25 Sep Episode 131 – Natural Ways To Increase Testosterone w/ Lahana Vigliano, CCN
We’re bringing back some more hormone talk! The big T: Testosterone! I know many people, men and women, who question their testosterone levels because they feel they may have too much or too little. Testosterone is a big important sex hormone in both genders and holds health benefits of..
- Decreasing body fat + increasing muscle mass = good healthy weight loss
- Enhances sex drive
- Energizes you!
- Influences healthy blood sugar regulation
- Influences bone health
- Balances mood, especially if you struggle with depression
Before I go into natural ways you can help encourage an increase in your testosterone, I do want to say that I HIGHLY recommend you get your hormones checked and verify your levels. Of course I recommend working with a nutritionist to get your food-as-medicine + everyday lifestyle figured out, but you need to have a good functional medicine doctor by your side, especially if you ever need bio-identical hormones.
Onto, what you CAN do in your lifestyle to encourage healthy testosterone production.
- Exercise. Lift those weights! This recommendation is literally the first thing that pops into my head when I talk about raising testosterone. Obviously, start lifting with the amount of weight that you can, but do NOT hesitate to increase those weights when you are ready! You’ll looking amazing + toned, but studies show how this is so beneficial to increase testosterone when you do good resistance training for at least 6-8 weeks! Another observation in a study showed that men that are more physically active have more testosterone than those that live a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise overall can improve the quality of your life, so this is just a must, even if you have great testosterone.
- Ashwagandha. Currently, my FAVORITE adaptogen on the block because it helps your stress hormone, cortisol, become balanced. It helps your body adapt to stress. I’ll get into this more on step four. A study done in Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that ashwagandha versus a placebo had a significant impact increasing testosterone levels, along with other health benefits. There are so many studies on ashwagandha and the benefits it has on infertile males too! It’s a must have herb in my pantry.
- Ginger. This amazing little herb also has had studies done on it to show that infertile men showed increase sperm count and testosterone levels with ginger supplementation.
- Stress reduction. If our stress hormone, cortisol, which is produced by the adrenals is out of wack. You can betcha that low testosterone will follow. When we’re stressed out + have our sympathetic nervous system triggered, our body’s main priority is to fight or flight. Granted, most of our “stressful” situations nowadays have nothing to do with actual immediate danger and we aren’t fighting or flighting (ok, maybe sometimes you are), but for the most part, it’s stress from our busy days. Our body favors our survival over reproduction (reproduction hormones). Find things that make YOU happy and reduce the stress. Make sure to implement and put this as a priority. You can’t fill anyone else’s cup if yours is empty. Personally, my favorites are bible study, meditation, hanging out with girlfriends, and binging Netflix or Hulu (I love me some good shows!). AND getting yourself some amazing sleep. Sleep is priority, people!
- Balanced diet. I recommend getting a good balanced diet full of tons of fats, proteins, and carbs. We don’t want to put our body into stress mode with extreme dieting. Eating balanced meals of real wholesome foods that is nourishing to provide you with micronutrients also provides blood sugar balance. If we have blood sugar dysregulation and insulin issues, insulin can push testosterone into estrogen leaving you testosterone deficient. Insulin does this by promoting the enzyme aromatase. Eating real foods that work with your body can also decrease inflammation, which inflammation can decrease hormone production by the stress response I talked about earlier and can affect the sensitivity of hormone receptors on your cells. If you guys need any help with this area, you know exactly where to find me!
- Show your liver some love. Cholesterol is basically the backbone to our hormones. We need to have good cholesterol levels in order to produce hormones. We’ve gotten “cholesterol is bad” embedded into our brain and that’s not right. WE NEED CHOLESTEROL. Guess what produces most of our cholesterol? Our liver. Not so much of our diet, because if we eat cholesterol, our livers will make less and vice versa. But, we can support our liver to work properly with diet + supplements. Dandelion root, milk thistle, NAC are all super fantastic to show your liver some love.
- Address nutrient deficiencies. If you don’t have the fuel (aka nutrients) for your body, your body will not work correctly. Period. It seriously can’t get any more simpler than this. We’re a society that is burdened with foods that are low in nourishment. We’re overfed + undernourished. Some nutrients that you should get checked out are your vitamin D levels, zinc, and vitamin A. These nutrients have been studied to link a deficiency to lower testosterone production. A study showed that men who supplemented with about 3,000 IUs of vitamin D for a year had an increase in testosterone. I see vitamin D deficiencies SO often in my practice and most of the time, you will need more than 3,000 IUs to bring up your vitamin D levels. You need to get these levels tested for deficiencies, which you can do through me because studies show that if you’re getting enough of a certain nutrient – more does not always mean better. I do highly recommend a good quality daily multivitamin though, like mine the Thrival Nutrition Multivitamin to get a good foundation. You can get this on Amazon! A nice shameless plug before we end this episode!