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11 Progesterone-Boosting Foods That Can Increase The Hormone Naturally

Progesterone is a vital hormone naturally produced by the body for numerous body functions, especially those related to fertility and pregnancy. Though it is regarded as a female hormone, it is needed by males to produce testosterone, a hormone related to man's appearance and sexual development.

In females, progesterone is needed for various purposes such as maintaining the uterus during pregnancy, improving fertility, boosting the immune functions to fight immunologic threats, decreasing the risk of preterm birth and miscarriage and regulating the menstrual cycle. Concerns related to progesterone can even lead to cell tumours and breast cancer. [1]

Progesterone levels in the body can be increased by various methods, however, dietary sources are considered the best natural way. In this article, we will discuss a list of progesterone-boosting foods. Take a look.

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1. Chasteberry

Chasteberry or nirgundi has been used for many fertility, hormonal and reproductive system problems. According to a study, this herbal treatment can effectively treat hormonal imbalance and improve the production of progesterone in females. However, in some studies, the intake of chasteberry by males is controversial as it may decrease the testosterone levels. [2]

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2. Banana

Foods rich in vitamin B6 help in the production of progesterone and keep hormonal levels balanced. Banana is a good source of vitamin B6 and may help increase levels of progesterone hormones by reducing estrogen dominance. It can also help lower the PMS symptoms such as anxiety and mood swings.

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3. Beans

Beans are packed with nutrients like zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. They help preserve the progesterone levels by promoting the breakdown of estrogen byproducts to reduce estrogen levels. The lowering of estrogen automatically increases progesterone levels. This helps combat stress and calm the person.

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4. Flaxseed

Certain foods may help decrease estrogen levels so that progesterone levels can hike up. Though both the hormones are equally needed by the female body, in some cases, excess estrogen can cause weight gain and may increase insulin levels as a result of estrogen dominance. Flaxseed is a rich source of lignan and can help bind excess estrogen. This can increase the production of progesterone in the body. [3]

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5. Seafood

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are very essential for the production of progesterone and keeping hormonal levels balanced. Seafood such as mackerel, salmon and tuna are rich in these nutrients and help increase the progesterone levels naturally. Coldwater fish such as shrimp also helps boost the levels of progesterone in the body.

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6. Cabbage

Cruciferous veggies like cabbage contain phytoestrogens. They are plant-derived estrogen-like compounds mainly in the form of genistein, biochanin, daidzein, glycitein and formononetin. Among these, genistein help stimulate the production of progesterone in the ovaries along with preventing the development of cancer cells, improving sexual functions and helping in healthy reproductive development. [4]

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7. Pine Nuts

A study says that patients who consume more nuts such as pine nuts are at low risk of developing breast cancer related to estrogen-progesterone imbalance, compared to those with the lowest intake. Polyphenols in pine nuts may contribute to increase progesterone levels and decrease the risk of associated cancer types. [5]

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8. Poultry

Poultry such as chicken is rich in vitamin B6 and an essential amino acid called L-Arginine. In female fertility, nitric oxide plays an important role in implantation, production of new blood vessels and overall functioning of the female reproductive system. Arginine helps in the production of nitric oxide to carry out essential fertility and reproductive functions, including the production of progesterone in the body. [6]

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9. Pumpkin Seeds

Vitamin C, arginine, zinc, magnesium and vitamin E are essential nutrients for the production of progesterone. Pumpkin seeds are rich in all the aforementioned nutrients, along with containing phytoestrogens that help in balancing hormonal levels and preventing the risk of breast cancer. [7]

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10. Wheatgerm

Progesterone is vital for preventing irregular menstruation and PMS symptoms. Wheatgerm is packed with zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium and antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin B6 and folic acid. Together, they contribute to increasing the production of progesterone that may help reduce menstrual problems and PMS symptoms such as mood swings. [8]

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11. Black Beans

Black beans contain a high amount of zinc which is important for the production of progesterone. Consumption of black beans helps stimulate Luteinising hormone which is responsible to trigger ovulation. To note, ovaries make progesterone after ovulation to make the uterus ready for conception and implantation after fertilisation.

Story first published: Saturday, January 2, 2021, 15:45 [IST]