Testosterone is an important hormone essential for sexual function, but it's involved in a number of other body processes as well, such as keeping bones and muscles strong, helping determine where fat accumulates on the body, and contributing to the production of red blood cells. Testosterone boosts mood and energy, and it plays an important role in a healthy sex drive.
Testosterone levels naturally decrease as we age, which can cause sexual problems, sleep problems, bone loss, an increase in body fat, and mental problems like depression or trouble concentrating.
If you're experiencing these symptoms, it's time to look at ways to boost your testosterone levels, and dietary changes are just one of many ways to do just that. Some foods, like tuna, egg yolks, shellfish, beef, and beans, can increase testosterone production.
Other foods can interfere with testosterone production. Here are four foods that are best to avoid if you think you have low testosterone.
Soy products are touted for their health benefits, but they may cause reductions in testosterone levels. Soy-based foods like tofu, soymilk, miso, and edamame contain substances called phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that alter hormone levels and may reduce testosterone, according to an article published in the journal German Medical Science.
Studies on rats show that phytoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. One study found that these substances significantly decreased testosterone levels and reduced prostate weight in rats.
Spearmint and peppermint are herbs that belong to the mint family, and research shows that they may have an important effect on testosterone production. Although most of the research into mint's effects on testosterone has focused on women or animals, several studies involving mint herbal teas and essential oils show that mint causes a significant decline in testosterone.
Processed foods are at the heart of many health conditions, including decreased testosterone levels. Processed foods are high in calories, sodium, and added sugar, and they're rife with trans fats, which are linked to heart disease, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and low testosterone.
Studies show that a diet high in processed foods translates to high levels of trans fats. A study of men found that those who consumed high levels of trans fats from processed foods had testosterone levels that were 15 percent lower than the levels of men who consumed few trans fats. They also had lower sperm counts and decreased testicular volume.
In excessive amounts, alcohol can cause a significant decrease in testosterone levels, according to several studies. One study of healthy men found that more than two drinks a day decreased testosterone levels by 6.8 percent over three weeks.
Another study found that alcohol intoxication increased testosterone in women but decreased it in men. Drinking more than one to two alcoholic beverages per day can negatively impact testosterone levels and contribute to other serious health problems.
It's important to talk to your doctor and try making significant lifestyle changes before opting for pharmaceutical interventions for low testosterone. While low testosterone can be treated with hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, this comes with serious risks.
The best way to increase your testosterone levels without medication or HRT is to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, including getting adequate sleep; eating a healthy, mostly plant-based diet; exercising regularly; and keeping your stress levels down.
Additionally, a daily supplement can go a long way toward increasing your testosterone levels naturally. Prostavol's Natural Testosterone Booster contains research-based ingredients proven to increase testosterone production and promote improved sexual health, muscle growth, and higher energy levels for a healthier, happier life.
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