Discover the magic of seed cycling
Understanding libido’s influences, shifts & solutions.
Seed cycling 101
We’ve been there. We get it. Cramps, acne, mood swings, fatigue, and feeling overall “off” during our cycles. Armed with a passion for holistic health, we knew there was another way. Enter: beeya—a product that uses the power of food as medicine.
In today’s newsletter, we’re driving home the importance (and benefits!) of seed cycling. As such, we wanted to reintroduce ourselves. We’re Yasmin and Kaya, the founders of beeya. After years of struggling with our own hormonal woes, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Thus, our seed cycling company was born. Together, it’s time to end the epidemic of hormonal imbalances—once and for all.
What is seed cycling?
This practice is a natural, whole-foods approach to help you balance your hormones. In essence, it involves eating specific seeds throughout your menstrual cycle. Some studies show that the nutrients in these seeds can positively support hormonal health by promoting balanced estrogen and progesterone levels. Why is this important? Because imbalances in these hormones can lead to a variety of symptoms—irregular periods (PCOS), mood swings, and infertility.
Disclaimer: It’s important to note that seed cycling is not a substitute for medical treatment and should be used in conjunction with other health-promoting practices such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management.
How to seed cycle
Seed cycling involves two phases (each lasting approximately two weeks). During the first phase of your menstrual cycle—the follicular phase—you consume a mixture of ground pumpkin and flax seeds. These are high in lignans. Lignans are plant compounds that can bind to excess estrogen in the body and remove them via the digestive tract.
Seed cycling schedule
To begin seed cycling, determine where you’re at in your menstrual cycle. Are you in your follicular phase (you’re currently on your period or your period recently ended)? Or, are you in your luteal phase (you’ve just ovulated or recently ovulated)?
FOLLICULAR PHASE: The first 14 (or so) days of your menstrual cycle, starting on day 1 of your period. During this phase, you eat two tablespoons of ground pumpkin and flaxseeds, daily.
What seeds: Pumpkin and flax. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which aids in progesterone production and supports healthy testosterone levels. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which help protect your ovaries, eggs, and reproductive system as a whole. Flax seeds can aid in estrogen release, meaning they bind excess estrogen and help eliminate it to support ideal estrogen levels. Both flax and pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fats, which encourage uterine blood flow and maintain healthy cell membranes.
LUTEAL PHASE: The second half of your menstrual cycle. During this phase, you eat two tablespoons of ground sesame and sunflower seeds, daily.
What seeds: Sesame and sunflower. Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, which aids in progesterone production. They also contain lignans, which help block excess estrogen, and they have a slew of other benefits, including the ability to lower inflammation. Sunflower seeds contain selenium, which helps to improve liver health and remove excess estrogen. They also contain vitamin E, which stimulates progesterone production.
Who should seed cycle?
Seed cycling can support a woman at any stage in her life—from teen years all the way through menopause. Seed cycling provides support for the following:
- PMS: Lignans found in flaxseeds help balance hormones throughout your menstrual cycle, leading to decreased PMS symptoms.
- Menopause: The precipitous drop in estrogen levels during menopause can be counterbalanced by the lignans in sesame seeds.
- Coming off the pill: After suppressing hormone production, seed cycling can help get your progesterone levels back on track with zinc-rich pumpkin seeds.
- Perimenopause: As hormones fluctuate when you approach menopause, estrogen and progesterone support can help ease symptoms.
- Postmenopause: Sesame seeds have been shown to improve blood lipids, antioxidant status, and sex hormones in postmenopausal women.
- PCOS: Seed cycling can help support missing periods and balance out the blood sugar imbalances that are often at the heart of PCOS.
- Acne: Pumpkin seeds include vitamin E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are all essential for healthy glowing skin.
- PMDD: The mood balancing effects of omega-3 fatty acids can help right hormones for those suffering from PMDD.
- Preconception/TTC: Getting your hormones right before you’re trying to conceive can give you a better chance of getting pregnant.
Can I seed cycle if I have an irregular period?
Yes! If you have an irregular / absent cycle, seed cycling can support hormone health. To keep things simple, follow the phases of the moon. In this case, day 1 of your cycle begins with the new moon.
- 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.
Whether you have a regular cycle or not, about three months of cycling is said to be enough to begin seeing the benefits. Remember, consistency is key.
Learn more about beeya!
We were so honored to be featured in rē•spin this week to share more about the origins of beeya, food as medicine, and why seed cycling works. Check out the article here.
A few favorites from this week.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy beeya – Chocolate chia seed cycling pudding!
Looking beyond nutrition
While there’s no doubt that nutrition is fundamental to hormone balance, what other lifestyle tips can support happy, healthy hormones? A few of our favorites:
- Quality sleep. As in, 7-9 hours. Aim for a consistent bedtime (ideally, that includes the weekends!). Sleep is not only restorative for your mind, but it’s rejuvenating—and detoxing—for your hormones.
- Limit toxin exposure. With hormone health in mind, aim to reduce your exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Most are found in plastics, personal care products, cleaning supplies, and even candles! Use non-tox alternatives as often as possible. Curious to know the safety of your go-to products? We love the EWG’s database.
- Mindful movement. Engage in regular physical activity that you enjoy! Whether it's dancing, yoga, cycling, or a brisk weight lifting session, staying active promotes hormonal balance and reduces stress. P.s. There’s no need to slog through an intense, hour-long bootcamp class. Even a 15-20 minute walk can do wonders for hormone well-being.
Our seed cycling blends can help you feel and do your best
Ladies, we were NOT designed to suffer every month. Know that there are options to support you, seed cycling is one of our favorites and it’s been life changing for so many women. Read more of their experiences here.