Not only does my professional career as a nutritionist and certified personal trainer inspire my interest in female health and wellness, but I also consider myself a women’s health advocate that wants to ensure that every woman has access to accurate information, high quality supplements and opportunities to feel her best each and every day.

Hormones are a big part of female health. They not only affect how the body functions, but also our mental health and how we look. Unfortunately, more and more women are dealing with hormonal imbalances due to things like stress, poor diet, excessive alcohol use and a sedentary lifestyle. It’s very difficult to keep female hormones balanced. It doesn’t take much to throw them off course in a way that is very noticeable. Have you ever dealt with irregular periods, excessive fatigue, breakouts or infertility? Hormones are likely to blame.

There are a number of ways that you can attempt to balance your hormones. There are medications that can help, but they often come with the risk of weight gain or even an increased risk of cancer. Seed cycling is a very simple and natural way to support your hormones, reduce symptoms associated with PMS, boost fertility and regulate your periods. It works differently from woman to woman and doesn’t necessarily fix everything, but it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re struggling with your female health overall. Let’s talk more about what seed cycling is and how you go about utilizing it.

What Exactly Is Seed Cycling?

Seed cycling incorporates the consumption of different seeds during the two main phases of your menstrual cycle: the luteal and follicular phases. The components of these seeds can help to balance your progesterone and estrogen levels naturally, so you feel better and have a healthier menstrual cycle. It can be used regardless of a female’s age, and seed cycling even has benefits for women who have already gone through menopause. Though, it’s highly effective for women who have obvious signs of hormonal imbalances or women that have just stopped using birth control that may have caused some very irregular and abnormal menses.

How Do You Start Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance?

It’s not very complicated to start utilizing seed cycling for hormone balance. During the follicular portion of your menstrual cycle, you’ll want to consume one to two tablespoons of pumpkin and flax seeds. Once ovulation has occurred, you can then incorporate sunflower seeds and sesame seeds into your daily seed consumption for the rest of the luteal phase.

Days 1-14 of Your Cycle

Days one through 14 of your menstrual cycle refer to the period of time when you are menstruating but have not yet ovulated. This is when you should be consuming:

  • One to two tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • One to two tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds

Days 15-28 of Your Cycle

During the period of time between days 15 and 28 of your cycle, you have ovulated, and you are leading up to the start of menstruation. This is when you will want to consume:

  • One to two tablespoons of ground up sunflower seeds
  • One to two tablespoons of ground sesame seeds

What If You Miss Your Period or It’s Irregular?

Not every female has a 28-day menstrual cycle all the time. I know that personally, I’ve had different points in my life where I was trending more towards a 32-day cycle, and some factors have caused me to get my period early. The length of your cycle doesn’t affect your ability to use seed cycling. When in doubt, stick with the 14-day cycle of seed consumption. This will eventually start to guide your body towards a more normal cycle.

If you’re completely skipping some periods or are very irregular, you should follow the seed cycle guidelines for the phases of the moon (we’ll discuss this next).

Seed Cycling During Moon Phases Overview

The period of time each month that exists from day one of the month to day 14 is considered to be the phase of the new moon to the full moon. If you are going to base your seed cycling off this pattern, eat pumpkin seeds and flax seeds during those first two weeks. After that, days 15 to 28 are when there is a full moon and then a new moon. You should be eating sunflower seeds and sesame seeds during this point in time.

It’s common for women to be a little put-off by following any kind of routine that follows the cycle of the moon, but there is actually a lot of power to the moon cycle. Did you know that the moon is what controls the waves in the ocean? It can have a profound impact on things like hormones and mental health as well, and many women find that their period becomes in sync with the moon as they get older.

How Can Seed Cycling Support Hormone Balance?

Seed cycling has been around since around 2012, so it’s a relatively needed concept. Because of this, there isn’t a lot of research that can be shared regarding the use of seed consumption to promote hormonal balance. While we may not have direct proof between seed cycling and female menstrual health, we already know a lot about the different benefits that certain foods and nutrients have on our health. The seeds that are used for seed cycling (pumpkin, sesame, flax and sunflower) are all packed with nutrients that are great for hormone health.

The Follicular Phase

The follicular phase is the first portion of a woman’s menstrual cycle. In order to balance your hormones and promote a healthy period, you will want to focus on achieving a very specific balance of estrogen in the body. Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds prevent the overproduction of estrogen thanks to lignans, which bind to excess estrogen and expel it from the body. High levels of zinc in pumpkin seeds will support the production of progesterone, which will be necessary as you enter the luteal phase of your cycle.

The Luteal Phase

The second portion of your menstrual cycle is considered to be the luteal phase, and this is when you want to boost your progesterone production. The seeds you want to consume are sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. They both contain high levels of zinc, which translates to more progesterone. They also have lignans in them, which will block the overproduction of estrogen as your body starts to produce more progesterone. Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E and selenium, which boost progesterone and detox the liver from estrogen that has built up.

What Is the Nutritional Value in Seeds?

While they might seem small, seeds actually pack a lot of nutrients into one small serving. Let’s take a look at the nutritional components of the seeds that are used for seed cycling.


Both sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which is a mineral that is beneficial for the overall health of your uterus (specifically the corpus luteum). The corpus luteum is where progesterone is produced, stimulating the thickening of the uterus in preparation for a potential pregnancy.

Omega-3s, Omega-6s

Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote ample blood flow to your uterus throughout your cycle. They can also improve your production of progesterone.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an important part of flax and pumpkin, possessing the ability to reduce symptoms associated with PMS, balanced hormone production and follicular function.


Flax seeds and sesame seeds contain lignans, which bind to excess estrogen in the female body. By removing some of this excess estrogen, the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle can become longer, and ovulation will occur more regularly. You can also count on lignans in flax seeds to improve those unpleasant PMS symptoms like headaches, cramping and pain in your breasts. If you’re postmenopausal, lignans still provide you with a lot of benefits, such as increased libido and healthy blood lipids.


You can find selenium inside of sunflower seeds, which are part of a seed cycling routine. Selenium is a trace mineral that supports the removal of estrogen from the body through the liver. It’s important that you support this process during the luteal phase of your cycle when you see a decrease in estrogen production and a rise in progesterone.

How to Add Seed Cycling into Your Daily Routine

If these seeds aren’t a normal part of your diet, then you might be curious as to how you’re supposed to work them into your daily routine. Seed cycling calls for you to consume about one to two tablespoons of seeds every single day. It’s preferred if you opt for a raw, ground version as they will be better absorbed and utilized by the body.

If you think about it, these seeds can be added to just about any normal meal that you’re consuming. Simply sprinkle them on top of salads, stir fries, blend them into smoothies and you can even bake with them. Seeds are a fantastic topping on oatmeal in the morning or even mixed into soups. Granola bars and trail mixes are another fantastic way to make seed cycling part of your daily routine.

Funk It Wellness Seed Cycling Kit

Funk It Wellness Seed Cycling Kit

As a very busy trainer and nutritionist, I know that it can be difficult to focus on any kind of food routine or the use of supplements. To make your seed cycling journey much easier, you may want to consider purchasing a product like the Funk It Seed Cycling Kit. This kit encompasses everything that you need to get started, such as two different blends to be used during the two phases of your cycle.

The Nurture blend contains pumpkin seeds and flax seeds, while the Radiate blend contains sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Ground in small batches, these blends can be used any way that you want, but you save a lot of time not having to buy four different types of seeds and grind them / store them on your own. A one-time purchase costs $39.99, but you can subscribe to receive monthly deliveries and drop the price down to $34.99 per month.

How Long Does It Take Seed Cycling to Work?

As with most new routines and supplements, you need to give your body a little bit of time to adjust to seed cycling. Most women find that it takes around three months to notice any kind of substantial benefits. A lot of healthcare professionals and wellness enthusiasts like myself encourage tracking your symptoms so you can learn more about your hormonal shifts.

You decide how long you want to utilize seed cycling. Some women find that they can use this practice for six months to a year and remain in a much more balanced state. You also have the option of practicing seed cycling for years if you feel that it will keep your body more regulated. It really depends on how easy it is for you to incorporate these seeds into your daily life.

Before You Start, Here’s Some Things You’ll Need to Know

I’ve compiled some helpful tips that can be beneficial in your seed cycling journey.

Only Use Seeds That are Raw

Raw seeds ensures that you’re getting all of those beneficial nutritional components that you need for optimal seed cycling results. If you opt for something that has been roasted or cooked, this can damage the nutritional profile of the product.

Shop Organic

Organic is always the better option, eliminating the risk of consuming pesticides or fertilizers with your seeds.

Grind Up Your Seeds before Consumption

As I mentioned above, grinding your seeds makes them much easier to digest and absorb. You can use a coffee bean grinder if you have one. If you’re not able to grind your seeds, that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from seed cycling regardless. Like the Funk It Wellness product I talked about earlier, you can always find already ground seeds to use.

Seed Storage

If you want to prevent oxidation and spoilage, always store your opened or ground seeds in a cool and dark location like your refrigerator.

The Benefits of Tracking Your Cycle

As a default method, you can follow the moon cycle to get started with seed cycling. However, it’s a lot more beneficial to track your cycle. A super simple way of doing this is to keep track of your basal body temperature each morning. This helps you predict ovulation and the shifts in your hormones throughout the month. That means you can shift over to your other seed cycle at a more accurate point in time.

If you need help with cycle tracking, there are some great products available. The Ava Bracelet (located at tracks five different physiological signals and uses machine learning algorithms to extract important data regarding the five most fertile days of your menstrual cycle.

Natural Cycles is the first FDA cleared birth control app that helps you track and organize your cycle data on your smart device. It eliminates the need for having to use hormone-based birth control that can mess up your cycle. You can find more information at

Put Hormone Balance as a Major Priority

Whenever you’re turning to a more natural process designed to balance your hormones or make a positive shift in your health, it’s important that you have realistic expectations. Imbalances in your hormone levels can be caused by all kinds of problems, from poor gut health to the use of certain medications. Seed cycling can help make a positive shift in your hormones, but there are other things that you may need to do as well. Exercising regularly, eating right and getting enough sleep are also important components of hormone health.


In addition to tracking your hormones and your symptoms, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about having your hormone levels tested. This gives you a good baseline to start out with, but it can also help diagnose any issues that may be present. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can make necessary changes that will promote better hormonal and menstrual cycle health moving forward.

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Macro Coach, Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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