1. Hormones — What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is an anabolic steroid hormone that falls in the androgen group. Secreted primarily by the testicles in males and, in very small amounts, the ovaries of women, testosterone is the principal male sex hormone. It is essential for optimal health and well-being, even in the prevention of osteoporosis. In adults, testosterone regulates cognitive and physical energy, maintains muscle mass, and reduces cardiovascular disease and obesity. Studies have shown that with age comes a reduction in testosterone production. While aging is inevitable, the effects of it are not. By naturally managing the five points of the restorative model, you can kickstart your testosterone boosting diet to counterattack the effects of aging.
2. Nutrition — Diet and Supplements
Minerals, such as zinc and magnesium, are needed for glands to start testosterone production. Cholesterol is also important for the leydig cells that make testosterone. Several studies explain that higher fat and cholesterol consumption can increase those T levels. Additionally, eating foods like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage can help boost testosterone production by removing estrogen in our body. Several supplements, such as Vitamin D3, zinc, and magnesium, can also aid in your body’s production of testosterone.
3. Toxins — Chemicals to Avoid
Certain chemicals have negative effects on hormone production and regulation, causing imbalances in our natural systems. One such toxin that is particularly disastrous to testosterone levels is called xenoestrogen. This chemical imitates estrogen, which causes T levels to drop significantly upon exposure. Common environmental xenoestrogens include:
Atrazine — This herbicide is used to treat corn, sugarcane, hay, and wheat. It is also applied to Christmas trees, residential lawns, golf courses, and other recreation areas. It is actually the most used herbicide in the United States.
BPA — A polycarbone plastic and epoxy resin, this chemical is used as a lining in most food and beverage cans.
Phthaltes — Phthalates are plasticizers found in many products: flooring, medical bags and tubing, perfumes, lotions, cosmetics, varnishes, and lacquers.
BHA — The infamous food preservative, commonly found in medicines. The state of California has actually listed BHA as a carcinogen.
4-MBC — This chemical is found in many sunscreen lotions claiming SPF value. 4-MBC is not approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration.
Parabens — Another xenoestrogen used in household cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. The large controversy surrounding this preservative has lead to many consumers seeking paraben-free alternatives.
The ubiquitous nature of xenoestrogens makes it very difficult to avoid. But a couple of steps could greatly reduce your exposure to this testosterone draining chemical: swap plastic containers for glass, eat organic food to limit exposure to pesticides, and find all natural cosmetics and lotions.
4. Mind — Manage Your Stress
Cortisol, the stress hormone, has shown to decrease testosterone levels in several studies. When the adrenal glands secrete this hormone to prepare the bodies for stressful situations, testosterone levels take a plumate. And when cortisol levels are steadily high, the body and mind can be negatively affected. Living under constant stress elevates your cortisol levels, which increases your cravings for sweets and carbs. In excess, cortisol also causes your body to break down muscle tissue for energy, lowering your metabolism and increasing fat percentages. The opposite of this, weight loss, has been shown to increase testosterone levels. A major step to reducing cortisol levels is to cut down your caffeine intake. Caffeine increases cortisol secretion in people undergoing mental stress. We suggest cutting back your overtime at work, spending two hours a day on non-work related activities, meditating and practicing yoga, and breathing exercises to manage your daily stress levels.
5. Body — Two Key Activities
Exercise and sleep. These two activities are key to helping your body regulate healthy amounts of testosterone. Like mentioned above, losing weight actually increases your testosterone levels through an increase in muscle mass and decrease in body fat. Some exercises that help boost testosterone include weight lifting and HITT training. But don’t overtrain — your body needs time to recuperate from the damage of exercise. This is where sleeps comes to play. In fact, the body makes most of its testosterone while we sleep. Getting 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep is critical. If you have trouble falling asleep, try reducing the amount of screen time (TV, computer, phone use), sugar and caffeine consumption, and exercise right before bed. If you prize your sleep, just like you’d prize a healthy diet and active lifestyle, your testosterone levels will thank you.
Before you begin a new nutritional program, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor for their input. To completely optimize your testosterone boosting diet, a visit to a holistic health practitioner is also suggested. It is critical to consider all five points of the restorative model when managing your health. You can request an appointment today to meet with a medical practitioner at the SaJune Institute for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine. Their extensive knowledge of activating and restoring hormones is invaluable to your wellness journey.