Testosterone Boosting Foods – Get to grips with your health
15 Best Testosterone Boosting Foods
Author: Nicola Joyce is a fitness writer with many of her own personal fitness accolades which include swimming the English Channel twice and also picking up some natural bodybuilding titles too.
As a result Nicola knows a thing or two about training and nutrition.
What is the list of the best healthy foods to naturally boost your testosterone levels?
Testosterone is a natural hormone that is produced by our bodies (yes, women too!).
Men have much higher levels of testosterone, but both men and women can experience a decline in natural test levels due to ageing, illness, or poor body composition.
Testosterone is important for so many elements of healthy living.
It plays a key role in feeling energized and having strong emotional health.
Yet, it’s also a key player in the production of muscle mass (and the protection of the muscle you’ve already got), bone health, hair and skin growth, and even your ability to sleep well.
If you’re experiencing low testosterone (also known as hypogonadism), there’s a lot you can do in terms of lifestyle, healthy habits, exercise, and diet.
So what are the best foods for boosting testosterone? And, are there any foods you should avoid if your test levels are low?
Nutrients For Boosting Testosterone
The key nutrients you should look for are zinc and Vitamin D.
It’s pretty difficult to get sufficient Vitamin D from food alone, so make sure you supplement every day with a good quality Vitamin D supplement.
If you live in a part of the world that is subject to less sunshine, it is imperative that you supplement with vitamin D3.
Even the government in England advises that its citizens ensure they have enough D3 in their diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can read more about that, here.
Not only that, researchers who have been studying the oldest found full human skeleton in the UK believe that skin color has changed from a darker hue to the pale skin often associated with British nationals due to a lack of sunshine.
There was a piece written about this topic of interest, here.
Testosterone Boosting Foods
Egg yolks are a good source of Vitamin D, and don’t worry about the cholesterol – it’s a good thing.
Cholesterol is a direct precursor of testosterone.
One egg only has around 6g fats, and those fatty acids are present in a perfect ratio for test production (38% saturated, 44% monounsaturated, 18% polyunsaturated fats).
Eggs are a complete protein food, containing a practically perfect balance of amino acids and nearly all vitamins – ideal for a test boosting diet plan.
All kinds of lean red meat, from steak and venison, to beef mince and even beef jerky, are good to eat if you’re worried about low testosterone.
Choose leaner cuts of steak, and mince with less than 5% fat (to avoid unnecessary calories, which could lead to weight gain – another threat to test levels!).
Red meat, wild meat and game meat has a great amino acid balance, and healthy levels of saturated fats (linked to increases in testosterone production).
Eat lean steak, quality minced red meat, and choose jerky and biltong as a great snack idea.
Fish is a great source of dietary Vitamin D.
Some fish is better than others: good choices include tuna, salmon, sardines and other oily fish.
Fish is very high in protein, zero carb, and either low fat (in the case of white fish) or a good source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids. And yes tinned is fine too – it doesn’t have to be fresh fillets!
There’s a reason oysters are associated with romantic dinners – they really can support your libido and sexual prowess.
Oysters are packed with zinc, another important nutrient for testosterone production, as well as other micronutrients like Vitamin D, magnesium, selenium, and copper.
Oysters are also a source of the less-available amino acids, including D-aspartic acid).
Oysters aren’t the only seafood you should eat if you want to boost your test levels. Lobster and crab meat are also great sources of zinc.
Good for your heart… and your hormones.
All kinds of beans and legumes are great for testosterone levels.
Beans are low fat, full of protein, and a great source of fiber, plus a good source of that all-important zinc and Vitamin D.
Red grapes contain resveratrol which can raise your test levels and improve your fertility (useful to know if you want to increase your family!).
Pomegranates, pomegranate seeds, and pomegranate juice can all boost testosterone levels thanks to their high levels of important plant phytonutrients and anti oxidants.
Studies have shown pomegranate consumption to increase salivary testosterone levels by 24%, and reduce arterial plaque and blood pressure.
All brightly coloured berries are packed with plant anti oxidants, which will reduce inflammation and oxidative stress to your body, helping your body increase its own test product.
Choose whatever kind of berries you like best, and remember that frozen are just as good as fresh (so stock up!)
Not the most romantic ingredient, but one which will support your libido in the long run! Garlic contains the anti-inflammatory quercetin, and an important compound called allicin which can lower cortisol levels (cortisol is in direct competition with testosterone, so lower it and give your test a chance to win!).
Garlic can also increase your body’s Nitric Oxide levels by significant amounts. Read here why Nitric Oxide is often included in natural test booster’s, here.
Another stinky option, but onions contain a lot of anti oxidants and anti inflammatories, including apigening and quercetin which can boost testosterone production.
All kinds of onion count, from spring onions and shallots to large red and white onions.
Grass fed butter is an amazing source of healthy fats which support anabolic hormone production, plus fat-soluble vitamins A, E, K2, and D which are all needed for testosterone.
Honey contains boron, a mineral linked to healthy testosterone levels.
Plus it’s high in Nitric Oxide, which acts in a kind of symbiotic relationship with test: if NO is high, natural testosterone levels will be higher, too.
Whey protein powder
A good quality whey protein will give you all the amino acids your body needs to boost its natural levels of anabolic hormones, support lean muscle mass, and help you grow more muscle.
Veggies like cabbage and Brussels sprouts contain indole-3-carbinol which can help to lower your estrogen levels, helping to increase your natural test levels and re-balance your anabolic hormones.
Avoid These Foods If You Have Low Testosterone
So now you know the 15 best foods for boosting testosterone; but what about foods you should avoid if your test levels are low?
The main thing you should do is avoid excess calorie intake, because being overweight is one of the main threats to healthy hormones.
Get to a healthy weight, and stay there, and your natural test levels will thank you for it.
Vegetable cooking oils are high in PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty-acids) which are a killer for healthy hormones.
Avoid vegetable oils and go for real butter, avocado oil, olive oil, or coconut oil.
Let’s face it, nobody should be eating trans fats regardless of their test levels.
It has no redeeming nutritional qualities at all.
Trans fats are a by product of the hydrogenation process, and commonly found in baked goods, confectionary, margarine, fast food, and sweet treats like cakes and biscuits.
Trans fats promote inflammation, and lower your good HDL cholesterol. Avoid!
Sorry, but it has to be said – booze is terrible for test levels.
Alcohol lowers testosterone levels, and the effect is more pronounced the more you drink.
If you want to take this seriously, then cut out alcohol altogether.
But if you want to still drink, stick to a few. However, you are better off putting days of heavy drinking behind you.
The legume soy, and foods made from it, are thought to have a negative effect on testosterone levels, because soy is high in phyto-estrogenic isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, glycitein).
The jury is still out on how much truth there is in this, but if you are serious about addressing low test, it makes sense to avoid soy milk, soy protein powder, tofu and other soy products in favor of non-soy alternatives.
Nicola Joyce (aka “the fit writer”) is a fitness industry copywriter who has been writing for and about sport and fitness since 2004. Nicola is a competitive drug-free bodybuilder (with two World titles at amateur level) and has also competed in powerlifting and a couple of strongman comps. Prior to her strength training days, Nicola was an endurance athlete and has even swum the English Channel twice. She can be found on all social media at: thefitwriter.