When you’re suffering from hormonal imbalance, it can seem like you’ll never get out of the aggravating cycle of breast tenderness, mood swings, heavy bleeding, and clotting. And while supplements can do amazing work, why wouldn’t you want to tackle this problem through your nutrition as well?
Seed cycling or seed rotation, is a food-based solution to correcting irregular cycle lengths, heavy flows, substantial PMS symptoms, and more for women at any stage of life. It’s based on the science that seeds have different properties, oils, vitamins, and nutrients needed to support your body’s production and metabolism of hormones.
How do you seed cycle?
The first step is to determine what your body’s current rhythm is. Using apps such as Clue, Period Tracker, Kindara or just the plain ol’ calendar method, determine the length of your cycle (most women are 28-32 days in length). To calculate which days you’ll be taking which seeds, you’ll need to know:
- the first day of your cycle
- the halfway point
- and the last day of your cycle
The first day of your cycle (day 1) is the first day of your bleeding. If you’re on a 28-day cycle, your halfway point would be day 14 (ovulation day), and your last day would be day 28 (the day before you start bleeding again).
First half of your cycle
From day 1 until your halfway point, is called the follicular phase. It’s the phase of your cycle where you’re shedding the layer of your uterus, growing a new layer, and prepping an egg in your ovary to be released! Estrogen is supposed to be at its highest, and your ovaries are being prepped for ovulation.
During this time you’ll consume 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds each day. The lignans and fiber properties of these seeds, along with their vitamin and mineral cofactors, help to stimulate proper estrogen levels, and prep your body for ovulation.
Second half of your cycle
From day 15 (the day after your ovulation day) until the last day of your cycle (the day before you start your period), is called the luteal phase. During this phase, your progesterone is at its highest, providing nutrition and a suitable place for an egg to be fertilized and implanted. This is the phase of the cycle that many women have issues with. When you have low progesterone levels, this can lead to symptoms that are consistent with estrogen dominance (i.e. heavy flows, PMS, breast tenderness, mood swings).
During this phase of your cycle, you’ll consume 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds and 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds each day. These seeds are high in minerals such as zinc and vitamin E that are necessary for hormone production, and support healthy progesterone actions in the uterus.
The end result
By incorporating both targeted supplemental, and nutritional approaches to your hormone-balancing regimen, you may find that not only do your cycle length, and flow volume change, but your periods also aren’t a dreaded time of the month for you anymore. Having a peaceful period (meaning little to no cramping, clear skin, no breast tenderness, and keeping a level head) is not just a dream—it can be your reality.
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.