The body produces testosterone in both men and women to regulate body mass, work with other hormones, and control sex drive. In men, testosterone contributes to the distribution of fat and red blood cell production, but testosterone levels start to decrease after the age of 30 at a rate of around 1% a year.
Some of the benefits of increasing your testosterone levels include improvement in your body composition, increased energy levels, increased libido and improved sleep quality. The most common way to increase your T levels naturally is to add red meat, eggs and fish to your diet, but what if you’re a vegan?
Well, fear not, as vegans can also increase their testosterone levels naturally with the help of the correct supplementation and diet. Here are a few that can help get the job done.
Too much estrogen in the body can lead to a buildup of fat storage and interfere with muscle growth. Broccoli contains food compounds that help reduce estrogen levels.
These little guys are packed with zinc, so they keep the sex organs healthy and help to promote a healthy metabolism. They also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body produce more serotonin (which balances your hormone levels).
Avocados contain healthy fats and high levels of vitamin B6, which helps improve test production and also helps reduce cortisol (the stress hormone). High cholesterol can interfere with the production of testosterone and avocado fats help to reduce this form of cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), more commonly known as LDL.
High in essential fatty acids (EFA), they’re jam packed with Omega-3s. Chia seeds also contain metabolism-supporting nutrients such as zinc, potassium, magnesium, and iron. These nutrients also help with hormone production.
Garlic inhibits cortisol, a hormone that actually breaks down muscle tissue, this also enhances testosterone levels.
Almonds and walnuts are packed with amino acids such as arginine, which helps improve blood flow. They are also high in monounsaturated fats, which helps maximize testosterone levels.
Bananas contain B vitamins, bromelain enzyme, and potassium, all of which help boost your T levels.
Let’s dispel a myth about soy, as it is a commonly used protein source among vegans and it does contain estrogen-like compounds.
A common misconception is that eating too much soy can lead to lower testosterone levels. But a meta analysis concluded that “neither soy foods nor isoflavone supplements alter measures of bioavailable T concentrations in men.”