Progesterone helps form and thicken the endometrial lining in the uterus of pregnant women. Without progesterone, a fertilized egg will not attach to the uterine wall and placenta will not support an embryo. Women who experience multiple miscarriages may have low levels of progesterone. Altering your diet before conceiving and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can increase progesterone levels, according to Natural-Fertility-Info.com. Increasing progesterone levels will increase the chances of conceiving and carrying to term.
Wild yams, which can be baked whole or dehydrated and treated like a supplement, contain a botanical hormone very similar to human progesterone. Wild yams stimulate the body's own hormone production and can increase progesterone levels. Sweet potatoes, sometimes canned and called yams in the grocery store, are not the same tuber as wild yams and will not stimulate progesterone production. Wild yams can be purchased at most large grocery stores, or through herbal supplement carriers.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, which are high in protein, also contain high levels of sterols. Sterols are fatty compounds that contain plant hormones, which encourage hormone production in the human body. Seeds and nuts must be consumed whole and raw for them to affect hormone production. Baking, roasting, crushing and other disruption of a seed's raw form destroy the beneficial properties of the sterols. Consider making a trail mix that contains raisins, chocolate chips and a variety of raw seeds, or add seeds to a fresh salad.
Herbs and Leafy Greens
A variety of herbs support progesterone production. Turmeric, oregano and thyme have all proven effective in lab testing to increase progesterone production. Fresh oregano can be used to season meals, or can be mixed into a fresh salad. Leafy greens such as spinach, mustard greens and kale support reproductive health and progesterone production. Leafy greens contain high levels of magnesium, which supports liver health and hormone balance.
Protein sources like soy milk are essential to producing progesterone. Chicken, red meats and shellfish are rich in zinc, a trace mineral essential to progesterone production. Adding these simple proteins to your diet should raise your progesterone levels over time.
Progesterone levels can drop by as much as 50 percent immediately after you eat, especially if you overeat, reports BabyMed.com. This is related to the fluctuations in blood sugar triggered by overeating. Rather than eating two or three large meals, eat several small meals, spaced about two hours apart. This will stabilize your blood sugar as well as your progesterone levels.
- Journal of Nutrition: The Beneficial Effects of Progesterone On Pregnancy
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: The Effect of a Meal on Circulating Steady-State Progesterone Levels
- Baby Med: Progesterone Levels During Pregnancy
- Test Country: How To Increase Progesterone Levels Naturally In Your Body
- Natural Fertility Info: Progesterone and Fertility Guide