"Man boobs," also known as gynecomastia, are an unsightly and embarrassing condition which can be caused by a variety of factors. Surgery may be a common solution, but man boobs can also be cured or drastically reduced by exercise or by avoiding certain foods and including other foods in your diet.
Causes of Man Boobs
"Man boobs" can be triggered by a number of factors. For one, hormonal changes at puberty may cause adolescent boys to develop enlarged or swollen breast tissue. In most cases, these symptoms will disappear within a couple of years as hormone levels stabilize. MayoClinic.com reports one in four men over the age of 50 may develop gynecomastia as testosterone levels decline and fat levels increase. Other factors which may interfere with your body's hormone balance and cause man boobs include: tumors or an hyperactive thyroid gland; excessive uses of alcohol or social drugs such as marijuana; and anabolic steroids. Nutritionist Mike Geary believes xenoestrogens in the environment, food supply and some cosmetics may accumulate in your body and disrupt your hormones.
Regular ingestion of soy products may lead to the development of gynecomastia. A study by the Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, reported in the Journal of the American College of Endocrinology, highlights the case of an otherwise healthy and virile 60-year-old man who developed man boobs from drinking 3 quarts of soy milk a day. His levels of the estrogen hormones estrone and estradiol were four-fold above the upper limit of the reference range.
As well as avoiding excess soy products, eat foods that will help increase your levels of testosterone such as lean cuts of red meat and organic free range eggs. These contain cholesterol which plays a crucial role in the production of testosterone. Zinc and vitamins E and B also help the production of testosterone and can be found in eggs, oysters, asparagus, figs, almonds, nuts, brown rice, salmon and avocados. Use flax seed oil and hemp seed oil as condiments in your food to increase your levels of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which also help the production of testosterone.
Eat cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts to help cure man boobs. According to nutritionist Mike Geary, these vegetables contain specific phyto-nutrients such as indole-3-carbinol that help combat xenoestrogens.
High Fiber Carbohydrates
Eat high-fiber complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, whole grain rice, bran cereal, quinoa, spelt and buckwheat. These provide sustained energy without the insulin and sugar spike induced by the refined carbs which cause your body to store fat and encourage development of man boobs. High-fiber carbs also aid the digestive system and promote efficient expulsion of waste products.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables such as avocados, apples, apricots, bananas, blueberries, papayas, raspberries, beet greens, bok choy, carrots, collard greens, green beans, celery, sweet peppers, spinach, tomatoes, squash and zucchini. These are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting free radicals which help your body function optimally. They can also form an integral part of a weight loss diet, which can help you reduce body fat in general and the chest fat that contributes to man boobs.