A balanced diet is well-known for offering many health benefits, including for sexual and reproductive health. In fact, there are certain foods noted to be testosterone boosters.
Find out the best foods for testosterone and other ways to improve the male-dominant sex hormone.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the predominant sex hormone found in men. It plays a key role in sexual and reproductive development.
In addition to fueling sex drive and muscle growth, testosterone also plays a role in regulating mood, concentration, and bone strength. Truly, testosterone is linked to overall men's health.
Aging naturally drops testosterone levels. But obesity, type 2 diabetes, hormonal imbalances, tumors, and some medications can also cause testosterone to drop. Low testosterone has been linked to erectile dysfunction, low sex drive and sperm count, and changes in body composition.
Getting tested helps determine if testosterone is low, which is often measured in the morning when testosterone is at its peak. Normal testosterone levels range from 300 to about 800 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) according to WebMD.
If testosterone levels are low, a doctor may recommend certain treatment methods. Common treatments include hormone replacement therapy in the forms of testosterone injections, gels, patches, and tablets.
While treatment methods should be coordinated with healthcare professionals, there are also natural ways to increase testosterone. This includes making dietary changes and adding more testosterone-boosting foods.
11 Foods That Increase Testosterone Naturally
Cracking open an egg and switching to grass-fed beef may be a ticket to increasing testosterone naturally.
Eggs are one of the few natural suppliers of vitamin D, which is essential for testosterone production.
A study published in Hormone and Metabolic Research shows supplementing with vitamin D can increase testosterone levels. A significant increase in total testosterone, bioactive testosterone, and free testosterone levels was observed in a vitamin D supplemented group.
Eggs are also considered to be the most inexpensive high-quality protein money can buy. The yolk supplies a wholesome dose of healthy fat, too.
Specifically when fortified, milk is a rich supplier of vitamin D.
Milk is also a significant source of protein and calcium, which are essential nutrients for supporting muscle mass and bone health.
Opting for lower fat milk reduces overall fat and calorie content while still preserving protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients.
3. Fatty Fish
Mackerel, cod, tuna, and other fatty fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's are beneficial for hormone production and may be helpful for improving testosterone.
There is also research demonstrating omega-3s can boost testosterone levels in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Despite any uncertainty regarding omega-3's on male infertility, the fatty acid proves to support heart, mental, joint, and overall health.
What's more, fish is a rich source of protein, vitamin D, and iron, zinc, magnesium, amongst several other vitamins and minerals.
The Mushroom Council claims mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle. It is also one of the few non-fortified food sources of vitamin D.
The American Association for Cancer Research indicates white button mushrooms could reduce the incidence of prostate cancer.
There is also research showing mushrooms inhibit aromatase activity and may beneficial in preventing breast cancer.
Along with being coined as an aphrodisiac, oysters are a significant source of zinc.
Research published in Nutrition shows zinc supplementation can increase testosterone levels, especially in those who are deficient in the mineral.
6. Grass-Fed Beef
Compared to grain-fed, grass-fed beef shows to supply more of omega-3 fatty acids and reduce overall saturated fat.
Grass-fed beef is also a rich source of protein, zinc, iron, and vitamins A and E.
Oats and other whole grains are rich suppliers of magnesium. The mineral shows to exert a positive influence on testosterone and other anabolic hormones according to the International Journal of Endocrinology.
Oats are also rich in dietary fiber, with evidence implying high-fiber diets may lead to healthy testosterone levels.
8. Black Beans
Black beans and other bean varieties are one of the best foods that boost testosterone. This serves especially true for those who are not achieving adequate iron and zinc intake through meat consumption.
Beans are also rich in plant-based protein and fiber. So in addition to potentially increasing testosterone levels, beans can help manage weight and support heart and digestive health.
9. Brazil Nuts
In a 2015 review, researchers highlight boron has a renowned effect on testosterone. Other sex hormones, in both men and women, may also be positively influenced.
Boron is sourced from nuts, including Brazil nuts, grapes, raisins, prunes, and avocadoes.
Brazil nuts are also the richest supplier of selenium, which in conjunction with vitamin E, may improve infertility in men.
10. Walnut Oil
An animal study shows walnut oil has stimulating effects on the male reproductive system and could increase plasma testosterone.
The researchers attribute the benefit to the rich alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-3s walnut oil provides.
While still ongoing in human studies, existing research suggests ginger can help increase testosterone through numerous mechanisms.
However, there is evidence showing ginger can treat an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and digestion. It may also ease pain related to menstrual periods, headaches, and various forms of arthritis.
Other Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
In addition to adding more foods that boost testosterone, there are other methods that can increase levels and boost overall health. These include:
• Losing or managing weight: Carrying excess weight and body fat can reduce testosterone levels. This especially serves true when obesity is induced by diet. Consume a balanced diet of whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean and plant-based proteins, and healthy fat sources.
• Exercising: Physically active men have better semen parameters and hormone values compared to sedentary men, research suggests. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity daily, along with incorporating strength training at least two or three times each week.
• Managing stress: Elevated stress increases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, and can lower testosterone levels. Manage stress with positive coping techniques, including exercise, yoga, and meditation.
• Supplementing as needed: Various nutrients can increase testosterone, including vitamin D and zinc. A doctor or Registered Dietitian can help determine which supplements might be beneficial.
• Ensuring adequate sleep: Sleep restriction can decrease testosterone levels. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep nightly.
• Avoiding common chemicals: Chemicals such as phthalates common in plastics and personal care products shows to lower testosterone levels.