Just as your menstrual cycle involves an egg and its potential to become a baby, seeds also have the possibility to grow into new life. It’s interesting how consuming seeds can help regulate one’s menstrual cycle. Why is it important to get consistent periods on a monthly basis? Aside from having the desire to conceive, regular menstruation that occurs every 28 days on average means balanced hormones for optimal health. The two hormones that are involved are called estrogen and progesterone.
Have you ever heard of a seed cycle protocol? In the past, I received good results after following it to regulate my menstrual cycle. What exactly is it? It’s a natural and easy method of eating certain types of fats found in seeds to help your body in the production of estrogen and progesterone during the two phases of your cycle.
The follicular phase begins on day 1, the first day of your period. Estrogen production is needed more at this time and can be helped with the ingestion of the omega 3 fatty acids called ALA found in pumpkin and flax seeds. Progesterone needs to kick up its production after ovulation occurs, this is the start of the luteal phase on day 15, the middle of your cycle. Omega 6 fatty acids called GLA is a precursor to this hormone and can be found in sesame and sunflower seeds. Then the cycle repeats after day 28 when your period appears again.
Whole seeds are great sources of fats when raw with minimal processing. Good fats are delicate and can easily go rancid upon exposure to heat, light and oxygen. To increase their absorption, grinding seeds in a dedicated coffee grinder or really good blender will help release their fat. Their tiny size makes it hard to break down with our teeth no matter how well we chew. Speaking of teeth, just a warning you may get some seed bits stuck in between them like I did!
When preparing seeds for this protocol, it’s best to grind them right before eating. If that is not possible, using a dark airtight container and storing them refrigerated will help keep them fresh. Sprinkle seeds on top of salads, cereal or anything you’d like really. Just be careful when mixing into hot foods, remember high heat can destroy the beneficial fats.
If you do not have the time to commit to grinding and eating seeds, supplementation is another option. Omega 3 fish oils containing EPA and DHA can be taken instead of pumpkin and flax seeds. Sesame and sunflower seeds can be substituted with evening primrose oil. For optimal absorption take supplements in liquid form instead of gel capsules and always with food.
If you’re in need of improving your menstruation cycle, try following this protocol. See below for a short summary. Along with improving other lifestyle habits like diet, exercise and getting adequate good quality sleep, your cycle is bound to be regular. For more information on seed cycling, feel free to contact me to help get your body’s hormones into balance.
Seed Cycle Protocol
Follicular Phase: Day 1 to Day 14 (menses to ovulation):
2-3 tablespoons of ground raw flax seeds and/or pumpkin seeds daily.
(or 1500mg fish oil: EPA/DHA)
Luteal Phase: From Day 15 to 28 (ovulation to menses):
2-3 tablespoons of ground raw sunflower and/or sesame seeds daily.
(or 1500 mg evening primrose oil)
Diana Angeles // Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant™