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What You Need to Know About Seed Cycling for Fertility

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Plant foods have pretty tremendous powers when it comes to righting the body’s processes and helping us stay aligned with our nutritional needs across the seasons, and even our hormonal cycles. You know your body is healthy and well when it runs in line with its natural rhythms, without interruption or delay, and can moderate its own smooth functioning. (A little boost every now and then isn’t a bad idea.)

The tricky thing is that, thanks to environmental toxins and high levels of stress, the body can often lose track of its rhythm and slow – or stop altogether – the production of essential hormones that control internal processes. In our world, when it comes to fertility and hormone regulation, there are a lot of things working against proper functioning. (As a side note, whether you’re looking to become pregnant or not, “fertility” reflects the overall health of the body, including digestion, elimination and metabolism, in addition to reproductive functioning.)

Luckily, there’s are many – easy and delicious – ways to give the body a little helping hand and find its natural equilibrium. There are big picture food considerations for a fertile body, but let’s start small.

With seeds!

Cacao-Coconut-Plantain-Rice-Balls-with-Pepitas-1168x800 (1)

It’s no coincidence that seeds (essentially the nourishment for a growing baby plant) are highly effective hormone balancers. Seed cycling is a practice often recommended by naturopathic doctors. It’s designed to support hormone production and regulate menstrual cycles, particularly for patients looking to become pregnant or to reduce symptoms of PMS. Because a specific cocktail of hormones guides these processes, incorporating specific seeds which promote the creation of these hormones allows the body to find balance.

Here are the basic principles underlying seed cycling.

Different Week, Different Hormone

The female body is dominated by estrogen for the first half of the cycle. Estrogen encourages production of a thick endometrial lining to provide more fertile tissue for an embryo to implant. Days 15 to 28 in the cycle are dominated by progesterone, a steroid hormone that maintains the condition of the uterine lining, facilitates implantation of an embryo and prevents the eggs from over-maturing during pregnancy.

Balancing Progesterone and Estrogen

While estrogen and progesterone are key to a functioning cycle, the healthiest, most fertile body is one that is evenly balanced. Too little estrogen can lead to a thin uterine lining or a lack of ovulation; too much estrogen can cause irregular periods, depression and PMS symptoms. A high level of estrogen has also been linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. Progesterone deficiency has been linked to symptoms of PMS, fatigue, irregular periods and recurrent miscarriages. The hormone is essential for getting pregnant and sustaining pregnancy.

Seeds Act as Natural Hormone Regulators

Because the menstrual cycle is dominated by estrogen and progesterone, we can supplement our body’s natural hormone production with foods that contain the precursors to these hormones—in other words, the building blocks that will make them in the right proportions. Seeds—specifically pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and flax varieties—provide the ingredients for balanced hormone production, especially when paired intentionally throughout the month.

Days 1–14: Seeds for Estrogen

Flax and pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which allow the smooth transmission of hormones throughout the body. Flax also contains lignans, a family of plant compounds that blocks excess estrogen. The high zinc content in pumpkin seeds allows the body to release progesterone. The combination of these two processes allows for a balance between the two.

Days 15–28: Seeds for Progesterone

During the second half of the cycle, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are a huge boon for progesterone balance. Sesame seeds ’high zinc content and the readily available selenium in sunflower seeds encourage the body to make progesterone. As in the first half of the cycle, the lignans in sesame seeds deter excess estrogen production.

Seed Cycle Your Way to a Healthy Body

Look for a raw, unsalted versions of each of the seeds mentioned above. For the first 14 days of your cycle, have one tablespoon each of ground flax seeds and (preferably) ground pumpkin seeds daily. In the latter half of your cycle, work in one tablespoon each of (preferably) ground raw sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Grinding seeds, which breaks down the tough outer layers, makes their nutrients more easily accessible to the body. Add ground seeds to smoothies, salads or soups or simply stir them into water, milk or juice for a quick preparation. Make a sauce or your own Homemade Tahini for a simple add-in. You can also take any of them whole (with the exception of flax seeds, which can pass through your system undigested)—just be sure to chew them well.

Some of my favorites include Pistachio Sesame Seed Balls, Flax Green Bean Fries, Sunflower Seed Butter Vegan Oatmeal Cookies and this unbelievably vegan Pumpkin Seed Onion Cream on homemade veggie burgers.

Keep in Mind..

It’s worth noting that foods that promote one hormone also discourage production of the other. Aim to avoid sunflower and sesame seeds during the first half of your cycle and pumpkin and flax seeds during the second half.

This Cacao Maca Energizing Smoothie is a great vehicle for your seed regimen (maca, too, has been shown to be hormone regulating). Whip up a batch, and on days 1 -14, add 1 tbsp ground flax meal and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds. On days 15–28, add 1 tbsp sesame seeds and 1 tbsp sunflower seeds.

Lead Image Source: Melanie Thomassian/Flickr

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0 comments on “What You Need to Know About Seed Cycling for Fertility”

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blessing
27 Days ago





I advice every other woman TRYING TO GET PREGNANT or fallopian tube issues, pcos and other infertility problem too do their research and don’t base your option only on anyone’s advise, I did and it resulted in waste of money and time. contact Dr climent on email: [email protected] because I have discover Dr climent. long time ago and I would have been pregnant earlier if I follow my heart and buy the herbal herbs but I disregard it because of my doctor’s advice and I am annoyed at myself but at the same time I am happy that I made the wise decision by going back to Dr climent, for his herbal herbs. Now I am a strong believer of this herbal herbs natural medicine. Thank You.contact Dr climent, on email for help on [email protected] [email protected] +2347036879479 [email protected]
+2347036879479 +2347036879479


Reply
mrs faith
22 Jun 2017

I\'m very happy writing this today it is like a dream. I want to say a very big thank you to [email protected] In my life i have never seen such a fast miracle. I have been crying and searching for a way to get pregnant for six years of marriage,one day i came across an old friend of mine(rose) she introduce me to this great herbalist called DR AKIOYA told me all is well he made herbs which he sent to me and how to take the herbs,not up to two weeks of taking this herbs i became pregnant. I want you all to help me thank doctor AKIOYA he is a great herbalist. Now I\'m happy because soon i will be a mother my husband and I are very happy today. you can contact him as well on [email protected] or whatsapp him on {+2348105257464} I know him must have a way to get you out I know he also helps those who gets pregnant and after some time they lose the pregnancy. And he also help men who have low sperm count who are not able to pregnant there wife. What interests me is that this herbs are natural remedies. God bless Dr.AKIOYA

blessing
27 Days ago





I advice every other woman TRYING TO GET PREGNANT or fallopian tube issues, pcos and other infertility problem too do their research and don’t base your option only on anyone’s advise, I did and it resulted in waste of money and time. contact Dr climent on email: [email protected] because I have discover Dr climent. long time ago and I would have been pregnant earlier if I follow my heart and buy the herbal herbs but I disregard it because of my doctor’s advice and I am annoyed at myself but at the same time I am happy that I made the wise decision by going back to Dr climent, for his herbal herbs. Now I am a strong believer of this herbal herbs natural medicine. Thank You.contact Dr climent, on email for help on [email protected] [email protected] +2347036879479 [email protected]
+2347036879479 +2347036879479


Reply
Sandra
8 Months Ago

I find it interesting that a lot of information about seed cycling refers simply to days 1-14 and 15-28, which seems like it is assuming a 28 day cycle is normal. I\'d be really interested to know how actual ovulation fits in, as many women who use fertility awareness methods know when they ovulate.


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