It can be difficult to admit you have low testosterone. In fact, some men may consider it emasculating, and choose not to address the issue out of fear. But of course, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! By the age of 30, men naturally start to produce less testosterone.
What is testosterone?
It’s an androgen hormone. In men, most of it is produced by the testes and a small amount in our adrenal glands. During puberty, testosterone is needed to help define male characteristics such as body hair, facial hair, and a deeper voice. Other than that, why is testosterone vital to men’s health?
Functions of Testosterone:
- Sex drive
- Muscle mass and strength
- Bone density
Now that we know why testosterone is necessary, how can we identify testosterone imbalance?
Signs and Symptoms of Testosterone Imbalance:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low sex drive
- Decreased muscle mass
Just because our testosterone levels decline with age, doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it! Through certain dietary and lifestyle changes, we are more than capable of supporting the body’s natural ability to create this hormone.
It’s important to note, testosterone isn’t limited to men. Women have small amounts of testosterone, as well, to support energy and libido.
So, how do we naturally support testosterone production?
Top 2 Things To Avoid
- Sugar – Sugar is such a dirty player when it comes to our health. As a matter of fact, most North American’s consume much more sugar than is recommended. An excess intake of sugar leads to insulin resistance. If our body becomes more resistant to insulin, then it drives our testosterone levels down.
- Endocrine Disruptors – These are chemicals that can interfere with hormone production. They can be found in skin creams, shampoos, soaps and more. Examples include PEG, phthlates and parabens.
Now that we’ve discussed how testosterone can be impaired, let’s focus on the dietary and lifestyle changes we can make to improve levels.
Dietary Recommendations to Boost Testosterone
- Healthy Fats – Fat is required in order to build healthy hormones. Coconut oil, olive oil and avocados are a few options to choose from.
- Zinc – Zinc is a mineral used to create testosterone. Men with lower testosterone may be lacking zinc. Dietary sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds, turkey, and chickpeas.
- Eggs – Cholesterol, which is a precursor to testosterone, is found inside egg yolks. Eggs also contain Vitamin D, and if you are deficient in it, low testosterone could be a side effect.
Lifestyle Recommendations to Boost Testosterone Levels
- Exercise – Adding strength training to your workout regimen may help raise testosterone levels. Another great benefit of exercise is that it can increase our mood boosting hormones and lower our stress hormone cortisol. If there is too much cortisol in our bodies, our testosterone levels drop.
- Sleep – Getting adequate sleep acts like a reset button, helping regulate functions in our body. We require at least 7.5-8 hours each night. A lack of sleep elevates cortisol levels in the body.
If you’re curious to see where your testosterone levels are at, seek out a qualified health care practitioner such as a Naturopathic Doctor. Or, if you’d like more advice on naturally supporting your testosterone levels, you can request an appointment with me here.