Seed Cycling Balls to Balance Hormones Naturally
Seed Cycling helps to balance hormones naturally and can alleviate symptoms such as PMS, acne, weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, lack of libido, thin hair, brittle nails, heavy, irregular or diminished menstruation, bloating, fatigue and infertility. This Seed Cycling Balls recipe provides you with the recommended daily dose of seeds to help get your hormones and cycle back in check.
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is exactly what it sounds like, the cycling or rotation of specific seeds between our two main menstrual cycle phases-- the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The nutrients within the seeds help balance the estrogen and progesterone ratio and regulates hormone secretions in and out of the body.
Seed cycling is a method of using various seeds to support different phases of a woman's mensutral cycle, balance hormones and relieve symptoms such as PMS, acne, weight gain, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, lack of libido, thin hair, brittle nails, heavy, irregular or diminished menstruation, bloating, fatigue, and works to facilitate healing for more serious conditions such as infertility, ovarian cysts, PCOS and endometriosis.
The rotation of seeds is a completely natural and powerful method of supporting the human body in an easy and inexpensive fashion. Food is medicine after all.
Who Can Benefit from Seed Cycling?
Women, men and really anyone living in today's modern can benefit from seed cycling. Excessive stress, lack of sleep, toxins, xenoestrogens, overtraining, oral contraceptives, a nutrient poor diet, and too much coffee and/or alcohol all contribute to hormone balance.
The average menstrual cycle, which is the time between the start of one period to the start of the next, is roughly 28 days long. However, a woman’s cycle can range anywhere from 21 to 35 days due to chronic levels of unmanaged daily stress and bio individuality. If the cycle comes too frequently, less than 24 days, or too infrequently, greater than 38 days, or not at all (amenorrhea), a person may be more prone to stress fractures during exercise and at a greater risk for low bone mineral density.
Seed cycling helps rebalance your hormones and syncs the menstrual cycle with what is right for your body, often back to a normal 28-30 day cycle. A few common signs and symptoms that your hormones are out of whack:
Acne or other skin problems
Resistance to weight loss and/or weight gain
Thin hair // brittle nails
Headaches // migraines
Fatigue // joint pain
Food & sugar cravings
Too heavy or too light menstruation (or absent of menstruation)
If you have one or more of the symptoms above, you should give seed cycling a try.
How to Seed Cycle
Seed Cycling is the simple task of adding flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds to you daily diet at different times during your cycle. This helps encourage your body to either produce or detoxify estrogen in the first half of the cycle and increase progesterone production in the second half. The two phases of menstrual cycles are:
The beginning of menstruation, known as the follicular phase (phase 1)
The beginning of ovulation, known as the luteal phase (phase 2)
During the two main phases of the month, you alternate seeds high in specific oils and nutrients to promote proper hormone balance and secretion during that specific phase, as listed below.
F O L I C U L A R P H A S E
The follicular phase (phase 1) starts on the first day of menstruation and typically lasts 14-15 days until ovulation. This phase is new moon to full moon. To combat rising estrogen levels during this phase, you cycle with seeds that contain phytoestrogens, plant-based sources of estrogen that adapt to the body’s estrogen levels. The seeds used in the follicular phase are flax + pumpkin seeds, as they contain nutrients and specific lignans that naturally increase estrogen levels, while also modulating estrogen production and decreasing excess estrogen in the body. The seeds are also excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which helps reduce inflammation in the body and support the reproductive system.
To support this phase (days 1-14), you consume the following seeds daily:
1 tablespoon raw, organic, whole (then ground) flaxseeds
1 tablespoon raw, organic, whole (then ground) pumpkin seeds
Additional support: Add a daily fish oil supplement as another source of omega 3 to the seed cycling during the follicular phase to help reduce PMS and inflammation. Make sure to get a quality fish oil brand. For my up-to-date recommendations, see the supplements page.
L U T E A L P H A S E
The luteal phase (phase 2) begins when you start ovulating and ends when you start your period again and typically lasts 15-16 days, making your full cycle 28-30 days long. This phase is full moon to new moon, and at the very minimum, should last at least ten days; any less could be an indicator of low progesterone and possible fertility issues. After ovulation, estrogen levels fall and progesterone should steadily rise; however, if estrogen levels fail to fall and instead increase and get too high, you will likely experience PMS symptoms and an irregular or painful cycle. To modulate healthy progesterone levels, this phase focuses on seeds with omega 6 fatty acids, specifically sunflower seeds + sesame seeds. These convert into a compound called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the body that naturally supports healthy progesterone levels and reduces inflammation in the body.
To support this phase (days 14-28), you will consume the following seeds daily:
1 tablespoon raw, organic, whole (then ground) sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon raw, organic, whole (then ground) sesame seeds
Additional support: Add a daily evening primrose oil (EPO) supplement as another source of omega 6 to the seed cycling during the luteal phase to help reduce PMS and boost fertility.
If you are currently dealing with irregular period or amenorrhea (lack of period), you will designate the full moon as day 1 and continue taking the seeds daily until the new moon. Your phase 2 is new moon to full moon.
With seed cycling, change will not happen overnight. Experts suggest that it can take at least three complete menstrual cycles (3-4 months) before experiencing noticeable changes and benefits. I personally noticed significant changes after only one month of seed cycling. Previously, my cycles were in the 40-45 day range. My first cycle after seed cycling honestly surprised me. There was zero (yes zero) symptoms that typically come along with my cycle, like headaches, bloating and fatigue, and started 30 days after beginning the seed rotation. It was a completely easy and painless 4 days.
Men Can Seed Cycle Too
Men with hormone imbalance might experience weight gain in their abdomen or excess weight in the chest/breast area, often termed as man boobs. Men cycle seeds in an opposite fashion than women. The protocol for men is as follows:
From new moon to full moon: 1 tablespoon each sesame seeds + sunflower seeds daily
From full moon to new moon: 1 tablespoon each flaxseeds + pumpkin seeds daily
Tips for Seed Cycling
In order to benefit from the oils and lignans, buy organic, raw, whole seeds and only grind enough for 2-3 days unless storing in freezer. Seeds begin to oxidize 15 minutes after they’re ground.
Invest in a good grinder to grind whole seeds. I use this coffee grinder and use it for only nuts and seeds. It's less than $20 and works great.
Make life easier and use the seed cycling balls recipe below. You only have to grind and measure out the seeds once every 14-15 days, saving you time and energy. Just be sure to store them in the freezer to prevent oxidation. As an added bonus, each ball provides the recommended daily dose of seeds + they taste amazing!
Now, onto the recipe! Let me know your thoughts on seed cycling and if you try the recipe in the comments below!
Seed Cycling Balls
These Seed Cycling Balls provide you with the daily dose of recommended seeds, helping alleviate common signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalances. No blender or food processor necessary! Simply grind the whole seeds, mix everything together, roll, freeze, and enjoy a serving per day for proper hormone secretions inside and outside the body.
Makes: 14-15 Balls
Prep time: 15 minutes
1/2 cup organic almond butter or organic peanut butter
2 tablespoons whole chia seeds
2 tablespoons raw honey or date nectar for vegan
1/4 cup dairy-free milk (I used Malk Almond Milk)
4 scoops marine collagen (optional, but adds protein + great for gut health, hair, skin and nails)
For Follicular Phase:
1 cup organic, raw, flax seeds, ground
1 cup organic, raw, pumpkin seeds, ground
For Luteal Phase:
1 cup organic, raw, sunflower seeds, ground
1 cup organic, raw, sesame seeds, ground
For follicular phase, add a little over 1 cup of flax seed to the coffee grinder and grind until a fine powder is formed. Measure out 1 cup of ground flax seed and add to a mixing bowl. If you do not have enough, continue grinding flax until you get 1 cup of ground seeds. Repeat for pumpkin seeds. For luteal phase, use sunflower and sesame seeds instead.
Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Once a dough comes together, roll mixture with your hands into 14-15 equally sized balls. This will depend on if you are following a 28 or 30 day cycle.
Roll snack balls in your favorite topping, such as shredded coconut, chia seeds, cacao powder, hemp seeds, etc.
Place seed cycling balls in an airtight glass container, like these, and place them in the freezer. Seed oils go rancid quickly so freezing helps keep them fresh.
Enjoy 1 ball per day to get your recommended daily dose of seeds!
Notes: If you do not have a coffee grinder (even though it will make your lifer so much easier), and can not find raw organic seeds, you can try tahini in place of sesame seeds, sunbutter in place of sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seed butter in place of pumpkin seeds; although I can not guarantee the same results.