Besides taking a good testosterone supplement, there’s another way to help increase your T-levels naturally – eating testosterone-boosting foods. By making sure you’re getting a healthy amounts of certain foods in your diet, you can increase your body’s production of testosterone.
Although your body normally makes enough of its own testosterone, there are different factors that may affect its production, such as aging, lifestyle, stress and illness. A loss of testosterone can lead to symptoms such as decreased muscle mass, moodiness, reduced mental function, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, and weakened bones that break easily.
However, eating certain foods can help to raise levels naturally due to their nutritional makeup. These foods contain certain nutrients, such as vitamin D, magnesium and zinc, which are essential for the production and maintenance of testosterone levels.
So, with that said, here are the top 10 foods that have been shown to increase testosterone levels.
1. Pomegranate – The Food that Increases Testosterone the Most
The pomegranate has stood as a symbol of fertility and sexual function for thousands of years. Its high concentration of antioxidants have been shown to provide a large number of health benefits, including raising testosterone levels.
For example, results from one 2012 study show that pomegranate could increase testosterone levels in both men and women. Participants in the study consumed pure pomegranate juice over a two-week period (1).
After 14 days, both male and female participants showed an average increase of salivary testosterone by 24%, and showed improvements in blood pressure and mood as well.
Additionally, pomegranate appears to not only raise testosterone levels, but lower estrogen levels (2). Too much estrogen can block testosterone production, causing testosterone to fall even more, resulting in an unhealthy hormonal imbalance.
Ginger has traditionally been used for centuries for both cooking and medicinal reasons. The latest research suggests that this spicy root may increase testosterone in men.
One study involving men with fertility issues found that supplementing with ginger extract daily for three months raised testosterone levels by nearly 18% (3). Researchers believe that ginger could also help improve overall sperm health.
Researchers with another study reported that ginger increased testosterone levels in a diabetic rodents after only 30 days (4).
Oysters have long been referred to as an aphrodisiac, and there actually is science to support it. Oysters contain key nutrients that are believed to increase testosterone, including zinc. Oysters naturally contain high amounts of zinc, which increases testosterone, and testosterone increases your sex drive.
People sometimes use zinc supplements to support healthy testosterone levels, and zinc is essential for sperm health as well as reproductive function. However, oysters contain 32 mg of zinc per three-ounce portion, which is higher than any other food.
Zinc is essential for healthy testosterone production, and men who are severely deficient in zinc are prone to develop hypogonadism, a condition in which zinc levels insufficient for men to produce adequate testosterone (5). They may also experience Infertility or delayed sexual maturity.
4. Hot Peppers
Hot peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, the component that gives peppers their heat. Capsaicin not only helps to burn fat and reduce inflammation, but may also boost testosterone levels.
A study from 2013 found that mice receiving capsaicin for 3 months experienced an increase in testosterone levels. The capsaicin appeared to increase testicular cell proliferation, and was believed to affect testosterone release either directly or indirectly (6).
In another study involving mice, red and black pepper powder was given to mice over a 1 month period, and shown to have a boosting effect on testosterone. Researchers believe that the peppers may have androgenic qualities (7).
Additionally, further research showed a strong correlation between hot sauce consumption and testosterone levels in men’s saliva. It was observed that men with higher testosterone levels were more likely to smother their food in hot sauce (8).
5. Fatty fish
High-fat fish, such as salmon and sardines, are loaded with nutrients that are essential for supporting healthy testosterone levels. These nutrients include vitamin D, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which have all been linked to higher testosterone levels.
Quality wild-caught salmon is a perfect example of a testosterone-increasing fatty fish. It contains vitamin B, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids that are known to help boost testosterone levels. On top of that, it also lowers the levels of the SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), which neutralizes testosterone’s effects. Decreasing SHBG levels can have a positive impact on your testosterone levels.
Salmon is also an excellent source of Vitamin D, which is vital for men’s reproductive health. Research has shown that testosterone levels are lower in men who don’t get enough vitamin D, but vitamin D supplementation can boost testosterone levels by as much as 90%.
Animal research has also shown that the fatty acids in fish oil can improve testosterone levels and semen quality (9). Other research showed similar findings (10).
Besides salmon and sardines, other fish that have high amounts of in omega-3s include Atlantic mackerel, herring, and trout.
6. Leafy Green Vegetables
Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale and collards, are a great source of micronutrients such as magnesium. This mineral is critical to maintaining optimal testosterone levels, particularly in older men.
Magnesium is believed to increase testosterone’s effectiveness by decreasing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the body’s antioxidant defenses and free radicals.
Inflammation and oxidative stress can cause testosterone to drop. Therefore, consuming nutrients that fight oxidative stress could help maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
One study revealed that taking magnesium supplements for one month caused a rise in testosterone levels in both sedentary and athletic participants. However, the testosterone levels of active participants were higher (11).
Additional, a separate study of men 65 and older showed that those with higher magnesium levels had higher testosterone levels compared to those with lower levels of magnesium (12).
Still another study of also saw a link between low a consumption of green leafy vegetables and low testosterone (13).
Eggs are an excellent source of omega-3s, protein, and cholesterol as well as vitamin D and selenium. These nutrients all aid in the production testosterone. If you don’t have an allergy to eggs, they are an amazing source of nutrition you should consider adding to your diet.
The selenium in eggs makes them a great food for increasing testosterone. Some studies have shown that selenium can improve testosterone production by activating particular pathways and the expression of specific genes (14).
Furthermore, research in both animals and humans have shown that testosterone levels are greater in those who have ideal levels of selenium (15). Even so, further research is necessary to determine the effects of selenium on testosterone.
Keep in mind that the yolks are the most nutritious part of the egg, so whole eggs are more nutritious than egg whites only.
Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy fat that’s also vital for hormone health. Avocados also contain magnesium, as well as boron, a trace mineral that could be beneficial for testosterone levels( 14Trusted Source).
Boron appears to influence the body’s metabolism of testosterone and could protect testosterone from breaking down (16).
Although some research has shown that supplementing large amounts of boron might increase testosterone in some individuals, the results of other studies are not consistent. To fully understand the effect that boron has on testosterone, further research is necessary (17).
Consuming avocados is a good way to provide a dietary source of boron, which may help to support healthy levels of testosterone.
Onions are believed to provide a number of health benefits, from heart health to weight loss. They also provide a variety of nutrients and antioxidants.
What’s more, onions may be able to increase your testosterone levels. Researchers in one study found that rats given fresh onion juice daily over 4 consecutive weeks showed significant increases in serum total testosterone levels (18).
While the findings are encouraging, additional research is necessary to determine if similar effects can be observed in humans.
10. Extra-virgin olive oil
Olive oil is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, which is believed to have a number of health benefits, including lowering the risks for heart disease and cancer.
Monounsaturated fats and the antioxidant vitamin E are abundant in olive oil, These attributes are thought to be largely responsible for its health benefits.
However, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) might also be beneficial for men’s T-levels. One small-scale research study showed that olive oil might be able to increase serum testosterone levels in men (19).
Researchers also noted an increase in LH (luteinizing hormone), which triggers cells in the testes to start testosterone production.