Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance

What Is Seed Cycling?

Seed cycling is a natural and holistic approach used to support hormone balance in the body, particularly for women and menstruators. It involves consuming specific types of seeds during different phases of the menstrual cycle to promote hormonal regulation. This practice is based on the belief that certain seeds contain nutrients that can help modulate estrogen and progesterone levels, leading to a more balanced hormonal system.

Benefits of Seed Cycling

Yes, seed cycling helps balance out the hormones, but it goes far beyond that. Below are a few more reasons to add some seeds to your life!

Menstrual Symptom Relief

Many menstruators experience uncomfortable symptoms during their menstrual cycles, such as bloating, mood swings, and breast tenderness. Seed cycling can help alleviate these symptoms and promote a smoother menstrual experience.

Support for Irregular Cycles

For those with irregular menstrual cycles, seed cycling might offer support in bringing about more regularity by influencing hormone production and balance.

Improved Fertility

Some proponents of seed cycling suggest that it positively impacts fertility by optimizing hormone levels and supporting reproductive health.

Nourishing Nutrients

Seeds are nutrient powerhouses, containing essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that benefit overall health.

The Nutritional Components of Seeds

Okay, let’s get into the seeds! Different seeds contain different nutritional properties.

  • Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. They provide essential nutrients that support heart health and have anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc, magnesium, and antioxidants. They help promote healthy immune function and support skin health.

  • Sesame seeds are high in calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin B. They are vital for bone health, energy production, and maintaining healthy blood cells.

  • Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E and an antioxidant that supports skin health and protects cells from oxidative damage.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle to Seed Cycle Successfully

To seed cycle effectively, it's essential to have a good understanding of your menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle has two main phases: the follicular phase (from menstruation to ovulation) and the luteal phase (from ovulation to menstruation).

Follicular Phase: Flaxseeds and Pumpkin Seeds

During this phase, estrogen levels rise, preparing the body for potential pregnancy. It usually lasts from about day 1 to 14 of a typical 28-day cycle. Consuming flaxseeds during the follicular phase is thought to help promote estrogen balance, and pumpkin seeds support progesterone production, aiding in hormonal preparation for the upcoming luteal phase.

Luteal Phase: Sesame Seeds and Sunflower Seeds

After ovulation, progesterone levels increase to support a potential pregnancy. If conception doesn't occur, hormone levels drop, leading to menstruation. The luteal phase typically lasts from about day 15 to 28 of a 28-day cycle. Sesame seeds support progesterone levels, and sunflower seeds maintain hormonal equilibrium throughout the luteal phase.

Using the Orchyd App to Seed Cycle

The Orchyd app helps you stay organized and reminds you when to switch seeds. Here's how to seed cycle using Orchyd:

Step 1: Download the Orchyd app, input your info, and add your menstrual data.

Step 2: Turn on notifications to receive reminders about the phases of your menstrual cycle and tips.

Step 3: Start seed cycling on the first day of your period.

Step 4: After ovulation, switch to the luteal phase protocol.

Step 5: Repeat!

If you have an irregular cycle, use the Orchyd app to track your flow, discharge, and symptoms. The more data you track, the better the app understands your cycle and the stronger the support. So, even if your cycle changes, the Orchyd app can guide you through.

10 Quicks Tips to Get Started Seed Cycling

Below are the ten things to remember as you dip your toe into seed cycling and want to guarantee satisfying results. 

  1. Know Your Cycle: Understand your menstrual cycle, noting the start and end dates of each phase (follicular and luteal) to begin seed cycling correctly.
  2. The Orchyd App: Utilize Orchyd to stay on schedule and receive reminders when it's time to switch seeds.
  3. Daily Consistency: Stick to the recommended daily seed intake during each menstrual phase for the best chance of experiencing potential benefits.
  4. Choose High-Quality Seeds: Opt for raw, unsalted, and organic seeds to ensure you get the most nutrients and avoid unwanted additives.
  5. Pre-Ground Seeds: Grind the seeds before consumption to enhance nutrient absorption and make them easier to incorporate into various dishes.
  6. Mix and Match: Experiment with various recipes to incorporate the seeds into smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and more.
  7. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any changes or improvements in your menstrual symptoms and overall well-being and track them in the app, but be patient, as results may take time.
  8. Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial for overall health and can enhance the effectiveness of seed cycling.
  9. Share the Journey: Invite friends or family to join you in seed cycling, creating a supportive and motivating environment.
  10. Consult a Professional: If you have specific health concerns or questions, consult a healthcare professional, nutritionist, or doctor through Orchyd MD™ for personalized guidance and advice.

Seed Cycling Recipes

Below are three of the Orchyd team's favorite seed cycling recipes. The Orchyd co-founders love the Funk It Wellness seed cycling kits for the quality of the ingredients and the ease of incorporation. Visit the Orchyd Marketplace™ to explore more seed cycling options.

Hormone-Balancing Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons Funk It Nurture seeds
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional for sweetness)

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine the ripe banana, spinach, almond milk, and honey (if using).
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the Funk It Nurture seeds to the smoothie and blend for a few more seconds.
  4. Pour into a glass and enjoy your hormone-balancing smoothie.
Sesame-Sunflower Seed Energy Bites

If you prefer to skip the recipe, try Funk Its CycleBites.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup Funk It Radiate seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Mix the almond butter, honey or agave syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  2. Add the rolled oats, Funk It Radiate seeds, and a pinch of salt. Stir until well combined.
  3. Using your hands, form the mixture into bite-sized balls.
  4. Place the energy bites on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
  5. Once chilled, store the energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Flax-Pumpkin Seed Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Funk It Nurture
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional for sweetness)
  • Fresh fruits (berries, banana slices, etc.) for topping

Instructions

  1. In a mason jar or container, combine the rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, Funk It Nurture seeds, cinnamon, and honey (if using).
  2. Stir well to ensure all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  3. Cover the jar with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
  4. In the morning, stir the overnight oats well, and add your favorite fresh fruits as toppings.
  5. Enjoy your hormone-balancing breakfast!

How Long Until Visible Results?

The time it takes to see visible results from seed cycling can vary from person to person. Hormone balance and the body's response to dietary changes are individualized processes. Some menstruators may notice improvements in menstrual symptoms, mood, and overall well-being within a few menstrual cycles of consistent seed cycling. Others may require more time to experience noticeable changes.

It's essential to approach seed cycling as a long-term, supportive practice rather than a quick fix. Remember that various factors, including stress, lifestyle, and overall diet, influence hormonal health. Seed cycling is just one piece of the puzzle in achieving and maintaining hormone balance.

by Courtney K

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