Seed cycling uses the natural properties of seeds (flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame and sunflower seeds) to regulate hormone balance, boost fertility, restore cycle regularity, reduce acne, aid PCOS symptoms and ease menopausal symptoms.
Although there is limited scientific research behind it, there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest a degree of efficacy.
What is it?
Seed cycling involves having a tablespoon of ground flax seeds and a tablespoon of ground pumpkin seeds for the first half of your cycle. On the day after your predicted ovulation you switch the seeds to one tablespoon of ground sesame seeds and ground sunflower seeds.
How it works?
In healthy times, oestrogen is produced in the first half of the menstrual cycle, promoting the maturation of eggs; follicle stimulating hormone and luteinising hormone peak just before ovulation.
Once ovulation has occurred, oestrogen and progesterone levels are maintained in anticipation of a pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilised the progesterone and oestrogen levels fall and the cycle starts again.
Seeds influence on hormones…
- Flax seeds contain lignans; these are structurally similar to oestrogen. This means they compete with our own oestrogen at oestrogenic receptors, translating into reduced oestrogenic effects. Although they are similar, they are not as powerful as our own oestrogen so a greater concentration is required to enable this competitive blockade to occur. In practice, greater concentrations of phytoestrogens can reduce the deleterious effects of oestrogen in our breasts and uteruses, reducing the risk of developing cancer. Conversely, if oestrogen is lacking (such as in post-menopausal bones) the presence of phytoestrogens can mimic the effect of our endogenous oestrogens and boost bone mineral density.
- Pumpkin seeds contain zinc which promotes progesterone production required in the second phase.
- Polyphenols in sesame seeds promote oestrogen balance by preventing oestrogenic dominance in the second stage of seed cycling.
- Vitamin E in sunflower seeds promotes progesterone levels.
Although there is a lack of scientific evidence to back seed cycling, there is some anecdotal correlation seen across a wide range of hormonal conditions. Regardless, this is a natural, organic method with no serious side effects that, irrespective of its effect on hormonal balance, at the very least promotes healthy unsaturated fat intake, immunity and healthy skin (and that is scientifically validated) – a potential win-win scenario!
Have you thought about seed cycling? Get in contact for more information ??