88 Foods that boost your testosterone levels naturally
You might know all about testosterone and its functions. Otherwise, you wouldn't have stumbled upon this article. You can't consider yourself a man if you have no idea what testosterone is. Obviously, it's the male sex hormone. But for those who are wondering what a decent amount of testosterone could do, here are some of the great stuff it is vital for-
- Sperm production and fertility depends on testosterone
- It affects a man's level of sexual desire or libido
- It is needed for facial and body hair
- It increases muscle mass. Makes you fit and muscular
- Supports fat metabolism
- Keeps the required bone density
Testosterone is nothing short of a must-need supermundane hormone for men. If you are suffering from any deficit or even complete lack of any of the attributes mentioned above, then you are probably in short of proper testosterone or has the menacing amount of estrogen. Estrogen is the female sex hormone. Just like how a few amounts of testosterone is formed in women, men are also vulnerable to host some estrogen. Estrogen could cause the most undesirable things for men. Therefore its count should be checked. Nevertheless, an increase in testosterone will hinder the effects of estrogen and its supply.
There are many supplements out there that could boost testosterone levels in your body. If you are kind of a person who shies away from such products and instead prefers natural food items, then this is the article for you. If you maintain a diet composed of the following listed food, then you would most certainly increase the testosterone and lower estrogen in your body naturally.
So, what are the foods that act as testosterone boosters? Well, it all depends on the contents of the food. The sort of minerals or vitamins present in food determines its ability to raise testosterone levels.
Research conducted back in 1982 proved that Zinc helps in increasing testosterone. The subjects who were treated with zinc had significant improvement in libido. Patients who had Hypogonadism or the reduction or absence of hormone secretion or other physiological activity of the gonads (testes or ovaries) were cured using the intake of zinc.
Another study, titled 'Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Testosterone Levels,' published in Biological Trace Element Research found out that Magnesium could also increase testosterone levels in the human body.
Vitamin D also acts as a testosterone booster according to a research conducted in 2010.
Another way to increase testosterone is by hindering the aromatase enzyme from its usual activities. Aromatase acts as a villain in your body by converting testosterone into estrogen. In short, aromatase feminizes men. Eating something that serves as 'aromatase-inhibitor' will also help in increasing the testosterone level.
Now that we understood the minerals and the vitamin required to accelerate testosterone supply, we need to check out the list of food (vegetables, fruits or fish) that has these necessary components.
Foods that Boost Testosterone
Pomegranate possesses countless benefits for health. Also to being healthy, pomegranate is delicious too as a solid fruit or as juice. It contains antioxidant, antiviral and anti-tumor attributes. It is also an excellent source of vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and E as well as folic acid.
A study published in Clinical Nutrition concludes that consumption of Pomegranate Juice improves sperm quality and anti-oxidant activity. Another research proves that intake of Pomegranate juice enhances testosterone levels and improves mood.
#2. Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin Olive Oil is known to hold unbelievable testosterone boosting properties.
It’s also been attributed with lowering bad cholesterol and increasing heart health.
In a case study conducted in 2013, extra virgin olive oil was given to male subjects. The results showed that their testosterone levels were increased after the intake of olive oil.
An average oyster weighing just about one ounce will contain about 8-9 milligrams of zinc. Like we said before, this could lead to increase testosterone, muscle growth, physical endurance, and sperm production.
Mackerel is one of the favorite food fish that is consumed all around the globe. As the flesh of mackerel spoils quickly, it can cause food poisoning if not eaten on the same day of capture, unless it is properly refrigerated or treated. Mackerel is predominantly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel provides testosterone-enhancing vitamin D and also contains zinc as well.
Research published in The Journal of Nutrition found out that White Button Mushroom indeed acts as aromatase-inhibitors. Thus, it wipes out estrogen from your body while indirectly increasing testosterone.
While pistachios, walnuts, and almonds can negatively affect testosterone levels, cashews contain zinc that acts as a testosterone booster. You can use it as a healthy snack that can or as an ingredient to enhance flavor. But watch out for the fat content it possesses.
Salmon is rich in vitamin D than any other fish. And vitamin D is required for health and proper function. As mentioned in the intro, vitamin D also raises the testosterone level. Along with the protein and essential fatty acids, salmon also helps in increasing testosterone naturally.
#8. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds are an excellent source of zinc. You can either eat raw pumpkin seeds or introduce into your diet by adding them as a recipe in your oatmeal and salads or even blend them into your protein shakes.
It's an old secret of the adolescents of Kerala (Land of Coconuts), India, that if you want to grow mustache and beard faster, then you have to consume more coconuts. They didn't know however that it was due to the ability of coconuts to increase testosterone. Coconut is mainly saturated fats which are considered to be the best type of fat for increased testosterone production.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, and these kinds of vegetables contain indole-3-carbinols. Indole-3-carbinols have anti-estrogen properties according to many studies. This means Broccoli is a clear green flag for the pro-testosterones.
Yet another cruciferous vegetable that contains indole-3-carbinols. Nothing more to be said.
Many studies showed the property of garlic in the proliferation and restoration effects on testosterone levels. It’s thought that this is due to a chemical in garlic known as diallyl sulfide. Diallyl-disulfide stimulates the synthesis of luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland. Luteinizing hormone causes an increase in testosterone production in the Leydig cells of the testis.
A study published in The Journal of Nutrition proves this fact.
In a study involving rats on a high protein diet, garlic was shown to raise testosterone levels while reducing cortisol levels.
Apart from the fact that Tuna is a rich source of healthy unsaturated fats, it’s also a great source of vitamin D. It provides about 39% of the daily recommended value of vitamin D, along with quite a few other essential vitamins and minerals.
#14. Low-fat milk
The milk you usually find in the market has been fortified with vitamin D. A glass of fortified whole milk delivers the body with about 21% of the vitamin D it needs for the day.
#15. Egg yolks
The yolks of eggs exclusively are a fine source of Zinc. Egg yolks have all of the vitamins that are present in the whole egg as well. So, by consuming the yolk itself, you would get more than required fat, but you also get vitamins A, E, D and K, as well as additional amounts of minerals. Zinc and vitamin D - the pro-testosterone duo are in the captain seat in egg yolks.
#16. Fortified cereals
The best thing about cereals is that it comes in boxes which label its nutritious contents. Check whether if your favorite breakfast cereal is fortified with vitamin D. Most of them typically are. But different brands and types usually vary. One cup of fortified cereals can provide up to 29% of the daily recommended value of vitamin D.
#17. Orange Juice
Orange juice that you blended yourself might be good in taste, but it won't have the required vitamin D you're looking for. However, many brands of orange juice are fortified with Vitamin D. Check on the label to confirm it and drink it with your breakfast.
Crab is a rich source of zinc. Even though it is a good source of protein, it doesn’t affect you with a lot of calories, and it's shallow in fat. But be careful of its sodium levels which can lead to water retention and an increase in blood pressure.
Just like crabs, lobsters are also rich in zinc as it's a shellfish.
Maybe you are a vegetarian and tend to avoid shellfish or meat. Then you better try beans. Beans can, in fact, help you to boost your vitamin D and zinc in your body. Adding beans to your daily meal will help you increase testosterone levels. Another good thing about beans is that they are cheap and easy to prepare. There are wide varieties of beans available in the market.
Cabbage, like broccoli, is a cruciferous vegetable which contains indole-3-carbinols that have anti-estrogen properties.
Radish is among the category of cruciferous vegetables. It can help you lower estrogen and boost testosterone.
Shrimp acts as a good source of zinc. Shrimps are also high in protein while low in calories. They are also a source of antioxidants. Antioxidant helps fight inflammation in the body.
If you remember Popeye the Sailor Man, then your childhood was probably awesome. You might remember that Popeye takes spinach and he becomes miraculously powerful within seconds. Although it's not an accurate depiction of spinach's abilities, it is safe to say that it shouldn't be avoided in a man's diet. Spinach may not be excessively rich in zinc yet it holds many other vitamins and minerals.
Spinach also improves your nitric oxide production. It contains nitrate which can be easily converted into nitric oxide. Bodybuilders supplement with nitric oxide for better blood flow during a workout.
#25. Drumstick vegetable
Drumstick vegetable or Moringa oleifera is known for being 'libido-booster' in India. Whenever a guy buys a bunch of drumsticks in the market, people usually stare at him with the face 'he's planning a party tonight!' Although many studies are needed to prove it, Moringa is a rich source of magnesium, calcium and vitamin c. Moringa can also be considered a decent source of anti-oxidants.
#26. Watermelon Seeds
Ah, the seeds of the watermelon. You spit it out every time as if it's the only thing that is ruining your pleasant moment. Guess what, watermelon seeds are a wonderful source of zinc, protein, magnesium, healthy fats and vitamin B. Just toast them and let them be your snack.
#27. Brazil Nuts
As the name implies, Brazil nuts come from the Amazon forest. They’re high in calories and higher in nutrients. Brazil nuts provide magnesium, vitamins, and antioxidants. It can be a testosterone-booster.
Turkeys might not be as popular and plentiful as chicken but it can provide you with a good Zinc dose, and it is also devoid of any fat and calories. Try to choose roasted turkey breast and avoid the sodium and nitrates that cold cuts contain.
#29. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains zinc that boosts testosterone levels and magnesium which hinders estrogen levels. Dark chocolates release the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine, apart from being a natural painkiller, enhances your mood and makes you feel better. Dark chocolate contains less sugar and four times the fiber as compared to milk chocolates. But beware, chocolates can be addictive according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
It is known by different names - Garbanzo beans, Bengal gram, and Egyptian pea and of course Chickpeas. Having zinc in it is one of the many healthy properties of chickpeas. You also get extra fiber and protein while keeping your calories down. It gives you additional vitamins and minerals. India produces 64% of the global production of chickpeas.
#31. Brown rice
Brown rice has more potassium, more magnesium, more selenium, and fewer carbohydrates compared to white rice. It also contains a small amount of zinc. However, it can be consumed in large quantities with side dishes and can be incorporated into many recipes as well.
#32. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds are packed with zinc. It can essentially be scattered on just about any dish to add instant nutrition. In addition to zinc, they’re also loaded with healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are needed to burn off undesired fat.
#33. Saw palmetto
Saw palmetto is a palm-like a plant whose berries are widely used to treat urinary tract problems. Researchers think that saw palmetto affects the level of testosterone in your body. It’s now used to treat the enlargement of prostate gland.
Men with higher levels of testosterone would have a problem with an enlarged prostate as they age. Saw palmetto reduces the amount of enzyme that promotes the growth of the prostate gland. Therefore saw palmetto is a must in your anabolic diet.
Oatmeal is popular for its ability to reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is also high in fiber and antioxidants. On top of that, oatmeal also possesses many other vitamins and minerals, and one of them is magnesium.
Oats help your testosterone levels in two ways: Oats contains steroidal saponins, which stimulates the production of luteinizing hormone and thereby stimulating the synthesis of testosterone.
Oats reduce the sex hormone binding globulin which results in more testosterone in the blood. Oats are also rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
#35. Vanilla Yogurt
Vanilla yogurt is a scrumptious treat that has healthy minerals. Some brands deliver vanilla yogurt fortified with vitamin D. Just check the nutrition labels for the status of vitamin D in your favorite brand. A glass of fortified vanilla yogurt can provide almost 20% of the Vitamin D that’s needed each day.
#36. Butter From Grass-fed Cows
Butter is notorious for its saturated fat. However, it contains a small amount of vitamin D. With the help of its fat content it will also aid your body to absorb and use the vitamin D from other sources. Butter is a healthy as long as you consume it moderately. Don't swallow it as a whole as you think it'll boost up testosterone instantly. You will end up being the opposite way you want.
#37. Dried Coriander
Dried coriander seeds are widely used in most of the Indian curries mainly to enhance the taste and aroma. They introduce magnesium and other nutritional benefits to your food. A tablespoon of dried coriander contains 14 milligrams of magnesium.
Dates are as sweet and tasty as they are nutritious. Dates are crammed with vitamins and minerals, including magnesium. A 100-gram serving adds up to 11% of the average person’s daily magnesium needs. Remember, magnesium raises testosterone levels.
#39. Black-eyed peas
Black-eyed peas provide your body with high levels of fiber, potassium, protein, and iron. A 100 gram of black-eyed peas contains 53 mg of magnesium and 24 mg of calcium. They are cheap and readily available.
Epimedium is also known as horny goat weed which is used as an aphrodisiac and testosterone booster. A recent study on rats showed that horny goat weed increased testosterone levels. At low doses, it is shown to improve bone strength in females. It also has an active ingredient Icariin which is responsible for the aphrodisiac effect of horny goat weed.
Bananas can be considered as energy-boosting snacks. You can eat it anytime of the day whenever you feel hungry or even while feeling bored. You would be unknowingly supplementing your body with some vitamins and minerals. A medium sized banana provides 32 milligrams of magnesium, along with potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and others. What more do you want from a light fruit!
Figs are excellent sources of manganese, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, minerals essential for cardiovascular and muscular health and testosterone production. They also possess antioxidant properties.
Avocados are known to supply a range of health benefits. This includes inhibiting the growth of certain cancers, protecting against cataracts, lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease and strokes. Avocadoes are also rich in magnesium. Introduce it in your diet and watch your health (along with testosterone) rise.
#44. Red Grapes
In the introduction, we mentioned that how aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen. It's your number one enemy in that sense. Resveratrol is a proven aromatase inhibitor. And where to find it? The skins of red grapes contain resveratrol. Consuming grapes and other sources of resveratrol enhance testosterone levels.
Corn is praised as a delicious and nutritious food that is nowadays available worldwide. One cup of corn provides over half the daily recommended amount of magnesium. It also contains fiber and protein.
The role of Corn as a testosterone booster comes from the effect of nutrients present in it. Eating corn will stimulate the release of luteinizing hormone, moves to Leydig cells of testis and stimulate the synthesis of testosterone.
#46. Fava beans
Fava beans are an excellent source of fiber and protein. 1 cup of fava beans contains 33gm of carbohydrate, 9 gm of fiber and 13 gm of protein. It also contains potassium, phosphorous, calcium and manganese.
Fava beans contain L-dopa, which aids in the synthesis of dopamine. Dopamine is a human growth hormone booster.
Add sprouted fava beans to your diet, and it can upgrade your menu into the anabolic diet. Fava beans are one among the foods that increase testosterone and boost growth hormone levels.
#47. Chia seed
Chia seeds are shown to boost testosterone naturally due to the presence of essential fatty acids. Chia seed is a nutrient-rich superfood. It contains high-quality protein and all carbohydrate in chia seed are in fiber form.
Chia seed contains omega 3 fatty acid and antioxidants. Chia seeds improve your exercise performance. Mayans use chia as an energy booster before running.
#48. Pine nuts
Pine nuts contain natural steroid androstenedione in them. They also include poly and monounsaturated fats. You can have pine nuts in your tea or can be added to any food recipe.
Blueberries are one of those testosterone foods that can boost natural testosterone production and at the same time inhibit estrogen levels. These two happens due to the presence of resveratrol present in blueberries.
Consumption of onion in raw form or the juice will be beneficial to your testosterone levels. A study published in research journal Folia Morphologica found that 20 days consumption of onion juice on rats had caused an increase in testosterone levels. Luteinizing hormone levels, in turn, cause a rise in testosterone levels.
Celery contains two powerful hormones androstenone and androstenol. These two can cause an increase in your testosterone levels. Research shows that chewing celery and even its smell can stimulate your testosterone synthesis.
Raisins are an excellent source of magnesium, boron, and arginine, which are the best testosterone boosting nutrients. Add it to your recipes and reap the benefit of testosterone.
As recommended by the almonds board of California eating 23 almonds a day can be healthy. Almonds contain vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium which stimulate the synthesis of testosterone.
As you age your testosterone levels and sex drive will decline and eating almonds can bring back both.
Ginseng is widely used as a libido enhancer and for healthy erections. It can keep your arteries and veins relaxed causing better blood flow. Research had shown that steroidal saponins present in ginseng could increase your testosterone and DHT.
#55. Goji berries
Goji berries are the king of berries and also known as wolfberries. Goji berries, when consumed regularly, can help you get good sleep. This will help you to produce more growth hormone and testosterone. It contains 18 amino acids required for your muscles, and it aids in weight loss. Goji berries are memory enhancers and increase vision.
Watermelon is a rich source of nonessential amino acid citrulline. Citrulline is an antioxidant and has vasodilatation (relaxing of arteries and veins thus helping blood flow) roles. Watermelon seeds are also linked with testosterone boosting.
#57. Red meat
Red meats are rich in protein, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and other minerals. High protein from meat causes the secretion of glucagon, which causes an increase in testosterone synthesis. Protein is also essential for muscle building and repair. Add red meat recipes in your anabolic diet.
Fish consumption is shown to lower SHBG and also stimulate the release of luteinizing hormone. Thus more testosterone will be synthesized in your testis. Fish and fish oil contain omega 3 fatty acid – the good fat required for your body functions.
#59. Red wine
Red wine reduces the amount of testosterone excreted through urine. This means more testosterone in your blood. The chemical quercetin found in red wine is responsible for this effect.
#60. Mucuna pruriens
Mucuna pruriens is an Indian climbing herb that boosts your testosterone. Mucuna pruriens contains L- Dopa which is the precursor for Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which stimulates the synthesis of both testosterone and growth hormone.
Ginger is used as traditional medicine in Ayurveda. Small doses of ginger can ease digestion. Ginger is proven to have testosterone boosting properties. A recent study on infertile men found that ginger caused a 17% increase in serum testosterone levels.
#62. Grass-fed beef
Grass-fed beef and commercially produced beef are best foods that boost testosterone. Both contain minerals and other nutrients essential for boosting your testosterone levels. The major advantage of grass-fed beef over their commercial variant is the amount of omega 3 fats present in them. The grass-fed beef had higher omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats. As you know omega 3 fats are the healthy one and keeping the ratio higher will be healthy.
Similar to olive oil cranberries also increase the uptake of cholesterol into testes, resulting in increased synthesis of testosterone.
Research has shown that vitamin A supplementation can increase your testosterone levels. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A and taking it will have other health benefits too.
Tapioca is similar to cabbage and cauliflower due to its estrogen-blocking effect. Foods that raise testosterone can be added with tapioca, which causes an increase in your testosterone to estrogen ratio.
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage which contains a lot of stomach-friendly bacteria. Sauerkraut is food that increases testosterone as it contains vitamin K2 and other minerals.
Asparagus is rich in testosterone boosting nutrients. It contains potassium, folic acid, and vitamin E. Asparagus is also used as a natural aphrodisiac.
Vanilla stimulates the release of testosterone.
Parsley contains flavonoid apigenin in large quantities. Apigenin is a proven testosterone booster.
#70. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are good testosterone boosters. Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, amino acid leucine, and fat in high quantities. These three nutrients are research proven testosterone boosters.
Beetroots are cheap foods to increase testosterone and nitric oxide in your body. It contains natural nitrates which when consumed got converted to nitric oxide.
#72. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin c, which decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Lower the cortisol higher will be your testosterone levels. Citrus fruits have an estrogen lowering effect. Citrus fruits are also rich in vitamin A – a proven testosterone booster.
Eating Cantaloupes can elevate your testosterone levels as it contains good amounts of vitamin A and potassium.
Pineapple is known to help digestion and is a good testosterone booster due to its nutrients. It contains magnesium and bromelain which helps in digestion and testosterone synthesis.
Bacon contains cholesterol and fats essential for testosterone production.
#76. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper contains a high amount of capsaicin. Capsaicin is responsible for testosterone boosting. Research shows that supplementing with capsaicin even in a low-calorie diet has shown to increase testosterone levels. Usually, a low-calorie diet causes a decline in your testosterone synthesis, adding cayenne pepper can reverse it.
Kefir is another fermented testosterone food that contains vitamin K2 in good quantity. Vitamin K2 can boost your testosterone levels.
Mangosteen fruit has an anti-estrogenic effect. Mangosteen has potent compounds garcinone D that lowers estrogen.
Kelp has anti estrogen effect; an active ingredient in kelp can inhibit the synthesis of estrogen. It reduces the estradiol receptors and thus lowers estrogen synthesis.
#80. Organic grass fed Animal Liver
Animal liver is power packed with nutrients like zinc, manganese, copper and vitamin B. These nutrients support the testosterone and growth hormone synthesis.
#81. Organic grass fed Animal Heart
The heart is similar to Liver in nutrient profile; also it has co-enzyme q10, an enzyme that body uses to convert food into energy.
#82. Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus Terrestris is easily available in supplement form which is a combination of extracts from the plant. It’s widely used to increase libido and muscle mass.
Tribulus Terrestris has protodioscin (steroidal saponins) which is believed to boost testosterone levels. Protodioscin is shown to trigger nitric oxide release.
#83. Nettle Root
Nettle root increases the free testosterone levels in your blood. The active ingredient in nettle root bind to the SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) taking the place of testosterone. This cause more testosterone is available in the blood.
The free testosterone level in the blood causes an increase in strength and muscle mass.
Estrogen Inhibiting Foods:
Parsnips are a source of natural steroids. Parsnips contain plant steroid hormone androstenone. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, E, K, and manganese. Manganese is shown to boost your testosterone levels. Parsnips contain boron which helps to metabolize estrogen.
Kale contains Indole-3-carbinol, a chemical found in cruciferous vegetables. Indole-3-carbinol is an estrogen blocker; it slows down the metabolism of estrogen in the liver. This helps your testosterone to be more effective.
Research shows that Indole-3-carbinol is a potent breast cancer preventive. So having kale or other cruciferous vegetable is beneficial to both men and women.
Damiana is well known as an aphrodisiac; it also reduces the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. A study conducted by the University of Mississippi (Oxford) researchers found out that damiana extracts can inhibit the aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen in your body.
Turnips are used as a digestive aid, lung tonic and they help to neutralize toxins. Turnip lowers the estrogen level due to the presence of indole-3-carbinol. Turnips are rich in vitamin C, potassium, sulfur and calcium.
#88. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are another anti-estrogen food that is rich in phytonutrients. Brussels sprouts are high in Vitamin K and vitamin C and fiber. One cup of Brussels sprouts provide 4 grams of fiber, and this helps digestion and keeps you feel fuller for a longer time.
So, there you have it, 88 foods that boost testosterone naturally. Remember to keep the diet proper. Don't junk it up one single item continuously. Make it a balanced one by including everything.