What testosterone do to the body?
Testosterone is a hormone with many health benefits, both for men and women. It’s vital for increased sex drive, muscle mass, strength, decreased body fat percentage, healthy hair, fertility, and mood.
Furthermore, other health benefits of testosterone are the proper production of red blood cells, energy, and sleep quality.
Foods rich in calcium may increase testosterone
Eating adequate amounts of calcium is necessary for increased testosterone. High calcium intake can increase testosterone levels in athletes and improve overall athletic performance.
The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,200 mg for men and women. Moreover, most people can benefit from taking up to 2,500 mg of calcium a day.
Higher daily dosages may be bad for health, though. For instance, excessive calcium intake from supplements, is a common reason for the formation of kidney stones, and constipation.
Dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. On the contrary, following a plant-based diet is great for consuming high amounts of calcium.
Plant-based foods, such as soybeans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans, tofu, broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens, chia seeds, mustard seeds, and whole cereals contain moderate to high amounts of calcium!
Even fruits are high in calcium. For instance, goji berries, figs, apricots, and raisins are excellent vegan sources of calcium. We should consume them regularly, in order, to help the body produce testosterone!
See the whole list of vegan foods containing calcium here.
Arginine & carnitine are vital amino acids for testosterone synthesis
The human body needs adequate amounts of the amino acids arginine and carnitine to synthesize testosterone.
We can take arginine from food. For instance, seeds, nuts, and whole grains are excellent vegan sources of arginine.
On the contrary, only food from animal sources contain carnitine. Vegans get an insignificant amount from food. But, this isn’t a problem. The human body can synthesize all the carnitine we need from the essential amino acids, lysine and methionine. So, we should consume these essential amino acids from food.
Hence, eating foods high in protein is important for testosterone synthesis. Moreover, we should eat foods with complete protein, in order, to get all 9 essential amino acids. The body can produce arginine and carnitine naturally using these essential amino acids.
But, there aren’t many plant-based foods with complete protein. Therefore, we should consume vegan foods with complete protein regularly!
Magnesium is a key compound for testosterone synthesis
Another vital compound for proper testosterone synthesis is magnesium. According to studies, high magnesium intake can increase free and total testosterone levels. Athletes can benefit the most!
Men need 420 mg and women need 320 mg of magnesium a day.
A healthy diet provides adequate amounts of magnesium, as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are good sources! As a rule of thumb, foods with fiber provide magnesium, as well.
Pumpkin seeds (550 mg per 100g), chia seeds (392 mg), flaxseeds (392 mg), sesame seeds (346 mg), almonds (279 mg), and cashews (260 mg) are the richest plant-based foods in magnesium.
See the whole list here.
Selenium is vital for boosting testosterone synthesis
Selenium is particularly important for the natural production of testosterone. Furthermore, selenium deficiency is associated with male infertility and decreased male sex drive.
The recommended daily intake of selenium is 55 mcg, both for women and men.
In any case, we shouldn’t consume more than 400 mcg a day. Chronic excess consumption of selenium may cause hair loss, fragile nails, fatigue, and skin rashes.
Whole grains are the main vegan source of selenium, but they contain inadequate doses. Hence, vegans have a higher risk for selenium deficiency.
But, the richest food in selenium is Brazil nuts. Just 1 Brazil nut contains up to 91 mcg of selenium. More than the recommended daily intake!
Eating foods rich in zinc is beneficial, especially for men!
The body can’t store zinc. So, we should consume foods containing zinc every day! The recommended daily intake of zinc for men is 11 mg and for women is 8 mg.
Although, there are plenty vegan foods high in zinc, zinc from plants isn’t absorbed easily. Phytates in plants bind to zinc and inhibit its absorption. Therefore, vegan men should increase their daily dosage of zinc. Vegans may require about 50% more zinc than the recommended daily intake.
Good vegan dietary sources of zinc are oats, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. See the whole list of vegan foods containing zinc here.
In general, consuming at least 1 handful of seeds and nuts daily can increase testosterone levels, sex drive, and fertility!
As a bonus, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flaxseeds are also the best dietary sources of omega-3s. Omega-3s are necessary for male fertility, as well.
Vitamin D is necessary for the production of testosterone
Vitamin D is necessary for increased testosterone levels! Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is pretty common.
Actually, there aren’t many foods high in vitamin D. So, the main source of vitamin D, for most people, is exposure to sunlight. The body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sun radiation.
As vitamin D deficiency is common, you better check your blood levels.
Certainly, vitamin D supplements can help you deal with vitamin D deficiency. Even a dose of 10,000 IU a day is considered pretty safe, if you’re deficient in vitamin D.
Obesity inhibits testosterone synthesis!
Most noteworthy, obesity inhibits testosterone synthesis. Obese men have decreased testosterone levels! Therefore, losing weight may be beneficial for increased libido, and fertility!