Last spring, we met up for dinner and it naturally came up in conversation that her periods were so horrible that even at age 40, she was having to miss a day or two of work every month due to the pain and she’d go through a super plus tampon every couple of hours.
Her hormones took a massive hit after two kids and she was feeling pretty lost.
She had considered getting back on the pill to help with these issues but she was unsure about it at this stage in life.
I don’t take on friends as clients but I did want to share I shared some resources to help her, one of which was something called seed cycling, which is what she was referring to in her text.
I’ll get to what that is in a minute.
First, let’s talk about our hormones…
It’s so easy for our hormones to get out of balance – either due to stress, foods we eat, food sensitivities, gut issues, and many other factors.
And when our hormones are out of whack, we deal with all sorts of issues; including:
And many others
The thing is, the pill does NOT fix these issues. It’s a band-aid to these issues. And due to it suppressing our natural rhythm, leaching out body of vitamins and minerals, and affecting digestion, it can cause more issues while we’re on it.
Once you come off of it, the original issues are often still hanging around and sometimes come back with a vengeance.
What works so much better instead is to naturally support the body’s natural hormonal rhythm.
The best way to illustrate that is through the graphic below, which is an illustration of our hormone levels throughout our monthly cycle:
As you can see, during the first half of the cycle, estrogen increases pretty quickly until it peaks mid-cycle (this is around the time that we ovulate).
As it starts to fall, progesterone increases and eventually peaks halfway through, and then both hormones start to fall until we get to our period, where the cycle starts itself over.
But due to lifestyle factors, stress, gut health issues, medications, and more, this rhythm can get disrupted.
One of the simplest, most inexpensive, natural ways to support this imbalance is through seed cycling.
What exactly is seed cycling?
It’s strategically eating specific seeds at different parts of the month. The seeds you eat will either help promote estrogen production or progesterone production.
During the first 14 days of your cycle (day 1 is the first day of your period), it’s recommended to eat 1 tbsp each of flaxseed and pumpkin seeds each day.
>>These seeds naturally support estrogen production (by containing lignans and zinc), but can also help in clearing excess estrogen, also known as estrogen dominance.
Starting at day 15, it’s recommended to change over to 1 tbsp of sesame and sunflower seeds each day. Continue this through the end of the month until your period starts.
>>Sesame seeds (high in zinc) and sunflower seeds (high in vitamin E) help with progesterone production.
Even if you don’t have an exact 28-day cycle, it’s recommended to stay on this pattern, because over time the seeds will naturally help shift things into balance.
Seed cycling works best when the seeds are raw and ground, as grinding the seeds increases the surface area for absorption. Here are some suggestions on how you can incorporate these into your daily routine:
- Blending seeds into smoothies (my favorite way to do it!)
- Making fresh seed butter (to enjoy with fruit or toast)
- Making a raw seed-based granola
- Putting them in baked goods
- Sprinkling seeds on a salad
- Mixing seeds into salad dressing
- Adding seeds to chia pudding, oatmeal, or yogurt parfaits
Where to get seeds
I used to try to find my own seeds and grind them up, but I recently learned about a company called Funk It Wellness, and they’ve curated organic ground seed packs specifically designed for seed cycling.
I priced it out, and it’s pretty much the same price to use their seed packs as it is to try to find my own. I like these better because they are organic and sometimes I have trouble finding organic seeds, plus I don’t have to grind them!
If you want to give them a shot, you can get 15% off if you use code kimheintz at checkout. And the best part is that it’s reusable so that you can continue to save if you like them!
Their Instagram is pretty awesome too – they offer recipes and helpful info about supporting your cycle!
Keep in mind that our hormones only reset once per month…so it may take a few cycles to really see results. I saw results after just one month, and each month got better and better.
My friend Meghan saw results after just two months. And each month got better and better!
Just be consistent every single day, be patient, and track your symptoms daily. See how they improve over time.
Tracking is key — because what we track improves. Paying attention gives us clues as to what’s going on.
I also created a printable download for you that you can refer as a reminder about which seeds to eat when. Click the image below to download it.
Give seed cycling a try and let me know how it goes for you!!
All my best,