Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced from the Leydig cells of the testes and the ovaries in men and women respectively. In men, 7 mg of testosterone is approximately produced every day, which helps in maintaining your blood range between 300 and 1000 ng/dL .On the other hand, females produces only about 1/15th of this amount, thus maintain the average blood range between 25 to 90 ng/dL. Deficiency of testosterone can contribute to low levels of bone density. Despite of gender, testosterone production is crucial for overall well being.
Biosynthesis of testosterone occurs by conversion of cholesterol into a hormone called pregnenolone which is further converted either into DHEA or progesterone thus finally forming testosterone which when secreted into the bloodstream gets bound to proteins called albumin and globulin. The binding of testosterone to the protein makes it soluble for transportation into the blood, preserves it from degradation by the kidney and liver and stores it to be used to stabilise the plasma testosterone fluctuations. Testosterone is a vital hormone required for post work out recovery, building muscles and as well as in wound healing. Testosterone gives the feeling of well-being and is also required to motivate oneself.
Testosterone production mainly depends upon your dietary fat intake. Cholesterol from fats gets converted to steroidal hormones, namely: Testosterone and Estrogen. A diet which is restricted in fat (less than 20%) will reduce your body’s ability to produce testosterone. This does not mean that one must consume diet high in fat, but instead one should eat healthy fats (unsaturated fats and MUFA) which will helpful in producing hormones.
Healthy fat sources include oils from plants and nuts like walnuts, flax seed, sunflower and safflower etc.
Low intensity exercises will contribute to muscle protein breakdown, and in case of low levels of testosterone levels due to low fat diet will further reduce your capacity to recover from exercise training.
Testosterone not only aid in muscle building but also helps in maintaining low levels of fats as well. Due to low levels of testosterone your lean muscle mass get lost which further slows down your metabolism thus limiting your ability to burn stored fat for energy.
Few good diet strategy which is important to increase your testosterone levels are:
- Eat enough amount of protein to stimulate testosterone production.
- Eat plenty of green and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage etc which are rich in phytochemical essential for healthy metabolism of testosterone.
- Reduce your intake of refined carbs foods like simple sugars, breads, potatoes, ice cream, pasta etc. Excess intake of these foods will increase the levels of insulin and cortisol in blood while diminishing the levels of testosterone.
- Take your complete dose of vitamins and minerals like Vitamins A, E, C and B6 and zinc which are helpful in converting pro-hormones to testosterone.