It’s been well research that cravings, symptoms of PMS, and PMDD decrease when you eat right for your cycle. As our resident nutritionist, Rebecca Jacob’s often says “Every bite you take either fuels disease or fights it”. Certain foods can nourish our body and promote harmonious hormone balance, while others such as food with excess sugar & dairy, foods high in sodium, and anything packaged or processed can aggravates the symptoms caused by hormone imbalance.

One simple method of eating right is called seed cycling. As the name suggested, seed cycling involves adding certain type of seed to your diet during different phases of your menstrual cycle.

Seed Cycling during the Follicular Phase

Seeds contain compounds that are used to create and eliminate hormones. Eat one tablespoonful each of flax and pumpkin seeds every day during the follicular phase of your cycle. These seeds contain high levels of healthy omega -3 fatty acids. The flax seeds prevent buildup of toxic excess estrogen. Progesterone balance will improve during the luteal phase if you consume pumpkin seeds regularly during the first part of your cycle.

Seed Cycling during the Luteal Phase

Eat one tablespoonful each of sesame and sunflower seeds every day during the luteal phase of your cycle. Sesame seeds block and eliminate excess estrogens. Sunflower seeds aid detoxification and support healthy hormone balance.

The success to seed cycling for PMS is down to consistency and persistence. It is not a quick fix, you will need to seed cycle for a few menstrual cycles before you can notice improvement to your symptoms. Prepare ahead of time will help you making this seed cycling a healthy tasty habit.

Below are a few facts & tips for making your seed cycling a success and as effortless as possible:

– If possible, consume raw, whole, organic seeds.
– It is recommended to consume ground flax seed, not whole as it allows for greater absorption. A coffee grinder or food processor works great for this.
– Prepare a mixture in the fridge that you can easily grab & go! Grind equal parts flax and pumpkin seeds for days 1-14 of your cycle and equal parts sesame and sunflower for days 15-28 of your cycle.
– You may choose to eat sunflower or pumpkin seeds whole as a tasty nutritious snack.
– If you have weak digestive system, you can pre-soak seeds before consuming them. This reduces the naturally occurring phytic acid, which can cause digestive stress and issues with absorption.
– Add the seeds to salads, cooked grains, and smoothies. You can find some delicious smoothie recipes here.
– Add seeds to hot foods just before serving as some of their goodness may be lost when cooked.
– Finally, drink adequate water while doing Seed Cycling, as the seeds are increasing your daily fiber! Find more ideas on keeping you hydrated here.

Seed cycling is a fantastic & simple method to balancing hormones naturally, without many side effects that come with other more conventional methods.

If you decide to give seed cycling a try, tell us your findings, is it easy to making it a habit? Any tips that you can share with others? Does it help with your PMS? Any particular symptoms that you experience less of after seed cycling?

Patricia Bratianu is a Registered Nurse with over forty years of expertise. Pat also possesses a PhD in Natural Health and a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. Patricia combines cutting edge science and ancient healing traditions in her quest to empower all to good health. Pat recognizes that wellness and healthcare are continuum. She believes that our first medicine is how we live our lives.