Hormonal imbalance in men is a common phenomenon, but few talk about it openly.
Testosterone is the most important male hormone, but there are also other hormones that affect men's health, such as estrogen, prolactin and cortisol. Hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as decreased sex drive, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, fatigue and irritability.
In general, a healthy and varied diet can help alleviate the symptoms of hormonal imbalance and promote a healthy hormonal balance in men. By including a variety of nutritious foods in your diet and avoiding processed foods and refined sugar, men too can help balance their hormones naturally.
Natural ways to balance hormones in men
The food we eat can affect our hormonal balance and help reduce the discomfort caused by hormonal imbalance. Here are some recommendations for foods that can help in a natural way to relieve the discomfort.
1. Eat foods with high nutritional content
Eating foods that are rich in nutrients can help balance hormones. Try to include a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits in your diet, as well as whole grains, avocados, legumes, etc.
Fat is important for hormonal health, but it's important to choose healthy sources of fat. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and seeds, and avoid saturated and trans fats.
Avoid processed foods and refined sugar, as they can contribute to hormonal imbalance.
Some examples and why it's good:
- Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane, which can help balance hormones by increasing the production of the sex hormone testosterone while decreasing the production of estrogen.
- Pumpkin seeds is a good source of zinc, which is important for the production of testosterone and sperm. One study found that zinc supplementation increased testosterone levels in men with low levels of testosterone.
- Blueberrycontains a high concentration of antioxidants called anthocyanins. These can help reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage, which can contribute to healthy hormone balance. One study found that anthocyanin supplementation reduced inflammation and increased testosterone production in men at high risk of heart disease.
- Avocado is a good source of healthy fats that can help increase testosterone production. They also contain a compound called beta-sitosterol, which can help reduce the production of estrogen. One study showed that beta-sitosterol supplementation reduced the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia in men.
2. Eat foods that support testosterone production
Testosterone is important for men's health, so it is important to eat foods that support testosterone production. Foods rich in zinc, such as red meat, seafood and legumes, can help increase testosterone levels. Other foods that are considered good for testosterone production are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and green leafy vegetables e.g. leafy vegetables that contain high levels of vitamin K, which is important for the production of testosterone.
There are several superfoods that can be beneficial in increasing the production of testosterone in men. Here are some examples:
- Asparagus contains a compound called aspartic acid, which can help increase the production of testosterone. One study found that supplementation with asparagus increased testosterone levels in rats.
- Beetroot contains high levels of nitrate, which can help improve blood flow and oxygen uptake in the muscles. One study showed that beetroot could increase the production of nitric oxide, which in turn could increase the production of testosterone.
- Egg is a good source of protein and vitamin D, both of which can help increase testosterone production. One study found that vitamin D supplementation increased testosterone levels in vitamin D deficient men.
- Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which can help increase the production of testosterone. One study found that EGCG supplementation increased testosterone levels in overweight men.
- Ashwagandha has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men with low levels of the hormone, whileMaca can help balance hormone levels and improve fertility. Both are found in our superfoodHormone Harmony.
3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine can negatively affect hormone balance, so try to limit your intake of these substances. Alcohol can negatively affect testosterone production, while caffeine can affect cortisol levels and thus increase stress.
4. Be sure to get enough sleep
Sleep is important for hormonal balance, so try to get enough sleep each night. Men typically need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night to maintain a healthy hormonal balance.
5. Exercise regularly and support the body with extra protein
Hemp and pea protein, cocoa, cordyceps and guarana are all foods that can help support a healthy lifestyle in men, found in our productProtein Power. Below is a summary of their possible health benefits and their potential impact on male hormone balance.
- Both hemp- andpea protein are plant-based protein sources that are rich in amino acids and are easy to digest. These sources of protein can help build muscle and support muscle recovery after exercise, which can help increase testosterone levels in men who exercise regularly.
- Cocoa contains polyphenols and flavonoids which are antioxidants that can help protect the cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals. Cacao can also help improve mood and reduce stress, which can help balance hormone levels in the body.
- Cordyceps is a mushroom that has been used in traditional medicine to increase endurance and improve oxygen uptake. Cordyceps can also help increase testosterone levels and reduce stress levels in the body, which can help balance hormone levels.
- Guarana is an herb that contains caffeine and other compounds that can help increase energy levels and improve focus and concentration. Guarana can also help increase metabolism and reduce appetite, which can help support a healthy weight and thereby healthy hormone balance.
In conclusion, a healthy diet can help alleviate the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men. By eating foods rich in nutrients, healthy fats, zinc and other nutrients that support testosterone production, men can help balance their hormones naturally. It is also important to avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine and to get enough sleep & exercise regularly to promote a healthy hormone balance.
It is important to note that if men experience severe symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as extreme fatigue, depression or other mental health problems, it is important to consult a doctor. A doctor can perform tests to determine a hormonal imbalance and recommend adequate treatment.
Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all the studies done on these superfoods and their effects on health and hormone balance, and there are certainly more studies that could be referenced. But these sources provide an example of the types of studies that have been done on these superfoods and their potential benefits for health and hormone balance.
Mayo Clinic. (2022). Male hormonal imbalances
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2017). Hormonal imbalances.
Harvard Health Publishing. (2019). Foods that boost testosterone.
Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Ahmad MK, et al. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertile Sterile. 2009
Ahmad MK, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, et al. Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertile Sterile. 2010
Lee MS, Lee HW, You S, Ha KT. The use of maca (Lepidium meyenii) to improve semen quality: A systematic review. Maturitas 2016
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2021). Ashwagandha.
Natural Medicines. (2021). Maca.
- Hemp and pea protein: Babault N, Païzis C, Deley G, Guérin-Deremaux L, Saniez MH, Lefranc-Millot C, Allaert FA.
The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutr J 12, 86. Cocoa: Hooper L, Kay C, Abdelhamid A, Kroon PA, Cohn JS, Rimm EB, Cassidy A.
Effects of chocolate, cocoa, and flavan-3-ols on cardiovascular health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials.
Cordyceps: Dai G, Bao T, Xu C, Cooper EL. Cordyceps sinensis and cordycepin in stimulating the immune system of cancer mice.
Guarana: Galduroz JC, Carlini EA. The effects of long-term administration of guarana on the cognition of normal, elderly volunteers. Rev. Paul Med. 1996
D'Oria R, Eleuterio E, Sgambato A, et al. Asparagus extract affects rat Leydig cell steroidogenesis in vitro. J Endocrinol Invest. 2016
Petruzzello SJ, Lansford KA, Larkin KT. Effects of beet juice on recovery of muscle function and performance between bouts of repeated sprint exercise. Nutrients. 2019
Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011
Venables MC, Hulston CJ, Cox HR, Jeukendrup AE. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008