One of the signs of being healthy is having healthy hormone levels. Yet as people age, it is normal for hormone levels to decline. So you want to do everything possible to keep your hormone levels as robust as they can be. One of the key ways to do that is through your lifestyle and specifically your daily eating habits. And because there are some foods and beverages that lower testosterone levels, you should know about them so you can avoid them.
Foods that lower testosterone
When your goal is to keep your testosterone at a healthy level, there are certain foods that you need to avoid. They include:
- Soy:Even though this is often touted as a health food, it actually damages your hormone levels. The exception to that is fermented soy, such as tempeh and miso, as the fermentation process makes soy less harmful to hormone levels. But soy is not necessary for a healthy diet, so it’s best to avoid it.
- Hormones and antibiotics:Any foods containing these substances can throw your hormones out of balance. They increase your estrogen levels, thus causing your testosterone levels to go down. Some of the key culprits are grocery store bought meats and dairy products like milk. Read food labels to see if foods you are thinking about buying contain these. And only buy organic, grass-fed and free-range meat, milk and eggs.
- Too much protein:Although you need to include enough healthy protein in your daily diet in order to maintain your energy levels, muscle tone and strength, consuming too much protein can wreak havoc in various ways, such as the reduction of your testosterone levels. Strive to eat about 30 to 40 percent of your daily calories in the form of healthy protein. Include healthy protein, such as pastured and organic eggs, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef or wild salmon, with each meal. A few raw nuts or seeds make great snacks.
- Bad fats:Contrary to what many people are told, not all fat is bad. But some fats, such as trans fats and hydrogenated fats and oils, are definitely unhealthy and can negatively affect testosterone levels. Read food package labels, as those types of fats are typically listed by name on the labels. You do need some fats in your daily diet, so focus on eating healthy ones like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and organic nuts and seeds.
- Low carb:Too few carbohydrates in the diet can also cause a reduction in testosterone. That partly relates to low levels of carbohydrates causing an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. That, in turn, causes testosterone levels to decrease. That said, you want to eat the correct type and quantity of carbohydrates. The carbs to consume are those found in vegetables, fruits and healthy grains like oatmeal and brown rice.
Other testosterone-reducing foods include licorice, fast food, flaxseed and mint. Ideally, do not eat those foods at all if you are striving for optimal testosterone levels.
Drinks that lower testosterone
Don’t stop at food when you’re eliminating foods that lower your testosterone levels. There are some drinks you need to cut out of your routine too. They are:
- Alcoholic beverages:A glass of wine in moderation may be okay, but drinking daily is not good for your testosterone levels because alcohol causes estrogen levels to increase and testosterone to thus decrease.
- Coffee:This is another beverage to avoid, although the occasional cup of organic and decaf coffee or tea is probably okay.
- Artificially sweetened drinks:You are not doing yourself any favors by drinking diet drinks that contain harmful artificial sweeteners. Avoid soda and other drinks like this in favor of water.
Instead of those detrimental drinks, focus on drinking plenty of pure water. Take your weight, divide it in half, and that is the number of ounces per day of water you should drink. You likely need more than that when you are exercising, if the temperature is hot outside or if you are in a dry climate.
Not Just for Men
Many people associate testosterone with males, but both males’ and females’ bodies produce testosterone. Males naturally have higher testosterone levels than females do though. But it is important for women to maintain healthy levels of testosterone, so women should follow these guidelines too.
In addition to avoiding foods and beverages that deplete testosterone, incorporate other healthy habits into your routine, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress reduction. You will be well on your way to maximizing your hormone levels and feeling great at any age.
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