You probably know that testosterone is a hormone responsible for male sexual ability, but do you know that testosterone plays other roles and is important for your overall health?
Testosterone is responsible for the development of masculine characteristics like deep voice, muscles and bones, facial and pubic hair, and sexual maturity. Testosterone is also partly responsible for your mood, verbal and mental abilities. But, testosterone is not only found in men; women have it too. In men, it is produced primarily in the testicles while in women; it is secreted in the ovaries and adrenal glands. However, much smaller quantities are produced in women’s bodies.
Testosterone production peaks during adolescence and early adulthood, but sadly begins to drop after the age of 30. The lower testosterone levels can lead to problems such as low libido and erectile dysfunction (ED). But there are ways in which you can support your body to produce more testosterone. Some foods, herbs and spices have been used as aphrodisiacs through the ages. Some of these products work by increasing testosterone levels as research studies shows. Following are some of the spices that increase testosterone production:
Five Spices That Boost Testosterone Levels
If you are fond of curries, the yellow you see is the color of curcumin, the active constituent that gives turmeric its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Turmeric also helps boost testosterone levels, and improves your overall health and sexual prowess in particular. In a study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a small dose of curcumin increased testosterone levels by 257 percent in Wistar rats which have a similar reproductive system as humans. Another study on humans, found that 500mg of curcumin taken daily, increased the level of good cholesterol by up to 29 percent. It is worth to note that good cholesterol (HDL) is a precursor for testosterone.
Ginger has been in use as a spice for thousands of years. It has many health benefits including working as an anti-inflammatory. But besides ordinary uses as a spice, studies have shown that ginger has testosterone boosting properties. The study involved 75 men with low testosterone levels. The men were given daily ginger supplementation over a period of three months. It was found that their testosterone levels rose by 17 percent. At the same time, the men’s levels of luteinizing hormone almost doubled, and their sperm count increased by 16 percent. Luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers production of testosterone in leydig cells.
3. Cayenne Pepper
While human studies are lacking, research involving Wistar rats indicate that cayenne pepper boosts and preserves serum testosterone. The study carried out at the University of Uludag, Turkey, found that cayenne pepper or chillis, which are known to benefit circulatory health, increased testosterone levels. It was also established that, even with a low calorie diet, testosterone levels did not drop. The active ingredient in peppers is known as capsaicin.
Nutmeg has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac, and recent studies conducted on Wistar indicated that there is merit in its use. The study in which male rats (with similar reproductive system to humans) were given a nutmeg extract, found that the rats’ mating activity increased. The study also found that the rats had subsequent ejaculations within shorter periods in between. These are signs of increased testosterone levels.
Cardamom is rich in antioxidants which help to lower oxidative stress, thereby supporting higher testosterone levels. Cardamom also contains a-terpinyl acetate, a hormone regulating chemical that reduces estrogen levels and raises testosterone levels. You can consume cardamom by using it in marinades, glazes, rubbing or putting it in bread, cakes or yogurt.
One study involving rats given a mixture of cardamom and coffee over a period of eight weeks found that they had higher levels of testosterone, good cholesterol (LDL), insulin and antioxidants in their blood than those not fed on the mixture.
Testosterone is an important hormone for male sexual health and general wellbeing. The good news is that you can improve your testosterone levels naturally by paying more attention to your nutrition consumption and adding the 5 spices above your meals can only serve as a bonus for your health and at increasing testosterone levels.