Seed Cycling For Hormone Balance

seed mix for menopause

Seed cycling or seed rotation. Have you heard of them?

Seed cycling and its sister, seed rotation, are becoming a couple of buzzwords in hormone talking circles lately.

Why?

Because they’re an incredibly simple, all-natural, hormone free, non-medicalised (and we’re all about that! 😀) hormone balancing tool.

So what exactly is seeding cycling?

It’s a ‘thing’ for women in all stages of life (pre-, peri and post-menopausal).

Basically, it’s a food-based, gentle, natural helper for aiding hormone balance.

Seed cycling is an incredibly simple, all-natural, hormone free hormone balancing tool. Click To Tweet

The raw ingredients are, as you may well have guessed, seeds.

The seeds:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame
  • Sunflower
  • Ground flaxseed (fresh)

How Seed Cycling Works:

Pre and perimenopausal

For those who are still getting their period, the protocol follows eating the seeds depending where you’re at in your cycle.

  • Day 1-14: flax and pumpkin
  • Day 15-28: sesame and sunflower

Menopausal/post-menopausal

Begin by adding the seeds to your diet at any time.

Go with the flax and pumpkin combo for one to two weeks followed by one to two weeks of the sesame and sunflower.

What you’ll be getting is a lovely, healthy dose of the oils, vitamins and minerals that the seeds deliver.

flax and pumpkin seeds for menopause

Nutritional Benefits

  • Flaxseed – high in omega 3 fatty acids and lignans (plant compounds)
  • Pumpkin – rich in omega 6 fatty acids and zinc
  • Sesame – abundant in omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E
  • Sunflower – omega 3 fatty acids and lignans (plant compounds)

Studies:

  • Some studies have shown that ingesting flaxseeds can reduce the incidence and severity of hot flushes.
  • Another showed that pumpkin seed oil decreased hot flushes, joint pain and headaches during the meno years (1).
  • And yet another found that sunflower and pumpkin seeds, which are rich in phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), reduced the risk of breast cancer post-menopause (2).

Results of Seed Cycling:

Pre- and perimenopausal

Seed cycling has been known to help with PMS, fertility and tender breasts.

Menopausal and post-menopausal

Many women have reported a reduction in night sweats, hot flushes, mood swings, memory loss and better sleep.

Hallelujah right? 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻

FYI:

Seed cycling may be a boon for any woman experiencing estrogen dominance as it is said to increase progesterone levels, and low estrogen as it can raise estrogen levels.

sesame and sunflower seeds for menopause

Seedy Tips

  • Take two tablespoons daily.
  • You can grind them all together and use as a flavoursome dust over your food. Delish! 😀
  • Add them to your smoothies.
  • Seeds can go rancid, so store them in the fridge.

Final Word

Like any natural aids don’t expect instant results or miracles. It’s a bonus if you experience results rapidly but for some of us, improvements might take a bit longer because – as I’m always saying (repetitive alert!) – every body is different.

 

Sources:
1. Gossell-Williams et al., 2011
2. Zaineddin et al., 2012

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.