Seed Cycling 101

Everything You Need To Know About Seed Cycling

Seed cycling is a method of using specific types of seeds during different phases of your female cycle. The idea is that the nutrients in the seeds support hormones that are supposed to be rising or falling during the respective phase. This helps to support a healthy, balanced, and symptom free cycle.

If you struggle with hormonal imbalances and any of the following, you can benefit from seed cycling:

  • PMS symptoms (common but not actually normal)
  • heavy and/or painful periods
  • fibroids
  • PCOS
  • painful breasts
  • hair loss/brittle hair
  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • fatigue
  • ovarian cysts
  • headaches/migraines around your period
  • acne
  • weight gain
  • bloating
  • fertility issues
  • amenorrhea (no period)
  • hypothyroid
  • peri-menopause or menopause

Seed Cycling 101

Seed Cycling 101

There are two seeds that you use per phase. Now typically I break the cycle down into 4 phases, but we are group some of them together for seed cycling so that it’s 2.

Phase 1 is during your period and follicular phase (days 1-13 of your cycle). Phase 2 is during ovulation and the luteal phase (days 14-28). The seeds in both phases help the body process estrogen since it increases during the first half of your cycle and reaches its peak during the second half. The seeds in the second half focus on boosting progesterone levels that are easily depleted by stress.

For each phase, you want to eat 1 tbsp of each type of seed (2 tbsp) total for each day.

Phase 1 Seeds (Days 1-13)

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds contain lignans and healthy fibers whose main job is to help the body process excess estrogen. Flaxseeds are considered a phytoestrogen or a plant form of estrogen. You might be worried about adding in more estrogen to the body, but plant estrogens help reduce the amount of a very powerful estrogen known as estradiol. They also protect us against the xenoestrogens or toxins that mimic estrogen in our bodies that are commonly found in plastics, meat, water, skincare and beauty products. Flaxseeds also contain omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. Woo!

Other nutrients found in flaxseeds are Magnesium and Zinc, which are both helpful for reducing pms symptoms (and improving acne)

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are another important component of the phase 1 seeds since they contain zinc, a mineral that helps boost progesterone levels as well as Magnesium.

Phase 2 Seeds:

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds support hormone balance and progesterone levels and contain Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamins B1, B6, and Vitamin E. They also contain selenium, which is important for liver function and allowing your liver to properly carry out detox. Gotta get rid of any toxins & excess hormones! 

Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds contain lignans that help bind to excess estrogen and get it out of the body. They also contain Magnesium and Zinc. 

Get Your Free Seed Cycling Guide

Get my free guide to seed cycling to learn more about a few bonus supplements & lifestyle habits to support a healthy cycle. 

How To Incorporate The Seeds

Seed cycling balls

You need 1 tbsp of each type of seed for each phase, but how do you actually work these into your diet and remain consistent with it? There is no right or wrong way. It’s more about being consistent. A lot of women like making their own seed balls or blending them into a smoothie. Whatever works for you. I recommend experimenting and finding what you enjoy. Most importantly, make a plan for the week of how you will incorporate your seeds so you’re not scrambling or stressing out about it.

    • Blend into smoothies
    • Mix into condiments, dressings
    • Consider nut butters for pumpkin, tahini (sesame)
  • Food Period Moon Bites: If you are reading all of this and thinking “how am I ever going to make sure I do this everyday for 3 months?” I FEEL YOU.
    • I use Food Period Moon Bites to make seed cycling easy and have a video with the founders of the company inside the Balanced Babes online community that you can watch to get a coupon code for $20 off your box.
    • They are little circular bites that look like a cookie. You get two flavors a month–one for the first half of your cycle and then you switch to the other for the second. Everything is labeled, explained, and easily laid out. It’s an investment, but if you want to ensure you will have them available it’s worth it!

 

Get Your Free Seed Cycling Guide

Get my free guide to seed cycling to get more recipes and tips on preparing and storing your seeds!

FAQ

Although seed cycling is a simple process (4 types of seeds total, rotating every 13-15 days) I totally understand that you probably have questions. I did my best to answer all of the ones I typically get below, but please feel free to comment below or email amandamontalvord@gmail.com with any questions you have so I can update this!

Q: What if I don’t have a 28 day cycle?

A: That’s okay! By practicing seed cycling you can help regulate your cycle length. Even if you don’t have a 28 day cycle, you still want to rotate the seeds every 13-15 days. This means you may be using phase 1 seeds before you start your period, but that’s okay. Remember, you are trying to sync your cycle to the seeds, not the other way around.

Q: What if I don’t have a period?

A: You can absolutely still seed cycle if you don’t have a period, in fact, we hope that seed cycling will help you get your period back. The way you would cycle the seeds is based on the moon. Why? Because women are actually synched with the moon or at least that’s how our cycles naturally occur. Blue light and lack of time outside plus stress has changed this for a lot of women, but I recommend timing your seeds with the moon.

How To Sync With The Moon

On the New Moon you would start day 1 of your phase 1 seeds, then you switch to the phase 2 seeds on the Full Moon. Here’s an online calendar that tells you when the new and full moons occur for 2019. Magic of I also makes this calendar you can hang on your wall and use to track your cycle with the moon. 

Q: Should I stick with cycling with the moon if my period comes late/early?

A: Yes. If you started seed cycling with the new moon then continue to follow that pattern. Remember, you’re not trying to sync the seeds to your cycle, you’re trying to sync your cycle to the seeds.

Q: What day of my cycle should I start seed cycling?

A: If you want to sync your cycle to the moon then start day 1 on the day of the new moon. See the online calendar I linked above. Otherwise, you can start on the first day of your cycle, but remember that even if your cycle is longer (or shorter)–you still want to follow the 28 pattern of seed cycling. This will support hormone shifts and regulation of your cycle.

Q: Why do the seeds have to be ground up?

A: Flaxseeds and sesame seeds especially need to be ground up because if not they will pass through the digestive system without fully being broken down. While this can be good for your digestion and moving your bowels, it means you miss out on absorbing the nutrients you need for seed cycling.

Always grind up flaxseeds and sesame seeds and if you’re a really good chewer you can eat the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds whole. If you aren’t experiencing the benefits you want, then try grinding them all up.

Q: How long does seed cycling take to work and how can I tell it’s working?

A: I recommend seed cycling for at least 3 months or 3 cycles to see the full benefit. Some women see progress much quicker, but if you’re trying to get your period back or regulate the length/symptoms, you want to give it time. Remember, your current cycle is impacted by the last 90 days so hormone balance takes time.

You can tell it’s working based on a few things: 1) how you feel throughout your cycle and if there’s improvement in your symptoms (less PMS symptoms, bloating, cramps, heavy periods, acne, etc.), 2) the length of your cycle–if you started seed cycling to regulate your cycle pay attention (and track it) to see if there are changes, 3) whatever your goal was with seed cycling–go back to that and assess if it’s working for you, just remember to give it time. 

Q: Can seed cycling help with menopause or peri-menopausal symptoms/can I seed cycle if I have gone through menopause?

A: This is one of my favorite questions because HELL YES you can! In fact, I find that seed cycling can help peri and post menopausal women immensely because of how it naturally helps to boost hormone levels. So whether you are peri-menopausal or have already gone through menopause, use the instructions above to sync up with the moon and start seed cycling. Learn more about how seed cycling and support you during this time here. 

Q: Can I seed cycle if I’m pregnant?

A: Pregnant women do not have cycles and have different hormonal changes (that need to happen) so they should not be seed cycling. You can absolutely use seed cycling to help you regain a regular cycle after pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Q: What if I have digestive issues and seeds disrupt my digestion/I don’t digest seeds well?

A:  If you do not digest seeds well/have digestive issues that are irritated by seeds and your primary goal is balancing your hormones, then you first need to work on healing your gut. Not the sexiest answer, but it’s the truth. It’s impossible to heal a hormone issue if your digestion is messed up. Why? We poop out our estrogen and toxins. If these get backed up then hormones get backed up. AND if we aren’t properly absorbing nutrients from food then we cannot build hormones in the body.

I would first recommend having a stool test done (I like the GI map) and working with a practitioner to do a gut healing protocol that takes the rest of your mental and physical health history into account. Let me know if this is you and you want to chat! 

Q: Can I seed cycle if I’m on hormonal birth control?

A: You can, but your body is no longer making its own hormones and you aren’t actually getting a period so it won’t have the same benefits. Learn more about how hormonal birth control impacts the body here.  

Get Your Free Seed Cycling Guide

Want to start your seed cycling journey? Download the free guide!

Do you want support in getting to the root of your period problems? Let’s chat. I would love to connect with you and see if I can help. You can click here to schedule your free, 30-minute discovery call. 

6 Comments
  1. Is there a replacement for sesame seeds if I am allergic to sesame?

    • You could use flaxseeds the whole time and avoid sesame seeds altogether.

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