by Srikanth Radhakrishna
Testosterone is a white crystalline steroid hormone secreted by the testes. This androgen (male sex hormone) stimulates the development of male sexual organs. Decreased levels of testosterone can affect sperm count and may increase the risk of medical conditions like dementia, heart problems, depression and osteoporosis.
Men that have low levels of testosterone may become easily tired, unable to
concentrate, have decreased muscle mass, have difficulty falling asleep, have difficulty maintaining an erection, and have a decrease in their sex drive. In men this hormone is produced in the testes and is what drives their sexual desire. Men may notice a decrease in sperm production, very small or shrinking testes, breast tissue enlargement, or a decrease in body hair. Some men may notice increased fatigue and depression as well as poor concentration and memory loss.
Natural ways of increasing testosterone levels.
Zinc is an essential nutrient which promotes healthy secretion of testosterone in the human body. This vital mineral prevents conversion of testosterone to estrogen (sex hormone in women) by inhibiting the action of aromatase (an enzyme). Zinc converts estrogen to testosterone and increases sperm count.
Consuming foods that are rich in Zinc may help. Foods such as: Crimini mushrooms, lentils, fava beans, chick peas, kidney beans, black beans, spinach, asparagus, sesame butter, oysters, veal liver, sesame seeds, grass fed beef, dried watermelon seeds, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, venison, scallops, oats, yogurt, turkey, shrimp, lamb, peanuts and toasted wheat germ are some foods that are rich in zinc.
There are several healthy foods that may help increase testosterone levels by reducing estrogen levels such as: broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Garlic may also increase testosterone as well, because it contains diallyl-disulfide, a compound that enhances a hormone which increases testosterone production. Sweet potatoes, and mushrooms may help increase testosterone levels. Men should also avoid some foods that are usually considered healthy such as grapefruit because it may stimulate an enzyme that produces estrogen, and counteracts the production of testosterone.
Consuming a diet rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). The human body needs these healthy fats in order to produce testosterone. Olive oil, canola oil, avocados, black olives, green olives, peanut oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, macadamia nuts and pecans are rich in mono-saturated fats. Flax seeds, walnuts, salmons, sardines, soybeans, halibut, scallops, shrimp, tofu and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
People who are overweight should work on burning excess fat. Body fat contains the enzyme aromatase which converts testosterone to estrogen. It is advisable to exercise regularly and to consume low calorie diet. It is important to eliminate excess estrogen in the body. This can be achieved by consuming raw cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. These vegetables contain diindolylmethane (DIM). DIM flushes estrogen out of the body.
Xenoestrogens are industrially made compounds that have estrogenic effects. These compounds are found in pesticides, plastic containers, air fresheners, artificial growth hormones and steroids. It is advisable to avoid using colognes, air freshener and perfume that contain paraben (a xenoestrogen). Consume organic fruits and vegetables. It is always advisable to wash them before using. Avoid using plastic containers to store food and water. Consume fiber-rich food. This facilitates removal of toxins from the body.
It is best to sleep around eight hours every night. A lack of sleep is linked to lower testosterone levels. Stress induces production of cortisol in the human body. This steroid hormone affects normal testosterone production. Cortisol is also known to cause belly fat.
Consume diet rich in vitamin C. This essential vitamin lowers cortisol levels in the human body. It also decreases aromatase activity. Vitamin A, vitamin B and vitamin E are also required for normal testosterone production. Strenuous exercise increases testosterone levels in the body.
Overheating of the testes inhibits testosterone production. Avoid wearing tight underwear or tight pants. It is not advisable to take a bath in hot water, use warm water. Avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol decreases zinc levels in the body. It also lowers the liver’s capacity to metabolize estrogen, thereby increasing estrogen levels in the body.
Men with low testosterone may want to consider some of the following herbs, all of which have been used by men all over the world. Where one herb may help, another might do nothing, all are worth looking into. Ashwaganda, Fo-Ti Root, Ginseng, Pygeum, Sarasparilla Root, Saw Palmetto, Triphala, Yohimbe Bark.
The above-mentioned tips will help you to raise your testosterone levels naturally.