Testosterone is the hormone that makes men, men. It stimulates the growth of the penis and scrotum, is vital in the production of sperm, controls fat distribution on the body, increases the growth of facial and body hair, is anabolic to muscles, gives us greater bone density, and gives men the shape and attributes we associate with masculinity.
Why Low Testosterone Matters
Low testosterone has a negative impact on just about every major system in the male body, including insulin resistance, obesity, shorter life, and cardiovascular disease. Some of the symptoms of low testosterone are: low sex drive, hard time getting and keeping an erection, hair loss, fatigue, trouble with memory, loss of muscle mass and difficulty gaining muscle, decreased bone density, increase in body fat, and difficult time losing it.
The signs and symptoms of low testosterone are not immediate, and can take time to build up. This is why the symptoms of low testosterone can be easily ignored for months, or even years. The sad part is that most men will wait until they have developed some of the severe signs and symptoms, typically associated with libido and erectile dysfunction, before taking action to improve testosterone.
Beyond these symptoms, having lower testosterone has been linked to: heart disease, greater risk of depression, cognitive problems metabolic disorders, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
With proper diet and nutrition you can increase testosterone levels naturally. Consuming these foods will help you raise your testosterone levels.
Foods that are rich in Omega 3’s.
Common foods that have omega-3 fatty acids that are easily absorbed are sardines, walnuts, salmon, and mackerel. While there are some foods that contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids like flax and chia seeds, their conversion rate into the beneficial EPA and DHA are very poor, around 1-5%, where the other sources listed above are more easily digested and used in the body. You can always use a supplemental form of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful anti-inflammatory, and have shown to lower stress in the body. Lower stress and inflammation leads to less pregnenolone steal, and allows for greater testosterone production.
Aside from being an essential trace mineral that people rarely get in their diet, selenium is essential for male fertility and plays a crucial role in the production of testosterone. Both zinc and selenium have been correlated to male fertility and testosterone levels in men. Brazil nuts, liver, crab, and other shellfish are good sources of selenium. Most high-quality multivitamins should contain enough selenium to meet the needs of a man who is looking to increase testosterone through nutrient optimization.
Eat cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, radishes, kale, watercress, bok choy, broccoli, and cauliflower. When these foods are ingested, they release a phytochemical that helps the body with estrogen metabolism and clearance. We want to keep testosterone and estrogen in a certain balance. When that balance heavily favors estrogen in men, it is a sign that testosterone is being aromatized (converted) into estrogen, which is not good.
Studies have shown that coconut oil increases testosterone levels even more than olive oil does, but the way in which it does so is completely different. According to these studies, coconut oil boosts testosterone because it contains a lot of saturated fat. The fact that coconut oil contains a high level of both saturated and complex fats really does a lot of good things for the body, and one of these things is the boost that it provides in testosterone.
Some of the best sources of zinc are oysters, beef, lamb, shellfish, crab, clams, lobster, mussels, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, spinach, and cashews. In one study, dietary zinc restriction was associated with a significant decrease in serum testosterone in otherwise healthy men. Zinc is an aromatase inhibitor, which blocks the estrogen receptor site. We are looking to optimize the ratio of testosterone to estrogen and zinc to make sure testosterone isn’t converted to estrogen.
Reduce alcohol consumption.
Don’t worry, I’m not saying to never drink alcohol again. However, alcohol has the ability to increase estrogen in your body and inhibit testosterone metabolism in the liver.19 Alcohol negatively impacts liver function, in turn the reducing the ability to remove used estrogen from the body. This causes excess estrogen to recirculate and build up in the body, negatively impacting the testosterone-to-estrogen ratio. Trade in a few of your vodka and club sodas for just a club soda and lime. Your friends won’t know the difference. Call me old fashioned, but when you do choose to drink alcohol, cap it at 2-3 drinks for the night, and limit your weekly intake to 1-2 days per week.
If you follow these advices you will definitely feel a change in your life for the better.