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When we hear things like “cycle syncing” or “seed cycling” it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and in my opinion, it is sometimes made way more complex than it needs to be. So, in the name of trying to keep things simple, I’m going to keep this post short, sweet, and to the point.
What it is: If you have a menstrual cycle you can eat certain types of seeds at certain times to help support the fluctuation of hormones going on inside your body. This can help you have a normal and healthy cycle (ovulation on time, menstruation on time, etc) but can also help take “the edge off” to help you ease in and out of each phase and experience fewer mood swings or extreme ups or downs of emotions.
How to count: The key is to understand when your cycle starts. Day one of your cycle is the day you start bleeding. You then count upwards until you start bleeding again, which then becomes day 1.
The average cycle is 28 days long, but it can vary from 24 to 30. If your cycle is long or short, simply divide it by 2 to understand your two phases.
The Follicular Phase is the first half (typically days 1-14). This is when FSH hormone (follicle-stimulating hormone) causes you to develop follicles, and then an increase in estrogen releases an egg. You typically ovulate on day 14 of your cycle, which means most people are fertile on days 12-16.
The Luteal Phase is the second half (typically days 15-28). This is when progesterone increases to help your body prepare for a potential pregnancy, and then your body prepares to eliminate the uterine lining if there is not a pregnancy.
The chart above breaks it down in a very visual way to help you understand how seeds can help support the hormonal changes you will experience during these two distinct phases, while also giving you some insight into your energy and mood.
If you are entering perimenopause or menopause you can also benefit from seed cycling. Seed cycling can help minimize the impact of hormone fluctuations. Since estrogen and progesterone decline during menopause, seed cycling can provide additional support for you. You can start on any day and follow the same weekly plan as above.
If you are transgender or a person who does not have a natural menstrual cycle (due to oophorectomy or otherwise), you can try seed cycling to help create that fluctuation throughout the month, although you may want to check with your physician to ensure seed cycling will not interfere with any other hormones you may be taking.
Although your cycle can be simplified by breaking it down into just two phases for seed cycling, most of us actually experience four distinct phases throughout a 28-day cycle. You can also check out my older post with Cheat Sheets for Cycle Syncing.
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