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Calgary, AB / 587-437-3197 / jenna@simplynurtured.ca

2016 by Jenna Lessner 

  • Jenna Lessner, BSc, CHNC

Balancing Hormones with Seed Cycling

Updated: Feb 13


Are your hormones out of balance? and how do you know? Hormonal imbalance is common as it may be the result of many variables like stress, toxins in the environment, and poor nutrition. If you have noticed any of the following signs you may be dealing with imbalanced hormones:

Early puberty, severe PMS, heavy bleeding, mood swings, fatigue, depression, premenstrual or menopausal migraines, breast tenderness, weight gain, low libido, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, miscarriages, or infertility.

Seed cycling embraces the natural route by using seeds to help balance and regulate women's hormones through the menstrual cycle.

What is Seed Cycling?

Adding certain seeds into your diet at specific times during your menstrual cycles to help with hormone balancing. This is done because of the knowledge that these seeds behold nutritional benefits to support hormones relevant to your menstrual cycle.

How it works

A standard menstrual cycle is 28 days in length. However, for the majority of women, their cycle is not a textbook 28-day cycle. Your cycle may be shorter or longer. Women with cycles that do not follow the 28-day cycle can rely on the moon cycle for their seed phases. Why the moon you ask? Before the dawn of artificial light, our bodies were in tune with the waning and waxing of the moon.

DAYS 1 - 14 (or new moon to full moon): From the first day of menstruation to around the middle of your cycle or when you start ovulating (I personally use an app on my phone to track my cycle). This is called the Follicular phase. This phase calls for FLAX and PUMPKIN seeds every day.

- Flax along with other seeds contains lignans in their hulls (outer covering of a seed). These lignans attach themselves to any excess estrogen and help release them from our bodies.

- Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc. Zinc is a mineral that aids in progesterone production

- Both seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids that play a role in producing hormones.

DAYS 15 -28 (or full moon to new moon): From the day you start ovulating to the day before you start your next period. This is called the Luteal phase. This phase calls for ground SESAME and SUNFLOWER seeds every day.

- Sesame seeds contain lignans that block excess estrogen.

- Sunflower seeds contain the mineral selenium which helps with hormone balancing through liver detoxification.

How should the seeds be eaten?

1 Tablespoon of each seed included in the phase is recommended every day.

Buying organic seeds will ensure your seeds are free of toxins. Grinding the seeds before eating allows for all nutrients to be absorbed in your body efficiently. I suggest grinding the seeds immediately before eating to protect their delicate oils from rancidity. It is best to invest in a quality grinder for only nuts and seeds (I use a coffee grinder).

Soaking the seeds before you eat/grind them will be helpful in countering any digestive issues you might come across. Soaking seeds removes the phytic acid in them which has been shown to reduce the digestibility of macronutrients.

Seed cycling isn't a quick fix towards balancing hormones. Those who have tried it have had to be consistent with their protocol for at least 3 menstrual cycles. Be patient! You can also keep a journal to list down your symptoms to note any changes. Seed Cycling is an affordable and Paleo way to naturally support the balance of your hormones. Balanced hormones provide benefits like a decrease in PMS symptoms, reduction in stress, and supporting fertility health.

Simple and Delicious ways to integrate these seeds into your diet

  • Add any of the ground-up seeds in your morning smoothie

  • Guacamole! Homemade fresh guacamole dusted with a tablespoon of ground seeds

  • Homemade Tahini! This sesame seed paste is a delicious way to add them to your diet

  • Homemade salad dressing! When making your salad dressing, add a tablespoon of any ground seed and shake. It will be mixed into the dressing like a spice.

*Please consult your physician to determine there are no serious underlying reasons for your symptoms*




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Zaineddin, A.K., Buck, K., Vrieling, A., Heinz, J., Flesch-Janys, D., Linseisen, J., Chang-Claude, J. (2012). The association between dietary lignans, phytoestrogen-rich foods, and fiber intake and postmenopausal breast cancer risk: a German case-control study. Nutrition and Cancer, 64(5):652-65.