Hormones are the key signaling molecules that synchronize various metabolic functions in the human body.
Without these tiny chemical messengers, cross-talk between various organs would never happen, bridling some of the amazing physiological functions exclusive to humans.
Testosterone1 is one of the vital hormones that is seen in both sexes but differentiates human males from females by the amount it is produced inside the body.
The range of testosterone would range between 270ng/dL ~ 1070 ng/dL in human males with an average of 670 ng/dL in a healthy body.
But thanks our unhealthy lifestyle, none of the vitals stay in their healthy range instead fiddle around until you beg the mercy of medicines.
Interestingly, a little care and altered food habits can be a quick solution for your testosterone problem.
In this article, we shall see some of the common foods that help you boost testosterone naturally.
Best foods that increase testosterone levels naturally
1. Veggies: A lot of it
It’s a general fact that vegetables can safeguard your natural health. One reason might be the minimal processing they undergo before consumption.
But there are a bunch of vegetables that can particularly help in boosting the testosterone content of the body.
Broccoli or leafy veggies in general like cauliflower are known to reduce the estrogen levels and helps in increasing the t-hormone.
Essential vitamins like A, C, & B6 are very much needed for testosterone metabolism, and nothing is better than spinach to grab all of them in one bite.
Celery has been scientifically proven to be a strong androgen promoter, and in traditional medicine, celery juice is prescribed for men with hypogonadism.
Onion might be a silent companion in the majority of our diet, and it can increase the natural testosterone production by 3X according to a study.
2. Boost T-hormone with zinc-rich food
This trace element was initially a ‘no care’ mineral until the scientific studies pointed out the role of ‘zinc transporter’ in testosterone biosynthesis.
Since then, zinc2 is a vital ingredient in the majority of testosterone boosters and bodybuilding supplements.
Oyster is unarguably the best source for zinc and has tenfold content compared to that of red meat.
If getting hold of the oyster is not feasible, the classic red meat is the next best choice.
However, red meat also comes with an uninvited guest: ‘LDL’ or notoriously called ‘bad cholesterol.’
Usually, egg consumption adds zinc into our system, but wait before you throw away the egg yolk because 99% of zinc comes from the yolk.
If vegan is your thing, then pomegranates, avocados, blackberries, guavas, apricots, etc. would do add enough zinc in your body.
Seafood lovers turn to tuna, shrimps, or mussels as they can contribute around 14% of RDA for every 100gm you consume.
3. Good fat for testosterone
Fat is an inescapable macronutrient that has hundreds of metabolic functions starting from cell construction to complex signaling processes.
Generally, bodybuilders consume lots of meat to aid muscle development, along with which it also plays a role in increasing testosterone production.
In a study published in Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, it was found that men who consumed above-average levels of fat in a week had more testosterone production than average fat consumers.
‘Good fat’ or ‘high density lipoprotein (HDL)’ can lower the levels of globulin protein, which otherwise would bind to testosterone and decrease its bioavailability.
Nut family, in general, contains high levels of HDL, like walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, and others. Also, they are good sources of minerals and vitamins as well.
The whole egg is a great choice for protein as well as omega-three fatty acid, and testosterone biosynthesis promoters like zinc and HDL are abundant in egg yolk.
Fish oil, capsules or raw fish meat are great sources for good cholesterol and please mind to fry your fish in virgin olive oil as it’s an HDL factory itself.
4. Deal it with ‘D’
Vitamin D3 is an important compound that can increase testosterone levels in the body.
Some studies suggest that Vitamin D also directly interact with the receptors in the testicles to upregulate the natural biosynthesis.
An interesting correlation suggests that men with testosterone deficiency were suffering from vitamin D deficiency as well.
If you need a shortcut to vitamin D, then the beef liver is the best non-veg choice out there. You can fry it, smother it, or make dishes with it.
Tuna is for seafood lovers and consuming 150 ~ 200 gm of tuna guarantees the entire RDI value for a day.
Vegans shall stick with conventional beans and legumes like kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, etc.
Sunlight is an inevitable factor that can boost vitamin D synthesis in the body, but make sure you get exposed only to morning or evening sun.
5. ‘Magne’fy them for T!
Free testosterone in the body is often bound to ‘sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)’ reducing its bioavailability.
Magnesium4 is one mineral that frees up the already bound testosterone from this protein, thus helping the body to combat deficiency.
In general leafy veggies, nuts, fish, etc. are rich in magnesium, but there are certain foods that you can target in particular for magnesium.
Raw cacao is from where chocolate originates, but in the unprocessed and raw form, cacao has the highest content of dietary magnesium.
You can buy raw cacao powder for this purpose.
If that doesn’t suit you, then without further thinking, go to the grocery and get some beef, cook it and eat it. Done! They add up to 12% of RDI from every 100gm of meat you take.
Brazil nuts contain 376 mg of magnesium for every 100gm, which is almost 95% of daily intake required. So consider some ‘Brazil nuts’ in your dietary list next time.
6. Little sour taste might help you
When it comes to boosting testosterone, it’s not always about the biosynthesis, sometimes preventing the factors that lower t-hormone might also help.
Vitamin C is one such nutrient that can lower the cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can inhibit the circulating testosterone.
What else is better than citrus fruits to unleash the magic of vitamin C?
Fruits like orange, lemon, pineapple, lime, grapefruit, etc. are rich in vitamin C and adding them into your daily diet might supplement enough Vitamin C to suppress cortisol.
Also, citrus fruits can reduce estrogen production, which is another factor that might hinder testosterone bioavailability.
7. Natural supplements
Yes, the safest, easiest, and effective way to boost your testosterone is by using natural testosterone boosters.
These are generally herbal extracts combined to supplement various deficiencies that one might face.
There are a lot of testosterone boosters out there in the market, made from 100% organic contents.
All essential dietary requirements are supplied by these supplements9, to ensure an unhindered biosynthesis and regulation of free testosterone.
Always be careful when going for a natural supplement, as the majority of them skip on costly plant extract and uses cheap steroids instead.
So there you go. Now you have the list of foods and tune your daily diet to include some them from this list.
Higher testosterone is linked with increased metabolism, faster muscle growth, improved stamina, good libido, and sexual performance.
It might be tempting to go with a steroid10, which is much easier, cheaper, and the fastest way to boost testosterone.
But the tailing side effects will make you rethink your decision to use steroids.
Plus natural food adds a lot of other nutrients into the system, which overall gives a helping hand for the metabolical functioning.
Also, when it comes to meat, prefer fresh meat over canned ones to eliminate harmful preservative chemicals from getting into your body.
- Mauras, Nelly, et al. “Testosterone deficiency in young men: marked alterations in whole body protein kinetics, strength, and adiposity.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 83.6 (1998): 1886-1892. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-abstract/83/6/1886/2865200
- Netter, A., K. Nahoul, and R. Hartoma. “Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count.” Archives of andrology 7.1 (1981): 69-73. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S089990079680058X
- Pilz, S., et al. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.” Hormone and Metabolic Research 43.03 (2011): 223-225. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0030-1269854
- Cinar, Vedat, et al. “Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion.” Biological trace element research 140.1 (2011): 18-23. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12011-010-8676-3
- McBain, C. J., and M. L. Mayer. “N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor structure and function.” Physiological reviews 74.3 (1994): 723-760. https://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/physrev.1918.104.22.1683
- Antonio, Jose, et al. “The effects of Tribulus terrestris on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 10.2 (2000): 208-215. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Conrad_Earnest/publication/12458040_The_Effects_of_Tribulus_Terrestris_on_Body_Composition_and_Exercise_Performance_in_Resistance-Trained_Males/links/55d5d10908ae9d659488e743.pdf
- Ruby, Brent C., et al. “The addition of fenugreek extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum) to glucose feeding increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise.” Amino acids 28.1 (2005): 71-76. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00726-004-0143-z
- Singh, Narendra, et al. “An overview on ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda.” African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 8.5S (2011). https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajtcam/article/view/67963
- Gruenewald, David A., and Alvin M. Matsumoto. “Testosterone supplementation therapy for older men: potential benefits and risks.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 51.1 (2003): 101-115. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1034/j.1601-5215.2002.51018.x
- Yesalis, Charles E., et al. “Anabolic-androgenic steroid use in the United States.” Jama 270.10 (1993): 1217-1221. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/408303