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Eating to Increase Testosterone

What is “low T”? And what does it mean for your well-being? 

“T” stands for testosterone, the hormone that gives a man his body hair and his muscle mass…along with his energy and his libido.

Unlike women, whose hormone levels drop sharply after menopause, a man’s testosterone levels tend to fall more gradually with age, generally by up to2% a year after age 30.

As a result, low T, also known ashypogonadism, is not uncommon, affectingabout 40% of all men over age 45.

There are medical issues that can affect testosterone levels. So if you believe you may be experiencing low T—marked by reductions in energy, sex drive, mood and muscle strength—you should always speak with your healthcare provider.

Some men turn to prescription testosterone when told they have low T.

However,Witham Health Services, a multi-location provider in Indiana, notes that this approach involves possible side effects, adding, “These risks are greatly reduced and may be eliminated altogether if testosterone is raised naturally.”

The following foods and lifestyle changes may help you do just that.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Foods That Support Testosterone

A number of foods supply nutrients a man’s body needs to produce testosterone.

First, though, here are things you shouldavoidwhen trying to raise T levels.

For one thing, “research shows that harmful use of alcohol and drugs can affect sex hormone levels, including reducing testosterone,” saysJillian Kubala, RD, a registered dietitian in Westhampton, New York. (Some prescription drugs, such as statins, may alsoaffect testosterone levels.)

What’s more, Kubala says, “Fried foodshave been linked to decreased testosterone levels in some people.”

You might want to skip processed foods as well…especially the ones packaged in plastic.

“Processed foods often contain high amounts of trans fats, which can reduce testosterone levels,” says the team atMedical News Today.

MNT adds that food and beverages packed in plastic can pose another problem; T-trashing substances such as bisphenol can migrate from the packaging into the food. (Canned foods are also suspect, since cans are often lined with plastic.)

On the other hand, here are foods that have been linked to healthy hormone levels.

Dark Leafy Greens

Collard greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard—you want to add all these lovely leafies to your meals.

Such vegetables supply an abundance of vitamins and minerals. That includes magnesium, which is “critical for maintaining optimal testosterone levels, especially inolder men,” according to Kubala.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

In addition, cabbage (along with other crucifers, such as broccoli) contains a substance calledindole-3-carbinol that has beenlinked to lower levels of estrogen, the main female hormone. All men carry some estrogen in their bodies; overly high levels can interfere with testosterone.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Eggs

For breakfast, try sauteed greens with eggs to give your testosterone a healthy one-two boost.

Egg yolks pack plenty of healthy fat, protein and the antioxidant mineral selenium, which supports testosterone production.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. (Brazil nuts are the richest plant-based source of selenium.)

Kubala says that in some studies, “testosterone levels were found to be higher in those with optimal selenium levels in their blood.”The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Garlic and Onions

You can make your T-boosting breakfast tastier and even more effective if you add garlic or onions to the greens.

Garlic and onions contain two key compounds: Diallyl disulfide has been linked to testosterone production, while allicin “has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which is a hormone that competes against testosterone,” according to Witham Health.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Ginger

This zesty spice, a must-have in most Asian cuisines, has been linked to healthier testosterone levels.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

 What’s more, at leastone study has found an association between ginger and sperm health.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Ginger, available both fresh and dried, also makes a tasty addition to tea and fruit-based desserts.

Pomegranates

For centuries, the pomegranate’s rich red color and many seeds led people to see it as an aphrodisiac and promoter of fertility.

Today, we know that this fruit’s potent phytonutrients help explain its sexy reputation.

Kubala says that pomegranate juice has been found to help “protect Leydig cells, which produce testosterone, from injury” and support healthy T levels.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Other red fruits—including berries, cherries and red grapes—also contain testosterone-friendly phytonutrients.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Red Meat

Calling all carnivores: Red meat contains testosterone-boosting nutrients in abundance.

Meat contains zinc, a nutrient crucial for testosterone support, in an easily absorbable form.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Beef liver also supplies vitamin D.

Your best bet is to look for meat from animals that have been organically raised and fed grass (as opposed to grain, which causes more fat development). Or you can opt for venison, which is naturally lean.

If your diet is more plant-based, legumes—such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and pinto beans—also supply zinc.

Seafood

Like pomegranates, oysters have long enjoyed a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Today, we know that oysters containmore zinc per serving than any other food.

In addition, “shellfish like oysters and clams are excellent sources of selenium and omega-3 fatty acids, which may support optimal testosterone levels,” says Kubala.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Fatty fish, such as sardines and salmon, also contain zinc and omega-3 fats as well as vitamin D.

Other T-Friendly Foods

You have other choices when it comes to healthy sources of fat.

For instance, avocados contain magnesium and another mineral called boron, which may play a role intestosterone support.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. And according toMedical News Today,extra-virgin olive oil “may boost serum testosterone levels.”The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Looking for a suitable sweetener? Honey contains both boron andnitric oxide, a substance that supports better blood flow.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Lifestyle Changes That Support Testosterone

You can enhance the effects of a testosterone-friendly diet through changes in your lifestyle.

For one thing, higher testosterone levels are linked with greater libido…and in turn, increased sexual activityhas been linked with higher T levels. That’s a win-win!

Here are other ways to win at testosterone support.

Sun Exposure

Another way to get your supply of vitamin D is by spending some time outside, where your skin manufactures D when exposed to sunlight.

Many people don’t get all the D they need; according toone study, nearly half the US population is D-deficient, while even more people have suboptimal levels.

Try for about 15 minutes of sun exposure every day. After that, use sunscreen to avoid overexposure.

Regular Exercise…That Includes Resistance Training

Being active on a regular basis really helps when it comes to optimizing testosterone production.

According to Medical News Today, one study “found that the more active an individual is, the more testosterone they will have.” In fact, an increase in physical activity has been found to be “more beneficial than weight loss for improving testosterone levels.”

You should engage in 30 minutes of aerobic activity (such as running or cycling) five to seven days a week.Aerobic exercise helps keep your cardiovascular system in good shape, assists in weight loss and improves lung function—all of which will boost your energy levels and overall well-being.

However, your fitness routine won’t be complete without resistance exercise, such as weight lifting…especially if you want to build both testosterone levels and muscle mass.

“Resistance training is the best type of exercise to boost testosterone in both the short- and long-term,” saysMedical News Today.

“Lifting heavy weights with a high volume will increase testosterone the most,” adds Witham Health. The group recommends “exercises that include compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, push presses and shoulder presses.”

Don’t overdo it, though.

“Make sure you are taking rest days every week,” advises Witham Health. “Overtraining will decrease testosterone substantially and also lead to injury.”

Sleep

One benefit of exercise is its ability to help you sleep.

Poor sleep is an underrated factor in low T. In fact,one study found that just a week’s worth of sleep deprivation led to drops in testosterone levels of between 10% and 15% among healthy young men.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

That’s because most of a man’s testosterone “is produced during deep sleep,” says Witham Health. “Both amount and quality of sleep are critical.”

Other ways to get a better night’s sleep is to limit screen time before bed, keep your bedroom on the cool side and go to bed at the same time every night.

Stress Relief

Another T-lowering factor you might not have thought of: stress.

Stress leads to the release of a hormone called cortisol…which as we’ve already seen, competes with testosterone within the body.

Exercise, including yoga, helps lower stress levels. Other ways to combat stress include meditation, aromatherapy (especially lavender and sandalwood) and listening to calming music.

The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.

The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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