Seed Cycling for Hormonal Balance

Have you heard of seed cycling? Seed cycling has grown in popularity over recent years. It is diet supplementation with four different seeds: pumpkin, flax, sesame, and sunflower.Just as lifestyle and diet can throw our hormones out of sync, it can also help bring the back to balance. Our mood, physical and mental health are all the things that can fluctuate on a daily basis and are all closely linked to our body’s chemical messengers or hormones.

What is seed cycling?

Seed cycling is one of the easiest ways you can support your hormones in a gentle, yet effective way. In addition to a balanced diet seeds cycling can completely change the way you relate to your hormones. It can be used at any stage of a woman’s life (including post-menopause). It is a smart way to consume nutrient-dense seeds in a way that supports your hormones and your gut microbiome. The seeds used contain key nutrients such as magnesium, zinc and tryptophan that are essential for hormone balance. Meaning it’s a gentle and completely natural way to reduce PMS symptoms, boost fertility, and can help stimulate menstruation if it’s absent (amenorrhea), and other symptoms as a result of hormonal imbalances.

How to start seed cycling?

There are two phases. Phase 1 is the follicular phase, from day 1 of your period up until ovulation (roughly day 14 of you cycle). During this phase you incorporate 1 tablespoon of ground pumpkin and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds each day. Once you ovulate, you incorporate sunflower and sesame seeds daily during your luteal phase.

Days 1-14 of your cycle (menstruation to ovulation)
1 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 tablespoons ground pumpkin seeds

Days 15-28 of your cycle (ovulation to menstruation)
1 tablespoons ground sunflower seeds
1 tablespoons ground sesame seeds

It’s worth noting that whole seeds won’t break down completely in your gut, so grinding them enables your body to extract more nutrients from the seeds. They can be eaten alone or added to other foods like porridge, smoothies, energy bowls and salads.

If you no longer have a cycle you can follow the moon cycle:
Days 1-14 (new moon to full moon), eat pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.
Days 15-28 (full moon to new moon), eat sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

With an extralong, short, or fluctuating cycle, you can ask your practitioner what timing is right for you.

Why these seeds?

There isn’t enough direct research yet on the benefits of adding seed cycling in to your diet. However there is plenty of credible research into the benefits on the different components supporting hormonal health. The first thing to note is that all of these seeds (especially flax seeds) contain lignans, which are phytoestrogenic plant compounds. They mimic the effects of certain forms of oestrogen in the body and improve oestrogen and progesterone ratios, a common cause of PMS. They’re also known to lower the risk of osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, breast cancer and heart disease in women.

Flaxseeds: are contain omega-3s, lignans (phytoestrogens), magnesium, and fibre. They are particularly beneficial for people with PCOS, as they mitigate the effects of androgens, which are the major contributors to PCOS symptoms such as hair loss, hirsutism, and acne. Phytoestrogens help balance ostrogen in the body. They reduce symptoms of oestrogen dominance in some women, and for others having an oestrogenic effect when natural oestrogens are on the lower side.

Pumpkin Seeds: contain magnesium, tryptophan, zinc, iron and antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E, all of which support hormone health and regulation.

Sesame Seeds: contain calcium, vitamin E, iron, manganese. They are a rich source of zinc which help boost progesterone production and also contain lignans that help block excess oestrogen while progesterone rises.

Sunflower Seeds: are full of nutrients including selenium, vitamin E, thiamine, and linoleic fatty acids in addition to antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acids. Vitamin E, which is an essential nutrient for female reproductive health and contributes to progesterone production for luteal phase and early pregnancy.

Adding seeds to your diet adds fibre, which is essential to support the body’s elimination of used-up oestrogen and reduce symptoms of imbalance.

It is important to note that while adding seed cycling to your diet is a great addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle to support healthy hormones, we all respond differently which is why it’s important to experiment with what works for each of us. If you suspect a more severe hormone imbalance, it’s important to have bloods reviewed and seek support.

With love,


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