Our bodies produce many different hormones which transport messages throughout the body, directing our organs and muscles to do certain tasks.
While men and women produce the same hormones, namely estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, they are found in different concentrations in the blood, are produced in different places, and interact differently with different parts of the body.
While there are exceptions, men generally have much higher testosterone levels than women, and this hormone drives sexual desire, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and bone mass, as well as the production of sperm.
However, once we reach middle age, these T levels begin to drop naturally, reducing our libido, as well as contributing to the other signs of aging, such as muscle loss and a lower bone density.
We’ll never fully stop this process, but there are ways in which we can slow this drop of testosterone by ensuring we have a good diet and a healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to veganism, many believe that keeping T levels high is far more challenging.
However, there are plenty of vegan-friendly foods out there that are actually very good for our testosterone levels, so meat-eaters, take note and throw some of these into your diets too!
What Does Vegan Mean?
The chances are you’ve already heard this term. Still, just in case you haven’t, veganism is basically a lifestyle choice whereby you avoid eating or using any form of animal product or anything that’s had some adverse effect on living creatures.
It’s not the easiest choice in life, and there are countless hurdles and mistakes to make along the way.
For example, you might go out to buy some new clothes and find they’re made of wool, or you might order a fruit smoothie only to realize it had dairy ice cream in it.
Most vegans agree that you just need to be willing to try your best to reduce the negative impact our lives can have on the natural world, and you have to admit, it’s a respectable stance to have.
Food tends to be the biggest focus of veganism, and this goes a step further than vegetarianism which specifically is all about not eating meat.
Vegans won’t eat eggs, dairy or even honey. However, today there are countless substitute foods that are suitable for vegans, and there are also plenty of replacements you can choose from the natural world to get your essential macro and micronutrients for a healthy lifestyle.
Do Some Vegan Foods Impact T Levels?
There are often derogatory terms thrown around at vegans, which are entirely unnecessary and actually make very little sense.
One of the most common is the “soy boy” insult, which springboards off of the idea that men who eat soy products are somehow less masculine due to the increased amount of something called “phytoestrogens” that are found in soybeans.
The whole idea of this is ridiculous, as tests that have shown that soy protein have no impact on reproductive hormones in men.
It’s also been shown in other tests that vegan men might often have more testosterone than non-vegan men, shown by a British Journal of Cancer study.
In the study of nearly 700 men, the ones that were vegan, which was about 230 of them, had 13% higher testosterone levels on average than the rest!
Now, this isn’t to say that everyone who eats a vegan diet is going to have jacked T levels, but it does show that there’s nothing to fear when it comes to eating a vegan diet.
Which Vegan Foods Are Good For Testosterone Levels?
If you’re looking for some good vegan options that can help you with your testosterone levels, then you’re in luck.
There are quite a few food choices that can help you to maintain those hormone levels to keep you in a better position to build more muscle and keep it as you get older, as well as improve your performance in the bedroom.
Whether you’re already a vegan or you’re just looking to supplement your currently meat-heavy diet with some healthier options, then try these foods out:
We’d say this is easily one of the tastiest vegetables around, and the great thing is, it’s absolutely loaded with essential nutrients to boost your protein intake, as well as being a great source of important minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc.
In fact, zinc supplements are often used to help treat low testosterone levels in men. It also contains chemicals that are said to have an anti-estrogen effect too, which can reduce the amount produced by the body, allowing it to more efficiently produce testosterone.
Once again, we have another food rich in zinc. As well as this, though, avocados contain vitamin B6, which reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and also helps to improve that testosterone production in turn.
The other great thing about avocado is that it is classed as a healthy or monounsaturated fat which can help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your body.
Cholesterol is relatively useful in small amounts as it actually helps your body create certain hormones, including testosterone, but too much of it can have a drastically dangerous impact on your circulatory health, hardening your arteries and putting you at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
There are a number of different seeds that are very beneficial for you to eat, either as a snack, or added to literally any meal.
Chia seeds are a great addition to overnight oats, the perfect food for the busy man who needs a huge energy kick in the mornings.
These tiny little seeds are deceptively full of amazing nutrients like fatty acids and omega-3s.
A portion of these also provides you with a healthy dose of that great mineral combo of zinc, potassium, iron, and magnesium, helping your body to produce and regulate your T levels.
If you’re looking for a great savory snack replacement, like chips and coated peanuts, we couldn’t recommend pumpkin seeds more.
Sound strange? Well, if you roast these bad boys up coated in some seasoning like garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and even a bit of chilli powder for a kick, you’ll be in for a massive treat.
But not only are these incredibly moreish, but you’ll also be building those T levels up yet again with more zinc.
And as an added bonus, they also contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps you to produce increased amounts of serotonin, the body’s happy drug, improving your mental health as well as helping to regulate your hormones.
Let’s face it, garlic is probably one of the tastiest foods out there, and it’s rare to find someone who isn’t a fan. It also has some phenomenal health benefits, from improving your heart health, to helping you fight off viruses.
Garlic has been shown to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your body while leaving the good stuff untouched, meaning that the hormone production from cholesterol can continue. In contrast, the bad, artery-clogging cholesterol gets thrown out.
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, this fancy little root is regarded highly for its improvements to hormone levels. It’s also said to boost libido as well as your energy levels.
Using this as a supplement for your pre-workout shakes can give you that added bit of energy for an enhanced workout. And when you exercise, especially if you’re lifting heavier weights, you will increase your T levels too.
This is also why carbohydrates are really important for eating before your gym sessions, so that you can push yourself further where possible.
The saturated fats found in plants such as coconut are actually quite good for you in moderation. In fact, saturated fat, wherever it’s found, can help to build up your testosterone production, however, when combined with the high salt and sugar contents, there are lots of health problems that can stem from a diet like this.
When it comes to coconut, however, this can be a great way to help your body create the small amounts of cholesterol it needs for hormone production and the creation of cells in the body.
Consider getting these fats into your diet with some coconut oil or butter, or if you really enjoy it, add some shredded coconut meat to your oatmeal, or coconut milk to a smoothie.
Remember though. Moderation is key for any food, especially fats like this.
Stick To Your Diet
Now that you’ve got some good ideas of things to add to your diet to maximize those T levels, the next step is to make sure you don’t get bored and forget about the super beneficial foods.
These aren’t one-time fixes to just get you back on track. This should be a common consideration for you, especially as you get older and face this natural drop in hormone production.
This is a long-term remedy, so try to develop eating these foods into a habit or part of your daily ritual, and you should see an increase in your performance at the gym as well as in the bedroom.