourage uterine blood flow and maintain healthy cell membranes.
THE LUTEAL PHASE:
When: Days 15-28 of your cycle – during this phase, the corpus luteum starts to release progesterone, which is a sex hormone that helps thicken the uterine lining and prepare it for implantation.
What Seeds: 1 tablespoon ground sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon ground sunflower seeds (2 tablespoons total). Use Funk It’s Radiate seeds.
SESAME SEEDS are rich in zinc, which aids in progesterone production. They also contain lignans, which help block excess estrogen, and they have a slew of other benefits, including the ability to lower inflammation.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS contain selenium, which helps improve liver function and remove excess estrogen. They also contain vitamin E, which stimulates progesterone production.
NEW MOON TO FULL MOON
Radiate seeds (ground flax and pumpkin seeds).
Day 1 of your cycle would begin with the new moon. Days 1-14 (new moon to full moon), eat pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.
FULL MOON TO NEW MOON
Nurture seeds (ground sesame and sunflower seeds).
Days 15-28 (full moon to new moon), eat sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
Read more on seed cycling with the moon, here.
WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS
There are plenty of anecdotal accounts of seed cycling’s usefulness, and the scientific evidence is growing! In this study, 18 women were encouraged to eat their normal diet for three menstrual cycles and then consume flax seeds (along with their typical diet) for the next three cycles. When they compared the data, the researchers found that there there a total of three anovulatory cycles (no ovulation) among the 36 cycles the women experienced before eating flax seeds, and there there no anovulatory cycles after! Not only is ovulation important for a healthy menstrual cycle, but it’s imperative for those trying to conceive. There has also been a recent study that looked at the practice of seed cycling regards to PCOS symptoms and consuming the seeds! It is exciting to see more time and money being invested into more holistic approaches to support the menstrual cycle!
SEED CYCLING FAQS:
Do the seeds need to be ground?
Yes! It's important to grind the seeds first so our body can digest them properly. Whole seeds can be very hard to digest. By grinding the seeds, we ensure our body fully absorbs all the nutrients.
How long will it take for seed cycling to work?
This varies from woman to woman, but typically 3 months of consistent (daily seed cycling). The longer you seed cycle, the more you’ll reap its benefits!
What’s the best way to store my seeds?
We recommend in the fridge or freezer.
What’s the best way to eat my seeds?
The sky’s the limit! You can find a variety of recipes here. Otherwise, you can add them to your smoothie, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt bowl, chia pudding, or salad.
Can I Seed Cycle If I’m Pregnant?
We always recommend talking to your doctor about anything that you are doing while pregnant. The seeds can be a great boost in nutrients but there is no need to cycle them as pregnancy has different needs than the menstrual cycle!
Can I Seed Cycle If I’m Postpartum?
We always recommend checking with your doctor before making any changes to your routine but seed cycling can be a great way to ease your body back into it’s flow and support your hormones postpartum! If your cycle has not returned you can follow the moon cycle!!