Testosterone food plan
When you break it down the to the basics, the testosterone food plan is very simple. While a much more extensive version is available in the book The Anti-Estrogenic Diet by Ori Hofmekler, I will give you the simplest possible version here.
This plan assumes that you have "cleaned up your act" with respect to estrogen. We are talking about removing excess estrogen-generating
getting proper antioxidant and omega-3 intake, and introducing anti-estrogenic vegetables into
In other words, you need to take the edge off your estrogen production first. And exercise.
Now we're ready to rock.
The testosterone food plan: basics
The best way to increase your testosterone with your diet is to shift your source of fuel from carbohydrates to fats
. Simple. This approach goes way back to traditional Chinese medicine, which noted the hot/yang/masculine quality of fats fuels. Now it's very easy to look at that advice and just assume it's time to order some more pizza. Not so. We're talking about healthy fats: nuts and seeds
According to The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, shifting to higher fat intake retrains your metabolism to exist under a more primal situation. This means you are eating (all raw if possible) walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. The natural fats and oils in these foods give your body an excellent source of energy that is easily digested and expended, and one that improves testosterone too.
This advice to increase fat intake is supported by several studies from the scientific literature. In one classic Finnish study (1), subjects were given isocaloric high fat diets and then low fat diets and the hormone levels were compared. Almost all hormone levels were unchanged, except for testosterone and androstendione, which were significantly lower during the low fat diet. This study is so impressive because it compares hormone levels in the same subjects on different diets. Another study showed a shift from a Western diet to a low fat, vegetarian diet signifcantly decreased plasma and free testosterone (2).
Meanwhile, carbohydrates can't be neglected either. Another excellent book on the subject, The Testosterone Factor by Dr Shafiq Qaadri, points to the importance of maintaining reasonable carbohydrate intake. From a
you are basically just convincing your body that you are living in a place where food is abundant. If you move to all protein/no carbs, your body senses trouble and will react by lowering testosterone. The key point is that simple sugars and the truly awful baked good carbs need to be replaced by a balance of whole grain carbs and fruits.
Unexpected Testosterone Food: Pine NutsI was surprised to learn that as far back as Roman times, Ovid listed pine nuts as an aphrodesiac in the Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love). In fact, pine nuts have been used in many cultures all over the world as an enhancer of masculinity. On a simple level, pine nuts contains the perfect "good fat" and protein-rich type of testosterone-boosting snack. Perhaps more importantly, pine nuts also contain testosterone and other androgens. And finally, pine nuts are loaded with arginine, the precursor for the erection-stimulant nitric oxide. Keep them refrigerated, because they do go rancid.
Critical Testosterone Food: Red MeatI personally don't eat very much meat, mostly because I sleep and feel better without it. But when I saw the results of this Finnish study on the effects of removing meat from the diet, I committed to eating meat twice a week, with red meat at least one of those (3). Basically, the Finnish study reduced fat intake from meat and dairy, but kept caloric intake constant. The result was a decrease in serum free testosterone and androstenedione.
A Canadian study comparing sex hormones in vegetarian and omnivorous groups introduced one possible reason for the effect of eating meat on testosterone levels (4). While this particular study found similar total levels of testosterone in the blood between vegetarian and control groups, the vegetarian group had higher levels of a sex-hormone binding protein in the blood. As a result, less free testosterone was available for use in vegetarian subjects.
Red meat, as you always suspected, is the true testosterone food.
The bottom line: adequate meat and fat intake are critical for testosterone production. The testosterone food plan is a balanced diet with good fats and carbs, minus simple sugars and processed foods.
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testosterone food plan.
1. Hamalainen, E, Alderceutz, H, Puska, P, Pietinen, P. "Diet and serum sex hormones in healthy men." J Steroid Biochem. 20 (1984) 459-64.
2. Hill, P, Wynder, R, Garbaczewski, L, et al. "Plasma hormones and lipids in men at different risk for coronary heart disease." Am J Clin Nutr. 33 (1980) 1010-8.
3. Hamalainen, E, Aldercreutz, H, Puska, P, Pietinen, P. "Diet and serum sex hormones in healthy men." J Steroid Biochem. 20 (1984) 459-64.
4. Belanger, A, Locong, A, Noel, C, et al. "Influence of diet on plasma steroid and sex plasma binding globulin levels in adult men." J Steroid Biochem. 32 (1989) 829-33.