17 Oct Give your testosterone levels a boost by eating these foods.
Testosterone is an essential and well-known androgen that is important in processes such as muscle building, fat loss, and cognition as well as hair loss in some people.
This hormone is produced in large amounts by the testicles in men as well as in small quantities by the adrenal glands in both men and women. For women only it is made in the ovaries, also.
The pituitary gland controls the level of testosterone. When testosterone is low, then the pituitary gland releases something called luteinizing hormone or LH which then stimulates the testicles to create more testosterone.
Puberty is the time when testosterone increases the most as the body develops to deepen the voice, enlarge the muscles, create sperm and pubic hair. Testosterone levels then peak around the age of 40 before steadily declining with age.
The most amount of testosterone in the blood is attached to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin or SHBG. The testosterone that is not bound to this protein is then called “free testosterone” and levels of this are typically checked if someone suspects that they have low testosterone levels.
Luckily, there are plenty of natural ways to boost your testosterone using your diet.
Carbohydrates are essential for testosterone production. While many people may feel well on a low carb diet, most people will feel a lot better and have high free testosterone levels after increasing their carbohydrate intake. The only people who may run into issues are those with a high level of insulin-resistance such as people with diabetes or people with high leptin resistance. Leptin is called the ‘satiety’ hormone that helps regulate energy balance, i.e. calories in and calories out. It tells you when you’re hungry so that you know when to eat.
In one study, researchers divided subjects into two groups; one who would follow a high carb and low protein diet and one who would eat a high protein and low carbohydrate diet. The amount of fat and total calories were identical. The high carbohydrate diet had significantly higher free testosterone levels after only ten days as well as lower SHBG and cortisol levels compared to the low carbohydrate group. Another study showed that those on low carbohydrate diets experience higher levels of cortisol (the
stress hormone) which is terrible for testosterone. A third study found that a group who ate a carbohydrate level set at 60% of their daily calories had significantly higher free testosterone levels as well as lower cortisol levels than those who ate a level of carbohydrates at 30% of their total calories. Both groups were performing three consecutive days of intensive training with the only difference being in the overall levels of carbohydrates in their diet.
It’s much better to get your carbohydrates from starchy tubers such as:
Than grains such as wheat, pasta, and bread. This is because the tubers are more nutrient dense than the grains as well as containing far less reactive ingredients that can affect testosterone levels.
It’s also essential to provide your body with enough healthy fats so that it can sufficiently produce testosterone. Saturated fat, in particular, is very well known for its testosterone boosting effects.
This where foods such as macadamia nuts come in which are rich in saturated and monounsaturated fats. Both of these are shown to be extremely beneficial for boosting testosterone levels. Per 100g macadamia nuts contain 75g of fat and this, 60 grams are MUFAs, and 13 grams are SFAs. Polyunsaturated fats are shown to be harmful to testosterone production due to their instability at low levels of heat which can cause oxidative stress within the body. There are only 2 grams of PUFAs in macadamia nuts.
Coffee is also a great way to boost your testosterone if you are not a frequent drinker. However, when you drink too many caffeine-containing drinks (2-3/day), then this can reduce testosterone levels due to the increase in cortisol levels. The caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands that can become fatigued if they are overstimulated and then cause high-stress levels. However, for those who are only mild drinkers or do not consume caffeinated beverages, then the occasional coffee is an excellent option for boosting testosterone. The increased level of energy you feel after having a coffee increases the levels of cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate) which is a messenger between cells and hormones. Higher levels of cAMP create high testosterone levels. Coffee is also a great source of antioxidants that are very beneficial for your health and, in turn, testosterone levels.
Regarding supplements, a zinc deficiency a hinder testosterone production. If you do not get enough zinc in your diet through foods like meat, shellfish, and dairy, then it’s essential to supplement with it. As you can see, many vegetarians may experience a zinc deficiency so supplementing with this is a good idea.
As well as zinc, low levels of Vitamin D can also affect testosterone levels. The RDA of Vitamin D is around 400-800 IU meaning International Units, but it depends country to country. People who experience high levels of sun exposure will not need to supplement with vitamin d, but those in colder, dark climates definitely should. It is also essential to fluctuate your Vitamin D levels throughout the year. In the winter, you will want to take slightly more and in the summer marginally less. It’s also important to note that 400-800 IU is still quite low amounts of vitamin D, and year-round supplementation of 3000 IU is more effective at increasing testosterone levels.
It is clear to see that there are many natural ways to increase your testosterone without scary testosterone boosting products or supplements that can harm your health in other aspects. You have to realize that testosterone is very anabolic and relies on the body being healthy.
As a sex hormone, testosterone’s main job is to produce a body fit for creating and protecting life. If you do not provide it with the right building blocks or surround it in the right environment, then your testosterone levels will be deficient. It needs enough energy and nutrients as well as low levels of stress. If you create the right environment for testosterone to be produced then, it will be. It’s a very ‘manly’ hormone so if you’re ever in wonder as to what else you can do to boost your free testosterone levels then think of ‘manly’ things such as lifting heavy weights and acting confident.
SOMETIMES IT IS JUST THAT SIMPLE!!