Testosterone is a sex hormone produced by males (and in smaller amounts in females) that influences sexual function, muscular mass and fertility. The amount of testosterone in a person’s body decreases with age, but medical problems, lifestyle choices, and other factors can alter how much of this hormone is present in the body.
It takes more than the occasional workout to keep your body healthy and your testosterone balanced. Your doctor may recommend more exercise, testosterone replacement therapy, or most likely, a change in diet, to assist your body maintain a healthy balance and combat low testosterone. Keep reading for a list of testosterone boosting foods.
Key Takeaways: Testosterone Levels and Diet
- Testosterone has many health benefits, such as lowering risks of certain diseases and boosting your sex drive and bone and muscle health.
- Testosterone-boosting foods are often high in zinc and magnesium.
- You can boost your testosterone levels naturally by reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, and maintaining a balanced diet.
- You can also boost your t levels by taking testosterone replacement therapy.
- Certain foods, like processed foods, will lower your testosterone levels.
Testosterone Boosting Foods
Here are the foods that can boost testosterone levels into your body:
- Leafy vegetables
- Whole grain products
- Certain nuts
- Olive oil
- Onions and garlic
Certain seafood, like oysters, are aphrodisiacs high in zinc and contain more zinc per serving than other foods. Zinc is important for boosting your sex drive, boosting sperm count, and maintaining a healthy amount of dopamine.
Oysters are also rich in protein, vitamin B12, selenium, magnesium, and D-aspartic acid and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve heart health and prevent heart diseases, which can better blood flow and help treat erectile dysfunction .
Like oysters, shrimps are also rich in zinc; they’re also rich in vitamin D, iodine, and iron. According to researchers, men with more vitamin D in their bodies also have more testosterone. Much more, shrimp is low in fat, making it the ideal testosterone-boosting seafood for those watching their weight.
Salmon and tuna, two commonly eaten fish, are other seafood that will boost your testosterone. Naturally-caught salmon has 75% more vitamin D than their manufactured counterparts. Tuna is a great source of vitamin D and is one of the most budget-friendly seafood you can buy for your testosterone boost.
02: Leafy Vegetables
Certain types of vegetables can boost your testosterone- leafy vegetables.
One vegetable is spinach— Popeye’s favorite vegetable, but why does he love it so much? One reason could be spinach being a natural source of magnesium, which boosts testosterone. Spinach is also high in vitamin B6 and iron. Not only that, but spinach can also help boost your immune system and muscle cells.
Another leafy green that can boost your testosterone is kale.
Kale has become popular in recent years. One reason is that it’s high in all sorts of vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A and C. Vitamin A helps boost your testosterone, while vitamin C helps produce testosterone.
03: Whole Grain Products
As a healthier alternative to white bread, whole grain products have one added interesting benefit: they boost testosterone. Whole grain products are high in fiber, making you feel fuller while not putting on any more weight. If you gain too much weight, your testosterone will lower.
Some whole grain products you can eat are brown rice, oats, whole-wheat, fortified cereals, and bread. These products are good sources of magnesium.
04: Certain Nuts
Not all nuts are equal in boosting testosterone. So, which nuts are the kinds that will increase your testosterone levels?
The Brazil nut has a high amount of selenium. Selenium is great for activating genes and pathways enhancing testosterone production . It’s good for fighting oxidative stress, supporting the production of thyroid hormones, reducing blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation.
Another nut to boost your testosterone is the macadamia nut. Macadamia nuts are low in polyunsaturated fats (reduce testosterone) and high in monounsaturated fats (boost testosterone).
The last nut that’ll boost your testosterone is the tiger nut. Tiger nuts can double your testosterone levels  . Known as earth almonds, they can enhance libido and contain a high amount of zinc and vitamins C and E.
This spice contains vitamins C and E and lutein, tannin, beta-carotene, lycopene, and more. Ginger contains crucial manganese, zinc, selenium, and copper elements.
Ginger enhances testosterone by increasing LH production, improving blood cholesterol levels in the testes, normalizing blood glucose, reducing oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in the testes, increasing testicular weight, and recycling testosterone receptors.
06: Olive Oil
Olive oil can improve your reproductive health by boosting serum testosterone levels. You can experience an increase in luteinizing hormones, stimulating cells in the testes to produce testosterone. This oil is abundant in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. These two elements can reduce heart disease and cancer.
07: Onions and Garlic
Despite their stout smells, these two foods can increase your testosterone levels.
Onions enhance testosterone levels by improving the production of luteinizing hormones, the hormones responsible for sexual development and functioning. It also has high levels of flavonoids, a natural plant chemical that helps to increase testosterone levels.
Garlic, meanwhile, has a compound known as S-allyl cysteine that increases testosterone production. The S-allyl cysteine is a water-soluble organosulfur compound found in garlic extract, also known to boost testosterone.
This compound is also known to protect against cardiovascular disease and hypertension.
Testosterone can be found in many things. Seafood, leafy vegetables, whole grain products, certain nuts, ginger, olive oil, onions, and garlic can boost testosterone production and give you other health benefits.
How to Boost Testosterone Naturally
With testosterone boosting foods come other natural testosterone boosters, too. You can reduce your alcohol consumption, exercise regularly, and maintain a balanced diet.
01: Reduce Alcohol Consumption
It’s fine to sip alcohol occasionally, but consistent consumption can lower your testosterone levels. For one, alcohol consumption can negatively impact your hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Your testosterone levels can decrease in as little as 30 minutes after sipping on a drink.
One study had healthy men drink a pint of whiskey per day for 30 days and had their testosterone levels compared to chronic alcoholics. The healthy men had lower T-levels on the third day and were around the same as the alcohol-drinkers’ levels by the end of the month. Those are the short-term effects.
Heavy drinkers are more likely to have poorer testicular functions than moderate drinkers. They’re also more likely to experience low libido, erectile dysfunction, and low testosterone levels. Alcohol can also interfere with LH, FSH, and GnRH release.
02: Exercise Regularly
Does working out increase testosterone? That answer is yes.
Regular exercise already has many health benefits, but certain exercises can give you free testosterone. It’s the major promoter of muscle building and growth.
Resistance exercises, like weightlifting, are best for boosting your testosterone in both the short and long term. In one study, men who did resistance exercises three days a week for four weeks had more testosterone levels right after a workout and over time  .
It’s not the same way for everyone. One study showed a 21.6% increase in testosterone levels for the male body but only a 16.7% increase for women after a 30-minute weightlifting session . Another study states that the rise in testosterone levels in women may only be temporary.
Some exercises, like cardio and running, do not raise testosterone production but lower it. One 2016 study showed that 20-minute intervals containing eight seconds of cycling could lower testosterone levels in women . That’s because those exercises, also known as endurance exercises, break down muscle tissues.
There are also specific natural foods that will help you if you want to learn how to lower your testosterone levels.
03: Maintain a Balanced Diet
You need a variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. That’s why maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for boosting your testosterone.
It’s best to eat a balance of carbs, fats, and protein. Carbs help optimize testosterone level during resistance training. Healthy fats can also help your testosterone and give you other health benefits. Proteins, meanwhile, will help you maintain healthy levels and help you lose any unhealthy fat. Less body fat means more testosterone.
You can naturally boost your testosterone by reducing your alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, and maintaining a balanced diet.
Which Foods Increase Testosterone the Most?
Many foods boost your testosterone, but certain foods will boost it more than others. If you want the most amount of testosterone, you should try eating zinc rich foods, like:
- Leafy vegetables
- Whole grain products
- Certain nuts
- Olive oil
- Onions and garlic
Foods That’ll Increase Testosterone in Females
Testosterone production isn’t just important for men — females need it, too. Besides boosting libido and muscle building, testosterone also improves your mood and memory. To prevent low testosterone in women, try eating:
- Organic, free-range eggs (rich in protein, vitamin B6, and omega-3)
- Almonds and pumpkin seeds (rich in zinc, magnesium, and protein)
- Leafy vegetables like kale and spinach (rich in magnesium, vitamin B6, and iron)
- Wild oily fish like salmon and mackerel (rich in omega-3 and protein)
- Black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans (rich in protein, zinc, B vitamins, and magnesium)
- Pomegranate juice (lowers blood pressure)
What Are Foods That Decrease Testosterone?
Now that we’ve gone over testosterone-boosting foods and how you can boost it, we should go over foods that’ll decrease testosterone. So, here are some testosterone killing foods:
- Soy and soy-based products (high in phytoestrogens)
- Vegetable oil (loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids)
- Flaxseed (high in lignins and omega-3 fats- flaxseed effects on testosterone)
- Processed foods (high in sodium and added sugar)
- Certain nuts, like walnuts (high in polyunsaturated fatty acids)
To increase your testosterone levels, try eating more organic foods high in protein, magnesium, vitamin B6, and zinc. Avoid foods that are high in phytoestrogens, lignins, and polyunsaturated fats.
How Can You Increase Testosterone Levels Quickly?
You can increase testosterone production naturally by eating certain foods such as whole grain products, ginger, leafy vegetables and seafood.
You can also increase your testosterone naturally by reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, and maintaining a balanced diet. As for increasing it quickly, you can take some vitamin D supplements or hormone treatments, such as:
However, hormone treatments must be prescribed by a licensed physician.
You can have the best testosterone by eating certain foods, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, maintaining a balanced diet, and, if a doctor agrees your case is severe, undergoing hormone treatments.
If a doctor determines you have a medical need for it, there are hormone treatments you can take to boost your testosterone.
You can take many kinds of testosterone replacement therapy, such as:
- Pills (taken twice daily)
- Injections (given weekly)
- Patches (attached to the skin)
- Gel (applied to the skin)
Remember to take a blood test and wait for a diagnosis before taking these hormone treatments for testosterone.
With a doctor’s prescription, you can take hormone treatments like pills, injections, patches, and gel to increase your T-levels.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular questions asked about testosterone.
What Foods Are Bad For Testosterone?
Foods that are bad for testosterone are soy/soy-based products, vegetable oil, flaxseeds, processed foods, and certain nuts (like walnuts).
How Can I Raise My Testosterone Levels Fast?
You can raise them quickly by eating foods that’ll boost testosterone, reduce alcohol consumption, exercise regularly, and maintain a balanced diet. You can also increase testosterone levels by taking hormone treatments (under medical supervision), like pills, injections, patches, and gel.
Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?
No, masturbation doesn’t affect testosterone production.
Do Bananas Increase Testosterone?
Yes. Bananas have an enzyme called bromelain, which boosts testosterone levels.
The food you consume has all sorts of health benefits, and one of those benefits is improving testosterone levels.
You can boost your testosterone levels by eating certain foods, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, maintaining a balanced diet, and taking hormone treatments. Testosterone, after all, has many benefits to keep you functioning.
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