When you are choosing the food you want to eat, you’re probably like most Americans and are aware of how that food may affect your waistline. However, the food you eat affects more than the number on your bathroom scale. That food can make a difference in the way your body functions, including the production of the hormone testosterone. Regular consumption of certain foods can throw the body’s hormones out of balance or make it more difficult for the body to use those hormones correctly.
So, what exactly is testosterone? It is one of the major sex hormones in the body. And even though testosterone is thought of as a mainly male hormone, women produce and use this hormone also, just in much smaller amounts. Testosterone promotes an increase in muscle mass, bone mass, body hair, and influences reproduction.
Usually, our bodies do a pretty good job of regulating our hormones and keeping levels of testosterone where they need to be. However, some foods can interfere with this process by throwing the hormone levels out of balance. If you are worried about your testosterone levels, you might want to avoid particular foods, or at least eat them in moderation.
First, a person looking to raise his testosterone levels might choose to avoid dairy products. Some cow’s milk contains hormones, which may be either natural or synthetic. Also, cattle feed often contains soy, which can increase the levels of estrogen in the cow’s milk. Elevated levels of estrogen can have a negative effect on testosterone levels.
Anyone with concerns about their testosterone levels might also want to consider giving up or at least limiting drinking alcohol. Studies show that heavy drinking or regular drinking over long periods causes a decrease of testosterone in males. Oddly enough, the same study found that alcohol consumption in women actually causes an increase in the levels of this hormone.
Our diets usually contain a variety of fat types, which have different effects on testosterone levels. Research has found that eating trans fats, such as that found in cakes, pies, margarine, microwave popcorn, and doughnuts, may lower testosterone levels in the body. On the plus side, eating plenty of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids may increase testicle size and improve function. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids can be found in most kinds of fish and in flaxseeds and walnuts.
In addition to diet, there are other factors which negatively affect levels of testosterone in the body. These factors include aging, a sedentary lifestyle, chronic drug or tobacco use, obesity and diabetes. You can’t do much about the aging part, but the rest of these factors are under your control to varying degrees.
So, let’s end this article on a positive note and remember that there are ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels. These would be eating a balanced diet focused on fresh foods, avoid overeating, and get plenty of sleep each night. And if you are concerned about your testosterone levels, give the above suggestions a try. You do have a certain amount of control over this hormone.