Hormones play a vital role in the human body. It is involved in the majority of bodily processes. A slight change in the hormones and the body’s metabolism goes for a toss. Especially females fall prey to such hormonal disruption the majority of the time. Seed Cycling has lately stolen the limelight for helping women with most hormonal issues. Read on to know about seed cycling benefits in PCOS / PCOD / Thyroid / Pregnancy and Hormonal Balance and Pre-Menopause.
Hormonal Imbalance in Women leads to:
How to fix the hormonal imbalance?
Benefits of Eating a Balanced Diet
- Adequate carbohydrates, required as fuel in the body
- Good quality proteins maintain the wear and tear of the body, provide amino acids for hormones, and tone the muscles
- Good quality fats help in reducing stress, secretion, and regulation of hormones, and provide insulation to the internal organs
- Fiber improves gut health, maintains a healthy weight, and regulates hormonal functions
- Functional foods like seeds when taken in certain patterns prove beneficial to maintain hormonal balance. This is known as seed cycling.
Seed Cycling Benefits
What is seed cycling?
Seed cycling is nothing but consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons of particular seeds in a day, which regulates the hormonal system. Sounds simple? It indeed is very easy to incorporate into your daily life.
Seed cycling and Hormonal imbalance
Seeds cycling regulates the release of estrogen and progesterone hormones. The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases – the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The follicular phase is from the day period ends till the ovulation. The luteal phase starts on the day of ovulation and ends when you start your period. Each phase is of approximately two weeks. Consuming particular kinds of seeds in each phase will help regulate the production and secretion of estrogen and progesterone.
Seed Cycling Benefits in PCOS / PCOD and Thyroid
Seed cycling Benefits in PCOS/PCOD
- Helps in weight reduction
- Improves insulin resistance
- Improves Premenstrual symptoms
- Regulates estrogen for ovulation
- Beneficial to wean from birth control
- Reduces acne, hirsutism, testosterone
Thyroid and Seed cycling Benefits
- Helps in weight reduction
- Boosts metabolism
- Regulates thyroxin hormone
- Reduces fat storage
- Reduces hair fall
Seed Cycling Process / How to do Seed cycling?
The follicular phase is from the day period ends till the ovulation. Use flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds during your follicular phase.
- Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are phytoestrogens that have very mild estrogen-like properties. It also contains lignin that binds the excess estrogen in the body as well as prevents the side effects. Flaxseeds improve ovulation, elongate the luteal phase, reduce PMS, and avoid breast tenderness. The omega-3 fatty acid helps to reduce stress, improve cardiac function, and also boost brain function. The fiber in flaxseed helps to maintain blood glucose, weight, and insulin resistance and improve gut health. Flaxseeds not only reduce hair fall but also provide antioxidants to prevent cancers. Read more about the benefits of flaxseeds.
- Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which helps to raise progesterone in the second phase of the menstrual cycle. Pumpkin seeds help to increase blood flow in the uterus, maintain healthy cell membranes as well as promote follicle production. The vitamin E and the antioxidants in the pumpkin seeds help to reduce stress. The antioxidants in the pumpkin seeds help to prevent cancers. The pumpkin seeds’ high magnesium content not only helps to reduce hair fall but also keeps the bones strong.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce stress as well as to maintain a healthy uterine lining. Chia seeds promote ovulation. It also helps to maintain normal estrogen levels in the body. The fiber in chia seeds manages insulin resistance and maintains blood sugars. It not only boosts metabolism but also aids in weight loss. Read more about the benefits of chia seeds.
The luteal phase starts on the day of ovulation and ends when your period starts. Use sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
- Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are high in zinc. High zinc levels promote progesterone production as well as secretion. Progesterone is a vital hormone required for uterine wall thickening; maintaining uterine cell membrane as well as lactation. The lignans present in sesame lead to the lowering of cholesterol improve insulin resistance and improve cardiac health. The high magnesium levels not only reduce hair fall but also make bones strong. Sesame is high in calcium which helps to strengthen the bones and also muscles.
- Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, zinc, as well as antioxidants. The high zinc levels help to maintain progesterone levels. Selenium reduces the free radical in the body, reduces stress, and boost immunity. The B complex vitamins in sunflower help to increase HDL cholesterol as well as reduce total cholesterol. The B-6 in sunflower releases endorphins that help in sound sleep and enhance concentration. The magnesium levels improve bone and hair health. Fiber not only helps to reduce weight but also improves gut health.
Side effects of seed cycling
These natural foods do not have any side effects. The only care to be taken is to rule out any seed allergy if you have one. It is best to consult a professional dietician before starting seed cycling, This will not only ensure that you avoid any side effects but also keep nutritional deficiencies at bay. The professionals will guide you correctly on how to initiate, sustain and maintain the effects of seed cycling. You can avail Dietburrp’s services of personalized diet plans.
How can you use these seeds?
- Use in milkshakes
- Add in salads
- Grind with chutneys
- Consume it as a mouth freshener post meals
- Mix with curd or buttermilk
- Sprinkle it over the soups
Seed Cycling Diet Plan
To make it easy for you to avail seed cycling benefit, we have divided the sample plan into 2 phases. Follicular and Luteal Phase diet plans with Indian menu.
Indian Seed cycling diet plan for For follicular phase; ( day 1 – day 15 of periods)
Empty stomach: 1 glass of Green Juice with pumpkin seeds (kale/spinach/mint/cucumber/bottle gourd/ginger)
Breakfast: Chia pudding with granola or oats (Chia seeds – Tbspn/milk – 1 cup-multigrain granola OR 2 tablespoon oats – ½ cup/dates -2/ walnuts – 2 halves)
Mid-morning: 1 Seasonal Fruit (100 -150gms)
Lunch: 1 cup Salad + 1 Millet roti or 1 cup Brown rice + 1 cup Vegetables + 1 cup Dal + 1 cup Curd
Mid-afternoon: 1 glass of Buttermilk with flaxseed powder
Snack: 1cup Coffee or green tea
+ 1 Khakra OR 1 slice multigrain bread with Curd garlic dip OR 2 small pieces pumpkin seed chikki OR 1 Multiseed granola bar
Dinner: 1 Cup Salad (with chia or flaxseed – optional) + 2 Chapati + 1 cup Vegetables + 1cup Curd
Bedtime: 1 cup of Milk with turmeric and nutmeg
Indian Seed cycling diet plan for For Luteal Phase; (day 16 till next period)
Empty stomach: 1 glass of Green Juice with sunflower (kale/spinach/mint/cucumber/bottle gourd/ginger)
Breakfast: Multigrain granola + 1 cup Milk (multigrain granola – ½ cup/dates -2/ walnuts – 2 halves)
Mid-morning: 1 Fruit (100 -150gms)
Lunch: 1 cup Salad with sesame seeds + 1 Millet roti or 1 cup Brown rice + 1 cup Vegetables + 1 cup Dal + 1 cup Curd
Mid-afternoon: 1 glass Buttermilk with sunflower seeds powder
Snack: 1cup Coffee or green tea + 1 Khakra OR 1 slice multigrain bread with Curd sesame (tahini) dip OR 2 small pieces Sesame 1 Multiseed granola bar
Dinner: 1 Cup Salad (with sesame – optional) + 2 Chapati + 1 cup Vegetables + 1 cup Curd
Bedtime: 1 cup of Milk with turmeric and nutmeg
Seed cycling is beneficial for a majority of hormonal disorders. There are not many pieces of research supporting this fact. However, you can observe significant changes in hormonal balance. Remember to always consult a professional before initiating any changes in your diet. Seed cycling benefits are many, and side effects are nil. Unless you are allergic to these seeds, there is no harm in trying seed cycling to overcome your hormonal balance.