While we often think of food as affecting our weight and metabolism, in reality, it affects many additional aspects of our health. Much of what our cells need to function properly must be acquired through nutrition – feeding cells and powering them to perform their functions which affects all the body’s other elements including hormones like testosterone.
Nutrition can throw the hormones out of balance and certain specific foods are known to reduce testosterone when consumed to excess. Because testosterone is integral to creating muscle and bone in addition to supporting reproduction, men naturally want to keep their testosterone at a healthy level for as long as possible.
In this article, we look at eight foods that have been observed to reduce testosterone levels – the testosterone-killing foods. And further down, we also list five foods you can use to help boost testosterone.
Testosterone Killing Foods
The phytoestrogens in soy products (edamame, tofu, soy protein isolates) function similarly to estrogen in the body and may diminish active testosterone.
Most dairy products contain a number of compounds that are known to inhibit testosterone. Cow’s milk contains both synthetic and natural hormones which may affect testosterone levels. In addition, most animal feed is high in soy which is filtering into your diet as well.
Alcohol in small quantities has actually been shown to boost testosterone levels in men. However, the quantities used in the tests are usually exceeded even by fairly moderate drinkers. And excess alcohol consumption is highly correlated with low testosterone levels.
Studies have shown that the menthol in mint may reduce free testosterone. Peppermint or spearmint tea might make a calming break but should be avoided by those wishing to boost testosterone levels.
5. Bread and Pastries
A 2018 independent study showed a link between a diet high in bread, pastries, and other sweets to low testosterone levels in men. According to the study, these men also experienced decreased muscle mass and increased body fat.
6. Licorice Root
Licorice root is so highly correlated with reduced testosterone that it is actually used as a testosterone-lowering medical treatment for certain conditions in women with excess testosterone. Studies have demonstrated its ability to kill testosterone, making it one to avoid for men seeking to boost testosterone levels.
7. Trans Fats
The types of fat we consume may also be affecting testosterone levels. One study examined the dietary patterns of healthy, young men focusing on testicular function and hormone levels. The study found that eating trans fats may lower testosterone levels in the body.
Flaxseeds have a number of health benefits but might not be right for men prioritizing a boost in testosterone levels. A study published by Duke University Medical has shown that flaxseed contains Lingnan, which reduced testosterone levels in 100% of the male study participants.
Foods That Boost Testosterone Levels
1. Onions and Garlic
In addition to jazzing up your dish, onions and garlic spice things up in the bedroom too. Both are known to increase the presence of a hormone that cues testosterone production in your body. They also bring the additional benefit of flavonoids, a natural element in plants that (among other things) protects sperm against damage.
Lean meats, chicken, and fish are weapons in the fight to boost testosterone levels. During a protein deficiency, the body actually binds testosterone, reducing free testosterone and leaving less available to perform its functions.
Magnesium protects free testosterone by stopping the binding of testosterone by certain proteins. Spinach is a great source of magnesium, as are almonds, peanuts, and cashews.
It is no coincidence that oysters have been said to be an aphrodisiac for centuries. The little mollusks have 500% of your daily allowance of Zinc, which is integral to testosterone production. Zinc also boosts your immune system in the process.
Pomegranate – the ancient symbol of fertility and life – is a superfood delivering polyphenols, powerful antioxidants with many health benefits. Pomegranate also lowers levels of cortisol – the stress hormone that inhibits testosterone.
There is a lot to think about – we understand. If you have questions about how to boost testosterone levels or any of the conditions discussed here, connecting with a doctor in a discrete setting has never been easier.
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