SEED CYCLING | help your hormones a little

Updated: Apr 21, 2019

When there is an imbalance between your estrogen (which rises during the first half of your cycle) and progesterone (which is known to rise during the second part of your cycle, while estrogen levels slowly decline) throughout your cycle, this can possibly lead to some nasty symptoms like PMS (emotional & physical), acne, menstrual cramps, anovulation, headaches, irregular cycles, short luteal phases, heavy name just a few. It is possible to support your body a little in its journey towards balance. One of the ways is seed cycling.

What is seed cycling?

It’s a simple concept where you add certain seeds to your diet with the aim to help your endocrine system to find some more balance. It’s very simple: during the different phases in your cycle, you take in different seeds. Each seed has its own qualities and functions to support your hormones.

Why seeds?

Seeds are very nutritious. More specifically: the seed hulls and seed oils. Seed hulls contain what we call "lignans" - they are known to bind up excess hormones. Whereas the seed oils contain fatty acids that help create the building blocks for making hormones.

How to seed cycle

When you have a regular menstrual cycle, you take the seeds according to your cycle. However, when you have a rather irregular or even absent cycle, you follow the cycle of the moon. I will explain later how it works when you follow the moon cycle instead of your own cycle.

The seeds you need:

-FLAX seeds

-PUMPKIN seeds

-SESAME seeds


“The good news is that seed cycling* can help you to minimize painful and frustrating menstrual symptoms.”

Note: I do not intend to generalize in the following part. I am very aware of the fact that every menstruator is different. I will use some standard numbers to illustrate the different phases of the menstrual cycle. These numbers may be completely different for you. For example: if you ovulate on day 18 of your cycle, your follicular phase will be 18 days, while your luteal phase might be shorter. But again: this doesn't have to be that way, it can also be longer. Please be aware of this and find out for yourself how it is for you. If you need any help in finding out the length of both phases in your cycle, contact me.

Follicular Phase --- the first part of your cycle


-estrogen dominant phase

-starts on the first day of your period

-lasts until one day before ovulation

-usually said: days 1-14 of your cycle

Seeds to support this phase:

-1 tablespoon of flax seeds/day

-1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds/day

How they help your hormones:

-they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids

-flax seeds contain lignans (they block excess estrogen)

-pumpkin seeds are high in zinc (this supports progesterone levels to rise in the 2nd part of your cycle)

Luteal Phase --- the second part of your cycle


-progesterone dominant phase

-starts on the day of your ovulation

-lasts until one day before your next period

-usually said: days 15-28 of your cycle

Seeds to support this phase:

-1 tablespoon of sesame seeds/day

-1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds/day

How they help your hormones:

-they are rich in omega 6 fatty acids

-sesame seeds contain lignans (they block excess estrogen)

-sunflower seeds support the liver in its detoxification process to remain hormonal balance in the body (the mineral helping here is selenium)

Seed preparation & consuming

Make sure you buy whole organic, ground & raw seeds. Each time you want to consume your seeds, grind them first. By doing this, the nutrients are more easily absorbed in the body. Do not make big batches of grinded seeds - due to oxidation, your seeds might go rancid if you have them cracked open too long. To maintain freshness, you can also put your seeds in a glass jar and place them in the refregerator and consume them later that day.

Ideas to consume your seeds: -blend them in your smoothies/shakes -in your oatmeal (my personal favorite!)

-in soups

-in salads -making seed cycling mylk! Hop on over to my friend Elenore's insta to check out how!


Be aware that it might take a couple of cycles before you notice any big results in your hormonal balancing. It usually takes up to 3 to 4 cycles -- however, you might notice differences in the first month of seed cycling already. Be patient with your body (especially if you just got off hormonal birth control) and yet be persistent in the seed cycling ( : Please also be aware that this is no magic potion. If your hormones are disrupted aggressively, or you do have bigger things going on (like endometriosis or PCOS), seed cycling only will not solve your problem. Also note that when you are on hormonal contraceptives, you do not have a real cycle so this method might not be optimal either. Please contact a health care professional with whom you feel comfortable - someone you trust and who can help you the best way possible. *Note: I did not come up with this term, nor was I inspired by it to pick the new name for my company. It’s all a coincidence ( :

Resources Nicole Jardim

National University of Natural Medicine

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

Dr. Jolene Brighten



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