I wanted to shared the list of progesterone rich foods that can help increase progesterone levels naturally to have a healthy pregnancy. Progesterone is a very important hormone that plays a crucial part in many functions including fertility, bone health and mental health. Low progesterone can cause lot of problems ranging from infertility, weight gain, mood swings to fluid retention and sagging and dull skin.
To increase progesterone naturally, first we have to change the habits that first lead to low progesterone which includes not managing stress, bad eating habits and using loads of chemicals based cleaners. The second step is to include foods that create an ideal environment for our body to increase the progesterone levels naturally.
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a female sex hormone that is produced mainly in the ovaries following ovulation each month. It plays a huge part in regulating the menstrual cycle and and its main job is to get the uterus ready for pregnancy. After ovulation, progesterone levels increases and it helps thicken the lining of our uterus to prepare for the fertilization of the egg. If the egg is not fertilized the progesterone level drops and mensuration begins.
Progesterone is rightly called the pregnancy hormone because it is very essential for a healthy pregnancy. Progesterone reduces maternal immune response which otherwise will prevent pregnancy. It also prevents lactation during pregnancy and it decreases the contraction of uterine muscles. Progesterone levels will slowly increase during pregnancy causing the body to stop producing more eggs along with preparing breasts to produce milk. Progesterone also makes the vaginal lining and cervical mucus thick making them thick and impenetrable to sperm.
Along with aiding in healthy pregnancy it also has other important uses. Progesterone is responsible for proper breast development and it has a protective effect on our breasts. Progesterone also supports the normal development of neurons in the brain and it also has a protective effect. In older women progesterone might be helpful in preventing cardiovascular diseases and also in preventing neuro degenerative conditions like stroke and traumatic brain injury. Optimal levels of progesterone also prevents bone loss.
Signs Of Low Progesterone:
Some of the symptoms of low progesterone in women who are not pregnant are headaches, mood changes that includes anxiety and depression and also irregular menstrual cycle. In pregnant women, low progesterone levels might cause spotting and in worst cases miscarriage.
Usually low levels of progesterone will lead to high levels of estrogen resulting in estrogen dominance. This can result in heavy menstrual bleeding, mood swings, bloating, sagging scene thyroid issues, weight gain, puffiness, water retention, enlarged breasts, painful periods, depression and trouble falling asleep.
What Causes Low Progesterone Levels?
Stress, poor nutrition, endometriosis, consuming human birth control pills on a regular basis that contain synthetic progestins, poor liver function which is caused due to high fat processed diet, exposure to environmental xenoestrogens that are found in many of the cleaning products that we use daily in our home, eating non organic food that contains high amount of pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones and antibiotics and and taking certain drugs that can lower progesterone levels.
Tips To Increase Progesterone Levels
Stress is one of the leading cause of lowering progesterone. Trying to reduce stress by taking time to do activities that you love like reading meditation walking spending time with loved ones, etc
2. Eat Healthy Organic Foods:
Nowadays most of the food we eat are sprayed with pesticides. Try your best to get organic foods but if you can’t source organic foods, try to wash the produce well very before using. I like to add vinegar and lemon juice while washing the vegetables.
3. Stop Taking Drugs That Lower Progesterone Levels:
Many of us take drugs without even realizing their side effects. If you’re suffering from low progesterone levels, check leather any of the medication that you are taking lowers progesterone levels. If you’re on but control pills check whether it has got synthetic progestins.
4. Use Natural House Cleaners
We get loads of chemical place house cleaners in the markets but they do more harm than good. Instead of buying chemical based house cleaners, try to make your own cleaners at home. All we have to do is boil some lemon peel in water strain and add peppermint essential oil.
5. Consume Foods That Increase Progesterone Levels
A good diet is very critical to increase progesterone level. Try to consume foods that are high in vitamins minerals and nutrients and try to avoid processed foods that are rich in trans fats, sugar and preservatives that mess with our hormones. The more we tend to move away from our traditional diet, the more health problems we will encounter.
Foods That Help Increase Progesterone Levels:
All these following foods will create the ideal environment in our body to boost progesterone levels. If your progesterone levels are very low, try including the following foods on a regular basis.
Zinc is a very important mineral that many of us are deficient in. Zinc is very essential for proper functioning of the pituitary gland which releases the follicle stimulating hormone which encourages ovulation. A poor functioning pituitary gland won’t produce enough hormones to ensure healthy ovulation and without healthy ovulation our body will produce less progesterone than that is normal. Some of the rich sources of zinc are shellfish, red meat, pumpkin seeds, beef and lamb.
2. Vitamin B6
Estrogen dominance can lead to vitamin B6 depletion as it is involved in estrogen metabolism. Vitamin B6 has progesterone like effects and has been shown to reduce estrogen while increasing progesterone levels. Try to consume foods that are rich in vitamin B6 like liver, fish, egg yolk, peanuts, walnuts, banana, cauliflower, cabbage, etc
3. Vitamin C
Antioxidant like Vitamin C can help can help boost progesterone production and it also helps rectify luteal phase defect. Luteal phase is the phase in which our body is prepared for the pregnancy. Shorter luteal face will diminish the chances of getting pregnant. All citrus fruits, strawberries, mango, watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, spinach are rich in vitamin C.
Magnesium helps reduce estrogen dominance and helps preserve proper progesterone levels and it also helps reduce stress which can low progesterone levels. Good sources of magnesium are greens, pumpkin seeds, black beans, lentils, legumes and whole grains. Another easy way to get magnesium is by using magnesium oil which is a easy to form of magnesium. It is got by mixing magnesium chloride flakes and water and we can easily do it at home.
5. Good Fats
Good cholesterol is necessary for the synthesis of pregnenolone which in turn makes progesterone. Try to consume good sources of fat in the form of raw seeds, high-fat fruits like avocados, pure unrefined oils, etc. Try not to consume fats that are raises our bad cholesterol like trans fats, refined oils and sugar.
Herbs For Increasing Progesterone Levels
Along with including the above foods regularly in the diet, try to supplement with herbs that helps increase progesterone levels. Some of the important herbs that help in increasing progesterone levels are ashwagandha, astragalus, liquorice also called as mulethi in Hindi, green tea and rhodiola.