Seed Cycling for PCOS: Is it Really Effective?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects about 4%–20% of women of childbearing age. It can cause a range of symptoms, from irregular periods and weight gain to infertility and acne. While there is no known cure for PCOS, there are a variety of natural remedies that women can help manage their symptoms. One of these remedies is seed cycling, a practice that involves eating specific seeds at different times during the menstrual cycle. But does seed cycling really work for PCOS? In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the science behind this practice and explore its potential benefits for women with PCOS.
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling is a natural approach to balancing hormones that involve eating a specific combination of seeds during different phases of the menstrual cycle. The seeds used in seed cycling are nutrient-dense powerhouses that contain phytoestrogens, lignans, and essential fatty acids, all of which are important for hormone production and regulation.
1. Day 1-14 of Your Menstruation Cycle to Ovulation
During the first half of the menstrual cycle (from day 1 to ovulation), women consume a combination of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.
Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which are phytoestrogens that can help to regulate estrogen levels. Lignans are compounds found in plants that are similar in structure to estrogen, and they can bind to estrogen receptors in the body. This can help to balance estrogen levels and reduce the symptoms of estrogen dominance, which is a common issue in women with PCOS.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, a mineral that is important for ovarian function and fertility. Zinc is needed for the production of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is responsible for triggering ovulation. Zinc also plays a role in the metabolism of androgens, which are male hormones that can be elevated in women with PCOS and contribute to symptoms such as acne, hirsutism, and hair loss.
2. Day 15-28 of Your Ovulation to Menstruation Cycle
During the second half of the menstrual cycle (from ovulation to the start of the next period), women consume a combination of sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
Sesame seeds are a good source of lignans, as mentioned earlier, are phytoestrogens that can help to balance estrogen levels in the body. In addition, sesame seeds are rich in zinc, which is an important mineral for fertility and hormonal balance. Zinc helps to support the production of progesterone, a hormone that is important for regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus for fertility.
Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Vitamin E has been shown to have positive effects on reproductive health, including menstrual cycle regulation and fertility. In addition, sunflower seeds are a good source of selenium, a mineral that is important for thyroid function and immune system health.
The Science Behind Seed Cycling for PCOS
While there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of seed cycling specifically for PCOS, the nutrients found in the seeds used in this practice are known to support hormonal balance. For example, flaxseeds are high in lignans, which have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce androgen levels in women with PCOS. Pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc, which is important for ovarian function and fertility.
A study found that flaxseed supplementation helped improve menstrual regularity and reduce androgen levels in women with PCOS. While the scientific studies are promising, more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of seed cycling for PCOS. However, many women with PCOS have reported that seed cycling has helped them to manage their symptoms and improve their overall hormonal balance.
How to Get Started with Seed Cycling?
If you're interested in trying seed cycling for PCOS, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider first. They can help you determine if this approach is right for you and guide you in choosing the right seeds and amounts to consume.
To get started with seed cycling, simply add the seeds to your daily diet during the appropriate phases of your menstrual cycle. You can add them to smoothies, salads, oatmeal, or other dishes. You can also snack on them throughout the day.
Food Supplements Approach to Help Manage PCOS & Hormonal Imbalance
In addition to seed cycling, there are good quality supplements available in the market to help manage your hormonal levels in the body and promote fertility in both men and women. Some of the best quality supplements for women with PCOS and hormonal imbalance include Femrose Evening Primrose Oil, Femrose 500 softgels, and Oxitol (particularly beneficial for women with hormonal imbalances).
However, it is important to consult with your healthcare professional if you’re suffering from any medical condition, or on medicines before adding any new supplement to your dietary regimen.
Seed cycling is a natural and holistic approach to balancing hormones that have gained popularity in recent years. While there is limited scientific research on its effectiveness specifically for PCOS, the nutrients found in the seeds used in this practice are known to support hormonal balance. If you're interested in trying seed cycling for PCOS, talk to your healthcare provider first and give it a try to see if it works for you. With a little experimentation, you may find that this simple practice is a game-changer for you!