Primarily considered a male hormone, testosterone is actually common to both male and female.
However, testosterone is the principal male hormone, which not only affects your libido and penile erection frequency but also your whole body. This hormone gives men larger hearts, lungs and other organs, builds muscle mass and controls stomach fat, while regulating mood, aggression and mental focus. Therefore, steady and adequate levels of this hormone are essential for your overall well being.
Since testosterone levels start to drop in mid-to-late 20s, at a yearly rate of 0.3%, a man can experience a significant decline in his testosterone levels by age 40. By age 50, most men will have substantially lower levels causing a series of sexual difficulties.
Therefore, it is imperative that men do everything they can to build and sustain balanced levels of this hormone. And you can raise your testosterone with these superfoods.
Protein plays a key role in keeping production of the male hormone, testosterone, at optimal levels. However, it is important to stick to leaner cuts of meat and low fat sources of protein since too much saturated fats can induce estrogen, which has a negative effect on your sexual activity because it essentially ‘softens’ testosterone.
Include these sources of high quality protein in your diet:
- lean cuts of red meat and skinless poultry (forget the lamb chops and Buffalo chicken wings)
- fish such as salmon, tuna, grouper and orange roughy (grilled or baked, not deep fried)
- beans, including baked beans, lima beans, garbanzo and kidney beans (all pack an additional punch of zinc and fibre)
- whole eggs ( I know they contain cholesterol but it is the ‘good’ kind -HDL),
- cottage cheese (1-2% fat content is preferred) with a serving of fresh fruit, &
- natural crunchy peanut butter
Just a further note about cholesterol:
Since testosterone is actually synthesized from cholesterol, a dietary supply is necessary, and whole eggs supply it in a ‘good’ form with low caloric effect. Including vitamin C from fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis will keep the ‘bad’ form of cholesterol LDL in check. But if you have a severe case of cholesterol woes, best confirm with your healthcare provider to be safe.
Fats Needed for Hormone Production
A combination of fats are absolutely necessary for great testosterone production. Omega-3s (EFAS) and monounsaturated fats (MUFAS) should be the prime fats in your diet along with a moderate amount of saturated fats (SFAS).
Foods supplying EFAS:
- salmon (wild-harvested only), albacore tuna, and sardines
- vocados (the Aztecs called them ‘ahuacatl’ meaning “testicle”, perhaps because of their shape and that they grow on the tree in pairs)
- nuts and seeds, including walnuts, brazil and almonds, pumpkin and flaxseeds, &
- oils such as flax seed, canola and wheatgerm oils
Foods supplying MUFAS:
- oils, including extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed and flaxseed,
- avocados (definitely a double plus for this fruit),
- nuts and seeds, especially peanuts and almonds (including ‘butter’ form) &
- chocolate (dark only, at least 70% cocoa content – yes it is good for you and full of antioxidants)
Finally, cruciferous vegetables
These veggies are a ‘must’ have in your regular diet since they contain IC3s (indole-3-carbinol), which essentially controls estrogen levels, and as previously mentioned estrogen in effect ‘softens’ your testosterone!
To supply IC3s, Include these foods 3-4 times a week:
- cabbage, raw or cooked (including Chinese and Napa cabbages)
- bok choy
- brussel sprouts (2 servings of these can greatly effect your testosterone levels)
- broccoli, again raw or cooked, &
- radish, horseradish, daikon and wasabi are also included in this group (great if you like roast beef or sushi)
Most of the basic food groups are covered in the above lists and can be balanced with an intake of moderate low-glycemic carbs including fruits, veggies and wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals.