Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in many aspects of male health, including muscle mass, bone density, libido, and mood. While food alone may not significantly impact testosterone levels, a healthy and balanced diet can support overall health and optimize testosterone production. So what foods that boost testosterone should you be looking out for?
Maintaining normal testosterone levels is vital for men to enjoy optimal health and well-being. Since our diets play such an important role, why not include some of the foods that boost testosterone levels naturally?
While testosterone is the hormone responsible for giving men their masculinity, it also plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones and muscles, producing red blood cells, elevating mood and energy levels, controlling body fat and making sperm, and controlling sex drive and the reproductive system.
But as men reach the age of 30, testosterone levels can begin to drop, making it more difficult to look and feel your best. According to the Boston Universities School of Sexual Medicine,¹ low testosterone affects about 5 million men in the US, with more than 60% over the age of 65 struggling. But it's not just affecting older men; men of any age can show symptoms.
While the problem has gained more attention, we're learning more about safe and reliable choices for increasing testosterone levels.
Can Foods that Boost Testosterone Levels help?
Although diet is vital to overall health and wellness, many men don't consider the impact of the foods they eat on hormone levels and testosterone production. But as with all health issues, what you eat matters. The more nutrients you get, the better your body is at producing the hormones needed for optimal health.
Low testosterone can be affected by a variety of factors. That's why a healthy lifestyle, including a diet of high-nutrient-dense foods, is so essential for maintaining testosterone levels as we age.
Testosterone Boosting Foods to Include in Your Diet
As low testosterone issues gain more attention, there are more studies on the effects of diet and the foods that can positively impact hormones, specifically those that increase testosterone levels.
It's important to note that the foods themselves don't produce testosterone but provide the body with essential nutrients used to create testosterone. While consuming them may not solve the problem completely, studies show they can help. They include:
1. Oysters - One of the More Well Know Foods that Boost Testosterone
Oysters are widely known as an aphrodisiac. They contain various healthy nutrients, including zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit natural testosterone levels.
According to research, 2 men's testosterone levels dropped when they eliminated foods containing zinc. And increased again after reintroducing it either through food or a zinc supplement.
Zinc has other health benefits as well, such as promoting immune function, cell production and the synthesis of DNA.
While oysters are rich in zinc, other foods, including fatty fish, are also. They include crab and lobster, beef, pork, beans and some cereals.
2. Dark leafy greens
Dark greens are a great source of magnesium and other micronutrients useful in maintaining optimal testosterone levels. Studies 3 show that magnesium helps reduce oxidative stress, which, along with inflammation, can lower testosterone levels.
Other magnesium-rich foods that boost testosterone include:
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
Including dark leafy greens is as simple as having a big salad for lunch or mixing them in your morning protein shake.
3. Olive oil
As one of the staples of a Mediterranean diet, olive oil promotes health hormones, including testosterone. So is olive oil one of the foods that boost testosterone?
In a study 4 that had men replace butter with olive oil for three weeks. The men who took part showed a 17.4 percent increase in testosterone levels and a 42.6 percent increase in luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is crucial for sperm and testosterone production.
As a popular herbal remedy, ginger has a long history of treating various ailments. According to a study by the Jordan University of Science and Technology,5 ginger enhances testosterone levels in men.
Ginger helps by normalizing blood glucose. Normal blood glucose levels help increase blood flow in the testes and increase nitric oxide levels. All of which improve blood volume throughout the body. One added bonus for men is that nitric oxide is a vasodilator. Vasodilators widen the arteries and increase blood flow around the body, which can lead to improved erections and relieve ED. Ginger is a common ingredient in popular dishes and is commonly found in herbal supplements.
Cocoa is high in magnesium and flavonoid antioxidants, which are important for testosterone production. Flavonoids, which derive from plants, are known for their anti-inflammatory effects.
According to research, 6 some flavonoids, including the cocoa flavonoids apigenin and quercetin, may increase the production of Leydig cells produced in the testicles. To benefit from those antioxidants, cocoa that doesn't contain added sugar, such as dark chocolate, cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, can be good choices.
Pomegranate is high in antioxidants and has been shown to provide valuable health and nutritional benefits. With 60 hydrolyzable tannins, which give it a high antioxidant boost, the fruit's inflammatory powers help with the reduction of stress 7 and cardiovascular disease, fighting viruses and joint damage. 8
One study 9 found an association between drinking pomegranate juice and increased levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone. The study also found that pomegranate juice increased the quality of sperm and cell density.
While pomegranate shows positive signs as a food that boosts testosterone 10 along with overall health benefits, it could be beneficial to include it as part of a healthy lifestyle.
7. Fortified cereals
To increase the nutrients in cereal, vitamins and minerals can be added, making them fortified. A study conducted by Lifesciences 11 showed that these high-carb cereals produced higher testosterone levels while reducing cortisol levels.
While these foods have been researched to show increased testosterone levels, adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, an overall healthy diet, and getting enough sleep is essential.
The Importance of Maintaining Healthy Testosterone Levels
Once you reach your thirties, testosterone levels can begin to drop, which can affect every part of your life. Between feeling sluggish, dealing with weight gain and having low energy, it can be frustrating at best.
Testosterone plays an important role in the health and well-being of men and is vital for producing strong bones and muscles, an interest in sexual health, and maintaining mental health and moods.
So, when testosterone levels drop, it can take those critical functions, throw a wrench in your lifestyle, and derail your health. And no matter what your age, you shouldn't have to suffer.
In addition to eating foods that boost your testosterone levels, you may have other options, such as testosterone replacement therapy or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), that can be beneficial. But, again, talking with your health professional can be a great place to start.