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Whether you are a vegan bodybuilder, or just an everyday Joe looking to build muscle and fitness, you most likely know how important testosterone is to reaching your goals.
Unfortunately as you age your testosterone levels will drop. Research  shows that once men reach the age of 30 their testosterone levels will drop.
This can lead to a host of issues, including erectile dysfunction, a loss of muscle mass and an increase in body fat.
As a vegan you maybe wondering what foods you can eat to reverse this fall in natural testosterone.
Luckily we have some suggestions for you. Keep reading to discover some testosterone boosting vegan foods.
Importance of Testosterone
Testosterone is a male hormone that makes a man a man, at least physically.
When a male undergoes puberty it is testosterone that causes the increase in muscle mass, the deepening of the voice and the increase in size of both the penis and testes.
Once a male reaches adulthood, testosterone is needed to maintain muscle mass, helps keep your bones strong and help maintain a healthy interest in sex.
Unfortunately as you age your testosterone levels will start to fall, which will lead to a few issues.
Signs of Low Testosterone
If you are suffering from lower than normal testosterone levels you will likely present the following symptoms:
#1: Reduced Sex Drive
Testosterone plays a key role in sexual desire, or libido.
If your testosterone levels are low then your sex drive will also be low.
#2: Erectile Dysfunction
Testosterone does not cause erections, but it does stimulate the receptors in your brain that produce nitric oxide, which is a molecule that does cause a series of chemical reactions that will cause an erection.
If your testosterone levels are low, less nitric oxide is produced and therefore fewer or less intense erections.
#3: Less Semen Produced
Testosterone is important for producing semen. Men with low testosterone often notice that the volume of semen produced will decrease during ejaculation.
#4: Hair Loss
Balding is a natural occurrence for many men, but those who suffer from low testosterone may see body hair reductions too.
Find yourself tired all the time? Even though you get plenty of sleep? It could be because your testosterone levels are low.
#6: Reduction in Muscle Mass
It is well-known that testosterone plays a key role at building muscle, so it makes sense that low testosterone will cause a reduction in muscle mass.
#7: Higher Body Fat Percentage
Low testosterone often causes higher body fat percentage.
Sometimes men may even develop gynecomastia, which is when the male develops breast tissue.
It is often believed that this condition is caused by an imbalance between testosterone and oestrogen.
#8: Reduction in Bone Mass
Testosterone helps to strengthen bone, so if you have low testosterone you will be more susceptible to bone fractures.
#9: Changes in Mood
Research has shown that men with low testosterone are more likely to suffer from depression, irritability and a lack of focus .
What Vegan Foods Boost Testosterone?
If you suspect that you are suffering from low testosterone I would recommend you add the following foods to your diet:
#1: Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which we have already discussed is a mineral shown to boost testosterone.
It is also a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to balance your hormones due to its ability to help produce serotonin.
They are a good source of protein, iron and healthy fats too.
A good source of healthy saturated fats, which are necessary for testosterone production.
Maca has been shown to both boost and normalise hormones, helping to boost libido and improved moods, resulting in an increase in testosterone production.
It has also been shown to boost energy levels, which is useful when working out.
Full of healthy fats and vitamin B6, avocado can help reduce cortisol levels and boost overall testosterone production.
Avocado can also help improve your cholesterol levels, by reducing bad cholesterol (LDL).
#5: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a good natural testosterone booster due to their essential fatty acid (EFA) profile. They are also a good source of omega-3 fats, potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium.
This means that they are also good for regulating your metabolism, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and overall mood.
Spinach is a good source of magnesium, which helps to lower SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) levels within the body.
This is a protein that binds with the free testosterone within your body, rendering it inactive.
By reducing SHBG your overall testosterone levels will be higher.
Ginger has been shown to increase testosterone production and improve sexual function.
In studies undertaken on animals, testosterone production doubled after consuming ginger.
Garlic is a good source of allicin, which naturally helps reduce cortisol.
The more cortisol present in your body the less testosterone is produced.
#9: Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage contain indole carbinol, which is a phytonutrient shown to balance oestrogen and testosterone within your body.
They are also a good source of various vitamins and minerals.
A healthy body is more likely to produce testosterone than an unhealthy one.
Other Methods to Boost Testosterone
Your diet is not the only method you can use to boost low testosterone levels. The following tips may also help:
#1: Exercise and Lift Weights
Research has found that those who often regularly had higher testosterone levels than those who did not .
#2: Eat a Balanced Diet
We have already given you a few ideas for food choices as a vegan. However, if you want to boost testosterone levels you need to be eating a balanced diet of protein, good fats and carbohydrates.
Protein helps maintain testosterone, while carb intake has been shown to optimise your testosterone levels while taking part in resistance training .
Good fats are also good for testosterone production, and for overall good health.
If you are constantly dieting, or overeating then this will also have a negative impact on your testosterone production.
#3: Try to Reduce Stress
Too much stress in your life can increase the amount of cortisol your body produces.
Once your cortisol levels rise you will likely be more inclined to overeat, leading to weight gain and an increase in body fat.
This will ultimately lead to a reduction in your testosterone levels.
#4: Get Some Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a natural testosterone booster.
To increase the amount of vitamin D in your body you should try and get more sunlight. There are also supplements available too.
#5: Think About Supplementation
There are certain vitamins and minerals that have been proven to naturally boost testosterone levels.
#6: Get Good Quality Sleep
Not getting adequate amounts of sleep can lower your testosterone levels, with one particular study showing that those who slept for just 4 hours per night having borderline deficient testosterone levels .
It is recommended that you aim to get between 7-10 hours of sleep for good health and better testosterone production.
#7: Try to Limit Oestrogen
Too much oestrogen can reduce testosterone production, therefore it is recommended that you try to reduce the amount of BPA, parabens and other chemicals.
These are often found in many different types of plastic.
Certain foods contain oestrogen so they are probably best avoided too. For example soya and certain types of seed.
Low testosterone can lead to a number of issues, but luckily there are methods you can use to boost your testosterone levels naturally.
Even as a vegan it is possible that adding a few foods to your diet can make a big difference.
Try adding a few of our suggestions to see if you see an increase in testosterone and the many benefits that it offers.