Food is a fuel that your body uses to produce energy. It delivers vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, and other nutrients to the organism, thus improving its health. When you want to lose weight, you change your diet.
To improve heart health and decrease the risk of multiple diseases, you make some tweaks in your eating pattern.
In recent years, testosterone boosting has become all the rage. The question is; can you boost testosterone levels with food ?
Why Boost Your Testosterone?
The natural male hormone is involved in a number of important bodily functions. Not only does it help to repair muscles and strengthen bones, testosterone also plays a key role in maintaining sexual performance.
Natural levels of the hormone decrease with age, and as a result of environmental stressors. It’s, therefore, no wonder that more and more men are looking for ways to boost their testosterone production.
Lower than average testosterone levels in men have been shown to:
- Reduce muscle mass
- Reduce libido and sexual performance
- Reduce bone density
- Increase the risk of prostate cancer
- Increase heart disease risk
- Increase the risk of depression and anxiety
- Increase all-cause mortality risk
Although there are plenty of pills and potions out there that promise to solve all of your testosterone woes and send your levels through the roof, many of them are based on little to no evidence and may do nothing more than draining your wallet.
Thankfully, there are a number of natural alternatives. Most of them you can easily pick up at your everyday grocery store, and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Read on to discover our top-twelve testosterone boosting foods, and start implementing them into your diet today.
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, an important mineral that has repeatedly been shown to help boost testosterone levels. A study conducted in the mid nineties suggested that low testosterone levels in males could often be traced back to a zinc deficiency.
Pumpkin seeds also contain high concentrations of magnesium, another mineral that helps to raise testosterone levels, along with other growth hormones such as IGF-1.
What’s more, pumpkin seeds are also a great source of plant-based protein, helping to maintain muscle mass and improve satiety. Having excess body fat is one of the factors that can lead to a decrease in natural testosterone levels over time.
Enjoy pumpkin seeds as they are, in a trail mix or blended in a smoothie.
Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, which are crucial in the formation of testosterone.
Studies suggest that diets containing adequate amounts of both unsaturated and saturated fats can significantly increase serum testosterone levels in males.
Avocados are also rich in Vitamin B-6, which aids in the absorption of zinc. As mentioned above, zinc is one of the most powerful natural testosterone boosters available.
For a healthy, testosterone boosting lunch, try your avocado mashed on wholemeal bread with salad, or in a bean burrito (obviously with a generous dash of hot sauce).
Kale is big news these days, and rightly so.
Aside from being a great source of fibre, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, the curly green leaves can also help balance your manly hormones.
Kale contains indole-3-carbinol, a phytochemical that reduces the activity of the aromatase enzyme in the body. The aromatase enzyme is involved in the production of oestrogen, the female hormone that blocks testosterone production. Reducing oestrogen levels subsequently allows testosterone levels to increase.
To preserve the nutrient content, lightly steam your kale and enjoy it as a side dish.
4. Matcha Green Tea
Match tea is commonly consumed in Japan, a country with some of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Perhaps surprisingly, it shows promising results when it comes to testosterone production.
Our bodies are constantly under attack from free radicals, natural substances that are produced as a by-product of ageing and environmental stressors. Left unchecked, free radicals can cause damage to cells in the testicles, reducing testosterone production.
Matcha tea is rich in antioxidants, which help to combat oxidation and damage from these free radicals, promoting healthy sperm cells and free testosterone production.
5. Pseudo Grains
Pseudo grains such as amaranth and quinoa have seen an increase in popularity as of late, mainly because of their gluten free status and high levels of protein.
In addition to these benefits, the ancient grains may also help to maintain testosterone levels. They contain the amino acid d-asparaginic acid, which stimulates the release of the luteinizing hormone, produced in the pituitary gland.
This hormone travels to the testicles via the blood, increasing testosterone production and sperm quality.
Red grapes are a potent source of resveratrol, a polyphenol that has antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of resveratrol rich foods has been linked to an improvement in sperm health.
Grapes also contain the compound quercetin, which is commonly found in apples, berries and onions too. This flavonoid also acts an antioxidant, and helps to inhibit enzymes that reduce testosterone levels.
Enjoy your grapes as a light snack, or include them in your big green salad.
Fenugreek is a plant that is commonly used in Indian and Mediterranean cooking. The leaves can be used as an herb, or the seeds ground down into a spice.
Fenugreek contains active compounds, which help to increase the activity of certain enzymes that convert cholesterol into testosterone.
Try adding fenugreek powder to a homemade curry, and for an added bonus, serve with kale and quinoa!
Bananas are a great source of bromelain, an enzyme that helps our bodies to digest protein and increase serum testosterone levels. Bananas are also rich in B-Vitamins that increase the absorption of zinc, which as mentioned above, is another mineral that enhances testosterone production.
In addition, bananas contain substantial amounts of dietary fibre, helping to stabilise blood sugar levels and maintain a lean body composition.
Mushrooms are a natural source of Vitamin D, which is widely recognised for the role it plays in maintaining a healthy skeletal system.
Low levels of the vitamin have been linked with decreased testosterone production in males, so it may be wise to regularly consume Vitamin D rich foods such mushrooms and fresh water fish.
10. Black Beans
Black beans are another food rich in zinc, the testosterone-boosting mineral, as well as being a source of Vitamin-D.
Beans also contain good quality plant-based protein, important for muscle growth and repair. Furthermore, numerous studies have linked beans and other legumes to improved heart health.
Garlic contains the compound allicin, which has been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Stress is thought be one of the main contributing factors with regards to a decrease in testosterone levels.
When levels of stress hormones are brought back down to normal levels, testosterone production can function as usual.
Garlic also presents a wide range of other health benefits, helping to bat off the common cold, and aiding in weight loss.
12. Goat Weed
Epimedium or ‘horny goat weed’ is an herb that has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat impotence and naturally boost testosterone levels.
It contains the active ingredient icariin, a flavonoid that behaves similarly to testosterone when in the body. Goat weed also increases nitrous oxide levels in the body, increasing blood flow to the sexual organs.
The herb was aptly named when farmers noticed their herd of goats became more sexually active after grazing on it…
13. Acerola Cherries
Last but not least, one of the most potent superfoods known to man – acerola cherries.
These small red cherries boast the highest recorded concentrations of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps to reduce cortisol levels and raise testosterone.
If that’s not enough, they’re also a source of anthocyanins, a subclass of flavonoids that has been linked to a reduced cancer risk and improved digestive health.
You might be hard pressed to find whole cherries in your local store, but there are plenty of juice products available online.
14. Products Rich in Vitamin D
On the way to higher testosterone levels, we’re going to start with Vitamin D first. The “sunshine” vitamin has numerous health benefits including stronger bones. But, most people don’t know that this vitamin is crucial for testosterone as well. According to the study published in the Hormone and Metabolic Research men who received Vitamin D had greater testosterone levels comparing to men who received placebo. In fact, the vitamin increased levels of this hormone by 25%.
A study presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Urological Association, showed that Vitamin D deficiency is significantly associated with low levels of testosterone in healthy middle-aged men.
- Sources of Vitamin D include:
- Cod liver oil
If you don’t take enough Vitamin D through food, you can opt to buy the supplement.
15. Olive oil
Olive oil is the healthiest oil on the planet. It’s incredibly beneficial for heart health, prevents diabetes or helps you manage it, and wards off a multitude of diseases. Chances are high you know these things already, but you definitely didn’t know is that consumption of this oil can help you boost testosterone.
The journal Genetic Epidemiology published results of the study which showed that consumption of healthy dietary fats has a significant association with testosterone. On the other hand, a study from the Natural Product Communications revealed that intake of extra virgin olive oil and virgin argan oil increases testosterone concentration.
Scientists concluded the study explaining that both these oils should be a part of positive action of the improvement of androgen hormonal profile.
Most people dread carbs, but they are an important part of a well-balanced diet. That’s why it’s important to ditch dieting and eating patterns that are too restrictive. The organism requires multiple types of nutrients that are delivered through different foods.
Although low-carb diet is widely popular, the growing body of evidence claims it’s not as beneficial as it seems. On the other hand, higher intake of carbs has more benefits including the management of low testosterone.
In a study from Life Sciences, researchers found that participants who consumed high-carb diet had significantly higher free testosterone levels, lower SHBG levels, and decreased cortisol comparing to men who followed a low-carb diet. The Journal of Applied Physiology featured a study which revealed that carbs help optimize testosterone levels during the resistance training.
Don’t get carried away, though. It’s important to establish a balance of different nutrients rather than eating excessive amounts.
17. Products Rich in Zinc
Zinc is a very important mineral that your body requires to function properly. In order to boost testosterone levels through the food you have to ensure you’re getting enough of this mineral whose benefits are well-documented. The Fertility and Sterility journal published a study which discovered that Vitamin B and zinc increase the sperm count by 74% in both subfertile and fertile men.
Moreover, the research from the Nutrition showed that zinc plays a pivotal role in modulating serum testosterone levels in healthy men, while the Neuro Endocrinology Letters featured a study showing that zinc boosts testosterone in athletes.
- Good sources of zinc are:
- Grass-fed beef
- Kefir or yogurt
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cocoa powder
Zinc is known to help to stop hair loss by strenghtening body cells and promote healthy hair growth.
18. Products Rich in Magnesium
Magnesium is yet another essential mineral that you should add to your diet in order to improve testosterone levels. The study from the Biological Trace Element Research showed that magnesium increases testosterone levels in both active and sedentary men, although the benefits are higher for men who are physically active.
We can compare it to top male enhancement pills which provide their benefits to both types of men, but those who exercise regularly experience higher increases. Unfortunately, a vast majority of Americans don’t get enough of magnesium; here are foods you should eat:
- Black beans
- Dark chocolate
It’s always useful to know that you also have the option to boost testosterone through dietary supplements like Megadrox; you can use them as an additional tool towards stronger muscles, rippled body, and healthy sex life.
Everything you had has a positive or adverse effect on the body. Knowing this will inspire you to decide and make healthier changes in your diet and include items mentioned in this article. Remember, moderation and well-balanced eating pattern are essential.
Read related article about how to boost testosterone with diet and exercises.