Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, but it is also produced in women. In women, it is important for a number of health functions, including sex drive and muscle and bone growth. However, some individuals may have excess testosterones leading to unwanted side effects such as facial hair. Some foods can help reduce testosterone levels. Other individuals may wish to increase levels of this hormone and avoid foods that reduce it. If you have any kind of hormonal imbalance, talk to your doctor for best treatment and diet for you.
According to Dr. Neal Barnard in his book, "Foods That Fight Pain: Revolutionary New Strategies for Maximum Pain Relief," eating rice can help reduce your testosterone levels. This is may be because rice is low in fat, which tends to reduce testosterone levels. Barnard explains that as the liver filters the blood, it removes testosterone and sends it down the bile duct into the small intestine. There, fiber from foods such as rice soaks it up and carries it away with other wastes.
Green and yellow vegetables, such as squash and zucchini, may also lower testosterone levels. Barnard notes that this has to do with their fiber-rich content, and because they are low in fat. These vegetables are also high in beta-carotene, which may help to protect against certain types of cancers.
Another food that may be helpful in reducing testosterone levels is soy. This is due to soy's high content of compounds called isoflavones, which alter estrogen levels in your body, according to health journalist Deborah Yost in her book, "The Anti-Cancer Food and Supplement Guide." This, in turn, lowers testosterone levels. Yost notes that it is important to eat soy in moderation to limit the estrogenic effects. One serving a day should suffice. Check with your doctor before consuming soy in supplement form.
Foods that are high in sugar may also reduce testosterone levels. Though a high-sugar diet is normally only linked to diabetes, Dr. Jonathan Wright notes in his book, "Eating Clean For Dummies," that high sugar intake also lowers testosterone, while raising estrogen levels. However, eating a high sugar diet is not the recommended approach to lower testosterone. A high-sugar diet has many negative impacts on the body.
- "Foods That Fight Pain: Revolutionary New Strategies for Maximum Pain Relief"; Neal D. Barnard, MD; 1999
- "The Anti-Cancer Food and Supplement Guide"; Deborah Yost; 2010
- "Eating Clean For Dummies"; Jonathan Wright, MD; 2011
- "A Woman's Guide to Natural Hormones"; Christine Conrad; 2005
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.