Testosterone is the reason why we use the phrase, “men will be men.” The hormone aids in developing the male reproductive system and other masculine characteristics.
Women need testosterone, too, because it promotes hair growth and strengthens the bones. It is produced in the ovaries for females and testes for males. The adrenal glands also produce small amounts of testosterone. During puberty, boys require the hormone to drive physical changes like deeper voice and muscle growth. Optimum levels are necessary during adulthood and old age.
Testosterone levels decline with age, with a loss of about two percent every year. Poor lifestyle choices and medical conditions may also hinder the quantity. Frying an egg and cutting out processed foods could be your ticket to optimal testosterone levels. Let’s see how you can change your diet for a healthier hormonal system.
Top 15 testosterone-boosting foods
1. Fish oil and fatty fish
Seafood is beneficial because it contains a considerable amount of omega-3 fatty acids. While you can opt for omega-3 supplements, getting the nutrients directly from your diet is a good idea. A report from an animal-based study carried out in 2006 states that fish oil can boost semen quality and serum testosterone in dogs by increasing their fatty acid constituents. Another survey of mice had similar results. Fish that have high omega-3 fatty acids include:
• Atlantic mackerel
There are a dozen health concerns against over-consuming red meat. Not only are some cuts fattier than chicken, but too much red meat may increase your risk to some cancers like colon cancer. However, beef could boost your muscle mass and libido because it boosts testosterone levels. Beef liver is a fantastic source of vitamin D, which chuck roast is filled with zinc. Eat more lean cuts than fatty ones to avoid the side effects of red meat.
Garlic is rich in allicin, which helps to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland, alongside testosterone. When you are feeling stressed, there is a spike in cortisol levels that may impact your bodily functions. Therefore, lowering the amount of cortisol might enable testosterone to be produced in the adrenal gland. So, although garlic doesn’t impact testosterone levels directly, it will boost its production by lowering cortisol in the body.
Eggs contain vitamin D, which is critical for testosterone production. Vitamin D has been found to increase free and total testosterone levels. Besides, eggs are some of the most affordable suppliers of high-quality protein. The yolks have an abundant supply of healthy fat too.
The human race has embraced ginger for medicinal and culinary uses for centuries now. Modern research proves that the herb is beneficial in improving fertility in men. A 2012 study showed that people who take ginger supplements for three months could boost their testosterone levels by 17 percent. The study involved 75 adult males that had fertility problems. Authors from another research undertaken in 2013 reported that ginger increased antioxidant and testosterone quantities in diabetic rats in 30 days.
6. Black beans
If you don’t get enough supply of iron and zinc from the meat you consume, you should consider taking black beans. They help to improve your testosterone levels because they are rich in zinc and iron. You will also get enough supply of fiber and plant-based protein from them. So, apart from boosting testosterone, black beans will improve your digestive health and help to keep your weight in check.
You won’t find a higher amount of zinc in any food other than in an oyster. Zinc is vital for proper reproductive health and sperm count. A male with zinc deficiency might develop hypogonadism, which is when the body doesn’t make much testosterone. They may also experience delayed sexual maturation or impotence. Remember that copper and zinc compete for absorption. Therefore, you should avoid taking an excess of either mineral because it may lead to a deficiency in the other.
8. Low-fat milk
Milk is a leading source of calcium and protein. Children are advised to take milk so that they have strong bones. Milk also strengthens men’s bones. The high vitamin D content will also help to improve testosterone levels. Ensure that the milk you drink is fortified with vitamin D. that is why you should opt for skimmed or low-fat milk. They have similar nutrients but minus saturated fat.
9. Leafy-green vegetables
Veggies like kales and spinach are rich in magnesium, which is the mineral responsible for improved testosterone levels. A 2011 study concluded that taking magnesium supplements for a month increased testosterone levels of the participants. Some were athletes, while others led sedentary lifestyles. The testosterone increases were more significant among the active members.
It contains considerable amounts of boron, which may be found in the environment and food. Boron is known to help boost testosterone levels and also helps in building strong bones and muscles. It also helps with muscle coordination and promotes reasoning skills. You can replace sugar with honey so that you enjoy all these benefits.
Onions support the heart and help to tone-down the waistline, but there is more. They are suitable sources of various antioxidants and an array of other nutrients. Onions may also boost low levels of testosterone. So far, this has been proven in rats, but further study on humans is necessary.
12. Fortified cereals
Eggs aren’t the only ones on the breakfast menu that can improve your testosterone levels. If you are watching your blood cholesterol and can’t take too much fish or eggs, consider eating fortified cereal. Some cereal brands are laced with vitamin D, not forgetting a bunch of other heart-healthy constituents. Consider including fortified cereal into your breakfast routine to jump-start your testosterone levels.
Pomegranates have a reputation for being active fertility boosters. Besides improving libido, they have high antioxidant levels that can reduce stress and support heart health. Results from a 2012 study show that pomegranates may raise testosterone levels in both men and women. The study involved 60 participants that were drinking pomegranate juice for 14 days, and their saliva was tested thrice daily. At the lapse of the study period, participants from both genders had a 24 percent increase in salivary testosterone levels. They also had better mood and optimal blood pressure levels.
14. Extra-virgin olive oil
Olive oil has lots of health benefits, like reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. The oil has vitamin E and monosaturated fats. The oil might boost male reproductive health. Results from a small-scale study show that the oil may improve serum testosterone in healthy adult males. Participants also experienced increased levels of luteinizing hormone, which prompts the testes to make testosterone.
Tuna is filled with vitamin D, which aids in testosterone production and prolonged life. It has low calories and is rich in protein. Whether you choose to eat fresh or canned fish, you will boost your testosterone naturally. A serving of tuna daily revamps your vitamin D needs. However, remember to moderate your intake. Avoid eating tuna more than thrice a week.
5 Foods that might reduce testosterone
If you have low libido or any other associated testosterone deficiency, you should consider limiting or giving up on alcohol. Although some studies suggest that small amounts of alcohol might increase testosterone in males, it is generally not true. Heavy drinking for prolonged periods might hinder your testosterone levels considerably.
2. Processed foods
A lot of the pre-packaged and frozen meals we see on the supermarket counters are processed foods, which offer minimal nutritional benefits. They are also high in sugar, salt, and fat. Some processed foods also have a high content of trans-fat, which may hinder testicular function and reduce testosterone levels.
3. Soy foods
Soy proteins or foods like tofu contain a compound that resembles estrogen. Research suggests that these compounds function without tampering hormone levels, which causes symptoms associated with high estrogen. While further study is required to ascertain the impact on high soy levels on males and females, you should consider keeping off estrogen for now.
4. Pastries and bread
A diet high in pastries, bread, and desserts may lower testosterone levels. Daily consumption of dairy products and not eating enough vegetables may increase these symptoms. A study on Taiwanese men showed this to be accurate, and other symptoms were increased body fat and muscle mass.
Peppermint might make your tea taste better, but the menthol in the mint might have detrimental effects on your testosterone. A study that sought to find the impact of the mint of female rats with polycystic ovarian disorder concluded that the rats had decreased testosterone levels. Besides that, there isn’t much high-quality evidence showing these effects.
Other ways of boosting your testosterone
• Losing weight for obese and overweight individuals
• Getting sufficient sleep
• Exercising frequently
• Going for testosterone therapy
• Building muscle