It’s important for us to understand how our bodies work to lead healthier lives.
We all produce testosterone, a hormone commonly associated with masculinity, physical strength, libido, and confidence, especially among males.
However, the production of this hormone slows down as we age.
While aging is often viewed as an enemy regarding the production of testosterone.
Here are different tips for men on how to effectively grow their muscles and get stronger.
It’s the Type of Food You Eat
Like other health aspects, the type of food you eat can determine the level of testosterone in your body. Certain foods can lower testosterone while others may increase it.
According to Jake Fantus, a clinical assistant in the andrology department at Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, “No universal diet has an overall effect on testosterone.”
In other words, there are different types of foods that can increase or lower testosterone levels in your body.
“A human body has enough or not enough testosterone,” said Fantus. It’s either your level of testosterone is okay, or you are experiencing some form of deficiency that should be redressed.
Testosterone Alone Does not Affect all Body Functions
In a study published by Fantus in 2019, men who adhere to low-fat diets have slightly lower testosterone levels.
However, follow-up studies have indicated that this difference has no correlation to other factors like erectile function.
Having enough testosterone does not impact your normal bodily functions. But, there are different symptoms of low testosterone you should be aware of so you can take appropriate action to address the situation.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
The symptoms often associated with low testosterone include the following:
- Low libido
- Decreased strength and muscle weight
- Erectile dysfunction
- Depression and anxiety
- Increased fat deposits in your body
When you experience any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to consult a specialist in men’s health.
Types of Super-foods that Enhance Testosterone Production
“It is a good idea to consider testosterone-boosting superfoods to rectify the issues,” said Fantus.
Different types of foods are believed to enhance the production of testosterone in our bodies. “While some of these claims are supported by research, some of them can be tracked to misrepresentation of nutritional science,” Fantus said.
For example, it is widely believed that cabbage lowers estrogen which indirectly leads to a boost in testosterone. According to Men’s Health, the consumption of cabbage “eliminates girly hormones from your blood.”
Cabbage contains a chemical called indole-3 carbinol that is responsible for getting rid of female-like hormones which can affect the production of testosterone in males.
This idea is supported by a study that was conducted at Rockefeller University that found that the levels of urinary estrogens increased after 500 g of indole-3 carbinol was administered a day to a group of students in the survey.
The study also found that 500 g of indole-3 carbinol is equivalent to the amount of chemical found in just half of a cabbage head.
While the findings in the study are real, it does not mention the word “testosterone.” The study was only limited to a sample of seven male participants.
Additionally, it is not worth eating about four cabbages per week since the findings of the study were subject to different interpretations.
Eggs constitute other testosterone-boosting “superfoods” but these are based on animal model findings. They are yet to be tested in human beings to establish their efficacy.
Other elements like cocoa have been tested on people with testosterone deficiency.
However, further studies indicate that groups of food such as oysters can be viewed as testosterone-boosting, but their downsides outweigh the benefits.
Therefore, you should consult a physician before you begin to over-consume any of these superfoods in a bid to boost your testosterone.
“Apart from taking specific foods to increase testosterone, it is a good idea to eat a balanced diet if you want to pursue a masculine ideal,” said Fantus.
Dangers of Carnivore Diet
There is a danger in some people trying meat-heavy diets to build muscle while at the same time neglecting other critical micronutrients that make up a balanced diet.
You can get proteins and fat from a carnivore diet which assures you that you won’t be iron deficient.
However, this specialized diet might not have all the components required for the production of testosterone.
Instead of focusing on a specific food, overall dietary changes will be appropriate for men suffering from testosterone deficiencies.
“For example, being overweight can lead to testosterone deficiency,” said Fantus. Therefore, obese people can make necessary lifestyle changes by eating a balanced diet and exercising.
A combination of exercise and a balanced diet can go a long way in promoting weight loss which in turn can raise your testosterone levels.
Make sure you consult a physician before making the appropriate dietary changes.
A perfect diet that can boost your testosterone includes different types of foods consumed in appropriate proportions.
“If you maintain a restrictive diet, then you may not be able to achieve your desired goals.
Adding More Testosterone Might not be a Solution
Some people often have misunderstandings about the purpose of testosterone since they tend to confuse diet and supplements toward the production of this hormone.
While testosterone plays a pivotal role in different systems within the body, adding more will not be a solution when any of the systems falters.
You should understand the difference between maintaining testosterone at desired levels and increasing its production.
When you reach a certain stage at some point in life, it is of little consequence to increase this hormone in your body.
Testosterone level is just a number, and there is no guarantee that it will fix all your challenges when you increase it.
Instead, you must focus on the endgame and share with your doctor the things you are concerned about regarding your lower level of testosterone.
If you have a challenge of erectile dysfunction, it will be a good idea to focus on that specific aspect rather than generalizing everything.
Your doctor can quickly get a solution for your problem if you are specific.
We all need testosterone in our bodies to function normally. If you want to grow your muscles and get stronger, you should prioritize a good diet.