We don’t realize the larger impact of hormonal balance in the human body. Discussed here are the salient points about Testosterone imbalance and how it can affect you.
When we think of testosterone and estrogen hormones in the human body, the assumption is that testosterone is a “male” hormone. What we don’t realize is that men and women possess both hormones in varying degrees, and in men it is testosterone that is the dominant hormone.
A higher than usual testosterone level in women, leads to excess hair growth and prominent facial hair. In men, a high estrogen level leads to some effeminate characteristics and sometimes in the growth of male breasts.
Aside from these external symptoms, there are a lot of side effects of hormonal imbalances in men and women:
- lower or higher blood sugar level
- less interest towards sex life
- Lower bone density
Testosterone is also responsible for the production of red blood cells. It increases sperm count and also helps to strengthen muscle mass in men.
Ideally, men and women will have perfectly balanced hormones, and this will be reflected in their general physical well-being. For a long time, research has been conducted to find out natural ways to bring about hormonal balance.
Research has shown that one of the main ways to bring errant hormones under control is by eating a healthy diet that comprises of food that is known to aid the process of balancing hormones.
Processed food these days is stuffed with chemicals that often contain high levels of estrogen – and this only means that testosterone levels, if you are a man, will get lowered if you consume a lot of packaged food.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 foods that create a testosterone imbalance:
- Alcohol: In a social setting, drinking is often used as an excuse to cover up major social gaffes. But, the consequences, other than a huge hangover, are increasing estrogen levels in men. In drinks like beer, the added calories lead to weight gain, which is a symptom of increased estrogen. Long-term alcohol consumption leads to a reduction in one’s sperm count, infertility, and damaged testes. Scientists say that a higher level of alcohol consumption can lead to a marked change in sperm and semen level which affects fertility.
- Processed foods: Processing means removing most of the nutrients from the whole foods. For example, intake of white flour, which is processed from whole wheat removing three quarters of zinc from whole wheat. Zinc is a mineral which is essential for men’s reproduction. Cookies, candy and other processed foods affect the hormones in the body. The milk used to make cheese is from milk cows who are pumped with hormones and antibiotics and the cheese itself is processed to ensure a long shelf life. Over-consumption of such dairy products will increase the toxin content in the body and will interfere with the normal hormone production including sex hormones.
- Diet Soda: Soda stored in plastic can decrease the level of testosterone, which has a number of negative effects including increased retention of fat, lowering the mass of muscle and strength, inability to maintain erection. The artificial sweetener added to diet soda affects the level of serotonin, which is important for one to take pleasure in sexual activity. Called Aspartame, this sweetener also makes one crave food and aids in weight gain. The high sugar levels in soda increases which lower the level of glucose in the body, which again lowers testosterone.
- Oils: Vegetable oils are liquid oils taken from plants and then processed in different ways like bleaching, deodorizing and degumming, which takes away the healthy micronutrients and leaves behind the traces of sulfate. Vegetable oils contain poly-unsaturated fatty acids which kills testosterone slowly. Nearly, all the oils contain poly-unsaturated fatty acids except for coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, avocado oil. Despite their good effects on the body, Omega-6 fatty acids also lower testosterone levels.
- Licorice: Licorice is a herb which is used for treating eczema and its intake can clear mucous congestion. It can also have decreasing effects of levels of blood in testosterone. Men who consume licorice root, that contains an ingredient called glycyrrhizic acid, can lower testosterone. Glycyrrhizic acid can cause many unwanted side effects. Licorice root are also used in candy, breath fresheners. Study shows that men who intake licorice root added in tea faces lower level of testosterone that causes the lower of sperm count and finally infertility.
Awareness is everything when it comes to our bodies. Know what foods are important and ensure that your diet helps your body function at its optimum.