Over the last few years, low testosterone levels have become a concern for men who suffer from the symptoms of testosterone deficiency, such as decreased muscle mass. To treat this hormone imbalance, physicians usually suggest that men change their lifestyles and adopt healthy eating habits to help naturally boost their testosterone levels. However, with so many foods out there on the market, men with low testosterone have difficulty figuring out which foods to incorporate into their diets and which ones to avoid.
Because of this growing concern, researchers have conducted many studies to determine which foods are detrimental or beneficial for testosterone. It is a known fact that eating a balanced diet packed with proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients is important for healthy testosterone production. Meat, which is a high source of protein, is considered one of the best foods for men looking to increase their testosterone levels. But what if you’re a vegan?
For many years, there has been a popular misconception that vegan diets can actually lower your testosterone levels. Typically, when most men think of people following a vegan diet, they usually picture a small, frail person with low body mass and assume that vegans are not receiving proper nutrition to maintain adequate testosterone levels. But that isn’t necessarily true. Although vegan diets typically have fewer calories, fat, and proteins than what many consider necessary for testosterone production, vegan diets have shown great promise in increasing testosterone levels in comparison to other diets.
Regular western diets full of saturated fats can lead to increased body fat and unhealthy weight gain, which has been shown to decrease testosterone.
Studies show that most men who were obese had 30% lower testosterone levels than men with average body weight. On the other hand, vegan diets can make the body leaner, which can help increase your testosterone levels. Research into veganism and its effect on testosterone revealed that men on vegan diets who had a lower body mass index (BMI) also had a 13% higher testosterone concentration than meat eaters.
So what does a vegan eat to maintain their testosterone levels? This article will briefly review several vegan foods that can help boost men’s testosterone levels and discuss other ways men can further maintain and balance testosterone on a vegan diet.
Can a Vegan Diet Boost Your Testosterone Levels?
Many men assume that there are few testosterone-boosting foods for vegetarians. But that’s simply not the case. There are several foods and specific ingredients that you can incorporate into a vegan diet to help significantly increase your testosterone. Here are a few vegan foods that you can add to the list for your next trip to the grocery store:
Rich in zinc, pumpkin seeds contain many essential minerals that can help boost your body’s natural testosterone production, such as omega-3 fats, protein, and iron. The amount of zinc and omega-3s in pumpkin seeds is especially important as zinc helps promote healthy metabolism and reproductive function, while omega-3s can help increase your testosterone levels. Pumpkin seeds are also great sources of tryptophan, a crucial amino acid responsible for producing serotonin, which is also thought to help regulate mood and anxiety.
As good sources of omega 3s and packed with essential fatty acid (EFA), chia seeds can provide a significant boost to your testosterone levels. Chia seeds also contain potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium, which can support your metabolism, glucose levels, blood pressure, and mood. In addition, many of these nutrients are needed for maintaining your energy and hormone production, making them a great ingredient to include in a vegan diet if you’re looking to increase your testosterone.
As men age, their estrogen levels may rise and inhibit their testosterone production. However, eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can help with that. Broccoli contains the indole 3 compound, an antioxidant that can break down and flush excess estrogen from the body, which can help indirectly boost your free testosterone levels. If you’re looking for something to include in your vegan diet to help elevate your testosterone, then cooking a few stalks of broccoli to add as a side to your daily meal is certainly the way to go.
Another popular vegan food that’s worth considering is avocados. These nutrient-rich vegetables (or fruits, depending on your opinion) are filled with healthy fats and high levels of Vitamin B6, which can help lower cortisol and increase testosterone. The fats in avocado can also help to reduce LDL cholesterol, which can inhibit your testosterone production. In addition, avocados are also packed with boron, which research shows can help support healthy testosterone metabolism and protect against testosterone degradation. One of the trendiest foods in the last decade, avocados are perfect for people looking to build a testosterone-boosting vegan diet.
Aside from adding flavor to some of your favorite meals, garlic can also help to elevate your testosterone. Several studies conclude that garlic can help to reduce high levels of cortisol–the hormone responsible for regulating stress response in the brain–which has been shown to reduce testosterone levels. Research also suggests that garlic can help increase testosterone production in the testicles by promoting the stimulation of LH (luteinizing hormone) from the pituitary gland. So not only does garlic work to protect your testosterone from high cortisol levels, but it can also help to increase your testosterone levels. Garlic can also help to enhance blood circulation and improve your reproductive function, which can help men who have erectile dysfunction as a result of low testosterone
If you’re a vegan really looking to build an all-around diet that can help keep your testosterone balanced, coconut oil can become a great addition to your cabinet. Coconut oil is a good source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can help burn calories and manage weight loss. Studies show that having a lower body mass index can help boost testosterone levels, so using coconut oil to cook with your meals can be helpful if you’re looking to shed pounds and increase your testosterone levels.
Common Myths About Veganism and Testosterone
Aside from the stigma attached to veganism as being unmanly, there are several myths surrounding vegan diets’ effect on testosterone. You’ve probably heard this before:
Eliminating meat from your diet will reduce your testosterone…
Since research shows that eating foods high in protein can help to boost testosterone levels, many men are skeptical about switching to a vegan diet, which excludes meat, one of the highest sources of protein. But there are still plenty of vegan foods that can provide an adequate source of protein that can help to elevate or maintain your testosterone levels. Vegetables such as kale and mushrooms can help to increase protein intake when combined with other protein-rich foods such as chickpeas, lentils, almonds, peanuts, and beans. Plant-based foods such as quinoa and soy are also great sources of protein, which lead us to another common myth:
Eating soy can raise your estrogen levels and reduce your testosterone…
This one can be a little tricky. It is true that soy contains isoflavones–phytoestrogens that can mimic the estrogen hormone–and can activate estrogen receptors in the body. However, the bond between the isoflavones and estrogen receptors is usually so weak that the isoflavones are unable to raise your estrogen levels. In fact, in certain cases, the isoflavones in soy may help to reduce estrogen production and even prevent estrogen levels from increasing.
And in terms of testosterone, studies show that soy has no real impact on your testosterone levels, so you can eat a soy-based diet without worrying about decreasing your testosterone levels. Soy is also a complete source of protein, containing many of the essential amino acids needed in the body, so although it doesn’t increase your testosterone levels, it’s still a healthy alternative to a meat-based diet.
How To Balance Testosterone While Being A Vegetarian
There are several things you can do to balance your testosterone on a vegan diet. First, it’s wise to remember that vegan diets incorporate fewer calories than meat diets, which can negatively affect your endocrine and reproductive systems and cause your testosterone to decline. To ensure that your body receives an adequate amount of calories, you should make sure your vegan diet consists of larger portions with balanced ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins.
Another downside of vegan diets is that they are usually low in healthy fats, which are essential for producing testosterone. In addition, many vegan foods contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which have been shown to limit testosterone production. So to ensure you’re maintaining your testosterone levels, you must avoid eating vegetables high in PUFAs. Instead, focus on testosterone-boosting vegan foods, such as nuts, seeds, coconut oil, avocados and olive oil.
Although vegan foods are packed with essential nutrients, many lack some of the major nutrients–such as vitamins A and D–needed for testosterone production. To make up for the nutrient deficiency, you can also try vegan supplements that contain the vitamins A, K, and D. Incorporating these natural vegetarian testosterone boosters into a vegan diet can help you to avoid vitamin deficiencies and maintain healthy testosterone levels.
Aside from customizing your vegan diet to include a balanced amount of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, there are other things you can do to increase or maintain your testosterone levels, such as exercising regularly, getting adequate amounts of sleep, and managing stress and anxiety.
At Renew Vitality, our hormone replacement clinic specializes in helping men increase and optimize their hormone levels. We provide wellness plans that include diets that can help men transition to a healthier lifestyle and boost their testosterone levels and improve their overall health. If you’re interested in learning more about how to increase your testosterone or need help boosting your testosterone levels, contact us at 1-800-785-3945 and schedule an appointment to meet with our incredible medical staff at any of our hormone replacement clinics in the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vegan foods that are rich in magnesium, such as Swiss chard, spinach, and kale, usually produce the most significant increases in testosterone.
Vegans typically have the same amount of testosterone as non-vegan eaters.
As long as you eat a vegan diet with a healthy balance of carbs, proteins, and fats, eliminating meat will not lower your testosterone.