Testosterone is a male hormone produced in the testes and in the adrenal glands. A balanced testosterone level is related to sexual performance, reproductive function, building muscle mass, hair growth, aggression, and competitive behavior. Testosterone also stimulates the production of blood cells including red blood cells, and opposes the loss of bone calcium (osteoporosis). The testosterone level increases until the age of 30 and then declines slowly afterward. There are many foods that boost testosterone, so if you feel that it needs to be stimulated, read this article and you’ll know what to do.
Although it is often associated with men, testosterone hormone is important for the health of both men and women. As you get older the testosterone level naturally produced by your body tends to decline.
Other environmental factors, such as exposure to statin drugs and herbicide, may also trigger a decline in hormone production. Low testosterone levels in men are associated with prostate enlargement, androgenic alopecia (baldness) and some types of cancer.
Women possess lower levels of testosterone but their body is more sensitive to it. Their health depends on the correct amount of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone present in their system.
The imbalance that results when women use hormone replacement therapy during menopause is one of the theories behind the higher rates of breast cancer experienced by these women.
Testosterone has an essential role in the production of estrogen and helping build bone and muscle mass.
You can use natural methods to increase your testosterone levels and improve your overall health without triggering an imbalance within the fragile hormonal system of your body.
Testosterone Boosting Foods
To produce testosterone, your body needs several different nutrients from testosterone boosting foods. Vitamin D3 and zinc are some of the nutrients that are most often lacking.
Zinc is a vital micronutrient that is naturally available in some foods that boost testosterone. Deficiencies can lead to a variety of symptoms because zinc is involved in a number of important bodily processes.
Vitamin D for testosterone
Vitamin D can be made by your body when your skin is exposed to the sun. Nevertheless, many people have vitamin D deficiencies because of the number of hours spent indoors and the amount of sunscreen used. Unprotected sun exposure for hours is not advisable, but your body requires regular exposure to the sun without protection to produce vitamin D and other benefits. White and black kidney beans, tuna fish, cheese, egg yolks etc are vitamin D rich foods.
Magnesium rich foods
If you eat magnesium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, black beans, nuts, fish, avocado, figs, bananas, dark chocolate etc. there are greater chance to increase testosterone level.
Stress is a natural destroyer of testosterone. When the body is feeling stress, it releases cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol brings down the testosterone’s effects on the body. If improvement is needed in the effects of testosterone one needs to lower stress and cortisol levels.
Seven Foods that Boost Testosterone
Although there are several ways to increase your testosterone levels, the production of the hormone depends on the presence of specific nutrients. Start by incorporating these testosterone boosting foods into your diet.
This lovely looking red fruit has been used for many centuries as medicine and testosterone booster. High in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E and iron, researchers found that a glass of pomegranate juice a day increased testosterone levels by 16 to 30 percent, improved mood, and increased libido.
Blood pressure has also decreased and positive emotions have increased among those who consume pomegranate juice. Although a lot of research has been done on pomegranate juice, it is strongly recommended that you consume the whole fruit instead.
Not only this one will give you greater fiber intake (found in edible seeds), but it will also ensure you do not ingest too much fructose, which is found in significant quantities in all types of fruit juice. That said, even the whole fruit has a high sugar content and should be consumed only in moderation.
Extra virgin olive oil has a huge potential in your quest for increased testosterone. In one study, participants who consumed olive oil experienced daily increases in testosterone levels of between 17 and 19 percent over a three-week period.
Long hailed as a libido enhancing food that is the best testosterone booster. These small shellfish have high zinc content. You can naturally feel an increase in your testosterone, your libido and your sperm count as a result.
Other high-zinc foods include sardines, anchovies, cashews, and wild salmon. Raw pumpkin seeds are another interesting source but should be limited to one tablespoon a day.
Coconut Oil Testosterone
Healthy saturated fatty acids are used by your body to produce most hormones, including testosterone.
Coconut oil will support your body’s ability to produce good cholesterol which is necessary for optimal health and reduce your body fat and maintain your weight. Regulating your weight is another natural way to improve your testosterone production.
Broccoli and cauliflower can help the human body excrete excess estrogen and increase the amount of testosterone available to the cells. Indole-3-carbinol which is present in cruciferous vegetables can increase the amount of oestradiol which is an estrogen hormone in men by a significant percent, thereby raising the amount of testosterone available.
Whey Protein Foods that Boost Testosterone
Whether it comes from quality whey powder or ricotta cheese, this protein can help limit your body’s production of cortisol and therefore increase the effect of the testosterone you already produce. Whey proteins can also boost testosterone production.
In a study in Finland, scientists gave participants 15 grams of whey isolate both before and after muscle resistance exercises. The authors theorized that a greater amount of testosterone in skeletal muscles could allow greater absorption from the blood. Although they are important in the production of testosterone, an excess of protein can have the opposite effect.
A meat-free diet can lower your testosterone production by up to 14 percent, but that does not mean you should eat excessive amounts of animal protein either. Excessive protein consumption can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and even accelerated aging.
Consider limiting your protein level to 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Garlic is a real testosterone booster
Although this aromatic plant does not have the necessary nutrients to produce testosterone, it contains allicin, a substance that lowers the level of cortisol in your body. With cortisol level reduced, the body can more effectively utilize the testosterone that has been produced.
How Men and Women Benefit from Testosterone
Both men and women benefit from sufficient testosterone production. Although known as the “male hormone,” women use testosterone to maintain lean muscle, a sense of well-being, libido and sexual pleasure.
Testosterone is produced by Leydig cells which are present in the testes in men and in the ovaries in women.
Testosterone killing foods include mint, soy products, and flax seeds. Consume these in as little quantity as possible if you are looking to increase testosterone production.
Foods that Lower Testosterone
Testosterone killing foods include processed foods, diet soda, mint, soy products, flax seeds, and microwave popcorn. Consume these in as little quantity as possible if you are looking to increase testosterone production.
Food processing reduces and removes most nutrients that are needed for the healthy production of testosterone. Consuming refined grains leads to obesity which in turn contributes to the lower production of testosterone.
Diet sodas contain an artificial sweetener known as aspartame which contributes to low serotonin levels in the brain. Low serotonin is associated with less testosterone production in both genders say, researchers.
Several studies have found that licorice may leave impact on hormone levels, potentially leading to a decline in testosterone over the period of time.
Though curling up with a bowl of popcorn in front of the television may be a good idea to spend the evening the bags which hold microwave popcorn contain a chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid which is a known contributor to reducing testosterone and causing prostate problems.
Soy and Soy-Based Products
Many research indicates that regular intake of soy products like tofu and soy milk may create a drop in testosterone levels.
In particular, spearmint and peppermint ( peppermint contains a higher content of menthol 40% as opposed to spearmint’s 0.5%), two herbs that are from the mint family of plants have been shown to have a direct impact on testosterone.
Some research shows that flaxseed contains high amount of lignans, which are plant compounds that bind to testosterone and force it to be excreted from your body.
Alcohol and Testosterone
Excessive alcohol consumption can lower testosterone levels because the alcohol affects the endocrine system. That can also cause problems with the production and levels of testosterone in your body. The testosterone may be converted into estrogen in regular binge drinkers.
Symptoms of low testosterone levels in men and women include:
- A lack of energy
- Higher blood pressure
- A decrease in strength
- Decreased muscle use capacity
- Low sexual desire
- A decrease in sexual sensitivity
- Less intense orgasms
- Decreased lean body mass and increased fat stores
- An increase in cardiovascular risk
Five Other Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone
Start with your nutritional intake to ensure that your body has all the components to produce testosterone. But, do not stop there! You can augment production of your testosterone levels in the following ways –
Testosterone and Weight Loss
Losing excess weight can naturally increase your testosterone levels. In a study published in Endocrine, the researchers found that weight loss decreased the frequency of low testosterone levels in middle-aged, overweight men in a prediabetic state significantly. Fast Weight Loss Diet Plan Lose 5kg in 5 days
Does exercise increase testosterone? Some studies have shown that testosterone levels are elevated up to 15 minutes after exercise and other studies have shown that this increase lasted up to an hour. Of course, results will vary depending upon your age, weight and fitness level and the time of day when you exercise.
Maximize Your Zinc and Vitamin D Rates
These are the precursor nutrients needed to produce testosterone. You may discover that you are deficient in nutrients, as are many people. Zinc deficiency is a persistent problem and vitamin D deficiency is found in people of all age groups.
On an estimated basis in healthy populations receiving large exposure to the sun, the optimal range of vitamin D is between 10 and 20 micrograms daily.
Reduce Your Stress
When your body is stressed, your adrenal glands secrete cortisol. In a fight or flight situation, this can save your life. However, in a chronic condition, cortisol can decrease the effectiveness of testosterone that your body produces.
Look for stress reduction techniques that work at home. Yoga, meditation, sports, enough sleep, and relaxation techniques can all help you reduce your stress levels.
Reduce the consumption of sugars and carbohydrates
Eating temporarily reduces the amount of testosterone, but sugar and carbohydrates cause the greatest damage by causing sudden surges in blood glucose levels and increasing insulin levels. Previous research has shown that high insulin levels reduce blood levels of testosterone.
When men consumed a glucose (sugar) solution as part of a glucose tolerance test, the amount of testosterone circulating in their blood was reduced by up to 25 percent. Even two hours later, the testosterone level remained much lower than before the test.
Essentially high testosterone is associated with a healthy lifestyle, exercise, sleep, and balanced diet. With age, it is natural that testosterone production would decrease but that can be compensated by consuming foods that boost testosterone production. Also please share your experiences and suggestions on how to boost testosterone in the comment section.