Yes, it’s April, but no, it’s not a new gardening technique.
Seed Cycling is a method to help women to naturally balance their hormones.
You see, our bodies manufacture progesterone and estrogen at different times of the month. In the first half of our cycle (prior to ovulation), our bodies need estrogen, and in the second half (post ovulation), we need progesterone.
Too much or too little of each, and you get PMS, irregular periods, acne, infertility, fibroids and lots of other fun symptoms.
One natural method of balancing your hormones (many women end up on hormonal birth control to help manage their symptoms) that I’ve only recently discovered is something called Seed Cycling.
The idea is that certain seeds help mimic or contribute to the manufacture of progesterone and estrogen.
It’s actually pretty simple.
In the first half of your cycle, you consume raw pumpkin and flax seeds daily, and in the second half, you switch to raw sunflower and sesame seeds.
You can consume them in any way you like. Most people grind them up and put them in smoothies, or they eat them on top of salads or pretty much almost anything. They do add a nice textural crunch.
You could also use the seeds in recipes, like this Dark Chocolate Seed Granola.
The pumpkin and flax seeds are thought to support the manufacture of estrogen, and the sunflower and sesame seeds are thought to support the manufacture of progesterone.
There isn’t a ton of research that’s been done on this practice, so unfortunately, there’s not a lot of science to support it. But it is an ancient practice that women have been doing for many years, and there is lots of anecdotal evidence that it works. As well, seeds have lots of health benefits beyond the possibility of them helping with your menstrual cycle. They have proteins, plant-based omegas, and lots of vitamins.
If there are three things I love, it’s local business, women-lead business, and vegan business. A new local business, Evania Foods, has created a cracker line called Love Me Some. They are specifically focused on the topic of seed cycling, and each little packet contains 2 tablespoons of seeds (which is basically how much you should be consuming each day). They’re all vegan and gluten-free, and are specifically created for different times in your cycle.
Grab yours at Larry’s Market, Harvest Community Foods, or online.