Already popular in ‘wellness circles’, seed cycling (eating different nuts at different stages of the menstrual cycle) is nothing new.
But while most of us know about the many benefits of nuts & seeds for hair, skin, immune system, fertility - using nuts to balance our hormones could be one of the easiest biohacks we make.
There are four specific seeds that help to support hormone balance which in turn, can help control and improve PMS symptoms. Let’s face it, anything we can do to help those all too familiar monthly visitors (acne, heavy bleeding, fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, cramps… I could go on) deserves a shot!
And the movement is gaining traction mainstream, with women searching for more natural alternatives to traditional medication.
On Instagram, the hashtag #seedcycling has over 10,000 results, with some advocates hailing it as "a total game-changer.”
“Even if you’re not looking to get pregnant, it’s important to have the right rhythm and balance of these hormones, as they have a ripple effect on your libido, your mood and even your bone density,” says nutritional therapist Fiona Lawson.
And one of the best things about seed cycling is that it can be beneficial at any stage in a woman’s life. So, want to get started?
The seeds you need to stock up on asap are flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. Together, these seeds provide oils, vitamins, and minerals that help stimulate production, detoxification, and metabolism of estrogen and progesterone.
The concept works around the two main phases of the female cycle—the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The first half of the month should be spent boosting oestrogen and the second phase supporting progesterone.
For the first 14 days of your cycle, you need more oestrogen to build up the uterine lining. Enter pumpkin and flax seeds.
It’s recommended to take a spoonful of ground flaxseed each day (in a smoothie, over oats etc) and a handful of pumpkin seeds, every day.
Days 15 - 28
This luteal phase is when the uterus prepares for an egg to be fertilized and your hormones will love sunflower and sesame seeds on these days. Switch to one tablespoon each of raw seeds daily.
They stimulate progesterone production thanks to a high zinc content, thickening the uterine lining and prepare it for implantation.
Flaxseed and pumpkin seeds for the first two weeks, sunflower and sesame seeds for the last two weeks. It’s literally that simple.
We don't know for sure if seed cycling will bring you the kind of relief that popping a painkiller and curling up on the sofa with a hot water bottle might, but this is one wellness trend that’s definitely worth a try.