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Welcome to The Quality Makers, an interview series highlighting pioneers in the direct-to-consumer space. Join us as we get an inside look at the world of digital shopping through the eyes of the individuals shaping it…
“I think you should do seed cycling,” were the famous last words from my naturopathic doctor, when I told her my period was a mess and my hormonal acne was making me want to sit shiva for my former self. “I can’t do that,” I told her. “Grinding seeds? Too manual!!”
For the unfamiliar, seed cycling is a practice that calls for eating certain seeds like flax, pumpkin or sesame during specific parts of the menstrual cycle — which sounded like a lot more housekeeping than I wanted to take on. But after digging my head in the sand of hormonal hubris for far too long, I came across beeya, the brand that takes seed cycling to the next level. And by next level, I mean it actually makes the process of cycle-syncing easy to do. (The packaging ain't too shabby either.)
Founders Yasmin Nouri and Kaya Purohit, who are no strangers to the hormonal hindrances women face on the daily, leveraged their own health journeys to transform the ever-so-daunting task of seed cycling into a highly accessible product for anyone with a menstrual cycle. The goal: give women simple, natural, and whole ingredients that can create a better foundation for hormonal balance while educating the masses about how their bodies work during their periods.
I’m tempted to dive into great detail about what seed cycling is and why it’s so great—especially since I’m someone who has benefited from it—but I’ll let the experts speak for themselves. I was lucky enough to sit down with Kaya and Yasmin to discuss the seeds of change they’ve planted (see what I did there), and understand how they hope to shift the world of hormones.
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TQE: beeya is… sorry in advance for this… a bee-rilliant idea. What was the catalyst for you two joining forces and literally planting the seeds of change for cycles everywhere?
YN: In 2020, I had just gotten off birth control and was dealing with some major side effects like hormonal acne, really bad cramps, breast tenderness, and just really bad PMS. My doctor recommended that I try seed cycling, which I had never heard of and thought was way too complicated to do, so I ignored the advice.
Flash forward to a bit later, Kaya (my sister-in-law and co-founder) recommended it again because she was learning about it in her master’s program. I did it, and it changed my life. My cramps were gone, breast tenderness gone, pretty much all symptoms of PMS gone! Kaya and I thought it would be awesome if we made this life-changing practice easily accessible for women because it can seem cumbersome, but when you actually do it, it’s miraculous. Then Beeya was born!
KP: As Yasmin mentioned, I learned about seed cycling in one of my courses in grad school. We had a guest lecturer talking about women’s hormones and she mentioned that she had women with irregular periods and PMS follow seed cycling for a few months. The result? 90% of them saw their symptoms and irregularities disappear. I thought at that moment: if she’s telling the truth, this product needs to be made available STAT. Using the power of real, whole foods to solve hormonal imbalances is a dream come true. No side effects, no funky ingredients, just the power of food!
TQE: Can you give us a TL;DR about the nature of seed cycling and its benefits?
KP: Seed cycling uses the medicine that nature gave us to bring back balance. Women’s hormones cycle through a roughly 28-day period, unlike men who experience the same fluctuations daily. Seed cycling uses specific nutrients at specific times of one’s cycle to support sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are out of balance, you see symptoms like bloating, cravings, hormonal acne, skipped periods, irregular periods, breast tenderness, mood changes, insomnia, and more. Maintaining the balance and production of these hormones requires specific nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, omega-3’s, protein, and more. These tiny-but-mighty seeds are packed with all of these beneficial nutrients!
All you have to do is rotate four types of seeds throughout the month.
The first two weeks of your cycle: Take two tablespoons of ground flaxseed and pumpkin seeds daily.
The last two weeks of your cycle: Take two tablespoons of ground sesame and sunflower seeds daily.
At beeya, we’ve also added other beneficial ingredients to make the seed cycling process even better—hemp seeds for protein and chamomile for mood and gut-soothing benefits.
TQE: In layman's terms, can you explain the difference between the luteal and follicular phase? How do different seeds support each one??
KP: The first half of a woman’s cycle includes the menstrual phase (when you bleed) and the follicular phase (when your hormones start to climb back up). The second half of the cycle includes the ovulatory phase and the luteal phase (when symptoms of PMS appear).
In the first half of our cycle, we see a climb in estrogen, which is the hormone that makes us feel outgoing, glowy, social – like the *it girl* we are! For estrogen support, you need lignans, omega-3’s, magnesium, and fiber. After we ovulate, we typically see a climb in progesterone, which needs micronutrients like vitamin E, zinc, and omega 3’s.
Both sets of seeds contain nutrients to support the production of these hormones as well as the balance between them. Imbalances in these hormones—for example, too much estrogen in relation to progesterone—are what cause things like PMS.
TQE: Why is it so important for women to be so in tune with their monthly cycles?
KP: Keeping track of your cycle is one of the most important things a woman can do to support her health. Menstruation is now considered a 5th vital sign for health (in addition to body temperature, pulse, respiration rate and blood pressure), so understanding your menstrual health can give you insight into your total body health. Not only is understanding your cycle important for fertility awareness, but it can explain a lot of different symptoms.
For example, irregular periods or amenorrhea (no period) can be a sign that there’s a deeper issue like PCOS. PMS or PMDD symptoms before your period can help you understand if you’re struggling with a hormonal imbalance. You can also use the fluctuations you feel to your advantage. I know that toward the end of my luteal phase I feel much more introverted, so I try to schedule more alone time. I know that during my ovulatory phase I feel more social, so I try to schedule group outings and dates with my husband. Your cycle can give you so much information that you can use to your advantage!
TQE: What are some daily factors that throw our hormones out of balance and into a state of absolute chaos?
KP: 90% of chronic dis-ease and ailment is caused by our exposome, or what we’re exposed to over the course of our lifetime. This is good news! This means that everything we do—how we move, eat, sleep, and relate to others— can create healthy and balanced hormones. On the flipside, it means that our exposures can also cause imbalance.
Unfortunately, we are living in a world where we’re exposed to a lot of toxins, stress, and ultra-processed food, which can wreak havoc on our hormones. Stress in particular is inevitable, but unmanaged daily stress can get in the way of sleep, healthy food choices, and our joy. One of the first things we recommend at beeya is to find a daily stress management practice.
What is something that brings you joy? Can you make time for it daily? Making meals with friends, journaling, breathwork, meditation, walks. Whatever it is, do it everyday.
The second is managing blood sugar. A blood sugar roller coaster is no good for our hormones. What we see often is women who skip breakfast and only have black coffee, maybe eat something small for lunch, skip out on protein and healthy fats, feel major dips in energy, and just overall feel like crap. Eating meals with the right amount of protein, fats, and healthy carbs can save someone from feeling awful all the time. That’s why we love adding beeya to our food—it has all three (protein, fats, carbs!)
TQE: What makes beeya’s formulations upleveled compared to someone just grinding their own seed mixture?
YN: We believe in using ingredients you can trust. Our blends are triple-screened through third-party testing and are 100% organic. When you’re taking control of your health, you deserve the highest quality ingredients available. To enhance the experience of seed cycling, we freshly grind our seeds, store them in an air-tight storage to prevent oxidation and increase the bioavailability of the nutrients. Your product will never sit on the shelf for long periods of time. We oversee every aspect of our production process and take pride in how we make our products.
Our superfood blends are locally made in Los Angeles and handcrafted in small batches to ensure you receive nothing but the best. As mentioned before, we’ve also added chamomile and hemp seeds to our blends. Hemp seeds are a great source of protein and omega-3s, and chamomile is known for its calming effects, but it also supports gut health.
TQE: Let’s say someone got started on beeya tomorrow. How long should they expect to see results? What should they expect to see?
YN: How soon you’ll see results is dependent on a lot of factors, including how many other lifestyle changes you are making in addition to adding seed cycling to your routine. It’s no overnight miracle, but most women start to see vast improvements after about three months of seed cycling. We’ve seen some women experience benefits within the first month as well.
What we need now are more well-funded studies to show the benefits of these traditional methods, which we’ve seen work so well anecdotally and within our beta trials. We’re hoping to do our own clinical trials soon!
TQE: How does beeya hope to grow over the next year? Five years? 10 years?!
YN: We have two goals: to support women on their healing journey and to provide education. As much as we are a seed cycling company, we are also an educational platform. We want to provide products that can naturally support women’s hormones, and we also want to provide content to help women make the best decisions for their bodies. It’s horrible that so many of us are struggling with hormonal imbalances. The goal is to get 88% of women feeling great rather than 88% of women feeling imbalanced. We want to support women in all stages of life—reproductive years, through pregnancy, postpartum, perimenopause, menopause, and beyond, and we want to do it in a fun and impactful way!
Want to know more about beeya’s integrative approach to women’s health? Discover your newest tool in your menses toolbox here.
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