12 Healthy Foods That Naturally Boost Your Progesterone

Did you know that you can actually increase your progesterone naturally? Research reveals natural foods that you can use for this purpose. Find out here.

By Dagmar Thomson
12 Healthy Foods That Naturally Boost Your Progesterone

12 Healthy Foods That Naturally Boost Your Progesterone

Your body is a very important vessel that requires care. There are ways that you can take care of it like nourishing it to ensure that you are healthy. You should know that the body also has its own way of looking after itself and that is through hormones. The body secretes hormones that ensure you are healthy and can go about your business. One such hormone that is extremely important for women is progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands and the ovaries. It plays a very important role in the reproductive system of women. Progesterone is used for fertility, menstrual cycle, maintaining pregnancy, and proper development of the fetus among others. Low progesterone levels are not good for the body. It can affect the reproductive health of a woman and cause issues like infertility, miscarriages, and depression among others. It is therefore important to ensure that your progesterone levels are normal or high especially if you want to become pregnant. If your progesterone levels are low then you should know there are ways in which you can boost them. You can boost progesterone levels using pills, food, and herbs. The best method to boost your progesterone levels naturally is by consuming healthy foods. However, it is important to understand first the benefits of progesterone in your body.

Benefits of Progesterone

Progesterone not only takes care of the reproductive system but it also nourishes, strengthens, protects, and soothes the body. Here are some benefits of progesterone that you should be aware of: • Progesterone is responsible for the regulation of the menstrual cycle. It also reduces the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. • Progesterone maintains pregnancy by ensuring that the embryo and fetus survive. • Progesterone is useful in getting rid of headaches and migraines. • Progesterone is a natural antidepressant that is responsible for relieving anxiety and it improves the mood. It is also known to get rid of postpartum depression that affects women after childbirth because of the decrease in progesterone levels. • Progesterone is responsible for reducing fluid retention and weight gain that is caused by high estrogen levels. • Progesterone helps in building bones and it protects against osteoporosis. • Progesterone provides a calming effect that helps in sleeping soundly. • Progesterone enhances thyroid function by helping the thyroid hormones to be utilized by the cells in the body. • Progesterone protects against breast cancer and endometrial cancer. • Progesterone aids in healing the brain after a brain injury by reducing the swelling and increasing mental awareness. • Progesterone helps to maintain sex drive. • Progesterone helps to regulate copper and zinc levels in the body. • Progesterone protects and maintains the lining of the uterus.

Symptoms and Causes of Low Progesterone

Low progesterone levels in the body can be caused by various factors like stress, age, exercise, and nutrition. However, the main cause of low progesterone is the increase of estrogen in the body. Estrogen levels can be increased by consuming food that can boost its increase naturally. If you want to know if you have low progesterone levels, here are some of the symptoms you can be on the lookout for: • Increase in weight • Infertility or miscarriages • Mood swings • Fatigue • Reduced thyroid function • Anxiety, stress, and depression • Impaired memory and foggy brain • Water retention • Insomnia or sleep disorders • Menopause • Hair that is thinning • Endometriosis which is the formation of endometrium in other places other than the uterus • A Polycystic ovarian syndrome where cysts form in the ovaries and cause them to enlarge

Foods That Increase Progesterone Naturally

Healthy food is the best and natural way to increase progesterone in the body whether you are pregnant or not. You should know that progesterone cannot be found in just any food. However, the elements found in some food can help to boost progesterone levels. Here are some of the foods that you can consume to increase progesterone naturally.

1. Foods Rich in Vitamin C

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Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It can be found in the ovaries in high amounts and it is important for regulation and production of hormones. Before ovulation, Vitamin C is absorbed in large amounts in the ovaries. This allows it to stimulate the release of progesterone. It also helps to process and get rid of the excess progesterone. A study was done in pregnant women and it showed that the progesterone levels of the women who consumed Vitamin C increased than those who did not. The minimum amount of Vitamin C that you can consume in a day is 85 milligrams and the recommended amount in a day is 250 to 500 milligrams. It is advised against taking more than 1000 milligrams in a day because Vitamin C can make your body become acidic. This is bad especially if you want to become pregnant because your cervical fluid will be acidic and it will affect the sperms. Vitamin C is water-soluble and activities like cooking or processing can reduce its amount. Therefore, it is recommended to consume vegetables and fruits rich in Vitamin C while they are raw to increase progesterone. Foods high in Vitamin C are oranges, broccoli, kiwi, dark green leafy vegetables especially kale, yellow peppers, berries, and lemons.

2. Foods Rich in Vitamin B6

You can consume this type of food to increase progesterone naturally. Vitamin B6 is important for forming corpus luteum, which is found in the ovaries and it aids in the production of progesterone. Vitamin B6 has another important role in ensuring that the liver breaks down estrogen. Research has shown that pregnant women who consumed foods rich in Vitamin B6 had low chances of miscarriages. The minimum amount of Vitamin B6 you should consume in a day is 1.9 milligrams and the recommended daily intake is 10 milligrams. You should never take more than 100 milligrams in a day because your nerves can be damaged. Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble. Therefore, do your best to consume the food in its natural state with very few processing if possible to increase progesterone. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 are bananas, potatoes, spinach, walnuts, organic poultry, beans, sunflower seeds, turkey, pistachio nuts, tuna, and prunes.

3. Foods Rich in Vitamin E

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Studies have shown that women who consumed food rich in Vitamin E had an increase in their progesterone levels. Vitamin E is known as the progesterone-sparing agent. This means that the vitamin prevents estrogen from affecting progesterone. Some of the negative effects that are caused by estrogen but Vitamin E reduces are like inflammation, leaky capillaries, and increased blood clotting. Vitamin E also enhances luteal blood flow, which improves the quality of an egg and is good for a woman who wants to get pregnant. The recommended daily intake for Vitamin E is 100 to 130 milligrams and you should not exceed 1000 milligrams in a day. Foods that are high in Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, shrimp, pumpkin seeds, trout, and olive oil.

4. Foods Rich in Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is found in large amounts in the body. However, research has shown that about 75% of people have magnesium deficiency. Magnesium not only enhances the absorption of calcium, but it also regulates the pituitary gland. The gland is responsible for the production of hormones like follicular stimulating, thyroid stimulating, and luteinizing, which regulate the production of progesterone. Magnesium is also important for the breakdown of estrogen. Therefore, consuming foods rich in this mineral will increase progesterone levels naturally. The recommended daily intake for magnesium is 320 milligrams but when you are pregnant, you should take 450 milligrams in a day. Foods that are rich in magnesium are dark leafy greens like spinach, squash seeds, pumpkin seeds, halibut, black beans, brown rice, fish like mackerel, and dark chocolate.

5. Foods Rich in Zinc

Foods rich in zinc will help to increase progesterone levels. Zinc can be found in the ovaries and the pituitary glands. It is responsible for the release of follicular stimulating hormones that cause ovulation and in the process the ovaries release progesterone. Zinc is widely studied in terms of being responsible for fertility in both women and men. Zinc deficiency has been linked to infertility and miscarriages. Zinc is also useful in the body for utilizing the available progesterone. It is recommended to take 15 to 25 milligrams in a day and 30 milligrams for people who are vegetarians. You should not take more than 40 milligrams in a day because it will decrease your immunity. Foods that are rich in zinc are shellfish, oysters, lean red meat, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, squash seeds, cashews, dark chocolate, chickpeas, and veal liver.

6. Foods Rich in L-Arginine

Research has shown that foods rich in L-Arginine can increase progesterone naturally when they are consumed. L-Arginine is an amino acid that makes nitric acid in the body. The nitric acid makes blood vessels and arteries to relax and widen, which causes blood flow to increase in the body like in the corpus luteum. Blood flow in the corpus luteum will enhance the release of progesterone in the body. The increased blood flow also improves the egg quality, which is important for women who want to get pregnant. The amino acid also reduces the estrogen level in the body. It is recommended to take 3 to 6 grams of the amino acid in a day and you should not exceed 60 grams in a day. Foods rich in L-Arginine are chicken, pumpkin seeds, turkey, chickpeas, and peanuts.

7. Foods Rich in Vitamin B’s

Foods that are rich in vitamin B’s like B12 and folate are known to increase progesterone levels naturally. These vitamin B’s are cofactors for enzymes that are involved in breaking down estrogen in the liver. This in turn causes progesterone levels to go up. The vitamin B’s are also important for DNA synthesis, which can prevent cancer. Foods that are rich in the vitamin B’s are spinach, kale, red meat, eggs, fish, wild rice, avocados, green vegetables, Brussels sprouts, poultry, liver, almonds, legumes, and dried beans.

8. Foods Rich in Indole-3-Carbinol

Indole-3-Carbinol is a compound that occurs naturally and is found in cruciferous vegetables. It is responsible for the breakdown of estrogen to prevent estrogen from building up. This ensures that the progesterone levels are not affected by estrogen and they tend to increase. It is advisable for people who have estrogen dominance to consume foods rich in the compound. It is not yet known how much one should consume in a day. Foods rich in the compound are broccoli, cabbage, broccoli sprouts, and Brussels sprouts.

9. Foods Rich in Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is required in many parts of the body like the brain and hormonal system. It has anti-inflammatory properties that are required by the ovaries. Omega 3 helps to increase progesterone by regulating the nervous system, brain, and steroid hormones that inhibit it. It also takes fat that is toxic to the liver to be processed. It helps to fight breast cancer cells by enhancing detoxification of estrogen. Foods rich in omega 3 are dark fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, egg yolk, avocados, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.

10. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is now regarded as food because it is being used to garnish and cook food. It is used to treat health issues like insulin resistance, cholesterol issues, and weight loss. The fatty acids found in coconut oil do not go to the blood but are taken to the liver to be converted into energy, which makes it healthy oil. Coconut oil can increase progesterone by changing pregnenolone to make progesterone. It is also responsible for taking care of the immune and hormonal system. It is recommended to take a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a day.

11. Chasteberry or Vitex

There are herbs that can be used to increase progesterone naturally in the body. Chasteberry, which is also known as Vitex is one of those herbs. It is believed that it can help to reduce sexual desire. The herbs can stimulate the production of progesterone. The herbs can also reduce prolactin levels, which cause menstrual cycles to be irregular. It is believed by the herbalists that the herbs are a natural source of progesterone and they are recommended to consume as a pill or extract. However, if you are pregnant, taking hormonal birth control, or if you are on medication to help you get pregnant, you should not consume the herbs.

12. Foods Rich in Fiber

Research has shown that the amount of time it takes your body to metabolize food, determines the amount of estrogen that is absorbed from the food. If your metabolism is normal, then any excess estrogen will be removed from the body together with the stool. However, if the stool stays in the bowel for a long time, then the excess estrogen will be absorbed into the body and it will affect progesterone level. It is therefore recommended that you consume foods that are rich in fiber. Fiber helps to quicken metabolism by providing water in the bowel that enhances quick passing of stool in the bowel. This prevents excess estrogen from being absorbed, which increases progesterone levels. Fiber also helps to reduce the risk of getting cancer.

Other Ways to Increase Progesterone Naturally

1. Keep Your Liver Healthy

The main work of the liver is to remove excess toxic chemicals in the body like estrogen. If the liver is overworked and is kept in bad condition, then it will not work properly. This will increase the level of toxins like estrogen. This will cause you to have more estrogen in your body than progesterone. In order to increase progesterone, keep the liver healthy by eating foods high in sulfur like egg yolks, onions, and garlic.

2. Avoid Over Exercising to Increase Progesterone

Research has shown that over-exercising can cause cortisol levels to become unbalanced in the body, which then causes progesterone to decrease. Pushing yourself beyond the limit causes cortisol to be produced at high levels. This causes the body to be tired and look for help by taking progesterone and changing it to cortisol. This leads to decrease in progesterone in the body. Therefore, do moderate exercise, which will not affect the progesterone levels but help to increase it instead.

3. Avoid Stress

Having positive thoughts in mind has been shown to increase progesterone naturally. When you are stressed, a signal is sent to the adrenal glands, which convert progesterone to cortisol. Therefore, when you are relaxed and not stressed, the adrenal glands get a signal to continue working as normal and produce more progesterone.

4. Avoid Caffeine to Increase Progesterone Naturally

Research shows that caffeine can increase the level of estrogen, which then reduces progesterone. Therefore, if you want to boost your progesterone avoid drinks with caffeine like coffee or diet coke. Herbal tea is also not good since herbs like lavender, blue cohosh, licorice, and hops can increase estrogen and decrease progesterone. Whether you are trying to get pregnant or you just want to stay healthy, you should know that progesterone will help you to achieve this. You also have to be careful about what you consume and how you carry on with your daily activities. This will determine if your progesterone levels will be reduced or if it will have the chance to increase naturally. Therefore, consume healthy foods and you will have no fear of low progesterone levels.