“If you are experiencing problems like Irregular Menstrual Cycle, PMS, Heavy Bleeds, then this Article is surely for You”
What is a Seed Cycle?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the major endocrinopathy among reproductive-aged women, is not yet perceived as an important health problem in the world. It affects 4%–20% of women of reproductive age worldwide. The number of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) cases is increasing, not only among the age group between 20 to 40 but also among young girls. Menopausal symptoms in women and increasing issues of infertility due to hormonal imbalance.
Seed cycling is a naturopathic remedy that is claimed to balance hormones by regulating estrogen in the first half of your menstrual cycle and the hormone progesterone in the second half. Its purported health benefits include helping to regulate periods, reducing Acne, treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and infertility, and easing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and mood swings. It can improve thyroid hormone levels, hair health, weight Loss, water retention, and cellulite.
Seed Cycling chart is great for those who currently experience regular menstruation cycles as well as who are facing Irregular menstruation cycles. A regular menstruation cycle includes a period that occurs approximately at the same time each month (every 28 days for example) & a period that lasts 4 – 6 days. For those currently experiencing irregular cycles, are perimenopausal or postmenopausal try to follow a diet plan by dietitians.
Seed cycling corrects the hormonal balance and hence helps manage the hormone-related clinical symptoms which include:
- Light bleeding / Heavy bleeding
- Low libido
- Painful periods
- Thyroid disorders
Healthy Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Imbalance
In a regular cycle, estrogen is produced during the first 14 days of the follicular phase as eggs in the ovaries ripen. The levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) increase just before ovulation, and estrogen levels drop just after ovulation. Once an egg has been released, the luteal phase starts, and progesterone and estrogen levels gradually increase in a careful balance to support conception and implantation. They drop again before the next period if no implantation occurs.
Estrogen and progesterone are two of the key hormones that help regulate your menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels rise during the first half of the cycle, and progesterone levels rise (as estrogen levels decline) during the second half of your cycle. As you approach menopause, your hormone levels may start to fluctuate more erratically. After menopause, the production of both hormones settles at a significantly lower level. Additionally, during menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, which increases the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis and can lead to symptoms like hot flashes and weight gain. Most women produce adequate levels of hormones to support a healthy cycle. However, certain health conditions, such as PCOS and hypothyroidism, as well as over-exercising and being under-or overweight, can lead to a hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal Imbalance can occur due to Hypothyroidism, PCOS, incorrect lifestyle, sleep deprivation, consumption of junk food, low water intake, and chronic stress. Along with the above-explained seed cycle, it’s important to work on the root cause. It all comes down to following a correct lifestyle and addressing the root cause. Always remember the hormonal imbalance did not occur overnight hence its correction will also take time.
Protocol For Seed Cycling
The first half of your menstrual cycle is FOLLICULAR PHASE and begins with the first day of your period (day 1). The second half of your cycle is the LUTEAL PHASE and begins the day after ovulation (day 15).
Seeds boost estrogen levels in the first phase and boost progesterone levels in the second phase. Seed hulls contain lignans, which help bind up excess hormones. Seed oils contain essential fatty acids that provide the building blocks for making hormones.
Day 1 to 14
The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstruation. Estrogen levels start low and steadily increase to prepare for ovulation. Flaxseeds are a great way to keep estrogen levels in balance. As a bonus, if estrogen levels get too high, the lignans in the flax seeds bind to the excess estrogen and help it to be eliminated from the body. Adding pumpkin seeds, which are high in zinc, can help support progesterone production in the next phase.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial during this phase to reduce inflammation and support reproductive functions. Eating lots of high-quality, wild-caught fatty fish or taking a high-quality fish oil supplement is a good idea.
Seed Cycling Protocol: 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds per day. Also, take high-quality Omega-3 fatty acids or eat cold-water fish like salmon or halibut at least once a week.
Day 15 to 28
The luteal phase begins right after ovulation. After ovulation, there is a sudden drop in estrogen, and progesterone levels begin to steadily rise. Estrogen will also increase during this phase, and if it gets too high, PMS symptoms and painful periods can occur. Progesterone helps keep estrogen in balance, and sesame and sunflower seeds help support the progesterone. Sesame seeds, which are high in zinc and selenium, block excess estrogen. Sunflower seeds, which are high in vitamin E, support progesterone levels. Quality gamma-linolenic acids (GLAs) are also beneficial during this phase to boost progesterone and reduce inflammation. Taking a high-quality evening primrose oil supplement is also a good idea during this phase.
Seed Cycling Protocol: 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds. Also, Try to consume evening primrose oil.
Benefits Of Seed Cycle
Different seeds contain different types and amounts of lignans and essential fatty acids. Lignans help out the body bind up excess hormones whereas fatty acids help with hormone production. Together they work on balancing hormones throughout the entire menstrual cycle.
It is best to have Flax and Pumpkin seeds during the first phase of your menstrual cycle & Sesame and Sunflower seeds during the second phase.
Flax & sesame seeds are full of lignans which block excess estrogens. Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, a trace mineral that is essential for the liver’s detoxification processes. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which supports progesterone release. Together, these seeds will balance your cycle when taken in the appropriate phases of your cycle.
Seed cycling can be effective for women who are menstruating, pre-menopause, postpartum, and post-menopause. While you may see improvement in your first month of seed cycling, it usually takes about 3-4 cycles (months) to begin feeling significant changes. It’s helpful to continue cycling even after you have noticed substantial improvement. Be consistent, disciplined, and have faith. You should observe improvement in your mood, cravings, and cramping initially. Later the period cycle will become consistent along with less water retention, reduced breast soreness, and very few breakouts.
Seed Cycling Summary:
Days 1 to 14:
- 1 tbsp flax seeds or 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds per day, alternating days.
- A daily omega-3 supplement or cold water fish at least once each week.
Days 15 to end of the cycle:
- 1 tbsp sesame or 1 tbsp sunflower seeds per day, alternating days.
- Daily evening primrose oil supplement