You are what you eat, but did you know what you eat is also directly impacting your hormone health? Today for women’s health Wednesday I want to discuss whatseed cyclingis, how you can benefit from doing it, and some research to support it.
Seeds pack a powerful punch, they are small – but full of healthy fats and minerals our body needs in order to synthesize healthy amounts of our sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone etc!)
So how do you seed cycle? During the follicular phase of your cycle (roughly the two weeks, from menses until ovulation) you want to be consuming 1 tbsp of ground flax seed and 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds & during the luteal phase (from ovulation until next menses) 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds and 1 tbsp of sesame seeds. Confused on what those phases are? Check out my video on the menstrual cycle overview!
One randomized cross-over study evaluated just ground flax seed as a variable and its impact on the menstrual cycle. In the same subjects, the cycles that they consumed the ground flax seed for 3 months in a row demonstrated NO anovulatory cycles (all the women were ovulating) – in comparison to the cycles where ground flax was not consumed there were several anovulatory cycles, and the cycles where ground flax seed was consumed showed an increase in luteal phase length (important for conception!) – in comparison to the cycles where ground flax seed wasn’t consumed.
There is anecdotal evidence for the practice of seed cycling, but not a lot of study-based evidence to support the practice of seed cycling – but evidence aside, I think that various seeds & nuts are essential to a healthy well-rounded diet – full of fats, proteins vitamins and minerals we all need to synthesize healthy hormones!
To my fellow practitioners out there, I would love to see more research on seed cycling if you have any to send me way!