The progesterone power-up
March 15, 2024

The progesterone power-up

Dive into progesterone's role for hormonal balance and health.

Get the low-down on progesterone

Welcome to your progesterone crash course! We’re here to spill the tea about this powerhouse hormone. A key player in your monthly cycle, progesterone doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. It’s time to change that narrative.

In today’s newsletter, we’re covering it all: progesterone basics, foods that help support its pathways, and telltale signs it’s on a rollercoaster ride. Consider this your go-to progesterone guide. Ever feel like your body has a mind of its own—especially during your period? You’re not alone. Without further ado, meet the maestro behind the scenes. 

Progesterone basics

Progesterone is fundamental to the female reproductive system. It’s a commanding force, orchestrating various physiological processes. But beyond its role in all things menstrual health, breast development, and fertility, progesterone also influences mood, sleep, and metabolism. Mainly produced in the ovaries, progesterone levels rise and fall throughout your cycle.

Progesterone’s role in pregnancy

Speaking of, progesterone takes center stage during the second half of your menstrual rhythm. It’s necessary for conception, after all! It helps prepare the uterus for a fertilized egg and supports the 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? Detecting signs of progesterone imbalance is crucial for addressing potential health issues. Common symptoms include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles: Changes in the length or intensity of menstrual periods.
  • Mood swings: Increased irritability, anxiety, or depression.
  • Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Weight gain: Particularly around the abdomen.
    Breast tenderness: Increased sensitivity and discomfort.
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).

Eating to support healthy progesterone levels

Inevitably, maintaining a balanced diet can positively impact hormone production—including progesterone. If your progesterone levels are low, aim to prioritize the following progesterone-loving foods:
  • Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are rich in vitamins and minerals that support hormone production.
  • Healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, and nuts provide essential fatty acids necessary for hormone synthesis.
  • Protein: Include sources like lean meat, fish, and legumes for amino acids crucial in 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, known to support hormone balance.

Sample progesterone meal plan


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


  • 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 brow rice cakes with mashed avocado and hemp seeds on the side.


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


  • Baked wild-caught salmon (or non-GMO tempeh) + 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 and lifestyle 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 hormonal balance. Incorporate stress-reducing practices like meditation and deep breathing exercises. 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.
  • Minimize endocrine disruptors: Reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in certain plastics, cosmetics, and household products. Opt for natural and environmentally friendly alternatives.
  • 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.
  • Seed Cycling: This simple practice helps to support our bodies estrogen and progesterone, and the balance between them. Learn more about seed cycling here
  • Quality supplements: Consider supplements that support hormonal health, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Of course, daily seed cycling is a crucial piece of the puzzle as well.
  • Limit caffeine: Consider swapping your daily coffee cups for a ½-caff option, matcha, or a caffeine alternative, like Dandy Blend or Renude’s Chagaccino
  • Hormone-supportive therapies: Explore hormone-supportive therapies like acupuncture or acupressure.