Seed cycling – the latest buzz to plump your hormones

image from here

Heard of seed cycling?  Neither had I until chatting with my co-hosts on the period party last week.  But the idea made so much sense, and I’m mad for food as medicine so I decided to to a little research into the matter.

Here’s the idea.  You use specific ‘seeds’ (think sesame and pumpkin seeds) at various times of your cycle that support and help to naturally balance what your hormones should already be doing.

Because so many women experience difficulties with their menstrual cycles, it is important to understand that we need to specifically look at the interaction between oestrogen and progesterone to balance women’s hormones.  During the follicular phase (from the period through to ovulation), oestrogen slowly builds and peaks at ovulation.  For ovulation to occur, progesterone must kick in and lay the foundation of the luteal phase (from ovulation to when the period arrives again).  You may begin to see, there is this intricate interaction each cycle between oestrogen and progesterone.  But if say oestrogen is too high, it can mean progesterone may be too low, which can cause issues with ovulation and healthy cycles.  This imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone throughout the cycle can contribute to fertility troubles, long menstrual cycles, painful periods, pre menstrual syndrome – the list goes on and on and on….

Cue seed cycling!

Seed cycling uses specific nuts and seeds to help support either oestrogen or progesterone at the appropriate time of the month.  It works by supporting the health of the menstrual cycle in hormone production, binding and metabolism.  Various seeds possess different types and amounts of lignans and essential fatty acids (essential being they key word – but more so knowing that your body doesn’t make these, we need to eat them to have them).  Lignans assist our bodies to bind up excess hormones.  Hormone production is reliant on EFA’s being present.  These provide the secret to a healthy menstrual cycle – balancing the hormones the whole way through.

+ Flax and sesame seeds are chock full of lignans – these will block excess oestrogen (music to SO many women’s ears.  Read more about oestrogen dominance here)

+ Selenium is a vitamin that is a key player in hormone health and very often totally robbed by the pill.

+ Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, supporting the release of progesterone.


I know – you want to know how to implement this already.  Here goes;

In your follicular phase – use Flax and Pumpkin seeds.

In your luteal phase – use sesame and sunflower seeds.

If you’re not 100% sure of how to understand your menstrual cycle and decipher your follicular and luteal phases – the Debunking Ovulation Download is your very best friend!  You can access that here.  It really is going to change your life.

Putting seed cycling into place, it will take roughly 3 months for you to really notice improvements.  Worth trying though – what a simple and effective way to rebalance your body and your hormones.  Don’t have a menstrual cycle?  That’s ok, this can be a great way to start to wake up your hormones.  I’d say follow a typical cycle in the sense that you’d take the Flax and Pumpkin seeds for 14 days and then switch to the sesame and sunflower for another 14 days.  Of course as you learn in the Debunking Ovulation Download, menstrual cycles only look like this in the movies – but its a great guide and one way to start to get the interaction happening between oestrogen and progesterone.

Have you tried it?  I’d love to hear your feedback with seed cycling (AND my download too!)

Oh but before I go, I just had to remind you about the flipping fantastic Joyful Pregnancy Summit that’s about to happen.

I don’t want you to miss out on this!  The Joyfully Pregnant online Summit starts tomorrow.  I’m telling you this for two reasons;

Firstly – it’s way too awesome of an event to miss out on.

Secondly – I’m up first!  And I’d love for you to get onto the information I share about food for fertility and overall hormone health.  You see – if you wait to join in the fun, you’ll miss me!  In case you missed Monday’s post with all the details – you can flick back here and take a quick read.  In a coconut shell, the summit will showcase 15 of the worlds (yes worlds) top fertility experts and each share their expertise via their live presentations you can jump on and listen to PLUS live daily Q & A sessions with the experts!

Don’t miss out – it’s FREE to participate and begins live Oct 21 – 25 (for us Aussies, that’s 22 – 26).

If you’re ready to get pregnant, stay pregnant and have a really healthy baby – you don’t want to miss this event!

You can sign up here – can’t WAIT to see you online.

Leave a Comment

17 Responses to “Seed cycling – the latest buzz to plump your hormones”

  1. Jul

    Hi Nat! Very interesting indeed. What should I do if I have had a baby 4 months ago and my period hasn’t returned yet so I have no idea what phase I am in? Thanks.

  2. Mariam

    Ooh interesting! Nat, my cycle is about 43 days (!) So for how many days would you recommend the follicular and luteal phase seeds? Also I have flax in my daily diet, is this bad?

  3. cassondrajw

    Very interesting! Do the seeds necessarily have to be ground? I usually sprinkle flax seed on my yogurt, but they aren’t ground up.

  4. Kazzjm

    Hi Nat. Just wondering what quantity of seeds you would need to take for this to be effective? Also do you need to have them everyday?

    I have been to a debunking ovulation event which I thought was excellent and I already have fertilize yourself – what extra would I receive with purchasing the debunking ovulation download?

    • mnfadmin

      Hi Kazzjm,
      You’re in the BEST position because you got to go to the live event. The download is designed for those who can’t attend – they get everything else (besides being able to ask questions and interact with others). So the benefit for you is being there.

      As for quantity, 1-3 tbs per day to start with and see how you go.

  5. Valerie

    Can we use the oil (Pumpkin seed oil, flax seed oil. Sesame seed oil …) instead of the seeds ? will it have the same effect ?


  6. Naomi

    Makes total sense. Can’t wait to implement this once bub is born to get my cycle in sync!

  7. Lana

    Awesome article! I also learned about seed cycling in holistic nutrition school, and I’m just about to implement it myself to see if I can get my period back (post pill amenorrhead/pcos.. lovely isn’t it!). But one answer I can’t seem to find, is what about the nuts and seeds and fish oils we consume on a regular basis? Like what if we eat flax seed often, or pumpkin seeds often, if we are consuming them in small amounts during the phase where we aren’t supposed to, but we are still consuming the amount of the seeds required during that specific phase, would that have ill effect? For example, if during the luteal phase, if I’m still consuming flax and fish oil as I regularly do in my food, in addition to the sesame and sunflower, is that bad?

  8. Jeanette

    My digestive system cannot tolerate Sesame seeds. Is there another seed/nut to substitute and use with sunflower seeds?

  9. Shannon

    Hi! Thank you for the information. I do had a question….if pumpkin seeds help to release progesterone, why should they be taken during the first part of the cycle where the primary hormone is estrogen? Thanks!

  10. Mrs T

    I am allergic to sesame. How should I modify accordingly?

  11. Rose

    After months of seed cycling (and a period at 7 week intervals) I finally have had a period after only 4 weeks, and it came on a full moon.
    Which is really really exciting for me, and really confusing for my seed cycling!
    I usually start taking the sunflower/sesame mix on the full moon but now should I switch to the pepita/flax mix to coordinate with my period?
    I have no idea what to do!
    Hope you can help

    • Nat Kringoudis

      Rose this is fantastic!! Don’t worry too much, just make the switch around the 14 day mark of the cycle and see. That should help to also bring things back into line. x