How to Improve Testosterone Naturally – Part 2
Foods that Boost Testosterone
Let’s start with a food that can help improve testosterone naturally and is one that almost everyone enjoys: shrimp. Shrimp is a great source of vitamin D and an easy food that improves testosterone naturally. Seafood is normally popular, but there are many food options to suit everyone’s dietary needs.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which when deficient contributes to low testosterone levels.
Using food to directly supplement your nutrient intake is a great way to avoid costly derivatives and over the counter solutions.
There are often many people who cry out against saturated fats but some are good for you. Coconut is a great source of saturated fat which can help improve testosterone naturally. Unprocessed saturated fats have less negative health risk. This is not to say that there are no dangers and increased risks from consuming high levels of fat. The link between coronary disease and overconsumption of fats should be taken into consideration when implementing coconut into your diet.
Wheat bran, as simple as it is, can also improve testosterone naturally. This is because wheat bran has high levels of magnesium, which have been shown to help with testosterone production. Many other foods are high in magnesium, and these include almonds, oat bran, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and beans.
Everyone has a different dietary requirements, but most likely something in this list could be safely added to yours. Food is something that is a part of our daily lives, and it is often a great place to start when making changes to our bodies. Make sure you choose your foods carefully and do what’s right for your particular situation before adding anything new into your diet. Simple diet changes can make the difference
Exercise and Gain
Exercise is one of those things that always seem to be brought up when searching for a solution to health problems. This time is no different. Exercise has a direct correlation to testosterone levels.
Research has shown that high intensity workouts, and weight training in particular, go a long way in helping to improve testosterone naturally. This is only for those who are healthy, as excessive high intensity workouts can be detrimental for those who are weak.
There are many ways that exercise can help your body, and this is only one of them. Doing push ups, for example, can increase growth hormone secretion, which in turn will increase testosterone output.
Moderate exercise also reduces stress levels, which have a negative effect on testosterone production as well. When you exercise on a regular basis, it also improves sleep and releases endorphins which can help with depression and anxiety. After exercise, testosterone levels immediately rise and remain higher for hours. This helps with burning excess fat and weight loss.
Not everyone can take part in high intensity exercise because of certain health issues and that is understandable as mentioned above. If you have any concerns about exercise and what is the best approach for your situation, consult a clinical professional so that you can ensure it’s safe. This is particularly important for those living with chronic stress and adrenal fatigue.
NEM Stress Response
The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response is a system within all of our bodies that helps combat stressful situations on a physical level. A brief overview of the NEM begins in the brain. The hypothalamus is the first piece to the stress response puzzle. Once the hypothalamus signals that there is danger, the pituitary gland is triggered to act by producing hormones and further signaling to the adrenal glands. At the adrenal glands, the physical reactions really begin to take off.
The adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol, a powerful hormone so directly related to the stress response that it is sometimes referred to as the “stress hormone”.
Cortisol has many jobs in the body and while it can be very helpful in difficult times, it also has the ability to inflict great damage to the body. There are a few things that take place when cortisol levels remain high for a prolonged period of time. A few of these include, sleep disruption, decreased muscle mass, high blood pressure, and decreased wound healing timelines.
Because of the negative things associated with a poorly regulated NEM stress response, it is important to mitigate any exposure to stress and control your reactions to it. It is easy to fall into a cycle of high stress which causes many long term issues that, if directly confronted, can be lessened with personal intervention.
Connecting the NEM Stress Response and Testosterone
High levels of stress over long periods of time can be detrimental to testosterone production, and this also has hormonal effects. One of the biggest things that happen when we experience stress is the release of cortisol by the adrenal glands. This can be chaotic for a multitude of reasons. Cortisol elevates awareness and contributes greatly to lack of sleep. Over the long term it causes lethargy. This can cause an individual to gain weight, decrease muscle mass, and become depressed. In a cyclical way, all of these separate problems created by excess cortisol have a direct impact on testosterone.
When considering the NEM stress response, it is important to note the link between stress and low testosterone levels. Controlling your stress response to the best of your ability will give your body the tools that it needs to improve testosterone naturally. One can reduce stress to better cope with difficult situations, and incorporating proper diet, exercise, and rest is also an important part of the recovery process.
When the body is under continual stress, there is a limit on how much cortisol can be produced. Eventually the body reaches a state of exhaustion and can’t keep up with demands. Constant stress also makes it difficult to muster the energy that’s necessary to make changes in lifestyle patterns which are contributing to low testosterone levels.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you have to start somewhere, and small changes make a difference. Whether you’re adding something to your diet, making an effort to get better sleep, or taking supplements to ensure your nutrition is adequate, there is somewhere that everyone can start to make a change.
Adrenal Fatigue and Low Testosterone
Low testosterone levels are often a sign of the body slowing down and conserving energy when under stress. This also happens with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).
Adrenal fatigue affects a large percentage of the population and results in a myriad of symptoms, ranging from depression to the inability to handle stress. The adrenal glands are responsible for the creation of a large number of hormones in our bodies. Because of this, they are constantly working to produce what is needed for a healthy balance.
The adrenal glands are particularly active during times of stress, which often results in them being overworked. If there are not sufficient building blocks for the adrenals to produce necessary hormones and steroids, they can become fatigued and even reach the point of exhaustion.
Testosterone relates to adrenal fatigue through the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland produces testosterone, albeit at steadily decreasing levels from the mid 20’s onward. Meanwhile, the adrenals rely on the pituitary gland to release adrenal corticosteroid hormones (ACTH).
When AFS is present in an individual, it can lean to insufficient signaling between the adrenals and the pituitary gland, resulting in tremendous imbalances that lead to inflammation and fatigue. Chronic inflammation is detrimental to cell regeneration. However, maintaining sufficient testosterone levels can help to normalize cortisol levels, which have a direct impact on inflammation. Click here to see how testosterone levels relate to adrenal fatigue.
Improve Testosterone Naturally and AFS Recovery
Many of the same things that trigger AFS also result in low testosterone, as the body slow down reproductive desire. Likewise, many of the steps you can take to improve testosterone naturally also help AFS recovery.
It’s important to note, not all of these solutions should be implemented by everyone, especially in severe cases of adrenal exhaustion. The more advanced the adrenal fatigue, the higher the possibility of negative reactions, so it’s wise to consult with a professional. However, for most readers, many of these suggestions can help.
Lowering your stress level not only helps to improve testosterone naturally but also lowers cortisol levels. This is a key component of recovery because of the negative impact that sustained high cortisol can have on the body. When your cortisol levels are kept under control, you can get better sleep, reduce anxiety, and even lose weight.
Because so many aspects of testosterone directly correlate to AFS, taking steps to help one will often help the other. Reducing stress can help to reduce weight, which in turn helps improving testosterone naturally. Fortifying and supporting adrenal function will lead to a higher testosterone level. Avoid over stimulating the adrenals with glandulars, herbs, or anabolic hormones as it can lead to adrenal crashes. Focus on a long term nurturing strategy to optimize adrenal function, and testosterone levels will also normalize. Exogenous hormones such as DHEA, pregnenolone, and testosterone can be considered, but they have many drawbacks. Short term use can be contemplated. However, an exit strategy should be in place prior to starting such a regimen to avoid dependency, withdrawal, and side effect issues that often plague the user over time.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.