The term “seed cycling” isn’t very well-known, but Funk It Wellness Founder Kate Morton believes everyone who experiences the menstrual cycle should learn about it.
By Anne Cox, Photos courtesy of Funk It Wellness
Seed cycling is the process of incorporating certain seeds (like actual plant seeds) into your diet in order to help regulate excess hormones and minimize PMS symptoms such as cramps. The menstrual cycle is typically 28 days and is made up of four phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulation and luteal. Each phase comes with the rising and falling of hormones resulting in potential mood swings, cravings and even a decrease or increase in libido.
Austin Woman got the inside scoop from Kate Morton on her journey into seed cycling, which soon turned into her very own Austin-based business Funk It Wellness.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your background and how you first learned about seed cycling?
I am a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in human clinical nutrition. I have always loved learning about the power of food and nutrition. And I was so amazed to learn how it works with our menstrual cycles. When I was living in New Zealand, I decided to transition off hormonal birth control and was excited to learn more about my body since I had had such a bad experience while on birth control. Unfortunately, when I got off birth control my body had a really hard time adjusting. I was desperate to feel better.
As I started doing my own research and talking to friends, I noticed that no one really thought anything was wrong with period pain and symptoms. Everyone just kept saying it was normal. The more I researched, the more I learned there was a huge connection between nutrition and PMS symptoms. Through one of these conversations, I was introduced to seed cycling. At first, I was really skeptical. But after three months, my cycle started to come more regularly; my hormonal acne was gone, and my period was pain-free. After that, I knew it was time to dive in and find a way to help other women going through the same pain.
A lot of women don’t track their cycles, what are the benefits of tracking the menstrual cycle?
Cycle tracking is a key tool in understanding your overall health (if you have a period). A lot of health care professionals reference the menstrual cycle as your fifth vital sign. Meaning it can show you a lot about your health overall.
A “normal” period comes every 21 to 35 days, with little to no symptoms. Bleed time is typically three to five days and blood color should be cranberry colored with little to no clotting.
When you track your cycle, you can note down symptoms, understand any patterns that might be occurring and you can take over all control of your month. A lot of people don’t realize there are actually four phases to the menstrual cycle. Each phase brings its own unique shifts to your life. When you learn about these phases, you can shift things to better fit your life.
Can you give us a breakdown of which seed and nutrient blends coincide with each phase of the cycle? What do they do?
From the first day of your period until you ovulate you, eat 1 tablespoon of organic ground flax seed and 1 tablespoon of organic ground pumpkin seeds. Or if you are seed cycling with Funk It, you just need 2 tablespoons of our nature blend.
- Flax: Flax seeds contain lignans, which aid in estrogen release. They bind excess estrogen and help eliminate it to support estrogen levels. Both flax and pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 fats, which support uterine blood flow and maintain healthy cell membranes. Additionally, a 2015 study found regular ingestion of flax seeds over three months caused a significant reduction in the number of ovarian cysts, as well as the size of the ovaries in women with PCOS.
- Pumpkin: Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which aids in progesterone production & supports testosterone levels. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which help protect your ovaries, eggs and reproductive system as a whole.
- Sesame: Sesame seeds are rich in zinc, which aids in progesterone production, as listed above. Zinc has also been found to support dysmenorrhea/painful periods. They also contain lignans and omega-2 fatty acids (like flax), which help block excess estrogen, and they have a slew of other benefits, including the ability to potentially lower inflammation.
- Sunflower: Sunflower seeds contain selenium, which helps improve liver function and remove excess estrogen. They also contain Vitamin E, which may help support progesterone production and overall antioxidant protection. There is new research also showing that the combination of selenium and Vitamin E together may be beneficial for improving ovarian reserves and fertility.
What results can users of Funk It expect to see after incorporating seed cycling into their routines?
We recommend seed cycling for three months to get the full benefits. (Fun fact: the egg released this cycle actually started forming 90 to 120 days ago.)
After three months, 90% of our customers reported less hormonal acne, 80% reported reduced PMS symptoms and 75% reported few cramps/period pain.
What are the benefits of food-based vitamins over supplements?
Research suggests that when it comes to vitamins and minerals our bodies know what to do with food and have an easier time breaking down and utilizing those nutrients.
Seed cycling is a 100% food-based approach to menstrual wellness. So you are also getting prebiotic fiber from the seeds, as well as other nutrients that are important for overall wellness. All while getting in touch with your food and your body.
Additionally, when it comes to other artificial supplements it can be tough to know exactly what is in those products. So as a dietitian I always prefer a food-based approach over a pill. With that being said, always listen to your doctor and do your own research. When it comes to supplements really make sure you trust the brand. If it is powders or pills look for third-party lab testing.
Where can our readers find you?
Start seed cycling with us at funkitwellness.com. Join the Funk It community on IG @funk.it.wellness and on TikTok at @funkitwellness or you can reach out directly to me at email@example.com.