Do you ever start your period and think “well, that explains a lot”. Many of you females out there will connect to this feeling. Hormones play a vital role in a human body; especially in females. From conception till old age, hormones have a specific role. In females progesterone is one such important hormone that is necessary at each stage of life. Progesterone is a key hormone in fertility, conception, foetal growth, delivery, menstruation, menopause and also for overall female health. in this article we would study about a progesterone rich diet plan India. How to increase progesterone? and Progesterone rich foods in India.
All About Progesterone Hormone
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a hormone produced in ovaries (in females), testes (in males) and a very small amount in adrenal cortex. It is also secreted through placenta in the later stages of pregnancy. Progesterone is secreted post ovulation in females.
In males, progesterone helps to maintain the sperm health. In Females, It helps in thickening of the uterus lining to protect the fertilized egg. If fertilization doesn’t happen the progesterone will decline gradually. This is when females menstruate and get rid of the unfertilized egg and excess uterus lining. This process goes on every month. If the egg fertilizes then progesterone levels help to maintain the thick uterine lining to protect the fertilized egg.
Functions Of Progesterone
- Keeps bones healthy and prevents osteoporosis.
- Regulate blood sugar and insulin level.
- Protect against endometrial as well as prostate cancer.
- Controls thyroid.
- Maintains healthy hair, skin and nails.
- It also, Maintains memory and cognition.
- Improves bladder function and regulates fluid balances.
Imbalance in progesterone levels leads to:
- Irregular menses,
- Infertility, as well as
- Spotting during pregnancy.
Causes of Progesterone Imbalance?
- Nutrient deficiencies, as well as
- Poor edible fat quality.
- Lack of ovulation,
- High oestrogen levels, as well as
- High prolactin.
- Over-exercising (high intensity), and
Symptoms of Progesterone Imbalance?
- Heavy menstrual flow,
- Painful and irregular periods,
- Breast Tenderness,
- Ovarian Cysts, as well as
- Cyclical headaches,
- No sound sleep, as well as
Progesterone rich Foods in India
Here is a list of progesterone rich foods that naturally boost progesterone’s production and utilization in the body.
- Good quality fats: Cholesterol is necessary to generate progesterone. The quality of fats ingested is very important. Hence it is important to consume omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Include fatty fishes, coconut oil, flaxeeds, walnuts, sesame seeds as well as nuts.
- Bananas: Banana is rich in magnesium. Magnesium is involved in progesterone production. Magnesium regulates the pituitary gland which in turn manages the production of progesterone.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in selenium, hence they increase progesterone levels in the body.
- Okra (Ladies’ Finger): Okra or ladies finger is a full of magnesium and zinc. These micronutrients help to balance the progesterone in the body. Magnesium boosts ovulation after which progesterone is produced.
- Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc. Zinc helps in utilization of progesterone. In males it helps in sperm motility and health.
- Almonds: Almonds are rich source of vitamin E. Vitamin is essential to protect progesterone against the toxic effects of excess oestrogen.
- Herbs: Certain herbs like chasteberry, evening primrose oil, ashwagandha, schisandra, as well as rhodiola help in progesterone production.
Nutrients Required for Progesterone in the Body:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is natural source of progesterone. Citrus fruits, vegetables like bell peppers as well as broccoli are high in vitamin C.
- Vitamin B: Vitamin B is other such nutrient that is natural source of progesterone. Potatoes, green leafy vegetables, lean meat, beans and nuts are rich in vitamin B.
- Zinc: Zinc is essential mineral to boost fertility. Zinc helps in follicle stimulating hormone which promotes ovulation. Include food like whole grains, dairy products, dark chocolate and legumes, shellfish, red meat.
- Magnesium: Magnesium boosts progesterone in the body. Include whole grain cereals, beans, fish, spinach and nuts in your daily rotuine.
- L-Arginine: L arginine is amino acid essential for making nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels which help to increase blood flow in the body. Proper blood circulation to ovaries and adrenal cortex ensures enough progesterone production.
How to Increase Progesterone Naturally?
Along with diet there are various other factors that affect the hormone levels. An overall lifestyle change plays a vital role in maintaining the hormone levels. Here are a few tip on how to increase progesterone naturally.
- Stress management: Chronic stress leads to production of cortisol and adrenaline. These causes a dip in progesterone levels. Engage in any stress relieving activity or take up a hobby or de-stress yourself by practicing breathing exercises and meditation.
- Get your body moving: Exercise naturally improves progesterone levels. Cardio workouts like walking, jogging, swimming, yoga or pilates boosts progesterone production. High intensity workouts might lead to decrease in progesterone. Thus, take a proper guidance from a certified trainer and therapist.
- Good night sleep: Following body’s circadian rhythm and sleeping on time regulates progesterone. Minimum of 8 hours of sleep in mandatory to maintain good levels of progesterone.
- Select foods wisely: Avoid herbs or foods that might increase oestrogen production. High oestrogen imbalances progesterone levels. Try and consume natural organic foods that are free from any pesticides.
- Medication with prescription only: Always consult a doctor before consuming any medicines. Steroid abuse may lead to progesterone imbalance. Do not just pop in any supplement without requirement.
Progesterone Rich Diet Plan India
Here is a sample of Progesterone Rich Diet Plan India. Following this diet for a month will bring in considerable changes in your progesterone levels.
Empty stomach: Soaked nuts (soaked overnight: 2 almonds, 2 walnut halves, pumpkin seeds, black resins, chia seeds)
Breakfast: 2 small Oats pancake with banana, walnuts and berries topping (No sugar) or 1 cup Oats banana and walnut porridge (No sugar)
Mid-morning: 1 Citrus fruit (100 – 150 gms – orange/ Mosambi/ pear/ papaya/ pineapple/ guava/ watermelon/ cantaloupe/ avocado/ berries)
Lunch: 1 cup Exotic veggie with basil salad + 1 Millet Roti or 1 cup black/ red rice + 1 cup Mix vegetable curry + 1 cup Chole/ rajma/ sprouts + 1 cup curd
Snacks: 1 cup Hibiscus tea + 1 no Mix Dal Dosa + Onion tomato chutney or 1 cup Sprout kurmura sukha bhel
Dinner: 1 cup Pumpkin soup + 1 cup Spinach Garlic Khichdi + Onion flaxseed raita
Bed time: 1 tspn Ashvagandha and Mulethi powder with honey followed by 1 cup warm Milk
To control your hormones is to control your life. Get you progesterone levels checked regularly if you have any symptoms mentioned above. Keep a check on the levels if you are planning for pregnancy or suffering from PCOS or nearing menopause.