If you know me, then you know I’m all about food that tastes good AND makes you feel good too. For me, seed cycling is a powerful way to check both of those boxes, as you can incorporate this hormone-balancing and fertility-boosting practice into some seriously delicious recipes (like these dark chocolate truffles).
Read below to learn how your cycle and hormones can benefit from this practice, how to do it, and snag the recipe for these insanely delicious Seed Cycling Dark Chocolate Fudge Truffles.
WHAT IS SEED CYCLING?
Seed cycling is a natural and inexpensive way to support the female endocrine system through its hormone fluctuations by consuming different seeds during different phases of our menstrual cycle.
This practice of rotating different seeds (pumpkin, flax, sesame and sunflower) between the first and second half our our cycle phases regulates our hormones, helping to relieve PMS, reduce period pain, stimulate ovulation, increase fertility and support the body in healing conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis and ovarian cysts.
HOW DOES SEED CYCLING WORK?
+ First Half of Cycle (Menstruation, Follicular + Ovulatory Phase)
During the first half of your cycle (menstruation, follicular and ovulatory phase) estrogen levels begin to rise and steadily increase in preparation for ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovary) in order to potentially get pregnant.
While this is a good thing, there’s a very fine line between too much and too little estrogen, and many modern day lifestyle obstacles (alcohol, caffeine, stress, sugar, dieting, processed foods, toxins, etc.) can wreak havoc on your estrogen, leading to imbalanced levels.
Adding in pumpkin and flax seeds rich in phytoestrogens works to balance overall estrogen levels, helping increase and decrease estrogen as needed. Optimal estrogen levels are then able to effectively regulate other important hormones (such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) necessary for ovulation) and ensure a healthy menstrual cycle.
+ Second Half of Cycle (Luteal Phase)
After you ovulate, estrogen and other hormones (testosterone, FSH, LH) drop, sending you into the latter half of your cycle, your luteal phase. This phase typically lasts 10-14 days and should be a minimum of 10 days (as it takes the egg at least 10 days to travel to your uterus to implant in your lining, if trying to get pregnant). Anything less than 10 days an indicator of low progesterone and possible fertility issues.
During this phase, progesterone levels begin to rise steadily, enhancing your endometrium (uterine lining) in preparation for a potential egg implantation and pregnancy. It’s very important to have healthy progesterone levels during this phase, as low progesterone can lead to PMS, irregular cycles, and challenges with getting or staying pregnant. Adding in sunflower and sesame seeds (both rich in gamma-linolenic acid, GLA) works to support progesterone levels and reduce any inflammation in the body that can trigger PMS.
BENEFITS OF SEED CYCLING
Practicing seed cycling each month works to regulate your hormones and reduce inflammation in the body, leading to benefits such as:
+ Reduced PMS
+ Period Pain Relief
+ Regulated Menstrual Cycles
+ Decreased Hormonal Acne/Breakouts
+ Optimized Fertile Window + Increased Chances of Conceiving
+ Successful Egg Implantation + Healthy Pregnancy
+ Reduced Perimenopause Symptoms
+ Support Body in Healing PCOS, Endometriosis + Ovarian Cysts
HOW TO SEED CYCLE
+ First Half of Menstrual Cycle (Menstruation, Follicular + Ovulation Phases, Days 1-14)
Consume 1 Tbsp each fresh ground flax and pumpkin seeds daily.
+ Second Half of Menstrual Cycle (Luteal Phase, Days 14 – 28)
Consume 1 Tbsp each fresh ground sesame and sunflower seeds daily.
Pro-Tip: Personally, the easiest way for me to practice seed-cycling is by using the seeds in delicious recipes like these truffles. I’ll make a batch with pumpkin/flax seeds once during my period to enjoy during the first half of my cycle, then another batch after ovulation with sunflower/sesame to eat the second half. When you incorporate seeds into truffles that tastes this good, you’ll have a hard time forgetting to do it :).
Seed Cycling is an effective and easy way to help balance your hormones and support each phase of your cycle, which can lead to a reduction in uncomfortable or painful symptoms and an increase in fertility and menstrual health.
If you’re looking for more delicious seed cycling recipes + tips to help balance your hormones, boost your fertility and feel your best, check out my 28-Day Hormone Balance Reset Plan or Fertility Boosting Fundamentals Guide.
- Fudge Base:
- 1½ cups dark chocolate chunks or chips (I love the Hu Gems, you can use my code LAUREN for 15% off)
- ½ cup coconut cream (can chill a can of coconut milk for 24 hours and scrape off the thick "cream" top to use)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup (can also use coconut sugar)
- ½ cup creamy nut butter (I love cashew, sunflower or peanut)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Optional: 1 full dropper of Soul Addict CBD Oil (about 4.2 mg) (use code sa_lauren20 to save 20% off your first purchase) to help with cramping the week leading up to your period
- Seed Cycle Coating:
- First half of cycle (menstrual, follicular, ovulatory) use ¼ cup pumpkin seeds + ¼ cup flaxseed, ground
- Second half of cycle (luteal phase) use ¼ cup sunflower + ¼ cup sesame seeds, ground
- In a medium stovetop pan over very low heat, combine the dark chocolate, coconut cream and coconut oil and stir constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and shiny, Immediately remove from heat.
- Stir in the creamy nut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt and mix until very smooth.
- Freeze mixture for 30 minutes until it's firm enough to roll into balls.
- While dark chocolate mixture is chilling, ground your seeds together in a food processor if you haven't already. Remember to use pumpkin + flax seeds the first ½ of your cycle and sesame + sunflower seeds the second ½ of your cycle.
- Spread ground seeds out on a piece of parchment paper and use a second piece of parchment paper to line a baking sheet or tray.
- Remove chocolate from freezer. Roll into small balls with your hands, then roll into the seed mixture on the parchment paper until truffle is completely coated. Place on the parchment lined baking tray.
- Repeat process until all truffles are coated. Option to drizzle all truffles with more melted dark chocolate (just melt in microwave for 30 seconds).
- Keep in the fridge for 1 week or freezer for 2 months.
- Hormone Balancing Smoothie Formula + Recipes - January 20, 2021
- First-Trimester Pregnancy Hormone Balancing Tips: How to Reduce Nausea, Fatigue + Other Hormonal Symptoms - January 6, 2021
- How to Naturally Balance Your Hormones with B Vitamins - January 4, 2021