Looking to boost your testosterone level? If so, what you eat can have a profound influence on the overall levels released into your bloodstream over time. Most people already know that testosterone is one of the primary male sex hormones (although females do have it in small amounts). What they may not know, however, are the many roles that testosterone plays in the body. Not only is testosterone responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics (facial and body hair and a deepening voice), but it’s also responsible for keeping you fit, healthy, and feeling your best. Especially for men, testosterone is what makes them a man; testosterone is responsible for the development of muscular strength and size, giving that aggressive edge, keeping their libido levels and sexual function optimal, and it also helps keep the body leaner. Men who have chronically low levels of testosterone tend to typically experience a decline in lean muscle mass tissue while experiencing an incline in fat mass. This can then put them at risk for a number of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Women too need some testosterone in their bodies. While females will have just a fraction of the testosterone that males have, it’s still important for women to sustain proper muscular strength and development, to help increase energy levels, to assist with maintaining the body composition necessary for a healthy female body, and to help with both libido levels as well as bone strength.
It is normal for testosterone to decrease as one gets older, however, with proper lifestyle and nutrition choices, you can put your best foot forward to optimise your levels as best as possible.
Let’s look at seven foods that you’ll want to avoid if you hope to do just that. While there are some foods that can boost testosterone, there are many that will cause it to decrease. So looking at both ends of the equation is important for maximum success.
Let’s start with what you may consider a healthy food to consume regularly. Flaxseeds are a form of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, rich in fiber, and contain some protein as well. All in all, this seems like a good thing. But, if your goal is to raise testosterone levels (or prevent a decline), flaxseed consumption could be causing you problems. The reason that flaxseeds are on the hit-list for raising testosterone is because they are rich in lignans, which tend to mimic estrogen in the body. Since estrogen is the opposing sex hormone to testosterone, the more of it you have (particularly if you are a man), the more low testosterone-like symptoms you’ll have.
Females may not be as at-risk from having flaxseeds in their diet due to the fact they have far more estrogen to begin with, but men should be very aware of this connection. Instead, consider supplementing your diet with some fish oil to help get those important omega-3 fatty acids in instead. These will provide similar benefits without the change to your testosterone levels.
While licorice may not seem like the worst treat to have, you may want to think again about this choice. What will likely come as a surprise to most is that licorice can have a very powerful impact on natural testosterone levels. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine noted that when researchers had test subjects consume the main component in licorice, Glycyrrhizic acid, there was a significant decrease in total testosterone levels after just seven grams of daily consumption for a period of four days. Considering it can be quite easy to eat an entire pack of licorice in just a single sitting, it won’t take much if you are a regular consumer of this candy to see effects taking place.
It’s important to keep in mind that extracts of licorice root can be used as flavoring agents in other foods as well as in some breath fresheners, so make sure that you are reading food labels to keep yourself informed. You could be taking in higher doses of licorice without realising it.
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Next up on the hit list if you want to keep your testosterone levels high is soft drink