Seed cycling involves consuming certain seeds in rotation throughout your menstrual cycle.
It is anecdotal in terms of evidence, bur even so, it is recommended by many nutritionists (and Functional Medicine Practitioners) for its potential hormone balancing effects.
That said, there is scientific evidence relating to the potential hormone balancing effects of the nutrients contained in sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and flax seeds.
The basic advice is simple:
For the 1st half of your cycle i.e Days 1-14 of a 28 day cycle or Days 1-18 of a 36 days cycle
1 tbsp ground pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
For the 2nd half of your cycle i.e. Days 15-28
1 tbsp ground sunflower seeds
1 tbsp ground sesame seeds
If you are no longer cycling, you can start anytime. Some women like to synchronise with the moon, starting the 1st phase with the new moon.
Although your hormone levels are likely to be much lower than a premenopausal or peri-menopausal woman, there may still be some hormone balancing benefits post-menopause.
Some women may experience menopausal symptoms for many years after menopause and this could be a sign of oestrogen dominance. This is caused an imbalance of one hormone in relation to another.
After menopause our main source of oestrogen and progesterone come from the adrenal glands (although in much smaller amounts).
Oestrogen can also be produced from body fat. The amount of oestrogen produced will therefore vary for each woman depending on her adrenal health and the amount of body fat she has.
Small amounts of oestrogen can also still be produced by the ovaries.
Safe excretion of old hormones
It is also important that we are metabolising oestrogen in a safe way and seed cycling may also support this. The DUTCH test is the best way that I know of, of checking your hormone levels, your adrenal health and which pathways your body is using to process your hormones.
As previously mentioned, seed cycling is still anecdotal in terms of evidence. Maybe try it and see if it works for you
Ideally, the seeds should be raw and unsalted. I use a coffee grinder to grind mine in small batches and keep them in the fridge for freshness
Try adding them to smoothies or use them as a soup or salad topping
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