5 Nutrients That Improve Your Progesterone Hormone Naturally
For women, progesterone is one of the most important female sex hormones. It’s mainly produced in the corpus luteum of the ovaries, but is also produced in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands and placenta during pregnancy.
Progesterone plays a significant role in supporting healthy ovulation, regulating our mood and menstrual cycle, boosting fertility, developing the fetus while pregnant and even maintaining a healthy pregnancy. So when progesterone levels are low, the body is not in an optimal positon to support a healthy mood or the process of ovulation, menstruation, fertility and pregnancy.
What is the role of progesterone?
Progesterone is essential for different processes in the body that relates to our reproductive health such as:
- Helping to balance out our estrogen levels
- Making our uterine lining sticky for egg implantation
- Protecting the uterine lining
- Has anti-anxiety benefits due to it’s relationship with releaseing GABA – our natural relaxation mood chemical
- Has muscle relaxation effects (which may also be why if you are ovulating you could experience some constipation around ovulation because it’s slowing things down)
- And helping to support healthy conception, gestation and pregnancy
What are the symptoms of low progesterone?
Some common symptoms of low progesterone may include:
- PMS or PMDD
- Estrogen dominance
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Spotting before period
- Cyclical headaches and migraines
- Short luteal phase
- Not ovulating
- Fertility challenges
- Early pregnancy loss
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Anxiety, depression and low mood
- Vaginal dryness
- Fluid retention
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Early onset menopause
Here are 4 nutrients that can help increase your progesterone levels naturally.
1. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 is one of the important water-soluble vitamins to increase progesterone levels. Vitamin B6 has been shown to help improve progesterone levels, and is actually a vitamin which women who are trying to conceive often take. Research has shown that women who have higher levels of vitamin B6 in their blood have reduced miscarriage rates by 50%.
Did you know that Vitamin D is the only vitamin that it actually a hormone? Yep! Vitamin D is another one of the fat-soluble vitamins to increase progesterone because it can improve menstrual regularity. Irregular periods often occur in women with low progesterone because they are not ovulating every month. These women may experience a menstrual cycle every few months, or maybe their cycle is more than 35 total days. Luckily, vitamin D is the only vitamin that acts as a hormone in the body and can help regulate menstrual regularity, increasing ovulation and progesterone levels. Vitamin D is most bioavailable when you get it from sun exposure, but certain animal products like salmon, tuna, cod liver oil, and milk are great sources of vitamin D, particulary vitamin D3.
Zinc has an impact on a number of different areas of your body which are essential in the production of progesterone, including the ovaries and your pituitary gland. Zinc plays a role in regulating progesterone levels by interacting with the pituitary gland to trigger the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Zinc increases the production of FSH which in turn causes ovulation and leads to the production of progesterone. This keeps ovulation regular, ensuring that the corpus luteum forms and produces progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
4. Protein & Amino Acids
Protein is a prime nutrient that can help with hormone balance, yet most women don't hit their body's protein needs daily. Eating protein provides your body with amino acids that are used to produce specific hormones, like estrogen, progesterone, insulin, and thyroid hormone. For adult women, we need at least 60 grams of protein daily so we can meet our amino acid requirements. We have a total of 21 amino acids, and 9 of them are essential amino acids. The body is incapable of producing essential amino acids, so we need to get them from our diet.
Plant-based proteins like beans, quinoa, and nuts contain amino acids but not complete amino acids. For this reason you'll need to eat a variety of these food to meet your needs. Hemp is the only plant-based protein with complete amino acids. Eggs, grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish provides the highest sources of protein and complete amino acids.
5. Herbs & Supplements
If you're struggling with low progesterone, certain herbs and supplements can also help rebalance your hormones. My Fertility Support supplements are specifically formulated with nutrients and herbs to help improve your progesterone hormone levels. While you can get all the nutrients you need from a whole food diet, you may need a boost when seeking to balance your progesterone levels naturally. This is especially true for you is you're only eating 1 to 2 meals a day or skipping meals. Because there is no way you're receiving all of the nutrients your body needs.
There are several vitamins, minerals and nutrients that may help increase your progesterone levels. While we chatted through lots of different options, remember that every body is unique and it’s about determining what works best for your body.
Remember: simple shifts build to make a big impact over time! Healthy progesterone levels are possible for you.
Love and health,