*The author generated this text in part with ChatGPT, OpenAI’s GPT-3 large language model. The content was reviewed, edited, fact-checked, and revised by our editorial team.
We all know when our periods are nearing. The acne begins to multiply, the sharp cramp pains start to ramp up, and the mood swings and cravings kick in without remorse. But wouldn’t it do wonders to your body (and mental health) to get those PMS symptoms under a little more control? Enter: the seed cycling method.
By alternating the consumption of four types of seeds with nutritional benefits depending on the phase of your menstrual cycle, your cramps may start to dwindle, and you may begin to notice that your PMS symptoms aren’t hitting as hard.
We’ll give you the lowdown on what seed cycling is, how to incorporate it into your diet, and the ways in which it may balance your hormones and benefit your menstrual cycle.
What’s seed cycling?
Seed cycling, supposedly publicized in 2012 by Lindsey Jesswein, a licensed naturopathic doctor, is a natural approach to supporting hormonal balance in women. It involves incorporating specific types of seeds into your diet during the different phases of your menstrual cycle.
The seeds are chosen for their hormonal benefits and are believed to help naturally regulate hormones and improve menstrual symptoms. It’s generally recommended to start seed cycling at the beginning of a new menstrual cycle so you can easily track any changes or improvements in your symptoms.
Which seeds should I add to my diet?
During the first half of your menstrual cycle (days one through 14, including the first day of your period), consume 1 tablespoon each of ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds every day. These seeds are high in lignans and essential fatty acids, which are believed to support estrogen metabolism and balance.
During the second half of your cycle (days 15 to 28), consume 1 tablespoon each of ground sunflower seeds and sesame seeds daily. These seeds are rich in vitamin E and other nutrients that are thought to support progesterone production and balance.
Be sure to use raw and organic seeds and grind them before consuming, as it helps to release the nutrients and makes them easier to digest. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or blender or purchase them pre-grounded.
As for how to incorporate the seeds into your diet, that’s completely up to you. You might choose to add them to a morning smoothie, mix them into yogurt, oatmeal, or even a veggie stir fry, or sprinkle them on top of a salad.
Benefits of seed cycling
There are several potential benefits to seed cycling. Some women find that it helps to regulate their menstrual cycle and improve symptoms such as PMS, acne, and irregular periods. It may also help manage menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood changes. In addition, it may positively impact fertility, but more research is needed to confirm this.
You’ll want to note that seed cycling isn’t a proven treatment for any particular medical condition and shouldn’t be substituted for medical care. Be sure to speak with your gynecologist if you have concerns about your menstrual cycle or hormonal health.
We recommend giving seed cycling a try for at least a few months to see if it’s an effective hormone regulation method for you. But keep in mind that it may not work for everyone.
Let the seed cycling begin
If you decide to hop on the hormone balance trend, you may feel slightly less agitated, and your menstrual symptoms may be a bit lighter on or around your period. Whether you notice slight or drastic improvements — or simply no changes at all — consuming ground flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds can benefit your overall health and wellness nonetheless.
Why? Because they’re packed with nutritional contents, primarily the vitamins and minerals you need like vitamins B and E, zinc, or magnesium, that stimulate healthier bodily functions. So, give seed cycling a try because even just 1% less menstrual discomfort can be life-changing.