The challenge: Many men still miss some of the most important foods for their testosterone without knowing it.
The science: Research suggests certain nutrients help optimize hormone health over others.
The solution: To include the following five foods into your diet as a way of helping your testosterone thrive.
Testosterone – the primary male sex hormone we’ve all heard about. Yet how many of us really understand how important it is for our health? After all, there’s more to this potent androgen than big muscles and assertiveness.
Research suggests that testosterone goes way past what we see on the surface. Yes, one of its fundamental roles was to help men grow bigger, stronger, and faster. It’s also responsible for many sexual functions.
But the benefits of thriving testosterone don’t just stop at physiology. In fact, how well your hormones are balanced has a huge impact on your mental wellbeing too.
One article published in the journal Urology reported that testosterone can bring about positive change to both mental health and cognition. Other research has also associated age-related testosterone decline with depressive symptoms. Therefore, by eating for happy hormones, you help your mental health.
Unfortunately, age-related decline is inevitable due to levels slowly starting to drop around age 30. With this drop can come symptoms you might normally associate with getting older like; body fat gain, loss of muscle mass, low libido, and fatigue.
In fact, it’s most likely below baseline levels of testosterone that’s to blame. What’s more alarming is that the National Institutes of Health say our testosterone levels are lower than ever. Many of our unhealthy modern-day lifestyles aren’t helping the matter either.
What can you do about it?
But – and this is a big but – you don’t have to just accept these side effects. Instead, you can choose to change your diet in a way that supports your masculine hormones every day. Here are five essential nutrients for healthy, thriving testosterone.
1. Vitamin D
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is a prohormone we synthesize when our skin comes into direct contact with the sun. It’s also a fat-soluble vitamin found in many foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and beef.
Believe it not, back in 2012 scientists speculated that almost 50% of us are vitamin D deficient. They also said it was mostly due to our modern indoor lifestyles.
This is bad news for our testosterone, as there’s so much research out there showing just how important vitamin D is for its production.
One study, for example, saw that when men with low testosterone spent more time in the summer sun their total T levels jumped back up. Another also found that supplementing with 3,300 IU of vitamin D daily caused a 20% increase in testosterone after one year.
To bolster your vitamin D levels, try fatty fish, eggs, dairy, beef, and fortified foods. You might also find a vitamin D supplement handy.
In an article aptly titled Nothing Boring About Boron, scientist described how boron might even be partly responsible for the evolution of all life on earth. But for the sake of this one, we’ll just look at its reported role in benefiting how the body uses testosterone.
According to one study, eight men who supplemented with 11.6 mg of boron every day for a week inflated their free testosterone, as well as DHT and vitamin D. The scientists also found out that the men’s estradiol (an estrogen hormone) decreased too.
A year later in 2012, The Open Orthopaedics Journal also published an article saying that boron and vitamin D have a relationship based on their availability in your body. Therefore, by bringing both minerals to a healthy amount, you allow them to complement each other. Naturally, this should help out your testosterone as a by-product.
To boost your boron intake, try eating raisins, prunes, dried apricots, and avocados. Just like with vitamin D, you can also find boron supplements easily online. Some of the top testosterone boosters reviewed at https://bestsupplements2019.com even feature both of them together.
For ages, there’s been a tradition of using oysters as an aphrodisiac. However, unlike a lot of the other clichés we laugh at in the movies, there’s actually evidence for this one.
Believe it or not, oysters are extremely high in zinc, which is an essential mineral responsible for over 100 biological functions. It just so happens that one of them is influencing testosterone production.
Studies show that men who lack zinc in their diet often have lower testosterone. Yet, when the same men supplement with the mineral, they usually experience a jump in their T.
If your diet is rich in the essential mineral, you’re not likely to get any testosterone-boosting effects from supplementing.
However, if you’re no stranger to hard workouts, taking zinc could help keep your testosterone levels high during tough bouts of training. Scientists saw this in elite wrestlers as they monitored them throughout a four-week high-intensity training plan.
Zinc rich foods include: shellfish, meat, dairy, fight, poultry, nuts, and legumes. Zinc supplements are also widely available.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a part in 600 biochemical reactions inside your body. It’s also the fourth most abundant mineral you have, with around 60% stored inside your bones. Yet, according to researchers, almost 50% of people in the US and Europe don’t get enough from their daily diet.
Included in the long list of magnesium’s roles is supporting energy creation, gene maintenance, and protein formation. Scientists also say it exerts a “positive influence on anabolic hormonal status” – aka your testosterone levels.
Studies have shown that supplementing with magnesium can help to boost total free testosterone. It also appears that the essential mineral has much more effect on athletes than sedentary men. However, if you’re already getting enough magnesium from your diet, a supplement might not offer much.
Foods teeming with magnesium include: leafy greens, fruit like avocados and bananas, seafood, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Magnesium is also one of the most common supplements on the market.
If you thought boron was a little outside the box, wait until you hear about ashwagandha.
Technically, ashwagandha is not an individual nutrient like the others. But because it’s such a healthy herb and adaptogen with a proven ability to support testosterone, we couldn’t leave it off the list.
Experts say ashwagandha has been used for 3,000 years to beat stress and invigorate energy levels. However, many modern scientists have proven its potent effect on testosterone time and time again. When treated with ashwagandha, 75 infertile men even showed increases in both sperm count and total testosterone. Other healthy men noticed an increase in muscle strength after just 30 days.
To experience the full potential of this ancient herb, you might need to supplement. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to see ashwagandha on the shelf at your grocery store. It’s mostly available alone inside capsules or as part of a high-quality testosterone booster.
Are you eating for your hormone health? If not, now’s the time to make a chance with these five essential nutrients.