Increase Progesterone Naturally with Food

Perimenopause, Progesterone

The Ultimate Guide to Thriving in the Menopause

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Progesterone is the first hormone to fall in perimenopause and decreases in levels can lead to a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms.  But thankfully, food is medicine, and some nutrients are essential for progesterone production.  In this blog, I will share those nutrients with you and how to increase progesterone naturally with food.



Low Progesterone


This blog is the second in a series I am creating on low progesterone.  The first of which you can read here.


To recap, progesterone is the sister hormone to oestrogen and is essential for a regular menstrual cycle, conception and a healthy pregnancy.  It is also involved in many other functions including bone formation and thyroid function.


Progesterone is the first hormone to fall in perimenopause which can happen any time from around 35 years of age.  Symptoms that are common in these early stages of perimenopause include menstrual cycle changes, sleep disturbances, anxiety and hormonal headaches.


Foods to increase progesterone


We can use food to increase progesterone levels by including the following nutrients in our diet:


Vitamin B6


This vitamin increases progesterone levels, as well as decreases oestrogen dominance which we naturally see when we don’t have adequate levels of progesterone to balance out oestrogen.  In addition to that, vitamin B6 helps with changes in mood, anxiety, hormonal headaches & migraines and sleep issues which might result from low progesterone.


Foods rich in B6: Beef (especially beef liver), sunflower seeds, Sockeye salmon, tuna, eggs, dark leafy greens, chicken, turkey, pinto beans, broccoli, cabbage and walnuts.




Zinc is another important nutrient for the production of progesterone, and ovary health generally.  With low progesterone, we naturally end up in an oestrogen-dominant state where we can see symptoms like irregular periods, period pain, and PMS symptoms.  Zinc can help with all these symptoms.


Foods rich in Zinc: Beef, shellfish particularly oysters, pumpkin seeds, legumes like chickpeas and lentils, cocoa, eggs, almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds


Vitamin C


We all know how important vitamin c is for a healthy immune system, but did you know it also helps with progesterone production?  Studies have found vitamin C supplementation was associated with higher progesterone levels in perimenopausal women.

Foods rich in vitamin C: Citrus fruits, berries – all your berries, kiwi fruit, Acerola Cherries, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and kale


Healthy fats


Our sex hormones, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are made from cholesterol, so we need healthy fats for all hormone production.


Foods to include: fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and anchovies, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and nuts including nut butters and seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, flax, chia and hemp seeds




As I alluded to earlier, when we have low levels of progesterone we naturally end up in an oestrogen-dominant state, and we can help bring down oestrogen levels, whilst increasing progesterone by eating fibre to support the gut, liver and bowel.  We need to be eating both soluble and insoluble fibre.


Soluble fibre: Cruciferous vegetables, sweet potato, flaxseeds whole grains, beans, and legumes

Insoluble fibre: Flaxseeds, apples, pears, asparagus, leeks and mushrooms, berries, avocado




Magnesium is a key mineral for all hormone regulation.  It regulates the pituitary gland which instructs the organ glands like the thyroid, the adrenals, and the ovaries to produce hormones.  And in relation to progesterone, the pituitary gland produces follicle-stimulating hormones, luteinizing hormone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone — all of which play a role in progesterone levels.


Foods rich in magnesium: dark chocolate, avocados, legumes, spinach, sunflower seeds, black beans, mackerel and almonds


Vitamin E


Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant that protects the body against inflammation and stress and in this way, it is thought to act like progesterone.  But in addition to that Vitamin E, helps to clear excess oestrogen, lowering that dominant state.  It also supports the health of the corpus leutum in the ovary, which activates progesterone release.


Foods rich in Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, leafy greens, red peppers, salmon, trout, avocado, and wheat germ


Progesterone and Supplements


So if you have read this and found yourself wondering about supplements – I will be covering that in the next blog/video in this series.  Subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep up to date.


But in regards to supplements, I am always first and foremost a fan of eating a nutrient-rich diet.  However, Magnesium – yes, I’m all for supplementation as most of us are deficient and I recommend magnesium glycinate.


The rest, however, I wouldn’t recommend supplements without first hearing a client’s case history and running a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) which shows me a client’s mineral status.  If you would like to know more about HTMA, book a discovery call and we can chat to see if this is the best option for you.