Testosterone plays a vital role in our health, and even more so for men.
Depending on which study you read, men produce as much as 10 to 20 times more testosterone than women, and is the number 1 reason why women don’t get muscles.
This essential hormone controls our sexual desire, maintains our reproductive system, helps strengthen and grow bones, and builds new muscle.
Natural Is Best
In our continued pursuit of building a physique we are happy with, we more often than not resort to supplements to help increase our muscle-mass or shed body fat.
Just like the drug industry, the supplement industry is huge.
You only have to open a fitness related magazine to see the dozens of supplement-related advertisements to know that.
Instead of looking at natural food sources as our primary method of building muscle (which is without doubt the very best source there is), we are being led down the supplement path by a billion dollar industry.
I’m not suggesting that all supplements are ineffective.
They can be very beneficial for anyone with certain deficiencies, such as a calcium or vitamin D deficiency etc.
Testosterone plays a huge role in muscle growth, and is why professional bodybuilders and guys wanting to get really big, inject it artificially.
There’s no denying that injecting steroids such as testosterone works extremely well, but doing so can unfortunately result in some very unpleasant side effects. So don’t do it kids!
Low levels of testosterone can occur from a number of medical conditions, although sometimes the reason is simply unknown.
According to men.webmd.com lower than normal testosterone levels can be caused by:
- Injury to the testicles
- Testicular cancer or treatment for testicular cancer
- Hormonal disorders
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Type 2 diabetes
If you are worried that you may be suffering from low testosterone levels, then go get yourself checked out by a doctor.
However, some of these causes can be attributed to a lack of exercise and a poor diet, and this is an issue we can do something about.
There are various foods that will aid in boosting testosterone levels (significantly so, if your T-levels are particularly low).
Incorporating some of them into your diet could make a big difference to your health, sex drive and packing on more muscle.
For the ‘average Joe’ like me and you, who desperately wants to have prefer an athletic looking physique, we can get all the protein and natural testosterone we need from our diet.
What we eat and drink plays a big part in the production of testosterone.
We need to consume various minerals such as zinc and magnesium for our glands to start the process of producing testosterone, and our Leydig cells (men) need cholesterol to make testosterone.
Like testosterone, estrogen is a sex hormone.
Among other health problems, a dominance of estrogen in the body can result in excess fat and obesity.
Some foods actually work to boost testosterone by removing estrogens in our body.
Excess estrogen is removed via the bowls, but if stool remains in the colon, estrogen can be reabsorbed.
Eating fiber rich foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, apples, berries, celery and oatmeal will help the natural removal of estrogen.
The liver also helps to filter out excess estrogen levels, but if it has to work too hard, it could result in excess estrogen.
Foods such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can help with a liver detox and to keep it healthy.
Foods To Boost Your Testosterone Levels
There are dozens of natural foods you can consume that will help increase your T-levels. And if you’re into a more Paleo way of eating this is just another reason to feel smug!
One of the most overlooked (and yet the most significant) food sources for increasing T-levels, and for improving our overall health, is the healthy fat found in a number of food sources.
Fat and cholesterol increases testosterone levels like nothing else!
If you want to up your T-levels, stop eating crappy, low fat food, which contain very little of anything beneficial, and a boat-load of disease inducing sugar.
Healthy fats not only include mono and poly-unsaturated fats, like that found in coconut oil, olive oil, avocado’s and nuts, but also saturated fats found in good quality meat, eggs and butter, which are essential for building testosterone.
Don’t be afraid of eating saturated fat. Our body is designed to use fat as fuel – not sugar or the extremely dangerous trans-fats found in processed foods.
Research shows that a diet with less than 40 percent of energy as fat (and that mainly from animal sources, i.e. saturated) lead to a decrease in testosterone levels.
These days I love to gorge on 100% butter, bacon, eggs and other meat such as chicken (with the skin on!).
As already mentioned meat contains the fats and cholesterol we need to make testosterone.
Beef in particularly contains the highest amount of protein that is needed to build muscle.
More muscle means more testosterone, and more testosterone leads to more muscle! Ain’t beef great?!
If there’s one area in your budget where you can stretch a little further, it is with buying the best quality meat you can afford.
Grass-fed, organic being the gold standard. Free range comes next, and then meat that comes from monitored farms.
In the UK we have a ‘higher welfare’ standard of meat (which is identified by a Red Tractor sign).
This means the animals are regularly checked to ensure their welfare and the quality of their lives is of a high standard.
Although not organic or strictly free-range, at least the animals are well looked after, and aren’t pumped full of growth hormones or kept in squalid conditions.
Meat can be cooked in bulk and stored in the refrigerator.
It is ideal to add to salads, or toppings for other meals during the week. Just don’t trim off the fat – the fattier the better! – Plus it is the fat that gives meat much of its taste.
Eggs are the simplest and one of the most effective food sources to increasing testosterone levels.
The body uses cholesterol to produce more testosterone and egg yolks are just bursting with pure, delicious cholesterol!
Take no notice of the high cholesterol ‘scare mongrels’.
We need healthy levels of cholesterol and a good balance of LDL and HDL cholesterol in our body.
Eggs are also packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals, and arguably one of the healthiest food sources you can eat.
Nuts contain healthy fats and cholesterol that Leydig cells need for T production.
Studies have shown that Brazil nuts in particular contain the trace element selenium, which boosts testosterone and helps maintain testicular health and function.
A mixed handful of healthy nuts (not salted peanuts) every other day, provides the body with good amounts of monounsaturated fat.
This healthy fat aids in various hormone production, including testosterone.
You’ll be delighted to know that peanut butter also counts, as it is packed with healthy monounsaturated fat!
Homemade almond butter made from 100% almonds is another natural food source that not only tastes great, but helps increase T-levels.
I mean who doesn’t have oysters for their lunch most days?!
Unless you live by the coast and enjoy an abundance of local fresh fish, you probably don’t eat them that often.
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve eaten them in my entire life, and it’s not just because they look disgusting!
However, oysters provide excellent amounts of zinc.
Studies have shown zinc helps to raise T-levels and increases the production of healthy sperm.
If you’re not into shells of slime oysters, other good sources of zinc include red meat, milk, eggs, fish, green leafy vegetables, pulses, beans, nuts and seeds.
Vitamin A is important to maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and to keep your reproductive system in good working order.
It is also an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
No other food source has as much concentration of vitamin A as liver. However, like oysters, liver may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea.’
Other sources of food rich in vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, paprika, red pepper, cayenne and chili powder.
Caffeine isn’t just good for kick starting your day or helping you to keep alert when you start to feel drowsy.
Drinking a cup of coffee before a workout has shown to boost testosterone levels and improve physical performance.
If you’re not a coffee drinker you can take a caffeine supplement in pill form, or as a chewing gum.
Your current lifestyle will play a big role as to whether you have healthy or low levels of testosterone.
Factors such as stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, working too hard, and a poor diet, will all cause a reduction in T-levels.
Addressing these problems, as well as eating more of the foods mentioned above, will make a huge difference to increasing your testosterone levels.
More testosterone means more muscle and a healthy sex life.
Now you know what foods to eat, you can have your cake eggs, meat, fat, and eat it!