Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men that has an important role in physical changes that occur in boys during puberty. The changes include increased hair growth, building increased muscle and developing a deeper voice. Women also have a small amount of testosterone in their bodies, which means that men and women need healthy amounts of testosterone for overall well-being and for sexual health.
Do you wonder why or how testosterone affects the human body, and why you need it throughout adulthood? Many people are likely to wonder the same thing. There are some important details about testosterone, and the effects of having low testosterone levels.
How do you raise your testosterone naturally? What foods increase testosterone? We explore six natural foods that help to boost testosterone. Let's go!
Why is Testosterone Important?
Testosterone is more than a hormone responsible for high sex drive. The steroid hormone affects several functions in the body, which include:
- Blood cell production
- Bone density and muscle health
- Sperm production
- Sex drive
- Penis and testes development
Harvard Health Publishing explains that testosterone has an important role in women’s health. It is produced in the ovaries and adrenal gland in females, and may have effects on bone strength, ovarian function, and sexual well-being in women.
Men and women need to have optimal testosterone levels throughout adulthood, and into their senior years. The problem with that is that testosterone levels generally start to decline when you are in your 30s.
Causes of Testosterone Decline
Do you believe that testosterone decline is completely attributed to aging or to a rare medical condition? Wrong!
There are several causes of testosterone decline, or Low T, including:
- Decreased sex drive or lower sperm count
- Prostate enlargement along with difficulty urinating
- Irritability or mood swings or depression
- Damage to the heart and increased risk of heart attack
- Injury to the testicles or shrinking of the testicles
Women and Low Testosterone
Women may experience symptoms that are related to low testosterone levels. Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are particularly at risk of experiencing low testosterone. The symptoms include having low libido, poor concentration, and depression.
Diet-Induced Obesity and Low Testosterone
Studies show that obesity plays a role in men who have low testosterone levels. Researchers conducted a study which investigated both the independent and the cooperative interactions of testosterone and diet-induced obesity. They examined the metabolic, the inflammatory and the neural health indices in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous systems.
The researchers discovered that low testosterone and diet-induced obesity combined to increase inflammation, and showed evidence of nerve damage within the peripheral nervous system. Researchers concluded that having low testosterone and diet-induced obesity are “interactive regulators of neuroinflammation,” which, combined with other factors, may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or type 2 diabetes.
Testosterone booster benefits help to regulate testosterone levels in those who have low testosterone. A Healthline article author reveals several benefits of boosting your testosterone if you have low levels.
The benefits of boosting your testosterone include increased bone density, increased muscle mass with less fat and more lean muscle, improved libido, and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Some studies suggest that increased testosterone may help with heart disease.
Six Natural Testosterone Booster Foods
You do not have to spend several hours a day at the gym to try to boost your testosterone. There are several foods that help to naturally boost testosterone. We provide you with a list of six natural foods that act as natural testosterone boosters, with no increased time at the gym.
Pomegranate and Pomegranate juice
Pomegranates lower your stress hormones and your blood pressure, while increasing the levels of your sex hormones. Pomegranates may protect cells that produce testosterone from injury.
Grapes contain resveratrol, which promotes sperm health and boosts testosterone. Eating grapes may keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, both of which can contribute to low testosterone.
Increase your libido by eating more grapes.
Berries and Cherries
Berries and cherries are testosterone boosting fruit options that are rich in flavonoid antioxidants. Cherries may not have a long season in the summertime, so if you do not have a cherry tree in your backyard, opt for dark berries.
Pick up some blueberries and blackberries, both of which may help to fight oxidative stress. Blueberries, like grapes, contain resveratrol, which blocks testosterone from converting into estrogen.
Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic are more than your friend in the kitchen. WebMD indicates that they are both your ally in the bedroom.
Onions and garlic help you to produce more sperm. They have high levels of flavonoids, which may protect against damage to sperm.
Onions and garlic also raise hormone levels that tells the body to make more testosterone.
Dark and Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens provide your body with magnesium, which is important for maintaining testosterone levels, including in older men concerned about decreased testosterone. The magnesium and other micronutrients help to fight oxidative stress and inflammation, which may reduce your testosterone levels.
Avocados provide your body with a source of healthy fats. Healthy fats are important for hormonal health.
Avocados also contain both boron and magnesium, which are important micronutrients for healthy testosterone levels.
There are several other foods that boost testosterone that are good choices for vegans. You do not have to forego snacks because you have options such as vegan cookies. Some vegan cookies contain ingredients known to help promote healthy testosterone levels.
Do vegans need to worry about low testosterone?
No, in fact, some studies suggest that a vegan diet may contribute to maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
Are there other ways that vegans can fight having low testosterone levels?
Yes, get a healthy amount of sunlight, which provides Vitamin D. Studies show that Vitamin D supplements also significantly increased testosterone levels, compared to men who did not supplement with Vitamin D.
Is sleep important for maintaining testosterone?
Yes. Men who sleep only five hours or less face a daytime drop in testosterone levels.