Seed cycling: Food as Medicine comes under the branch of naturopathic or alternative medicine and is a practice thought to help regulate hormone levels in people who have periods. (1) During seed cycling, the diet is supplemented with four different seeds: flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower all are grounded to aid nutrient absorption and eaten raw each day.
Seed cycling is the perfect example of food as medicine. It’s the newest health trend in hormone balancing but based on old wisdom. Women with hormone-related imbalances ranging from PMS, infertility, PCOS to menopausal symptoms have benefited from seed cycling.
Essentially, it involves eating different seeds that encourage healthy estrogen levels the first half (follicular phase) of your menstrual cycle and other seeds that encourage healthy progesterone levels in the second half (luteal phase) of your cycle.
Why supplement with seeds? These seeds contain specific vitamins, nutrients, and fatty acids that are believed to support hormonal function. Whole seeds won’t break down completely in your gut, so grinding them enables your body to extract more nutrients from the seeds. They can be eaten alone or added to other foods like smoothies and salads.
The recommended regimen has two phases.
Day 1-14: 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flax and/or pumpkin per day.
Day 15-28: 1 to 2 tablespoons each of ground sunflower and/or sesame seeds per day until the first day of your next menstrual cycle.
Then the cycle repeats. If you have irregular periods, missed periods or are in menopause, you can start with the new moon cycle.
Day 1-14: new moon to full moon
Day 15-28: full moon to new moon
Be creative! Grind up the raw seeds, add to smoothies, sprinkle on salads, cereal, or mix in yogurt. You can even experiment making seed butter, or yummy seed balls (blend in food processor with dates, cocoa, and roll in coconut).
A few reminders for success:
-Eat them raw as roasted seeds don’t have the same healing benefits.
-Store your seeds in the fridge or freezer to maintain freshness.
-Ideally grind seeds daily as they can spoil quickly, but if that’s not feasible than do small batches a few days at a time and keep in the freezer.
-Consistency is the key. Give it up to 3 cycles before deciding whether it’s working for you.
Go here for recipes.
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