Yes, we're talking testosterone. That muscle-building hormone. (Yes, women have this hormone too, just not as much, and can get depleted). But I'm not going to recommend that anyone take any anabolic steroid hormones or anything like that.
I am going to give you two solid tips on how to can boost testosterone levels naturally with supplements.
Tip #1: Get enough zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral that helps with a number of processes in your body (it helps over 300 enzymes). Zinc helps your immune system, helps to produce critical proteins and DNA, and also helps with wound healing. Enough zinc is necessary to maintain healthy skin and for optimal ability to taste and smell. Zinc is an antioxidant and can be supplemented to support optimal levels of testosterone because it helps the enzymes that converts cholesterol into testosterone.
Zinc is found mostly in red meat, poultry, egg yolks, and shellfish. Some plants can also provide zinc such as beans and nuts. The best dietary source is oysters.
The daily recommended dose of zinc for men is 11 mg/day and for women it's 8 mg/day. Low zinc levels are rare but tend to occur in vegetarians/vegans, athletes, and people who sweat a lot (zinc is lost in sweat). And low zinc levels have been linked to low testosterone levels.
Of course if you don't get enough zinc in your diet you can always supplement. Before you do, however, consider a few things:
Tip #2: Get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” is actually the most common nutrient that we often simply don't get enough of. Not only is it not very abundant in foods but a lot of places far from the equator don't get enough sunlight to produce adequate levels year round. Also spending a lot of time indoors in artificial lighting if you work in an office or similar has an adverse effect.
Hello winter; goodbye sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin D is known to help us absorb calcium from our foods and is also necessary for our immune system, nervous system, and muscular system. As with zinc if you're deficient in this nutrient you may experience increased testosterone levels after supplementing.
Vitamin D deficiency is most commonly associated with bone conditions such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in fatty fish, organ meats, and egg yolks. Unfortunately it isn't abundant in most other un-fortified foods.
The bottom line with vitamin D is that you may need to supplement. Of course if you're always outside in the sun or eat fatty fish every day you may be the exception. You can always ask your doctor to check your blood levels to be sure because vitamin D is another one of those nutrients where more is not always better.
Here are a few tips to supplement with vitamin D safely and effectively:
If you aren't getting enough zinc and/or vitamin D every day your testosterone levels may be a bit low but don't overdo these two essential nutrients.
Learn more about how to put healthy meals together here
Recipe (vitamin D and zinc): Honey Sesame Salmon
1 - 1.5kg salmon fillets
¼ cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
¼ cup sesame oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons honey or coconut nectar
2.5cm of ginger, shredded or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons diced green onions or chives
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Mix soy sauce/tamari/coconut aminos, sesame oil, lemon juice, honey/coconut nectar and ginger together to make a marinade.
Place salmon in a glass dish and cover with marinade. Let sit for a few hours or overnight.
Heat a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.
Place salmon in pan skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Pour marinade into the pan, lower the heat and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
Sprinkle with diced green onions/chives and sesame seeds.
Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: Wild salmon can contain up to 4 times the amount of vitamin D as farmed salmon.
Click below to listen to a podcast episode I was interviewed for, about building resilience and my journey to being a Health Coach