When most people first start a paleo based eating program, no matter how strict, they have a tendency to eat a lot of protein. It’s easy and it fills you up. I get it.
What most people don’t realize, men in particular…is that while you need protein for recovery and to aid in muscle growth. You also need vitamin A.
In one human study, it was found that the administration of vitamin A and iron have results equivalent to the administration of testosterone itself.
Vitamin A is essential to building muscle, it is necessary for the utilization of protein, the synthesis of new protein and the production of testosterone.
It crosses into the cells near the testes in it’s alcohol form (retinol), is stored in the cells and converted into retinoic acid.
*Experiments in rats have shown that greater concentrations of vitamin A in the testes increase basal testosterone secretion and transferrin, which is responsible for the transport of iron; and a variety of growth factors including IGF-binding protein 4 (transports IGF), androgen binding protein (transports androgens), transforming growth factor – beta (causes cell growth but suppresses cancer) and steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (responsible for the transport of cholesterol in to the mitochondria, power house of the cell, for it’s conversion to steroids).
Vitamin A also decreases estrogen production in the male testes.
This is where the protein comes in….diets that are very high in protein actually deplete vitamin A reserves.
Listed below is a brief chart of foods highest in Vitamin A. Add them to your diet and reap the rewards of good protein synthesis, higher testosterone (naturally) in addition diets high in vitamin A have shown to have a lower incidence of prostate cancer.
Need a recipe to a serve up a little Vitamin A in your life??!?!!? Look no further. This is an easy go to recipe, just add some roasted sweet potatoes and sauteed kale with a little apple cider vinegar.
Pork Loin with Apples (crockpot)
- 2 lb of boneless pork tenderloin
- 1/4 tsp of pepper
- 1/2 c onions, sliced
- 7 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 3-4 c of Granny Smith apples, diced
- Toss all the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Serve with plenty of vitamin A sides – sweet potatoes and kale.
Have a Fab Thursday!