If you think seed cycling sounds pretty new age, you’re not wrong. Does it actually work? As yet, there isn’t much research on its benefits, so we asked wellness blogger, Lee Tilghman of Lee from America, who swears by the practice, to share her seed cycling experience.
So, what exactly is it?
Seed cycling consists of eating various different types of seeds that either naturally boost estrogen or progesterone throughout the four phases of your menstrual cycle to balance your hormones and help lessen PMS symptoms. According to Lee, the technique helped her get her body back on track:
“Though I used to struggle with regular periods during my PCOS days, I have a pretty normal cycle now – it varies from 28 to 34 days – and ovulate regularly.”
While she admits to still experiencing some menstrual cramps, she definitely feels seed cycling has helped relieve the pain.
How does it work?
If you’re keen to give seed cycling a try, simply rotate your seed collection throughout your cycle, keeping track of how each one effects your body and hormones. During days 1 to 14, or until ovulation (the follicular phase) have 1 tablespoon each of flaxseed and pumpkin seeds daily. The flaxseeds help bind excess estrogen while the pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which helps increase the production of progesterone. Then during days 15 to 28, the luteal phase, have one tablespoon each of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds daily. Sesame seeds also help bind excess estrogen, and sunflower seeds are rich in selenium to support the liver.
Remember to track your cycle so that you know what to eat and when to eat it as everyone’s cycle is different.
To keep them fresh, Tilghman suggests storing all the raw, unsalted and whole seeds in glass jars in the fridge. Consider grinding the flax seeds to help your body digest and absorb all the nutrients, such as omega-3 and fiber.
As well as helping to balance her hormones, Tilghman also says seed cycling has inspired her meal prep: “If I’m feeling unsure of what to eat for lunch, solely glancing at the seed cycling poster on my fridge gives me instant ideas for what I want to eat,” Tilghman says.
In closing, she says: “I think seed cycling is a fun way to rotate foods, support my hormones, and lessen my period cramps. I use it as a guide to keep a rhythm but don’t follow it all day every day…”
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