Hormone Health Series: Testosterone
Testosterone. The hormone that aids in muscle growth, energy, and male and female sex organ function. All of us men want it, but are we looking in the right places? No. The more and more work I do as a Nutritionist, the more I realize, the body is amazing and it can function optimally quite naturally. Our decisions are what get in the way of keeping us living a healthy life. That is to say that if we eat a whole food diet rich in fruits and vegetables, our bodies can prevent disease and heal itself at astounding rates. So to begin this article, the most important thing to note is that testosterone occurs naturally in the body, the problem then resides in what we put in our body to either improve testosterone function or worsen testosterone function.
Enemy number one: xenoestrogens and dioxins. These are toxins that are found in industrial waste i.e. plastics, wrappers, smoke, soaps, etc. Unfortunately these byproducts of industrialization are not well managed. These toxins end up in our oceans, soil, and air. Because these contaminates end up in water sources, they then come back down in the form of rain. This means that BOTH plants and animals will often have some level of these industrial contaminates present in them when they get to our stores and in our homes. The biggest difference…these toxins are fat soluble, meaning they store in fat cells. Seeing that plants don’t have fat cells like animals do, they don’t store nearly as much of these contaminates as animals do. Not only do animals store these toxins more easily, but the animals that then eat the other animals actually end up with HIGHER amounts in their fat cells then the previous animal. This isn’t too good for us humans because we are at the very tip top of the food chain.
So where are these toxins found in the highest quantities? Fish and chicken, specifically salmon. The problem is that these toxins block human steroid production, so we’re not just looking at testosterone, but also progesterone and estrogen as well as other crucial growth hormones. If you think eating meat is manly, you may want to think again.
Avoiding high levels of these environmental toxins is the first and most important thing you can do to improve testosterone levels. Second, you can increase your antioxidant intake. Antioxidants are found in high amounts in fruits and vegetables. Particular cells like sperm cells are particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress. Antioxidants help preserve and protect against cell damage. To be sure you’re getting in a variety of antioxidants, eat all the colors of the rainbow. Each color has different antioxidants that help protect all the cells of your body.
What is the number one thing you can do to actually raise testosterone? Sex. Yes sex is the best way to raise testosterone in males. Taking testosterone in pill form can have consequential effects. You’re body already produces testosterone naturally, so when you intake testosterone you confuse your body and signal to the body that there is no need to produce as much testosterone. This creates a dependency on the steroid. Those who have used testosterone know very well how this works. If you don’t up your dose after a certain amount of time, your improving levels will not continue. This is a very unhealthy cycle as very high levels of testosterone in the body can lead to cancer and heart attack.
Your body is amazing and it can manage itself if you fead it the right foods. Avoid fish and chicken to improve testosterone levels, an active sex life with increase testosterone, and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will keep your sperm cells healthy. For sources on this subject click here and here.