Top Foods for Male Health By Dr. Kirsten Singler, NMD
Did you know that hormones such as testosterone can be affected by the food you eat? Here is a list of foods to increase in your diet so you can achieve optimum hormonal function and prevent disease.
Foods that reduce unwanted estrogen:
Estrogen is a normal hormone found in both men and women, but excess estrogen can disturb the balance of male hormones and lead to disease. The following foods contain constituents such as indole-3-carbinol that facilitate excretion of excess estrogen. Berries specifically help prevent testosterone from turning into estrogen. Ideally consume at least a cup of 1 of these foods to daily.
• Bok choi
• Brussel sprouts
• White button mushrooms
Foods that protect the prostate:
Prostate disease is so prevalent nowadays; it is estimated that 70% of men will have BPH by age 70, and prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer diagnosed in men today. With statistics like that we should be doing all we can to protect this important gland. Some of the best protective agents are found in the foods listed below. Tomato paste is high in lycopene and found in a now famous 2014 Harvard study to reduce risk of prostate cancer by 36%. The men with reduced cancer risk consumed 10 servings of tomato-based food each week. Additionally, pomegranate has been shown to slow prostate cancer growth and reduce PSA, the protein produced by cells in the prostate gland. Cherries and other berries with dark red and purple skin have powerful antioxidants. Their proanthocyanidins have also been found to reduce cancer. Consider green tea, pumpkin seeds, and nettle root which help to prevent dihydrotestosterone and estrogen from causing painful prostate enlargement.
• Tomato paste (unsweetened)
• Pumpkin seeds
• Green tea
• Nettle root
Foods that boost testosterone:
The building blocks of testosterone begin as cholesterol fats and vitamin-D. Healthy fats such as avocado and eggs help keep your cholesterols available for hormone production. Also, food high in vitamin-D such as cod liver oil, salmon, sardines, liver, black beans, mushrooms (and of course sunlight) aid in testosterone synthesis. Other agents needed to synthesize testosterone are minerals such as selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Brazil nuts are a significant source of selenium when 2 nuts are eaten each day. Magnesium is found in all the leafy green vegetables such as spinach. Oysters have long been touted as a testosterone boosting food due to their high zinc content, but these are currently not recommended as they are grown in highly polluted waters. For increased zinc, I recommend pumpkin seeds listed above.
• Brazil nuts (2 per day)
• Salmon (wild caught)
• Crab (wild caught)
• Organic beef or chicken liver
• Black beans
• Cod liver oil
How to avoid excess estrogen and hormone disruptors:
1. Lose weight. Unfortunately fat tissue induces a process called aromatization, which basically means estrogen production. One of the best things a man can do to help regulate his hormones is to get his body fat down to at least 20%.
2. Avoid plastics, pesticides, chemical cleaning products, and many beauty products. These contain agents such as bisphenol A, xenoestrogens, phthalates, dioxin, atrazine, perchlorate, glycol ethers. You can easily avoid these harmful agents by using glass, ceramic, or stainless steel containers in your kitchen, choosing organic food, using natural cleaners, and reading the labels of personal care items. Be mindful of places such as golf courses, dry cleaners, and mechanic shops where these contaminants are abundant.
3. Avoid hormone-raised animal products. In the United States, this primarily applies to cattle and sheep products such as dairy, beef, and lamb. As much as two-thirds of the cattle raised in the US are given estrogen and, or testosterone to increase growth. If you consume beef, dairy, or lamb, purchase products that are labeled “hormone free”.
4. Avoid refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates increase insulin levels which is tied to decreased testosterone production in men. Furthermore, a diet high in refined carbohydrates typically leads to increased fat mass which causes increase production of estrogen via aromatization.
If you would like to learn more about how your diet is effecting your specific health concerns or hormone condition, please call our office at 480-636-1068 and book an appointment.