Seed Cycling. How to Balance Hormones & Your Menstrual Cycle Through Mindful Nourishment.
Seed cycling recently burst onto the virtual wellness scene thanks to its real-life popularity and benefits. The idea is that by eating certain seeds at specific points during an individual’s menstrual cycle, and beyond, hormones steady, fertility increases, and ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or menopause. The main seeds are the following, all of which should be consumed in a ground form.
1. Pumpkin seeds.
2. Flax seeds.
3. Sesame seeds.
4. Sunflower seeds.
Beyond the few days just before an individual’s period, or menstrual phase, when hormones might be most notably in flux or shifted, female hormones ebb and flow throughout the entire monthly cycle. Once you know what to look for, you might become more aware of imbalances and changes that were once incredibly subtly.
There are four main phases of a menstrual cycle.
1. Menstrual Phase. The ‘start’ of the menstrual cycle, considered ‘Day 1′ until the end of the bleeding days. A ‘typical’ menstrual phase lasts anywhere from 3 to 7 days, but such varies. Which hormones are involved in this phase?
2. Follicular Phase. Following the menstrual phase, during this phase, estrogen rises.
3. Ovulatory Phase. As you might have guessed, ovulation occurs in this phase. Eggs are released and fertile throughout this phase.
4. Luteal Phase. During the luteal phase, assuming eggs were not fertilized, the uterus prepares to shed its lining during the menstrual phase.
How to Seed Cycle.
Days 1 to 14 Menstrual and Follicular Phase.
The first half of the cycle focuses on giving folks an estrogen boost. Day 1 begins on the first day of an individual’s period.
One tablespoon ground flax seeds.
One tablespoon ground pumpkin seeds.
Other seed. Chia, Hemp.
Days 15 to 28 Ovulatory and Luteal Phase.
The second half of the cycle focuses on giving folks a progesterone boost.
One tablespoon ground sunflower seeds.
One tablespoon ground sesame seeds.
Other seeds. Pumpkin.
How should the seeds be consumed? To properly absorb the nourishment, soak your seeds for at least a few hours before consumption. Otherwise, the digestive tract might have a difficult time breaking them down. If that’s the case, then digestion might be imbalanced which would not be of benefit to your wellbeing. You can blend the seeds into a smoothie or sprinkle them in a bowl of oatmeal. They might be more enjoyable mixed in with some other delicious foods.
Benefits of Seed Cycling.
Each person’s body sees different effects, but some of the benefits that might come about thanks to seed cycling include.
1. PMS relief.
2. Soothes acne.
3. Lessens cramps and pains.
A balanced cycle.
Your balanced state might look entirely different from your best friend. Cycle to cycle, symptoms, and experiences vary. The main aim of seed cycling is to bring some semblance of balance to your cycle, especially if you have struggled with finding methods which work for you.
Tracking your cycle can make you more aware of any potential changes. If improvements occur after you give seed cycling a try, you might be more inclined to continue practicing.
Here are a few key factors to consider tracking throughout your entire cycle (not just on bleeding days!).
1. Hair. Is your hair greasy during certain phases of your cycle? Dry during another phase?
2. Elimination. Is your digestive system upset at one point? Are you backed up another day?
3. Skin. Oily during the follicular phase? Dry the rest of the cycle?
4. Mental health. At what points do you feel energized and uplifted, perhaps more inclined to socialize? On the other hand, when do you feel withdrawn or fatigued?
5. Sex. Do you feel more sensual around ovulation? Track when you have sexual intercourse, as well, as it can affect your cycle.