You’ll find this hormone will help you or some of our men regain strength!
It’s the hormone that helps you build muscle… naturally. Testosterone, that is. And what I’m about to share with is not going to suggest taking anabolic steroid hormones or things of that sort that people often think of when it comes to building buff bodies!
Rather, I’ll get into a couple of solid strategies on boosting this hormone level in a natural way with food based supplements!
Strategy #1: Get enough zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral that helps with a number of processes in your body (it helps over 300 enzymes). Zinc helps your immune system, helps to produce critical proteins and DNA, and also helps with wound healing. Enough zinc is necessary to maintain healthy skin and for optimal ability to taste and smell. Zinc is an antioxidant and can be supplemented to support optimal levels of testosterone because it helps the enzymes that converts cholesterol into testosterone.
Although this mineral is mostly found in red meat, poultry, egg yolks, and shellfish; some plants also provide some zinc such as beans and nuts. The best dietary source, however is found in oysters! You can also get some more Zinc through your interaction with dirt! That’s right, the outdoors, earthing (barefoot walking), the sandy beach etc
The daily recommended dose of zinc for men is 11 mg/day (for women it’s 8 mg/day). Low zinc levels are rare but tend to occur in vegetarians/vegans, athletes, and people who sweat a lot because zinc is lost in sweat. And low zinc levels have been linked to low testosterone levels.
Of course if you don’t get enough zinc in your diet you can always supplement. Before you do, however, consider a few things:
It is possible to get too much zinc so unless your doctor tells you never take more than 40 mg/day. For many people just 5-10 mg/day is enough to prevent deficiency.
Zinc supplements can also interact with certain medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if zinc supplements are safe for you.
Zinc supplements are best taken 2-hours away from any medications (if it’s safe to use it at all while taking those medications) and should be taken with food.
Strategy #2: Get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” is actually the most common nutrient that we in North America just simply don’t get enough of. Not only is it not very abundant in foods but most places far from the equator don’t get enough sunlight to produce adequate levels year round.
Hello winter; goodbye sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is known to help us absorb calcium from our foods and is also necessary for our immune system, nervous system, and muscular system. As with zinc if you’re deficient in this nutrient you may experience increased testosterone levels after supplementing.
Vitamin D deficiency is most commonly associated with bone conditions such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in fatty fish, organ meats, and egg yolks. Unfortunately it isn’t abundant in most other un-fortified foods.
The bottom line with vitamin D is that you may need to supplement. Of course if you’re always outside in the sun or eat fatty fish every day you may be the exception. You can always ask your doctor to check your blood levels to be sure because vitamin D is another one of those nutrients where more is not always better.
Here are a few tips to supplement with vitamin D safely and effectively:
Read your labels and don’t overdo it. Don’t jump into supplementing with more than 4,000IU/day unless supervised by your physician.
As with zinc (and most other supplements) you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any medications.
Take your vitamin D with some fat to help your body absorb this vitamin. It is often recommended that you take it with the largest meal of the day.
Note that vitamin D is also found in cod liver oil (my favortite is Fermented Cod Liver Oil), and multivitamins, so you may not need to take it separately (read your labels).
Lower Testosterone levels may be due to a Zinc or Vitamin D deficiency, which are essential to the building blocks of proper nutrition. Try boosting these, but you don’t want to overdo it.
RECIPE: Honey Salmon and Sesame
Vitamin D and Zinc
2-3 Pounds, salmon fillets
¼ Cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
¼ Cup sesame oil
1 Lemon, juiced
2 Tablespoons honey or coconut nectar
1 Inch of ginger, shredded or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 Tablespoon, coconut oil
2 Tablespoons, diced green onions or chives
2 Tablespoons, sesame seeds
-Mix soy sauce/tamari/aminos, sesame oil, lemon juice, honey/coconut nectar and ginger together to make a marinade.
-Place salmon in a glass dish and cover with marinade. Let sit for a few hours or overnight.
-Heat a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.
-Place salmon in pan skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Pour marinade into the pan, lower the heat and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
-Sprinkle with diced green onions/chives and sesame seeds.
Serve and Enjoy!
Wild salmon can contain up to 4 times the amount of vitamin D as farmed salmon. I always recommend Wild Caught seafood.
Image by InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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