Brian "B-Rob" Robinson
Foods That Fight Series– Low Testosterone (For Ladies Too)
You’ve probably noticed the increase in advertisements for low testosterone supplements lately. That’s because it has recently been identified as a real and common problem with males, and get this, it’s a problem with women too. I have also come to realize that many men don’t want to discuss a possible problem with Low Testosterone (Low T) and many women don’t understand that they are affected by it …in more ways than one.
Well, I don’t have a problem discussing it and today we will be looking at Low Testosterone and the foods that may or could possibly help relieve Low Testosterone. First, let me define Low Testosterone for the sake of this Foods That Fight Series blog.
What is Testosterone?
Before we get to what low testosterone is, its important to understand what testosterone and estrogen are to men and women. Although testosterone is the main sex hormone in men with estrogen playing the co-star and estrogen is the main sex hormone in women with testosterone playing a small role there, its testosterone that is responsible for sex drive (libido) in both genders. Most people I talk with don’t understand that men and women need appropriate levels of both.
Men need estrogen more than most understand as estrogen receptors are found in important areas such as the penis and the part of the brain that regulates libido. Men with low testosterone can experience loss of sex drive, excessive fatigue, weakness, depression, and many more symptoms.
Women need and should produce a small amount of testosterone in the ovaries and adrenal glands to aid in the growth and maintenance of reproductive tissue and bone mass. Women with low testosterone can experience sluggishness, muscle weakness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, reduction in sex drive and/or decreased sexual satisfaction, issues with irregular menstrual cycles, and many other symptoms.
I Can Relate, Now What?
My aim is to give you information that may help you naturally raise your testosterone. My hope is to decrease your probability of being prescribed, what could possibly be, a synthetic medication or have you think you have to first take your chances with a non-FDA approved supplement. I have chosen three foods that I believe are more commonly acceptable by the mass majority, foods that I eat, and foods that research shows can have a positive effect on combating your Low T.
“Honey for Low T?...sweeeet!” You doggone right it is! I had to dig deep to find this one because many sites will copy the same information. I choose honey because we all need some sweetness in our lives and even though I’m not a big fan of the taste of honey, I like what it can do for me, so I get over it. One National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study that I cite below states that “oral administration of honey enhances serum testosterone level in males.” Honey is a good source of the natural element Boron and Boron has been found to boost the body’s natural production of testosterone and the body's use of estrogen. Honey and its Boron buddy can reduce inflammation and increase vitamin D utilization. Honey is also a good source of nitric oxide (NO) which opens up the blood vessels and aids in erections.
Just for the record, I have always been against throwing away the yolks of eggs and only eating the whites. I’m sure my training partners from the late 90’s and now can testify to this. Well, turns out I was onto something, but really not for the reason of low T. I knew that eggs are a great source for complete proteins and omega-3 fats. Turns out that eggs are also an excellent source of vitamin D which has been show to raise testosterone in studies.
Studies show that tuna is a great source of vitamin D, which you now know has been shown to raise testosterone levels. Tuna also has excellent levels of omega-3 fats which studies show help fight inflammations. There are some conflicting studies as to whether inflammation lowers testosterone or inflammation is prevalent because of low testosterone. I will choose to keep eating tuna for the proven vitamin D attributes, to get my necessary doses of omega-3 fats, and reap the rewards that the lowered inflammation brings.
What can you do with this great information I just gave you? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Provided you don’t have any allergies or health related issues with the three foods mentioned here and your doctor is okay with you eating these, your mission is to find exciting and healthy ways to eat these foods. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Honey: Honey is my favorite substitute to sugar. I love honey drizzled over Brussels
sprouts, in sweet tea (instead of sugar), and in coffee. Since honey has more health benefits than sugar, and I don’t avoid sugar, it seems like a win-win for me.
Eggs: Eggs are a staple for me because I am big on breakfast. So I eat eggs hard boiled, scrambled, and (don’t judge) fried in avocado oil. I sometimes eat my fried eggs on wheat toast with spicy guacamole or on a bagel with smoked salmon.
Tuna: Tuna is, in my circles, the most popular healthy fish due to its price and availability. I can and do go to Subway in a pinch and get a tuna sub. I eat the canned tuna mixed with olive oil or olive oil mayo, boiled eggs, and salt and pepper.
I hope this information has enlightened and helped you. Please “heart” this blog and feel free to comment with other ways you eat the foods listed here and other helpful information.
Brian "B-Rob" Robinson is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Youtuber, and co-founder of LEANWellonline. His YouTube channel is called thisisb-rob.
Banihani S. A. (2019). Mechanisms of honey on testosterone levels. Heliyon, 5(7), e02029. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e02029
Pizzorno L. (2015). Nothing Boring About Boron. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 14(4), 35–48.
Identification Of Nitric Oxide Metabolites in Various Honeys: Effects Of Intravenous Honey on Plasma and Urinary Nitric Oxide Metabolites Concentrations
Noori Al-Waili - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14977445
Schulster, M., Bernie, A. M., & Ramasamy, R. (2016). The role of estradiol in male reproductive function. Asian journal of andrology, 18(3), 435–440. https://doi.org/10.4103/1008-682X.173932
Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.
Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, Kuhn J, Dreier J, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E, Zittermann A. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1269854. Epub 2010 Dec 10.