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Seed Cycling for Hormonal Balance

I first heart of seed cycling in the book Period Power by Maisie Hill (2019). Here Maisie talked about how the consumption of specific seeds at different phases of the menstrual cycle can help ease symptoms of PMS (& other menstrual cycle issues) by both binding-up excess hormones, & increase consumption of essential fatty acids (the building blocks of hormones).

Say, whaaaaaaat!?


I was befuddled as to why I'd never heard about it before to be honest. There is plenty of debate online over whether or not it actually “works” – but there is really no harm in giving this practice a try, as it just involves consuming seeds that are healthy anyways!


I've had great results with seed cycling, as well as the other tips & tricks I share, so now I'm sharing it far & wide with all of my menstruating friends! So simple, so effective. So let's talk about how to get started.


How to Seed Cycle

The general idea is to consume 1 tbsp of flax seeds & 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds daily for the first half (~2 weeks) of your cycle. During the second half of your cycle, (following ovulation), you’ll switch to 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds & 1 tbsp of sesame seeds.


Follicular Phase: Day 1 to Day 14 (or Ovulation):

  • 1-2 tablespoons linseeds / flaxseeds

  • 1-2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

...to gently & naturally increase oestrogen levels


Luteal Phase: Day 14 (or ovulation) to Day 28 (or last day of your cycle):

  • 1-2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds or tahini

...to stimulate the production of progesterone & block excess oestrogen


How to eat more seeds

There's so much healthy eating advice already out there, how can I possibly incorporate yet another one into my day-to-day diet? See seeds as a bonus addition to your already nutrient-packed dishes!

  • Top porridge with seeds

  • Add to smoothies

  • Use toasted seeds as salad toppers

  • Incorporate into soups & stews

  • Consume as a crunchy snack

  • Sprinkle on other snacks such as oat cakes with hummus or nut butter

  • Or for a tasty treat...

Chocolate bark recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g high quality dark chocolate (>80% cocoa solids)

  • 2 tbsp freeze-dried raspberries

  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate & spread thinly onto a sheet of grease-proof paper.

  2. Sprinkle with raspberries & seeds.

  3. Refrigerate until solid, then break into bite-sized pieces.

Serves ~14.


While seed cycling alone doesn’t replace an overall healthy eating pattern, it may be worth working it into your routine to see if it helps improve your menstrual symptoms.

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