What is Testosterone and what is it’s role in the male body?
Testosterone is the sex hormone that is responsible for the reproductive system, bone and muscle health, strength and blood health in men. The normal basline range of testosterone in men is considered to sit between 300ng/dL (nanograms per decilitre) to 1000ng/dL. If the hormone level drops outside 300ng/dL then you can start to experience changes a range of things:
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile disfunction
- Low sperm count
- Hair loss
- Decrease in muscle mass and increase in body fat
- Low blood count
Similarly, you can experience problems if testosterone in the levels are too high, such as:
- Early puberty
- High blood pressure
- High red blood cell count
- Low sperm count
- Excessive Hair
What foods can help to naturally increase
testosterone levels and why?
So how can you increase your testosterone levels without unnatural and potentially damaging effects? Well, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying; YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! The food you digest can affect your testosterone levels, so it’s helpful to know what foods will help boost your body’s natural hormone development. To name a few:
Tuna – A great source of Vitamin D and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These two minerals assist the body in improving cardiovascular health, in turn better recovery.
Egg yolks – first and foremost eggs are a great source of protein. There has been long discussions and trends regarding what is the most nutritional part of an egg, some suggest the egg whites, in 2017 there was a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition “Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of post exercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men”, and the conclusion of the study was as follows; “We show that the ingestion of whole eggs immediately after resistance exercise resulted in greater stimulation of myofibrillar protein synthesis than did the ingestion of egg whites, despite being matched for protein content in young me”, in simpler terms men eating only egg whites had reduced muscle metabolism levels vs those eating the whole egg (yolk an all!) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28978542/#:~:text=Conclusions%3A%20We%20show%20that%20the,protein%20content%20in%20young%20men.
Leafy Greens – such as Kale, Spinach and are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is not a mineral that is produces in the body so we have to get it from our diet intake. If you experience a testosterone deficiency magnesium helps the body to return a normal range testosterone level.
Seafood – We know oysters are great but most seafood provides a great source of protein, nutrients has great benefits to reproductive health. Here’s an article published in the Journal of Men’s Health “Health Benefits of seafood for men” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jomh.2011.04.004.
Oysters – are renowned for being an aphrodisiac but does anybody know why? Well they provide amino acids that cause a release of sex hormones into the system. They also contain high zinc levels and this assists with sperm production and cell health.
Low fat milk – We are taught “Milk gives us strong bones and teeth”, due to the level of calcium in it, but milk provides so much great nutrients! It contains not only calcium but Potassium, B12, and Vitamin A, Vitamin E and beta-carotene, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Thiamine (B1) and Zinc. These minerals provide strong bones and teeth, reduce inflammation and reduce risk of heart disease. Now, the question as to why low fat is better than full fat milk? Both contain the same nutrients that we have mentioned above, so low fat milk gives you the same nutritional benefits without the added sugar and fat content. Many males wishing to add muscle mass and decrease body fat have been known to opt for low-fat milk.
Beans (such as chickpeas, lentils, baked beans) – An excellent source of magnesium, which helps reduce heart disease, provide energy boosts and helps build important proteins in the body. Our bodies do not naturally produce this, so we need to get it from our food intake.
Garlic – has a compound in it called Allicin. Allicin helps to reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone which is produced in the adrenal gland, testosterone is also produced in this gland. When cortisol is released into the body this impacts the amount of testosterone being produced.
*Disclaimer – Recommendations only, not to be used as professional medical advice. Please consult a medical or health professional to seek professional help.