When you are struggling with Hormones problems whether through Endometriosis, Surgery, Medication or Menopause you may look for a healthy diet to support your recovery. Below I will share some examples of foods that can help your symptoms.
Natural Sources of Progesterone
Aside from resorting to supplementation, you can increase your body’s progesterone levels by consuming foods rich in certain nutrients. Although these foods do not contain this steroid hormone, the nutrients can help stimulate the progesterone production:40,41
Vitamin C: Studies have shown that vitamin C has potential in boosting progesterone levels and correcting luteal phase issues.
Notable vitamin C sources include sweet potatoes, kiwis, oranges, papayas, lemons, broccoli, tomatoes, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin E: Research has highlighted that vitamin E may assist with improving luteal blood flow and increasing progesterone levels in some women.
Sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts are major vitamin E sources, although avocados, red peppers, collard greens, asparagus and broccoli contain small amounts too.
Vitamin B6: This B vitamin can assist with fighting stress and helping the liver break down estrogen byproducts and decreasing estrogen production. You can find vitamin B6 in wild-caught Alaskan salmon, bananas, spinach and walnuts.
Zinc: This assists in improving immunity and skin health, and aids the pituitary gland in releasing follicle-stimulating hormones that encourage ovulation and influence the ovaries to produce more progesterone.
Magnesium: It can aid with preserving progesterone levels by promoting calmness and helping with the breakdown of antagonistic estrogen metabolites, potentially reducing estrogen dominance.
Leafy green vegetables like kale and Swiss chard, cashews and pumpkin seeds are abundant in magnesium.
Fiber: It’s a nutrient that assists with proper bowel movement and elimination of metabolized hormones, such as harmful estrogens that prevent proper progesterone function.
The best sources of fiber include organic psyllium husks, cauliflower, green beans, berries and flax, hemp and chia seeds.
Sulfur: Foods rich in sulfur contain glucosinolates that activate phase 2 detoxification in the liver.
Sulfur helps filter estrogen metabolites, and prevent increased circulation of estrogen byproducts, which can increase estrogen levels and trigger hormonal disruption.
Sulfur is found in broccoli, collard greens, kale, Brussels sprouts and Swiss chard.
L-arginine: This amino acid is helps the body produce nitric acid that may relax blood vessels and promote healthy circulation.
Improved circulation can guarantee that the corpus luteum and other organs like the ovaries experience improved blood flow to promote progesterone production.
Food sources of l-arginine include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, pasture-raised chicken, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and chickpeas.
Good cholesterol/healthy dietary fats: Your body needs good cholesterol to create pregnenolone, or the mother hormone that assists with making progesterone.
Increase the amount of good cholesterol by consuming adequate amounts of coconuts and coconut oil, avocados, organic pastured egg yolks, butter made from raw and grass fed milk and raw nuts like pecans and macadamias.
The thought of maintaining optimal progesterone levels, especially for some women, may not occur before it’s too late. Progesterone is important in boosting reproductive health and brain function among women, and even in reducing risk for certain diseases, as studies have revealed.
A progesterone deficiency can lead to unwanted health risks. Fortunately, there are numerous natural sources of this steroid hormone, as well as different forms that can be recommended by your physician or doctor.
However, I suggest that you consult a physician, doctor or OB-GYN before resorting to progesterone treatments. Determine whether your body has adequate levels of this particular steroid hormone, and/or if you need to take progesterone in the first place. Just as having low levels of progesterone can be harmful, the same can be said if you have excess progesterone in your body.
How can I boost my oestrogen levels?
Oestrogen is one of the main hormones produced by the ovary during awomans reproductive life. Low oestrogen can be due to many factors and I
guess it really depends on what the underlying problem is.
If you are going through the change or menopause and the low oestrogen is because of a natural decline, then you may choose to not treat it. Other women choose to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for its health benefits.
If you are experiencing an early menopause, then it is important that HRT is used to reduce the risk of thin bones (osteoporosis) and heart disease. The level of oestrogen in a normal woman’s cycle can vary quite dramatically depending on the time of the month it was taken.
If no attention is taken to timing, it can be thought that levels are low when really it doesn’t matter, or it is a temporary dip. In general, measuring oestrogen levels alone is not too useful and other hormone tests should be done to see if there is a genuine problem.
Some women supplement their diets with foods which contain phytoestrogens which are plant substances similar to oestrogen, found in many foods. High levels are found in soy beans, chick peas, cereal bran, vegetables, legumes and fruits.
Unfortunately, there has been little research into the benefits of these natural supplements, but in moderation they are certainly unlikely to do any harm.
Here are a list of oestrogen rich foods.
Soy is one of the richest sources of phytoestrogens on the planet, and therefore one of the foods that increase estrogen. Reach for tofu, soymilk or edamame to get your fix.
Flaxseeds are said to provide three times more phytoestrogens than soybeans but your body will have trouble absorbing them unless they’re ground up prior to consumption. Also called linseed, you may find them added to cereals and breads or enjoy them sprinkled on your oatmeal or yogurt.
Delicious, nutritious seeds are not just for the birds, they happen to be great foods to increase estrogen. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds also help to boost estrogen levels in the body and they taste great as crunchy salad toppings.
Peas, pinto beans and limas all contain coumestan, another type of phytoestrogen. They’re also just really healthy so you should be eating them regularly anyway.
Garlic is actually a member of the onion family and, like onions, is full of isoflavonoids. Plus, you’ll keep away vampires and ward off heart disease.
Dried Apricots, Dates & Prunes
Dried stone fruits and dates have a much higher concentration of than their fresh counterparts. If eating prunes is making you feel ancient, keep in mind that they’re just dried plums after all.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Tomatoes, kiwi, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, peaches, artichokes, bananas, asparagus, corn and cauliflower all boast great levels of vitamin C and they possess the phytoestrogen power you might be looking for to boost your estrogen.
Foods Rich in Complex B Vitamins
B vitamins are good for you regardless. They help with stress management and your metabolism so eat up on the beef, oats, Brazil nuts, potatoes, liver, tuna, turkey, avocados, bananas and kefir.
100% Whole Grains
In case you hadn’t heard, white flour isn’t so good for you. Whole grains are much better for our overall health but can also help with your estrogen levels as an added bonus. And who doesn’t like a free bonus, right?
You don’t need to tell us twice, we’re all over the benefits of coffee consumption. From reduced risk of diabetes to a lower chance of Alzheimer’s, bottoms up!
Olives & Olive Oil
Olives and their lovely oil are healthy for your hair, skin, nails, heart and a million other things we’re sure but they’re also great for your hormone levels.
Beets are delicious and nutritious and, like many other root vegetables, have the compounds to support healthy estrogen levels in your body. Don’t like them? Grab the sliced ones in the can and call them cookies. It worked on us when we were in preschool, it might just work now.
Yams give us vitamin B6. Why do we love B6 specifically? It’s an essential vitamin that helps relieve premenstrual syndrome symptoms up to and including depression.
Dried or Fresh Herbs & Spices
Common herbs and spices that are also phytoestrogens include: parsley, anise seed, red clover, thyme, licorice, turmeric, hops and sage. Season liberally to raise estrogen levels in your body naturally.
We hear pistachio nuts are richest but cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts all contain phytoestrogens which make them all great choices.
What Foods Increase Testosterone in Women?
Although you may identify testosterone as being a primary male sex hormone, it is an essential element in all aspects of puberty and development in women. Testosterone effects estrogen production, menstrual and ovulation cycles, breast tissue development, hair growth and libido. When levels decline with age during the perimenopause and post menopause stages, fatigue, irritability, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and a lack of libido can occur. Hormone replacement therapy can offset these symptoms; however, eating the right types of foods can also help increase testosterone levels naturally.
Bananas are effective in easing stress and nervous disorders.
Bananas are good food sources and can help increase your testosterone. Bananas also boost your energy levels and contain B vitamins to balance your hormones and potassium. Avocados are also a good source of potassium and vitamin B.
Oysters are rich in zinc, which is essential for immune system health.
Zinc is said to raise testosterone levels, and raw oysters–which contain zinc, selenium and magnesium–are often thought of as being aphrodisiacs because of the effect they have on the libido. Other foods rich in zinc are beef, chicken, pine nuts, salmon and turkey. Yogurt also contains zinc and is a good source of calcium, which can help combat osteoporosis.
Eggs contain nine essential amino acids.
In women, testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, protein rich eggs can encourage the adrenal glands to maintain a healthy balance of testosterone in the body. Eggs are also rich in vitamin B5 and B6, which can help lower stress levels and reduce irritability and depression.
Vitamin A is found in animal sources such as liver, eggs and milk. The body also transforms beta-carotene rich foods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots and kale into vitamin A, utilizing it when needed.
Asparagus contains anti-aging and detox benefits.
Asparagus is a rich source of vitamin E and useful in boosting testosterone levels in men and women to raise libido levels. Avocados, nuts, vegetable oils, mustard greens and Swiss chard are also good sources of vitamin E. Swiss chard has an added bonus, as it is rich in magnesium, a nutrient vital for bone health.