June is recognized as National Men’s Health Month. One topic that is important in maintaining the health and well-being of the men in our lives is testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone that controls sex drive in men. When there are insufficient amounts of the hormone, it can lead to obesity. This is due to increases in fat stores within the body. In addition, it can affect mood and result in depression.
Testosterone levels involved in men’s health
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, a normal testosterone level ranges from 280 – 1,100 ng/dL. Low testosterone in men is diagnosed when levels of the hormone fall below 300. The most common signs and symptoms of low testosterone are:
- Inability to get (or maintain) an erection
- Hair loss
- Low energy
- Decreased semen production
- Diminishing interest in sex
- Increased body fat
- Reduced bone mass
- Difficulty sleeping
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
Improve testosterone levels with food and nutrients
Because low testosterone can lead to obesity in men, it is important for men to maintain a healthy diet. Including a healthful diet of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy and whole grains appropriate for caloric needs and regular physical activity can assist with maintaining a healthy weight. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D and zinc are nutrients that assist with the production of testosterone in the body. Foods naturally high in vitamin D and/or zinc that have been associated with increasing testosterone levels.
These foods are naturally high in vitamin D and/or zinc:
- Ground beef
- Chuck roast
- Beef liver
- Starchy beans
- Fortified cereals
- Egg yolks
- Vitamin D fortified milk
For assistance with menu planning for men’s health, go to this link.
Improve testosterone levels by engaging in physical activity
Research suggests lifting weights can temporarily increase testosterone levels. Also, aerobic exercises like walking, running, biking and boxing can also temporarily increase testosterone levels. Additionally, increased cardiovascular activities also burns fat and promotes weight loss in obese men with low testosterone.
Learn how to incorporate healthier choices in your life by meeting with a dietitian. Of course, we are always accepting new and returning patients.
Michelle Hines MS, RDN works out of our Gilbert location. She loves working with motivated clients who are looking for education. Get inspired by her motivating counseling style that encourages small but lasting changes. Click here to see a time that works for you.