ABUNDANT LIVING: Be a man! Increase your testosterone naturally — Part 3
(WRITER’S NOTE: This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for individual health and fitness advice.)
In Part 1 of this three-part article we discussed the importance of testosterone in the development of muscle mass, sex drive, energy, mental health, overall wellbeing and much more. I also mentioned that testosterone declines as a person ages.
In Part 2, we discussed three methods to boost testosterone naturally and thus overall manilness: maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough quality sleep and incorporating high intensity and/or high intensity interval training into your exercise routine.
Part 3 will explore how proper nutrition, avoiding environmental toxins and managing stress can affect testosterone levels and what action steps can be taken.
To increase testosterone a person not only needs adequate calories but adequate dietary fat. Not just fat, but saturated fat, which is the basis for many hormones. Yes, this is also the type of fat typically associated with higher levels of blood cholesterol so check with your doctor before making major changes to your diet.
Adequate amounts of fat means exactly that. A diet that includes lean meat, eggs, and nuts, but that is based on vegetables and other plants that are high in nutrients is always the way to go.
Regarding testosterone, specific nutrients such as Vitamin D and zinc should be optimized. Deficiencies in these nutrients are becoming very common, as poor diets increase and hours of outdoor activity decline. To get your zinc try eating a variety of red meat, beans, seafood, nuts, seeds and, if necessary, zinc supplements.
For Vitamin D, 10-15 minutes of sunlight at least 3 days per week should do the trick for most people. Vitamin D supplements might also be necessary, but check with your family physician before taking any nutritional supplements, as blood testing may be warranted.
Another great way to boost testosterone via nutrition, though indirectly, is by consuming cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. These foods don’t increase testosterone but they do help block some of the body’s natural estrogen production. That’s right, both men and women make estrogen, which is the counterpart to testosterone. So eat your broccoli like your mom always said!
Stress is a killer. Literally! When you are under an excessive amount of stress and are not properly managing it, your body releases high levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone that is important in controlling things such as blood sugar levels, inflammation, memory, salt and water levels, and other things. When the body produces too much cortisol, however, over a long period from things such as unmanaged stress, cortisol has been shown to actually inhibit positive effects of testosterone.
To help manage stress levels, try talking to a friend, meditate, pray, exercise, etc… Your body, and mind, will thank you.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are substances that may interfere with the body’s normal production of hormones. These may include: some prescription and non-prescription medications, pesticides and plastics containing chemicals such as bisphenol A. EDCs can found in plastic bottles, metal food cans, household cleaners, and pesticides.
Avoid EDCs by using glass containers whenever possible. Avoid plastic materials such as food containers and water bottles, especially in combination with heat, such as microwaving a meal in plastic, which can increase the release of these chemicals into our food and water.
Also, avoid canned foods especially those with a liner containing bisphenol A.
Lastly, stay away from excessive consumption of plants containing phytoestrogens, which are naturally occurring substances found in things like soy-based products that have hormone-like effects of the body.
Know where your food comes from and do your best to wash off all possible pesticides.
Bellomo has a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, is a certified strength and condition specialist and performance enhancement specialist with 24 years in the fitness and wellness field. For more fitness tips contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Bellomo Online Training on Facebook