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    May 28, 2021

    June 2021 Corporate Newsletter

    LET’S TALK TESTOSTERONE

    Contributed by Mandy Enright, MS, RDN, RYT

     In honor of Men’s Health Month, we’re diving into a top men’s health topic: testosterone. You may be seeing lots of targeted ads online or even on television about testosterone, particularly regarding boosting testosterone levels. Let’s take a look at this key men’s health hormone.

     

    What is Testosterone?

    Testosterone is a hormone that plays a role in bone density, fat distribution, muscle mass, body hair, red blood cell production, sex drive, sperm production, energy and mood. In males, testosterone is produced in the testicles via a signal sent from the pituitary gland in the brain. Levels peak in males during adolescence and early adulthood. After age 30, testosterone can decrease by 1-2% annually. 

     

    What Happens if Testosterone Levels are High?

    Testosterone levels can change throughout the day and often there can be dramatic shifts. There are often stereotypes around high testosterone leading to road rage and short fuses. However, high testosterone levels have most commonly been identified among men using anabolic steroids or testosterone to improve athletic performance and increase muscle mass.

     Symptoms can include:

    • Low sperm count and impotence
    • Enlarged prostate
    • Acne
    • Mood swings and irritability
    • Headaches
    • Insomnia
    • Weight gain due to increased appetite

    High testosterone levels also lead to increased risk of heart attack, liver disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

     

     What if Testosterone Levels are Too Low?

    Hypogonadism, also known as low T levels, is impaired production of testosterone due to issues with the testicles or pituitary gland. Other factors that can reduce testosterone production include injury to the testicles, stress, chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease or alcoholism, and cancer treatments to the area including chemotherapy or radiation therapy. However, there is some upside – low testosterone levels may actually reduce risk of prostate cancer.

     Symptoms can include:

    • Hair loss, including body and facial hair
    • Decreased sex drive and changes in sexual function
    • Reduced muscle mass
    • Weight gain
    • Changes in mood including low self-esteem, moodiness and depression
    • Reduced bone mass

     Testosterone levels can be tested via bloodwork. In some cases, testosterone replacement therapy may be prescribed. This can include oral medications, injections, gels or skin patches.

     

     Do Certain Foods Help Boost Testosterone? 

    There are some nutrients and foods that can help boost testosterone production. They include:

    • Zinc: particularly oysters, fatty fish (such as tuna), shellfish (crabs and lobster) and beans
    • Vitamin D: including egg yolks, fortified cereals and orange juice, lowfat/nonfat dairy or alternatives
    • Magnesium: including almonds, leafy greens, beans, legumes and whole grains
    • Antioxidant-Rich Foods: including pomegranates, Brazil nuts and olive oil
    • Onions, Garlic, and Ginger: contain compounds that may help boost testosterone production

    Likewise, it is recommended to avoid highly-processed foods and excessive levels of alcohol, which can decrease testosterone production. Following a plant-forward lifestyle, such as the Mediterranean Diet, may help with testosterone levels. 

    Testosterone levels can also be impacted by lifestyle, so make sure you are managing stress, getting adequate sleep, and maintaining a healthy weight.

     

    Testosterone Only Affects Men, Right? 

    While testosterone is categorized as an androgen, which is considered a “male sex hormone,” women produce testosterone as well in the ovaries, adrenal glands, fat cells and skin cells. Low testosterone in women can lead to reduced sex drive, reduced bone density, poor concentration and depression. Testosterone levels decrease naturally with age, although the ovaries continue to produce testosterone post-menopause, even after estrogen production stops. 

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of high testosterone levels in women. Other symptoms of high testosterone can lead to irregular periods, infertility, poor blood sugar control, acne and excessive hair growth on areas such as the face. 

    Foods that can help lower testosterone in women include: 

    • Fatty fish or a fish oil supplement
    • Probiotic-rich foods
    • High fiber foods, such as those we find in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans
    • Nuts and seeds (especially flaxseeds)
    • Mint and Tea 

    Consult your physician if you suspect a testosterone imbalance. If you are transgender or transitioning, your hormone needs may vary. Consult with your doctor to determine the treatment right for you. 

     

    RECIPE CORNER: ROASTED SALMON WITH SMOKY CHICKPEAS & GREENS 

    INGREDIENTS: 

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    ½ teaspoon salt, divided, plus a pinch
    1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
    ½ cup buttermilk
    ¼ cup olive oil or avocado mayonnaise
    ¼ cup chopped fresh chives and/or dill, plus more for garnish
    ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
    ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    10 cups chopped kale
    ¼ cup water
    1 ¼ pounds salmon, cut into 4 portions

    PREPARATION: 

    Position racks in upper third and middle of oven; preheat to 425 °F. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Very thoroughly pat chickpeas dry, then toss with the paprika mixture. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the upper rack, stirring twice, for 30 minutes. 

    Meanwhile, puree buttermilk, mayonnaise, herbs, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and garlic powder in a blender until smooth. Set aside. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add kale and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add water and continue cooking until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in a pinch of salt. 

    Remove chickpeas from the oven and push them to one side of the pan. Place salmon on the other side and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake until the salmon is just cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Drizzle the reserved dressing on the salmon, garnish with more herbs, if desired, and serve with the kale and chickpeas. Serves 4. 

    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Serving size: 4 oz. Salmon, ¾ Cup Greens, ¼ Cup Chickpeas & 2 ½ Tbsp. Dressing; 447 calories; protein 37g; carbohydrates 23.4g; dietary fiber 6.4g; sugars 2.2g; fat 21.8g 

    Recipe Source: https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/262763/roasted-salmon-with-smoky-chickpeas-greens/ 

    Mandy Enright MS, RDN, RYT, is a Registered Dietitian, Yoga Instructor, and Corporate Wellness Expert, as well as main content contributor for Wellness Concepts. Mandy is a featured presenter, both virtually and onsite near her home in Neptune, NJ.

     

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