First, What is Testosterone?
We’ve all got a basic idea of what testosterone is to some degree. And we know that it plays a very significant role in our lives. Testosterone is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body. Testosterone helps in many aspects of a man’s life, but mainly its purpose is to maintain bone density, fat distribution, muscle strength and mass, facial & body hair, red blood cell production, sex drive & sperm production. It is the essence of a man’s manhood.
While it is naturally produced in the body, testosterone can be affected by a number of external factors. Environmental conditions, stressors from work & life, and even foods can paly a huge role in either increasing or lowering the natural production of this potent hormone.
Diet is probably the most significant factor the can determine the rate of natural testosterone production, if any. A healthy diet rich in wholesome foods can really ramp up testosterone, while a poor diet full of junk food and even overdoing some common foods can result in a sharp decline.
Diet Makes a Difference
We know certain foods rich in Zinc, Vitamin D and Magnesium can play a very big role with testosterone production. These kinds of food can naturally be found in things like Oysters, Avocados, Grass-Fed Milk, Beans, Whole-Grains, and many kinds of Fish. These are all examples of very healthy, natural and wholesome food choices. Eating them will greatly increase the rate of natural testosterone production.
On the other hand, some foods can have the exact opposite reaction and negatively impact testosterone production. This includes a diet rich in trans-fats, polyunsaturated fats, processed foods, and fast foods.
Even a number of foods that would otherwise be considered health foods can be damaging in high amounts. So if we want to ensure we are keeping our testosterone levels high it is extremely important that we have a clear understanding on what foods can imped these goals.
Testosterone Lowering Foods
(1) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
These are otherwise known as refined vegetable oils. Throughout most of the world these oils are the most commonly used form of cooking oil. Studies have shown that a diet high in polyunsaturated fats, which is high in Omega 6, causes systemic inflammation and oxidative stress.
While it is a common past-time for most of us, alcohol can be quite damaging. And in this case dosage makes the difference. Heavy alcohol consumption corresponds with lowered testosterone levels, and actually results in a higher production of estrogen levels.
(3) Soy Products
Though it is of considerable debate, many studies have shown soy bean products can negatively impact testosterone levels. This is thought to be the result of the high amount of phyto-estrogenic isoflavones present in soybeans. Additionally, it is anti-androgenic meaning it down-regulates androgen receptors.
This is a common byproduct of a process called hydrogenation. This is the process by which raw oils are hardened by passing hydrogen atoms through the oil in high pressure with the presence of nickel. Foods high in trans-fats include; vegetable shortenings, margarine, fats-foods, potato chips, muffins, donuts, cookies cakes and frostings.
(5) Soft Drinks
Empty calories and sugar are all that make up these drinks. These horrible ingredients result in excess body fat and will promote estrogenic effects, raising estrogen levels while simultaneously lowering testosterone levels.
(6) Processed Carbohydrates
Any refined carbohydrates can wreak havoc on testosterone levels. They will convert into sugars and lead to weight gain and raising estrogen levels.
(7) Flax Seed
While a very popular health food due to the high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, the negative effects could outweigh the positive ones. Flax contains high amounts of lignans, which are highly estrogenic and studies have shown that they can reduce total and free testosterone levels.
Repercussions? Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. And in reality we have to be very aware of what we put into our bodies if we intend to maintain a healthy, lean and functional physique.
Testosterone is a very important aspect of health and wellness. And for men, it is absolutely pivotal towards living life to the fullest. So watching what we eat is of the utmost importance. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a burger with French Fries and a beer now and then.
It doesn’t mean we have to shovel avocados down our throats all day long either. We can find a balance, obviously one that weights heavier on the side of healthy & wholesome foods, but still allows room for the occasional treat…or “cheat meal”.
So don’t go crazy over this, just be aware of the foods that can do damage to the great gains you are striving for, and your ultimate goal for health and wellness.
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