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Progesterone. The hormone for better menstrual health, breast development, fertility, mood, sleep, metabolism, weight loss and bone health.


 

Progesterone is fundamental to the female reproductive system. This hormone takes center stage during the second half of your menstrual rhythm. But beyond its role in all things menstrual health, breast development, and fertility, progesterone also influences mood, sleep, metabolism and bone health. It's most often considered a calming hormone!

 

Progesterone’s role in pregnancy.

 

This powerhouse hormone helps prepare the uterus for a fertilized egg and supports early stages of pregnancy. If conception doesn't occur, progesterone levels drop, triggering the uterine lining to shed. And once again, your cycle starts all over.

 


Signs of progesterone imbalance.

 

Wondering if your progesterone is low? It's more common than you may think, and detecting signs is crucial for addressing potential health issues.


Symptoms can include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles: Changes in the length or intensity of periods.

  • Mood swings: Increased irritability, anxiety or depression.

  • Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling or staying asleep.

  • Breast tenderness: Increased sensitivity and discomfort.

  • Weight gain: Particularly around the abdomen.

If these sound familiar, consider assessing your progesterone levels with your healthcare provider. It typically involves a blood test during the luteal phase (around seven days before your expected period).



How nutrition impacts progesterone levels.


Inevitably, maintaining a balanced diet can positively impact hormone production—including progesterone.

If your levels are low, aim to prioritize the following foods:

 

  • Seed cycling: The nutrients in sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are targeted to support healthy progesterone levels.

  • Healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, and nuts provide essential fatty acids necessary for hormone synthesis.

  • Protein: Sources like lean meat, fish, and legumes for amino acids are crucial for overall hormone production.

  • Zinc-rich foods: Pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and lentils contain zinc, which are associated with progesterone production.

  • Vitamin B6: Bananas, potatoes, and poultry are all sources of vitamin B6 which is known to support hormone balance, especially progesterone.


Meal examples:

 

Breakfast: Greek yogurt parfait with mixed berries, seeds, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of raw honey.

 

Lunch: Grilled chicken (or lentil) salad with spinach, roasted chickpeas, cucumber, roasted butternut squash, and pumpkin seeds. Dress with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Have 1-2 brown rice cakes with mashed avocado and hemp seeds on the side.

 

Snack: Hard-boiled egg(s) + a banana sprinkled with cinnamon and chia seeds.

 

Dinner: Baked wild-caught salmon + steamed broccoli—topped with salt and nutritional yeast + roasted purple sweet potato drizzled with tahini.

 

It’s important to note that no foods contain progesterone itself, but certain nutrients and foods can support the body’s natural production of this hormone.




Looking beyond diet.



Along with proper nutrition, consider tweaking your habits to support healthy progesterone levels. Here are a few ways to get started:

 

  • Regular exercise: A moderate, consistent exercise routine is wonderful for healthy hormones (and progesterone, in particular). Pilates, strength training, and walking are a few of our favorites.

  • Stress management: It’s no secret that chronic stress can negatively impact hormones. Incorporate meditation, deep breathing and hormone-supportive therapies like acupuncture or acupressure. Hobbies that bring joy and relaxation count too!

  • Adequate sleep: Prioritize good sleep hygiene. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, as sleep plays a crucial role in hormonal regulation.

  • Sunlight exposure: Spend time outdoors to ensure exposure to natural sunlight, particularly in the morning. Sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythms, which can positively influence hormonal balance.

  • Herbal support: Some herbs, such as chasteberry (Vitex), have been traditionally used to support hormonal balance, including progesterone levels. Consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating herbal supplements.

  • Limit caffeine: Consider swapping your daily coffee cups for a ½-caff option, matcha, or a caffeine alternative.




Do you need help losing weight or improving your eating habits?

I will be very happy if you contact me.


Tania L.

EasyFit Rehab Instructor

IBBFA Barre Instructor Level 1,2,3,PrePostNatal

Barre Eclipse Instructor

ISSA Certified Nutritionist

ISSA Certified Personal Trainer.


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