June is the dedicated month for men’s health as Father’s day will land on its third Sunday. It’s the perfect opportunity to encourage men in your life to take care of their physical and mental well-being.
But first, let’s define what testosterone is and its vital role in men’s health.
Fast facts about testosterone
Testosterone is a hormone that’s mainly produced by a man’s testes, while some are produced by the adrenal glands. It plays a significant role in regulating a man’s sex drive and sperm production, although it has other important functions, as well. The hormone also helps regulate the following:
- Bone mass
- Muscle mass and strength
- Fat distribution
- Red blood cell production
- Verbal memory
- Spatial ability
As you can see, testosterone plays a vital role in a man’s overall health. If the production of this hormone is disrupted, it could potentially lead to several complications. These are:
- Sex drive reduction
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low sperm count
- Decrease energy levels
- Weight gain
- Mood disorders
- Thinner bones
- Low self-esteem
To remedy this, doctors would usually prescribe testosterone-enhancing medications and other treatments to boost a person’s hormone levels. Aside from this, you can also consume foods that boost testosterone to complement your doctor’s treatment plan.
What to eat to increase testosterone
Tuna is one of the best foods to boost testosterone levels as it’s rich in Vitamin D, which has a strong link to testosterone production. But this isn’t to say you should only buy fresh tuna at the market.
Even canned tuna is packed with Vitamin D, while also providing other benefits like niacin and Vitamin K. Be warned, however. Tuna contains methylmercury, which can cause health complications once it builds up in your body.
But there are other types of tuna that contain less of this harmful toxic cation like the light tuna. Studies have found that this variation contains less methylmercury compared to white tuna.
Salmon is another type of food that raises testosterone levels as it’s packed with Vitamin D. However, there is a difference between wild salmon and farmed salmon.
Farmed salmon contains 988 IU (international unit) of Vitamin D per 100 grams serving. Wild salmon, on the other hand, contains 1,300 IU per serving, which is a big difference.
Despite this disparity, it’s still a good idea to eat salmon if you’re looking to increase your testosterone.
3. Oily fish
Other fish that’s loaded with Vitamin D are sardines, herring, halibut, and mackerel. But you should also practice some restrictions when consuming them.
For instance, pickled herring contains a lot of sodium, which can increase your weight as sodium encourages water retention. There’s also some danger of overconsumption of food with too much Omega-3 fatty acids.
Some researchers contend that too much Omega-3 fatty acids can lead to poor response against viral or bacterial attacks. This is especially true for those who are already taking Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, along with eating too much food containing the element.
So always eat them in moderation to err on the safe side.
Oysters are great for increasing low testosterone levels as they contain a large amount of zinc. While there’s limited research about the link between zinc and hypogonadism, some studies are supporting this line of reasoning.
One such study found that men who receive 30 milligrams of zinc per day got their testosterone levels increased. But it’s important to understand that if you’re already getting enough zinc per day, increasing it won’t further boost your low testosterone quantity.
Shellfish is another great source of zinc. According to the National Institutes of Health Trusted Source, eating just a 3-ounce serving of an Alaskan King crab will provide you with 43 percent of your needed zinc daily value.
Lobster is another great option. A small lobster contains around 4 milligrams of zinc, which is more than 30 percent of a man’s daily zinc requirement.
While fish is a great source of Vitamin D, and shellfish have loads of zinc, beef is a great source of both. But you should carefully select the cut you’re consuming.
For a high Vitamin D source, choose beef liver. For zinc sources, chuck roast and ground beef are your best bet.
But always remember to eat red meat in moderation. Don’t consume it daily as this will lead to other health complications like cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
Still, eating this occasionally will help boost your low testosterone levels. Just stick to lean cuts and you can decrease the dangers posed by red meat.
7. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables contain an abundant amount of magnesium, a mineral that could also boost your testosterone. Greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are just some of the choices available to you.
Aside from testosterone, magnesium also has other benefits including boosting your exercise performance, warding off depression, and controlling Type 2 diabetes. These are just some of the many benefits of magnesium, which is involved in over 600 reactions inside your body.
Lentils and chickpeas are loaded with zinc. But white, black, and kidney beans contain both zinc and Vitamin D. Combining legumes with other choices in this list will help you prepare a hormone-balancing diet.
9. Egg yolk
Another food that boosts testosterone levels is egg yolk. Again, this is attributed to its Vitamin D content. But don’t incorporate this into your diet if you have cholesterol issues. Speak with your doctor first to determine whether or not eating one egg a day is good for you.
10. Meat and poultry products
Meat and poultry products can also boost your testosterone levels as they contain d-aspartic acid. This is an amino acid encouraging hormone release in your brain, with the created hormone leading to testosterone production.
The aspartic acid that your body will produce will depend on the type of meat and poultry products you’ll consume. For instance, roasted chicken breast meat contains 3.7 grams of aspartic acid. Meanwhile, a turkey of equal portions will give you 2.8 grams of aspartic acid.
Don’t forget about exercise
Similar to managing your weight, you shouldn’t just focus on your diet if you’re trying to boost your testosterone level. You should also include exercise as it can help in both short-term and long-term testosterone production.
Resistance training is considered to be one of the best physical activities for this. A 2007 study found that male participants who did resistance training three days a week for four weeks saw an increase in testosterone level right after the workout session and overtime as well.
Eat testosterone-boosting meals at the right amount
Food is one of the best sources of nutrients that help increase testosterone levels. But it’s important to eat these foods in the right quantities. This is where SmartPlate becomes your best friend, as it combines an AI-powered app and super accurate food scales that help you portion your meals according to your caloric needs.
Get started with SmartPlate today.