Testosterone is an important hormone in the male body. It is found in women, too, but men produce eight to 10 times more testosterone than women.
Testosterone is needed in men to help maintain muscle mass and strength, as well as bone mass and strength. Testosterone also helps to maintain a healthy libido, and mental and physical energy levels. But scientists have estimated that one out of every four men over the age of 30 have low testosterone levels. And low levels — less than 300 nanograms per deciliter — can make it difficult for men to feel healthy.
Researchers at the Department of Nutritional Science at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that one mineral in particular is very important when it comes to maintaining healthy testosterone levels. In a clinical trial, the research team evaluated the impact of differing levels of zinc in the diets of mice. After analyzing various systems within the bodies of the mice, the researchers found compelling evidence that reduced zinc intake may be associated with infertility in men. They also found that decreased levels of circulating zinc may be associated with lower levels of testosterone.
So you’ll want to keep zinc levels on target with the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) — 12 milligrams. Is there
anything else you can do to protect against low testosterone levels?
Here’s some health advice in regards to your nutritional intake: eat healthy, but watch out for low-calorie diets. Over the long term, eating fewer calories than you need for your body weight will lower your testosterone levels.
Animal protein seems to be linked with higher testosterone levels. Try to add some lean beef, poultry, fish, and pork to your weekly diet. You don’t need to eat red meat every day — just enough to keep your levels up. Protein is important for healthy testosterone levels, but too much can have a negative effect.
Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are all known to lower levels of estrogens in the body. Estrogens can block the production of testosterone — so you’ll want to help keep them in check by eating these veggies.
One last thing to consider: alcohol can increase the rate at which testosterone is converted into estrogen. Remember to drink in moderation.