Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Seed Rotation For Hormone Balance

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Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance In Women:

Tips To Seed Cycling For Fertility | Seed Rotation For Hormone Balance

In most women hormones are produced in adequate levels that support a healthy menstrual cycle. But certain health disorders like PCOS, hypothyroidism, over-exercising or malnourishment can result in hormonal imbalance. Furthermore, during menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease remarkably elevating the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and can lead to hot flashes and weight gain.

Besides these, stress, environmental toxins, unhealthy diet, food sensitivities, high caffeine intake and alcohol intake can also contribute to an irregular cycle, painful periods and infertility.

Supplementing the body with superfoods will facilitate to produce an adequate amount of estrogen and progesterone is an easy and preferred form of healing. Seed cycling/rotation diet not only benefits women with hormonal imbalances but also helps with a healthy cycle.

How Long Will It Take To See Results

It typically takes a few cycles of the seed rotation to notice an effect. You should definitely notice a decrease in your symptoms after 3-4 months of seed cycling. This may seem like a long time, but just remember that your hormone imbalance didnt happen overnight. It takes time to reestablish hormone balance but the benefits you gain will be long lasting.

Remember anyone can benefit from seed cycling, no matter where you are in your hormonal journey. From teenagers just starting their periods, to postpartum mamas, and up through menopause, this can be a great natural way to reestablish optimum hormone production and regulation. Get started today!

Cheers to happy hormones!

Like variety? Try this recipe on your flaxseed and pumpkin seed days:

Hormones In A Normal Cycle

During the month, a thick lining that contains nutrients builds up on the inner wall of the uterus in preparation for pregnancy. When conception does not occur, estrogen and progesterone hormone levels decrease. The thick uterine lining sheds when these hormone levels fall, resulting in your period.

The first half of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase. It begins with menses when the thick uterine lining sheds.

The second half of the menstrual cycle is known as the luteal phase. This phase begins about 14 days into the cycle with ovulation. During ovulation, a single mature egg is released from the follicle. Once the egg is released, the follicle then releases progesterone, which helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy.

Estrogen levels remain high during this phase. When the released egg does not become fertilized, progesterone and estrogen levels start to fall. This starts the cycle over again with menses.

Also Check: How Do You Get Too Much Estrogen

Seed Cycling When Your Menstrual Cycle Is Not 28 Days

The average cycle is 28 days, but itâs not so for all women. After all, itâs only an average value.

Menstrual cycles can range between 21 and 35 days. Just split the length of your cycle in two accordingly.

If you have a 21-day cycle for example, then your Follicular phase should be about Days 1-11, and your Luteal Phase should be about Days 11-21.

The Nutritional Components In Seeds

How To Use Seed Rotation to Balance Hormones in Women

Flax seeds are considered phytoestrogens, which have a weak estrogen-like effect in the body. This naturally supports healthy estrogen production. Flax seeds are unique in that they also contain nutritional components called lignans which can help to bind excess estrogen. Research shows that flax seeds help in lengthening the luteal phase, improving ovulation and reducing common PMS symptoms such as breast pain and cramping.

Sesame seeds also contain lignans which help to block excess estrogen during the second phase of your menstrual cycle when progesterone rises. Research shows that sesame seeds are beneficial for postmenopausal women by improving blood lipids, antioxidants, and sex hormones.


Pumpkin and sesame seeds both contain high levels of zinc. This mineral helps to improve the formation of the corpus luteum in the uterus. The corpus luteum is responsible for producing progesterone and stimulates the uterus to thicken in preparation for potential implantation.


Both flax and pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s promote blood flow to the uterus, increase progesterone secretion, and help maintain healthy cell membranes. In addition, Vitamin E has been linked to reducing PMS symptoms. Research also shows that Vitamin E, omega-3s and omega-6s found in pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and flax seeds are essential for hormone production and follicle function.


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When Should I Start Cycling With Seeds

If you have regular cycles, then start the follicular phase seeds on the first day of your period.

On the other hand, if you dont have a period, either because of menopause or amenorrhea , then some experts suggest using the new moon as your guide.

This means you should eat:

  • follicular phase seeds from the new moon to full moon.
  • luteal phase seed from the full moon to new moon.

Not sure when the moon phases happen each month? Just google it

Why Do Some Women Have Irregular Menses When Others Dont

The regularity of our menstrual cycles depends on several different factors. Typically our estrogen and progesterone rise and fall at the appropriate times throughout our cycles without any intervention and we have normal 28-30 day menstrual cycles. However, this is not the case for most women of reproductive age today. Lifestyle factors like stress, exposure to environmental toxins, food sensitivities, alcohol and coffee consumption, poor digestion, and poor diets consisting of hormone laden meats and processed foods can lead to the dysregulation of natural hormone production, causing some women to have irregular periods or no periods at all.

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How Can *seeds* Affect Your Body

According to Dr. Estafan, these seeds contain a type of fiber called lignan, which, when metabolized, is thought to have an effect on your hormones by either eliminating excess estrogen in your body or boosting estrogen levels in your body . The idea is to strategically use these seeds to calm intense hormonal shifts throughout your cycle, so you can see-saw your way back into balance, and, hopefully, mitigate any looming breakouts or PMS swings.

Umm, why cant I just eat normal foods with fiber? I hear you skeptically ask. Although, yes, lignan is found in other fruits and veggies, youd have to consume truly massive amounts just to reach the concentration found in a handful of sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, and flax seeds. To put it in perspective: Youd need to eat 53 cups of kale to get the same amount of lignan found in two tablespoons of flaxseed. L-O-L. Nope. But these intense concentrations are also what make seed cycling so compelling.

Why Should There Be Hormone Imbalances In The First Place

How to Use Seed Rotation to Rebalance Your Hormones

Naturally, a womanâs body system can take cues to regulate the hormones as necessary. Unfortunately, it is not always a smooth ride. Some factors can cause hormonal imbalances to occur. Some of them are:

  • Excessive exercising

Even if you do not have any of these health problems, you can still benefit greatly from supporting your hormones with seed cycling.

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Why Add More Estrogens To Our Diet

Many women worry that they are already experiencing estrogen dominance, so why add more estrogen in the form of phytoestrogens found in some of the seeds in the seed rotation method?

For this to be fully understood, we first need to establish that not all estrogens are dirty, and the one that tends to be high in estrogen-dominant women is estradiol, also known as E2. Excessive levels of E2 have been linked to breast and prostate cancer. The seed rotation method does not only suppress estradiol production, but it also nudges estradiol metabolism in a positive direction by generating a higher ratio of the clean metabolite 2-hydroxy-estrone versus the more harmful 16-hydroxy-estrone.

How Can You Tell When You Ovulate

Iâve had a few friends try seed cycling as well, and the biggest hiccup seems to be that not everyone can tell when theyâre ovulating. There are a few ways to determine when youâre ovulating, but if youâre using hormonal contraception, these wonât apply .

You can use Clue to track your cycle and pinpoint when youâre likely to ovulate. You can enable a notification to let you know when itâs ovulation day.

Read Also: What Vitamins Are Good For Female Hormones

How Seeds And Oil Cycling Can Help Balance Hormones

Seeds and oil cycling is a great gentle way to help balance hormones.

Commonly, women can experience signs of PMS including irritability, bloating, acne, food cravings, sleep changes, low mood and back pain a week before their cycle begins.

When you do experience PMS, this in an indication that your hormones may be unbalanced, your estrogen levels often becoming dominant and progesterone typically being low.

While there are many natural ways to balance your hormones, its great to start with the diet. I recommend experimenting with seed cycling: a naturopathic method of rotating different seeds at different times of your menstrual cycle.

There are four seeds that can help balance your hormones and alleviate PMS symptoms: flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Using seeds and oils can actually bring back that balance gently by using foods. It can be a game changer for many women by incorporating this into their diet. The cycling of seeds can promote the right oils and nutrients it needs to produce the appropriate hormones during your cycle.

This is how you do it:

Days 1-14 eat 2 tablespoons of both fresh ground flax seed and pumpkin seeds. Bonus if you eat 2 tbsp of each. Also add in fish oil or flax oil .

Try it out!

Does Seed Cycling Work Or Is It A Myth

Cooking for Hormone Balance

Seed cycling has been used by women for decades. Personally, I started seed rotation before I transitioned off of birth control and have continued since. It’s a simple ritual to include nutrient dense foods and support variety in my diet. Anecdotally, I do feel better. But I encourage, like always, you to ask if the seed cycling benefits are true for you.

Over the years I’ve watched seed cycling increase in popularity with many women touting the benefits they’ve experienced. I love reading these accounts. There are many anecdotal stories circulating that sometimes paint seed cycling as the cure all for any hormonal condition. I want to be very clear that the practice is a dietary one aimed at supporting your hormones and supplying your body with the nutrients and building blocks to do what it does best.

But when I see statements like, seed cycling can cure cancer, I gotta encourage some caution. Not only because cancer is complicated, but also because you cannot do just one thing and expect everything to be amaze. I wish that wasn’t true, but sadly, it’ll take more than cycling seeds to prevent cancer. This is why provide you oodles of support on this site to help you live your best life!

What you will find on PubMed and cited here are the nutritional benefits of each of the seeds and how they can help create more optimal hormones as part of a holistic lifestyle practice.

Read about how your thyroid is related to your menstrual cycle.

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How Does Seed Cycling Work

Seed cycling provides the specific nutrients to help build your hormones. As you’ll read in my book, Beyond the Pill, I recommend seed cycling at any stage in a woman’s life and find it especially helpful for women coming off of birth control or struggling with post-birth control syndrome symptoms like acne, irregular periods, or new onset of PMS.

To use seed cycling you need to know a few things. Youll be tracking your menstrual cycle and changing your seeds to match the phase you are in. Day one is the first day you experience your period . That will be the day you begin the follicular phase seeds and youll continue through ovulation or day 14.

The practice is quite simple, beginning the first day of your cycle you’ll eat 1-2 tablespoons of fresh ground flaxseeds and raw pumpkin seeds, which supports both estrogen production and metabolism. It’s a great way to create balanced estrogen, which is key during the follicular phase.

Following ovulation, which can vary for each woman, you will switch to 1-2 tablespoons each of raw sunflower and sesame seeds. For the purpose of seed rotation, we generally change to these seeds at day 15 of the cycle, but if youre tracking your ovulation then you can switch seeds the day following ovulation. Sunflower and sesame seeds support progesterone levels, which is the key hormone during the luteal phase .

How To Incorporate Seeds Into Your Daily Diet

You can easily add seeds or seed butters to smoothies, yogurt and oatmeal/porridge at breakfast, or sprinkle them on top of salads and soups at lunch or dinner. I like to make simple seed butter-based sauces with sunflower butter or tahini to drizzle over salads, macro bowls or cooked veggies. My go-to super simple sauce is: 1 Tbsp tahini + 1 Tbsp coconut aminos + 1 Tbsp water, mixed together in a small bowl. If youd like some other seed butter-based sauce ideas, check out my recipe ebook which has a bunch of yummy ones!

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A Holistic Nutritionist Explains: Seed Rotation

·Post may contain affiliate links.

Seed rotation is a perfect example of using food as medicine to balance hormone levels naturally. This practice helps to regulate and support the menstrual cycle by boosting estrogen levels in the first part and progesterone levels in the second part. Different seeds contain different types of nutrients that our hormones need throughout the cycle.

How Seeds Affect Hormones

Solution for Infertility and PCOS – Seed Cycling for Hormonal Balance

Certain seeds may affect hormones because they contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. They can be found in flaxseeds, sesame seeds, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Its believed that consuming phytoestrogens during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycles may increase or decrease estrogen levels as needed and balance hormones.

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Sesame Seeds And The Cycle

One small study of postmenopausal women who consumed sesame seed powder found that eating the seeds increased levels of one form of vitamin E circulating throughout the body . Seed consumption didnât increase estrogen, but it decreased a type of androgen and increased sex hormone binding globulin . It’s worth noting that the increase was minor and not statistically significant . Theoretically, this might reduce health risks for some people during menopause including cardiovascular disease and cancer risk, but the research findings are mixed and not well understood .

What About Women Who Do Not Menstruate Or Who Are Menopausal And Postmenopausal

If you do not have a cycle either because you are not menstruating or because you have entered peri-menopause, menopause or you are in post-menopause, seed rotation can still help.

If you are pre-menopausal and not cycling, start the seed rotation any time you like and do two weeks of each seed rotation, as shown in the below chart.If you have already entered menopause, you can start applying seed rotation any time you like and keep each seed combination for one to two weeks, then switch to the other combination .

Also Check: Does Estrogen Make Endometriosis Worse

Seed Cycling For Painful Periods

Seed rotation can help with painful period cramps! In fact, the cause of those painful periods is rooted in excess prostaglandins, estrogen dominance and inflammation. Because these seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids then can help lower inflammation and the effects of prostaglandins. The lignans and nutrients support the elimination of estrogen in the body so that you dont run into issues with estrogen dominance.

While cycling seeds can be excellent for alleviating period pain, I typically encourage my patients to leverage magnesium, fish oil, and Balance for at least a few months while the seeds work their magic.

Where Did The Idea Of Seed Cycling Come From

Have You Heard Of Seed Cycling?

During each phase of the menstrual cycle, female hormones rise and fall in different amounts. If they are not balanced or following the right pattern, it can lead to negative symptoms and unwanted side effects.

Seed cycling is a way of trying to influence your hormones through diet. Eating pumpkin and flax seeds during the first half of the menstrual cycle is believed to help prevent excess estrogen from building up and promote normal levels.

Flax seeds contain a plant compound called lignans, which are a type of phytoestrogen, or plant compound that mimics the structure of estrogen. Lignans may help ease the symptoms of menopause and balance the effects of estrogen in the body. Flaxseeds are particularly rich in lignans they have about 100 times more lignans compared to other lignan-containing foods.

Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds are also believed to support a healthy period. The theory is that because these are good sources of essential minerals like magnesium and zinc, they may help balance levels of estrogen and progesterone. But there is limited scientific evidence to confirm this.

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Whats In The Seed Cycling Mixes

Ive created two mixes: One for the follicular phase , and one for the luteal phase .

  • The Follicular Mix: unsweetened desiccated coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds
  • The Luteal Mix: unsweetened desiccated coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds

The base blend is the same in both mixes: unsweetened desiccated coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds. I then swap out the sesame/sunflower blend and flax/pumpkin blend depending on the phase.

Pictured above is the Follicular Mix , and below is the Luteal Mix .

Note: Because these seed mixes contain other ingredients that by volume dilute the potency of the flax/pumpkin and sesame/sunflower blends, I recommend trying to consume 2 heaping Tablespoons per day.

I will say Im not a stickler about seed cycling. Some days I consume 1 Tbsp of the seed cycle mix, while other days I consume 3 Tbsp or more. It really just depends on how Im feeling, how hungry I am, and whether or not Im traveling .

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