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Dec 16

Heres How to Make a Healthy Winter Meal Plan – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Skies are gray, clouds are lowering and the temperature is dropping. And with the changing weather usually comes a transition in food, from the lighter fare of summer to more hearty winter meals.

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But whats the best way to make the switch and stay healthy? Should you really switch up your diet that much? And whats the best way to adapt your meal planning during the coronavirus pandemic so you dont have to leave your house as much for grocery runs?

To figure out the best way to approach your winter meal planning, we talked to registered dietitian Lisa Burnett, RD, about some important tips and tricks to getting through the long, cold season with your nutrition intact.

Youve probably heard a lot about the need to up your vitamin D intake, especially during the winter. Thats because vitamin D not only is essential to muscle and bone health, deficiency in vitamin D has also been linked to decreased immunity and fatigue. And its harder to keep your vitamin D up in winter.

Were supposed to get most of our vitamin D from sunlight but theres less sunlight in winter, especially in certain regions, says Burnett. Certain foods like fortified dairy products and cold-water fish (like salmon and tuna) are good sources of vitamin D.

The bottom line, she says, is getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. And its important to remember that even if the seasons change, your body still needs the same maintenance.

While your tastes may change, your needs dont change a lot in terms of the vitamins and nutrients you need, she notes. Its always important to eat well and keep eating fruits and vegetables to get those vitamins and minerals.

Other nutrients Burnett suggests getting in your regular cold season diet as its better for your body to absorb these through digestion than through supplements.

Vitamin C can boost your immunity so its a great thing to include however if youre getting two-to-three servings of fruit and three-plus servings of vegetables each day, you should be able to get adequate amount of vitamin C, she says.

And getting those vegetables doesnt mean you have to eat a huge serving, either. Generally, a half-cup is good.

Bell peppers are a good veggie source for vitamin C, Burnett says. And for fruits, the reliable citrus fruits are good sources as are cranberries, which are more in-season, especially during the holidays.

When the season gets colder and drier, many people complain of dry, itchy and flakey skin. vitamin E can reduce inflammation and can help skin health and if youre keeping that fruit-and-veggie intake up, you should get plenty of that, too.

B vitamins are also important, she says, as theyre antioxidants and influence your energy and brain functions. Your dark, leafy greens are good sources for those vitamins as are legumes, like beans and lentils, she adds.

Speaking of tastes changing with the seasons, colder weather often brings on a wave of heartier, heavier foods. But, while these meals may be beloved cold-weather traditions, Burnett says to beware of starches.

Winter squashes are considered vegetables, but, nutritionally, they look a lot more like starches, she points out. They do have vitamins and minerals but they also have a lot of carbohydrates.

One way to moderate that intake, she says, is to make sure you include another vegetable into your meal plan instead of another starch. For instance, if youre eating chicken with butternut squash, have a salad on the side instead of bread or potatoes. That helps keeps down the starch portion of your plate.

Soups are very popular in winter for a variety of reasons: theyre easy to make, they warm you up in the cold, they can keep in your freezer or fridge and they offer a wide range of flavors and combinations.

But one thing you should be wary of, Burnett says, is sodium. That high sodium content is always a fear with soups. If you check the labels of a lot of popular store-bought soups or soups you can buy at restaurants, they have those high sodium levels.

Instead, she says, consider making your own soups. Not only can you make your own flavor combinations but you can ensure theyre healthier options. And when it comes to bases, she also suggests choosing broth over cream.

In cream-based soups, youll have those saturated fats from whatever dairy was used to make that cream base, she says. A great idea is to use low-sodium broth and use real, fresh ingredients.

One more advantage of soup? A welcomed versatility in a time of social isolation.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, its best to minimize trips to the grocery store (to protect yourself) and minimize those grocery delivery orders (to protect workers). That makes long-term meal planning and meal freezing an overlooked yet key step to staying safe and nutritious this winter.

And thats where soups can be a big help. Says Burnett, Soups are great to freeze so they last a long period of time. You can always pair it with a salad or, if its a lean protein-based soup, it could be a whole meal by itself. Thats also true of stews, too, as long as you stick healthy, fresh ingredients.

Burnett says that batch-cooking cooking many meals in one batch is a big plus for the winter. You can make several plates of three or four meals, free them and then work through them over the course of a few weeks, she says.

She adds that crockpots are a good way to prepare those batch-cooked meals. With a crockpot, you not only can cook large portions to break up over time but you can also get in everything you need, from proteins to your vegetables with necessary nutrients and minerals.

The one thing to keep an eye on, besides ingredients, is portion size, she adds. Certain comfort foods, like lasagna, do well with freezing and keeping for a while. You just need to be aware of portion size and what other vegetables and food options youre cycling in to go with it.

Fresh fruits and veggies are always the best options if you can swing it. But certain items may be out of season depending on the time of year. Or maybe youre looking to minimize trips to the grocery store or get certain produce in bulk.

In that case, youre faced with a decision: canned or frozen?

According to Burnett, go with frozen. Frozen vegetables and fruit have come a long way. Steamer bags make it much easier and have helped improve the quality. And nutrient-wise, those frozen options are fairly comparable to the fresh options.

With the canned options, you run into issues like higher sodium in canned vegetables and higher sugars in the syrup with canned fruits. There are some options that are healthier, like low sodium canned vegetables, she says, but youll just need to keep an eye on the nutrition labels and looked for those added sugars and salt.

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Heres How to Make a Healthy Winter Meal Plan - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic

Oct 22

Loud And Live Sports Introduces "The Trials" International Online Fitness Competition – Morning Chalk Up

Loud And Live Sports Introduces "The Trials" International Online Fitness Competition | Morning Chalk Up

Photo Credit: Loud And Live Sports (

Loud And Live Sports announced on their Instagram pagethe debut of The Trials, an online international fitness competition that starts December 4 with Regional qualifiers and concludes in January with a live broadcast of the finals.

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Introducing... the Trials. Ten days, five workouts & three distinct regional qualifiers. Compete in the online event to earn the right to rep your region within a professional global broadcast. It all starts December 4th. Learn more at the link in bio. #USTrials #SpanishTrials #LATAMTrials #TrialsFinals

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The details: The competition begins with region-specific qualifiers, broken up into three regions; Latin America, Spanish and the United States Trials for a total of 73 Countries.

The bottomline:The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the community and specifically large-scale competitions like the ones that Loud And Live hosts. To combat this, L&L has followed in the footsteps of other online competitions such as Rogue, the Dubai CrossFit Challengeand even the CrossFit Games. As an innovator of the sport and an organization that doesnt shy away from ideas and technologies, Loud And Live has taken on the challenge of broadcasting a live event and has added options previously unseen in the sport. The ability to pick and choose which athlete and in what division you want to follow from the comfort of your home is brand new. Loud And Live is promising that The Trials will create the new standard for online competitive fitness coverage and that this new format will promote a broad base of local, international participation culminating in a unified broadcast experience giving viewers control over their coverage. After a tumultuous and unpredictable 2020 CrossFit season, this is what the community needs and hopefully Loud And Live can deliver on those promises.

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Loud And Live Sports Introduces "The Trials" International Online Fitness Competition - Morning Chalk Up

Aug 13

Why Does My Stomach Hurt? 32 Causes Of Stomach Pain And Bloat – Women’s Health

Stomach pain is something pretty much everyone is acquainted with at some point in their lives. While some conditions are mild enough to be treated with at-home remedies, its possible youre dealing with something more serious if your pain is severe or happening all the time. So you definitely want to get to the bottom of that tricky Q: Why does my stomach hurt?

There are various causes of stomach pain, which can be acute or chronic and can be caused by issues relating to the stomach, appendix, gallbladder, spleen, bowel, liver, gynecological issues, or other issues, says Michael D. Dann, MD, a gasteroenterologist at Manhattan Gastroenterology in New York City. A thorough examination and further investigation can help you to understand and properly treat the cause of your pain.

Because the list of possible causes is pretty long, Dr. Dann recommends that all persistent or intense abdominal pain always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a gastroenterologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. While there are tons of totally harmless reasons that you're stomach hurts (hi, indigestion!), you def want to rule out a serious illness or condition.

Read on for 32 potential causes of stomach pain, as well as how to identify and treat them.

IBS is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain, says Dr. Dann. Symptoms typically include pain in the belly and abdomen area that is nagging and chronic, altered bowel habits, nausea, and vomiting.

How to treat it: Treatment will vary depending on symptoms can include dietary modifications, medication, and lifestyle behavior changes (think: adapting new stress management techniques, as stress can exacerbate IBS symptoms).

Symptoms of lactose intolerance include a crampy abdominal pain (often in the lower abdomen), bloating, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, all after eating dairy products that contain the sugar molecule lactose.

How to treat it: The most obvious way to treat lactose intolerance is to eliminate or limit dairy products from your diet, says Dr. Dann. You can also take an enzyme replacement to relieve symptoms, or treat secondary causes of lactase deficiency, such as with calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

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Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) typically complain of heartburn, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing, says Dr. Dann. However, some patients may also deal with abdominal or chest pain, nausea, chronic cough, hoarseness, or wheezing.

How to treat it: Mild and intermittent symptoms can be managed with lifestyle and dietary modification, says Dr. Dann. Medication may be needed for persistent or frequent symptoms and can include antacids, histamine H2 receptor blockers (such as Pepcid, a.k.a. famotidine), or proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec (omeprazole). Severe symptoms may require surgery.

4. Gas and bloating

Gas in your digestive tract comes from either swallowed air and the normal breakdown of certain undigested foods by harmless bacteria that are naturally present in the large intestine, per Dr. Dann. Although it can often cause embarrassing moments, its a normal aspect of digestion. Gas pain and other symptoms like burping, flatulence, bloating, and cramping can be exacerbated by certain foods such as dairy products and artificial sweeteners, according to the Mayo Clinic.

How to treat it: If its not related to another condition, gas can often be treated and managed with various over-the-counter medications (such as Beano or Gas-X) and dietary changes. If you experience chronic gas and severe pain, it could be a sign of another underlying GI condition, which a doc can help to diagnose.

5. Food poisoning

Food poisoning results from eating contaminated food, causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, in addition to abdominal pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.

How to treat it: Food poisoning can often be treated at home by replacing fluids and electrolytes and letting it run its course. But if you experience severe symptoms like dehydration, bloody stool, and a fever over 100 degrees, you should seek medical attention.

6. Indigestion

Indigestion is pretty much just the formal name for having an upset stomach, marked by upper abdominal pain, often after a meal. Other symptoms can include gas and nausea, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Gastritis is the term for inflammation involving the lining of the stomach. Symptoms are similar to GERD and include abdominal discomfort/pain, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. Gastritis can be caused by irritation due to excessive alcohol use, stress, medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs, bile reflux, and infections caused by bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, the latter of which can also lead to ulcers and stomach cancer.

How to treat it: Treatment depends on the specific cause, of course. For example, acute gastritis caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or alcohol may be relieved by stopping use of those substances. Medications that block or reduce acid production and promote healing can also help, as can antacids and antibiotics to treat H. pylori infection.

This condition typically includes upper abdominal pain with the pain occasionally localizing to one side, says Dr. Dann. Additional symptoms include abdominal bloating, fullness, nausea, and the inability to eat a full meal, or feeling full after only a small amount of food.

How to treat it: To treat this condition, with the guidance of a doctor, discontinue use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and work to eliminate H. pylori with appropriate medications to promote ulcer healing, says Dr. Dann.

This is the term used to describe gastrointestinal symptoms where the cause seems to be unknown. Symptoms of functional dyspepsia can overlap with GERD and gastritis, says Dr. Dann.

How to treat it: Patients under 60 years of age should be tested and treated for H. pylori, says Dr. Dann. This sometimes will include an upper endoscopy, particularly if theyre over age 60. Patients who are H. pylori negative or who continue to have symptoms after gettiing rid of the bacteria should be treated with antisecretory therapy with a proton pump inhibitor.

These are the terms for inflammation in the lining of the intestines and colon, respectively. Symptoms will vary based on the location and cause. In both cases, the underlying cause could be due to a condition such as Crohns disease or even something more benign such as a lack of blood flow to the abdominal area, says Dr. Dann. Patients with infectious colitis generally have diarrhea associated abdominal pain, which may be severe.

How to treat it: Depending on the severity of symptoms, antibiotics may be needed.

Acute appendicitis typically presents initially with pain around the belly button which radiates into the right lower quadrant of the abdomen area, says Dr. Dann. It is associated with nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

How to treat it: For patients with non-perforated appendicitis (meaning the appendix hasn't bursted), you'll likely need an appendectomy in a fairly timely fashion. If the appendix hasnt been ruptured, you may be able to treat it solely with antibiotics. If the appendix has ruptured? You'll need emergency surgery.

Gallstones can cause intense discomfort or sharp pain located in the right upper quadrant or other area below the chest. That's because gallstones occur when digestive fluid deposits have hardened in the gallbladder, and these "stones" have temporarily blocked the duct, causing discomfort and pain. The pain may radiate to the back and right shoulder blade and symptoms can also include nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Pain can last 30 to 90 minutes at a time, and an abdominal examination unfortunately wont tend to show much, says Dr. Dann.

How to treat it: During a gallstone attack, pain can be controlled with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Elective gallbladder removal should be considered for patients with gallstones on imaging to prevent future attacks and complications of gallstone disease, says Dr. Dann.

This is the term for when inflammation occurs in the gallbladder, typically from a clogged duct (like from a gallstone). Acute cholecystitis symptoms can include severe, prolonged, steady pain (like for more than four to six hours) involving the right upper quadrant. You may also have a fever and an elevated white blood cell count, and you may be hypersensitive when you put pressure on the area below the ribs while breathing deeply.

How to treat it: This is a more serious condition that requires hospitalization, says Dr. Dann. Treatment will include intravenous hydration (meaning through an IV), pain meds, IV antibiotics, and surgery to remove the gallbladder.

Acute cholangitis can present similarly to acute cholecystitis but is typically more severe, says Dr. Dann. It occurs when a stone becomes impacted in ducts draining bile from the liver into in the small intestine, leading to an infection. Symptoms include fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eye), and abdominal pain. The abdominal pain is typically vague and located in the right upper quadrant.

How to treat it: Similarly to the previous condition, treatment will include hospitalization with intravenous hydration, pain medications, antibiotics, and surgery.

The OG reason for going gluten-free, celiac disease sufferers tend to experience abdominal pain and excessive flatulence in addition to diarrhea, which is often foul-smelling due to malabsorption, says Dr. Dann. Symptoms can present as early as infancy but most commonly present between the ages of 10 and 40. Patients may also experience weight loss, anemia (low red blood cell count), neurologic disorders from deficiencies of B vitamins, and osteopenia (thinning of the bones) due to vitamin D and calcium deficiencies.

How to treat it: Most patients can manage celiac disease with a gluten-free diet, as well as by monitoring and reporting any complications to their doctor.

Pancreatitis can be acute and chronic. The pain is typically severe and can even radiate to the back. Symptoms can also include nausea and vomiting, and you might feel a little bit of relief when you sit upright or lean forward, says Dr. Dann.

How to treat it: Most cases of pancreatitis require hospitalization, along with fluid replacement and pain meds.

Hepatitis is when there is inflammation in the liver due to one fo the five hepatitis infections. Patients with acute hepatitis may have pain in the right upper quadrant, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms include jaundice, dark urine, and light colored stools.

How to treat it: Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause and may require hospitalization for supportive care, says Dr. Dann.

Gastroparesis is a condition when the stomach can't properly empty itself of food contents. In addition to abdominal pain, a person with gastroparesis will have nausea, vomiting, early satiety, bloating, and in severe cases, weight loss. The cause is often unknown, but gastroparesis can be seen in diabetics and post-surgery patients.

How to treat it: Treatment typically includes making changes to your diet, getting your blood sugar levels and changes under control if you're diabetic, and hydrating. Medication such as metoclopramide (Reglan) may be necessary, and some patients may require a feeding tube, says Dr. Dann.

Kidney stones occur when a stone passes from the kidney into the ducts carrying urine to the bladder. Mild to severe pain is the most common symptom and can occur in the back or abdomen. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, painful or urgent urination, and blood in the urine.

How to treat it: Kidney stones are most often treated with pain medication and hydration until the stone passes naturally through your urinary system. Large stones may require additional treatment, like lithotripsy (a procedure used to help break up the stones) or surgical removal.

Bladder infections can definitely cause abdominal pain, as well as painful and urgent urination, and/or blood in the urine. If its a kidney infection youre dealing with, you may also have a fever, chills, thigh pain, and joint tenderness.

How to treat it: Most cases can be treated with a course of oral antibiotics, though severe cases may require hospitalization and IV antibiotics. In rare cases, surgery may be required, says Dr. Dann.

You may be surprised by this, but symptoms for acute myocardial infarction (the medical term for heart attack) can include abdominal pain, belching, nausea, and indigestion, as well as shortness of breath or chest pain.

How to treat it: Management will depend on the underlying cause but will always requires prompt recognition and hospitalization, says Dr. Dann. Heart attacks are no joke.

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of it, often leading to lower abdominal/pelvic pain. Symptoms include painful periods with abdominal cramps, painful during sex, and/or infertility. Endometriosis can also lead to bowel and bladder issues, says Dr. Dann.

How to treat it: Initial treatment typically includes oral contraceptives and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, says Dr. Dann. However, recurrence rates are high if you stop taking medication. If treatment isnt successful, surgery to remove the tissue growth is an option.

Also known as leiomyomas, uterine fibroids typically lead to chronic lower abdominal/pelvic pressure or pain. Symptoms will vary depending on the size and number of fibroids and can include abdominal tenderness and low-grade fever, and your gyno may be able to feel large fibroids during an external abdominal exam.

How to treat it: Treatment can include oral contraceptives or GnRH agonists (medications that affect hormone levels). Some women also find relief with an IUD as a birth control method. In other cases, myomectomy (a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids) might be necessary.

Ovarian cysts are solid or fluid-filled sacs or pockets in or on top of an ovary. Pain is often a sign that the cyst has ruptured or burst, says Dr. Dann. The most common symptom is lower quadrant pain, and especially pain after sex.

How to treat it: Ovarian cysts can often be managed with monitoring by your doctor and with over-the-counter pain-relief meds. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

This pain can occur in the middle of your menstrual cycle, coinciding with timing of ovulation. It may be right- or left-sided, depending on which side youre ovulating from during that cycle.

How to treat it: This pain usually goes away within 24 hours, says Dr. Dann. You can treat it with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. If ovulation is particularly painful for you, taking birth control pills to prevent ovulation may be a solution worth talking to your gyno about.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, typically on the fallopian tube. It typically occurs during the first trimester, with symptoms such as abdominal pain and or vaginal bleeding that can be life-threatening.

How to treat it: With an early diagnosis, most patients may be treated with a drug called methotrexate (MTX). But in some cases, a woman may need surgery, says Dr. Dann.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) typically includes acute lower abdominal and or pelvic pain. Patients may also have pelvic organ tenderness and evidence of inflammation of the genital tract. Any sexually active woman is at risk of developing PID, and it most often happens when an STD is left untreated, causing this infection of the reproductive organs.

How to treat it: Treatment can include antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea, chlamydia, and other bacterial infections. Severe or complicated PID may require hospitalization.

Ovarian torsion occurs when an ovary becomes twisted around the ligaments that hold it in place. Symptoms can include moderate to severe pelvic pain, typically associated with nausea, a noticeable mass or bloating in the pelvic area, and sometimes vomiting, says Dr. Dann.

How to treat it: Ovarian torsion can sometimes resolves itself, but it often involves surgery. Surgical removal of the ovary may sometimes be required as well, says Dr. Dann.

Ovarian cancer has a reputation as a silent killer, as its often asymptomatic until its in an advanced stage. But early symptoms may include bloating or abdominal/pelvic pain, urinary urgency or frequency, and postmenopausal bleeding.

How to treat it: Treatment will require surgery followed by chemotherapy, says Dr. Dann.

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can cause abdominal discomfort from enlarged ovaries in women undergoing fertility treatment. Early symptoms are usually mild to moderate and begin four to seven days after the ovulatory dose of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. Late symptoms are typically more severe and begins at least nine days after the ovulatory dose of hCG during a conception cycle.

How to treat it: Mild or moderate OHSS and can be managed with analgesics such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), and by avoiding intense physical activity, says Dr. Dann.

Endometritis is the inflammation of the inner lining of the uterus, a.k.a. the endometrium. It typically involves lower abdominal and pelvic pain, as well as painful periods with cramping, pain during sex, and/or infertility. It can also lead to bowel and bladder issues, notes Dr. Dann.

How to treat it: Most infections are mild and cured with antibiotic therapy, though some may require IV antibiotics or curettage, a surgical scraping procedure to remove the affected tissue.

Crohns disease is another type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Its marked by symptoms such as abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, cramping, and bloody stool, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have have symptoms that could be consistent with Crohns disease or have already been diagnosed, you should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, and to exclude a more serious or urgent condition, says Dr. Dann.

How to treat it: While theres unfortunately no cure for Crohns, its often treated and managed with medications such as corticosteroids, immune system suppressors, and antibiotics. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

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Why Does My Stomach Hurt? 32 Causes Of Stomach Pain And Bloat - Women's Health

Apr 19


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Apr 11

How To Increase Your Testosterone Levels In 2018


You probably know that testosterone is important for men. After all, it’s responsible for things like sex drive, sperm count, fat distribution, red blood cell count, and muscle strength.

When you have low levels of testosterone, there are significant negative side effects, including:

Diminished sex drive
Muscle loss
Increased breast size
Erectile dysfunction or impotence
Depression, irritability, and the inability to concentrate
Loss of hair
Shrunken testes
Low energy
Decreased physical endurance
Increased chance of bone fractures

It’s absolutely essential for you to maintain healthy levels of testosterone in order to function effectively.

This raises an important question: how can you increase testosterone levels?

After all, it’s one thing to know that you have low testosterone levels; it’s something else altogether to increase them.

Consider this article a primer on increasing your testosterone levels. We’re going to break down the what, why, and how so that you are able to make informed decisions about your health.

What Is Testosterone?

Before we discuss how to increase your testosterone levels, it’s essential to understand what exactly what testosterone is.

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that’s essential for both reproductive development and sexual health. It’s part of a class of hormones called androgens (also known as “steroids” or “anabolic steroids”). While women do have testosterone in their bodies, their levels are around one-tenth to one-twentieth what’s found in men.

Testosterone is primarily created in the testes, although a small amount is also produced from the adrenal glands. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland work together to control a man’s testosterone production, with the hypothalamus instructing the pituitary gland and those instructions being passed on to the testes.

The hormone is also responsible for the initial development of male sex organs before birth, as well as the changes that happen at puberty like increased penis and testes size, increased facial and body hair, and a deeper voice.


Causes Of Low Testosterone

Normal levels of testosterone fall anywhere between 300-1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl), with free testosterone levels usually being between 3-9 ng/dl.

There are a number of causes of low testosterone levels, including:

Pituitary gland problems
Toxin or heavy metal exposure
Anabolic steroid use
And many others…

Dr. Robert Kominiarek notes:

Most commonly, I find some history of neurologic insult as the cause — a traumatic brain injury with or without loss of consciousness, stroke, surgery, medical imaging with iodinated contrast, medication, illegal drug use, excessive alcohol [consumption], toxin or heavy metal exposure, prior anabolic steroid use, penetrating or blunt trauma, radiation, chemotherapy, [arrhythmia], motorcycle accident, rollercoaster rides, boxing, martial arts, football, and the list goes on.

The point is that while there are numerous reasons for low testosterone, the cause may not be immediately apparent. And while identifying the underlying cause is crucial, it’s even more important to know how to bring testosterone levels back to normal levels.

If you think you have low testosterone levels, the easiest way to confirm your suspicion is to have your doctor perform a simple blood test.

If your levels fall below the “normal” range, then you have a problem that, thankfully, can be corrected.

How To Raise Testosterone Levels

If testing reveals that you have low testosterone levels, there are some relatively simple, yet powerful ways to increase them.

Improved Diet

The simplest, most natural place to start is with your diet. Saturated and monounsaturated fats have both been to shown to increase testosterone levels. As a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology notes:

Individuals consuming a diet containing ?20% fat compared with a diet containing ?40% fat have significantly lower concentrations of T. Also, replacement of dietary carbohydrate with protein has been shown to decrease T concentrations. These studies indicate that the energy supplied by the different macronutrients has a significant influence on T concentrations.

In other words, if your diet is high in healthy fat, there’s a greater chance that your overall testosterone levels will be higher.

Some outstanding, high-fat foods to incorporate into your diet are:

Red meat
Olive and coconut oil
Peanut butter

Two things to remember, however, as you bring these foods into your diet. First, if you’re not carefully monitoring your calorie intake, you can put on weight, which is not good for your health. Second, it’s important to not cut your carbohydrate intake when you add high-fat foods to your diet. Consuming low amounts of carbs can increase cortisol, which then decreases testosterone. It’s essential to balance your intake of carbs and fats.


In addition to improving your diet, taking supplements can also be an effective, natural way to maintain your overall testosterone levels. One thing to note: the only supplements that seems to have a connection with raising testosterone levels are vitamin D3 and omega-3 fish oil. All other supplements help in maintaining optimal health levels.

So what supplements should you be taking?

Zinc gluconate - low levels of zinc can lead to lower testosterone levels.

Magnesium - magnesium is essential for muscle health, sleep, and energy. When you’re low on magnesium you may have lower testosterone levels as well.


There are numerous studies that have demonstrated the testosterone boosting power of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). As William Kraemer notes:

Resistance exercise has been shown to elicit a significant acute hormonal response. It appears that this acute response is more critical to tissue growth and remodelling than chronic changes in resting hormonal concentrations, as many studies have not shown a significant change during resistance training despite increases in muscle strength and hypertrophy. Anabolic hormones such as testosterone and the superfamily of growth hormones (GH) have been shown to be elevated during 15-30 minutes of post-resistance exercise providing an adequate stimulus is present. [emphasis added]

HIIT involves doing exercises at a high intensity for short periods interspersed with periods of rest.

The best type of HIIT exercises are those which involve and stimulate as many muscles as possible. Some outstanding exercises include:

Kettlebell exercises. Doing kettlebell swings, deadlifts, curls, snatches, and squats can get your body into a prime testosterone producing state.

Sprints. Flying down the track at top speed pushes your body to the max and encourages it to produce more testosterone.

Don’t Cut Calories Too Often

There’s a fine line between trying to lose weight and keeping your testosterone levels high. When you diet for long periods of time, your body reduces testosterone levels. Returning to normal calories level will bring your levels back up to normal.

If you’re going to diet, don’t overdo it. Balance your calorie cuts with your standard diet.

Go To Sleep

Most production of testosterone happens when you sleep. In fact, if you don’t wake up with a morning erection, you might have low testosterone levels.

If you sleep fewer than five hours per night, it can reduce your testosterone levels by up to 15%. Additionally, low sleep typically increases cortisol levels, which also diminishes the amount of testosterone in your body.

To keep your testosterone levels high, be sure to get a solid night’s sleep.


Testosterone is one of things you take for granted while it’s there. But low testosterone can be seriously problematic and dramatically reduce the quality of your life. A decreased sex life can hurt your relationships, reduced energy can lower the quality of your work, and extra weight can take a strain on your body. Testosterone is essential for a good life.

Thankfully, if you have low levels, you can take steps to repair your body. Most of these steps are simple, like exercising, sleeping well, and eating a healthy diet. These natural solutions are much better than medical alternatives like hormone therapy or testosterone patches.

If you think your deficient in testosterone, take action. It doesn’t usually fix itself. Take steps in the right direction today.

Source: Vitamonk

Jun 23

19 Lose Belly Fat Fast – Video

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