Testosterone is a vital hormone in the body.
It influences numerous tissues, not just the reproductive organs. It plays an important role in building muscle, cardiovascular health, overall hormonal balance, as well as mood regulation and influencing your metabolic rate.
You can help your body maintain normal T levels by eating certain foods that have supportive actions for hormone production.
One of the main things you need to get right in your diet is your intake of healthy dietary fats.
Not all fats are bad. Testosterone production relies on fats to form its structure. Steroid hormones such as testosterone use fatty acids as a vital building block. Without enough fats, T hormone production will suffer as sometimes seen in men on vegetarian or vegan diets.
You can’t just start consuming any fats and expect good results. It has to be of the healthy kind.
Choose grass-fed meats to ensure high quality fats to fuel T production. Grass fed meats are from animals that feed on grass, not grains.
The meats from grass-fed animals are leaner and more nutrient-dense. They are also free of compounds that can wreak havoc on your testosterone and estrogen balance, such as xeno-estrogens and artificial growth hormones.
Aside from grass-fed meats, aim to include more testosterone-boosting foods such as these:
1. Eggs (especially raw)
Eggs are a rich natural source of healthy cholesterol. It is not true that fats in eggs are bad for your health. Studies have found that the cholesterol in eggs do not cause a rise in your serum cholesterol levels. It also does not cause higher blood pressure. In fact, cholesterol from eggs act as hormone precursors, used as building blocks to make more testosterone.
Eggs are also an excellent source of protein since eggs contain all the essential amino acids.
It is best to eat your eggs raw. Heating will break down and destroy some of the nutrients. Old school bodybuilding legend “The Iron Guru”, Vince Gironda (Arnolds trainer among many others), was a big fan of consuming raw eggs.
2. Oysters (Zinc)
Any testosterone-boosting food list is not complete without oysters. This is one of the most popular natural foods that can help boost your T. It has long been held to be an aphrodisiac and the infamous lover Casanova was reported to eat lots of this slimy mollusk every day.
What makes oysters an excellent T-boosting food is their high zinc content.
Other T-boosting minerals and vitamins include vitamin D, copper, selenium and magnesium. You can find all of these in Oysters.
3. Olive oil / Coconut Oil
Olive oil is a mainstay in Mediterranean cuisine. Years of studies have showed that people who live in the Mediterranean region (consuming olive oil in their daily meals) were healthier, with very small risks for developing cardiovascular disease. Men in the Mediterranean region are also well known for fathering lots of children, even up into very old age.
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that help boost T production and long-term consumption can provide long-lasting virility. One study found that within two weeks of using olive oil as the main dietary fat source, T levels increased by as much as 17% on average.
Olive oil performs all these wonderful T-boosting effects in several ways. It has anti-inflammatory effects and promotes greater cellular receptiveness for testosterone. This oil is also excellent as an antioxidant agent, protecting cells from free radical damage. Make sure to add 1-2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to your daily salad.
Coconut oil is another healthy oil you should be getting more of. It mostly contains saturated fats, but don’t worry – there are numerous studies that show how saturated fats from coconut oil does not contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. The saturated fats are in fact effective in boosting T levels in the body and improving overall health.
Other benefits from coconut oil include increased metabolic rate (weight loss), raising levels of thyroid hormones, and enhancing cognitive performance.
Real butter boosts T levels. Similar to the case of coconut oil, it is not unhealthy, unlike what a lot of people like to think about butter. It’s margarine and copycat butters that wreak havoc on your hormones because of their high levels of oxidized omega-6 vegetable oils.
Butter provides healthy saturated fats that the body can use to create steroid hormones such as testosterone.
Other key nutrients you can get from real butter include fat-soluble vitamins like K2, D, E and A. These vitamins also play important roles in T production.
Always choose real butter made from grass-fed animal sources.
According to studies, one to two cups of strong coffee each day can help raise your testosterone levels. This is equivalent to 200 to 400 mg of caffeine.
A higher intake than this would likely raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol which would do more harm than good. This can lead to catabolism and inhibition of muscle tissue growth. Keep your intake to about 1-2 cups per day to reap the T-boosting benefits.
Adding butter to your morning cup of coffee instead of milk can be a tasty addition and also give you a maximum amount of T boosting nutrition in one simple cup.
This was popularized as the “Bulletproof coffee” and is not really a new phenomenon, it has been practiced by the inhabitants of Tibet for centuries as Po Cha, which is buttered tea. It helps them to resist the hard conditions and climate of living at high altitudes in the Himalayan region.
6. Brazil Nuts (Selenium)
This tree nut is an excellent natural source of the mineral selenium and a great testosterone booster. According to studies, regular intake of selenium can significantly raise testosterone levels in serum. It also shows promise as a treatment for infertility.
The high selenium content is mainly responsible for Brazil nuts’ positive benefit on T levels. One 100-gram serving can provide 2739% of the recommended selenium RDA (about 1,917 micrograms of selenium).
Brazil nuts also have a good ratio of fats. A 100-gram serving contains 15 grams of SFAs (saturated fatty acids), 25 grams of MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) and 19 grams of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids).
We recommend consuming 3-6 Brazil Nuts per day as a natural selenium supplement.
Celery is so powerful that the smell alone can raise T levels in your body! Celery contains two important plant sterols. These are androstenol and androstenone. The names alone are already indicative of their positive effect in the action and production of androgens.
Celery also contains flavonoids that act as anti-estrogenic agents. One particular flavonoid with this kind of action is called luteolin. Another flavonoid, apigenin, is a natural T booster.
The best results are achieved if you eat your celery raw. Slice the stalks and enjoy together with other testosterone-boosting foods, such as blue cheese.
8. Broccoli (DIM)
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called DIM. Diindolemethyl is a powerful anti-estrogen compound.
DIM works by improving estrogen metabolism, thereby lowering estrogen levels to allow more testosterone to be produced. High estrogen levels tend to inhibit T production and its release into its free form in serum.
9. Red Wine / Grapes
Grapes and red wine are rich natural sources of resveratrol. This compound is mainly known for its positive actions on the cardiovascular system, but it also helps improve hormone levels and sperm production in the body.
Resveratrol is a type of antioxidant. It helps protect the cells from toxins and free radicals.
This refreshing fruit is packed with antioxidants that help improve male reproductive health, the active compounds can help improve sexual function such as providing stronger erections. It improves blood flow in the body, including to the penis and the rest of the reproductive system.
Active compounds in pomegranate act as natural vasodilators. These relax the blood vessels and thereby promote better blood flow.
You can choose to eat the whole fruit or simply drink pomegranate juice (we suggest switching your breakfast orange juice for some pomegranate juice).
One study found that drinking pomegranate juice daily can increase T levels by 24% (as seen in salivary T tests) with 2 weeks of continued consumption. This study also found that both diastolic and systolic blood pressure values were reduced.
A long-term study also found that drinking pomegranate juice can reduce the formation of plaques within the arteries. The risk was reduced by as much as 35%. This clearly indicates its protective effects on the cardiovascular system.
Improvements in cholesterol profiles were also seen, as pomegranates protected healthy LDL cholesterol from getting damaged due to oxidation. A laboratory chemical study also found that some of the active compounds in pomegranate demonstrated anti-estrogenic activities.
If there is one fruit you should be including in your diet as a man, pomegranates is the one!
11. Fava Beans (L-Dopa)
The L-dopa content in fava beans is what mainly gives it the ability to provide a positive effect on your testosterone levels. L-dopa promotes an increase in dopamine levels in the brain, as well as the levels of human growth hormone.
More dopamine means more T, and more growth hormone means more muscle! The mechanism for this is that L-Dopa stimulates GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) which further acts on the testes. GnRH activates the Leydig cells within the testes, promoting hormone production.
12. Pine Pollen
Real testosterone can be found in pine pollen, not a mimetic compound but the real deal! There are about 80 nanograms (ng) of real testosterone per gram of pine pollen. This is why pine pollen is called nature’s most potent androgen.
Pine pollen is also dense in other nutrients. It has all the 22 essential amino acids and at least 100 different enzymes, along with 30 minerals and 15 different vitamins. All these contribute to better health and higher T levels.
Make sure you use pine pollen as a tincture under the tongue to absorb the testosterone correctly.
13. Blue Cheese
This rather smelly but tasty cheese has T-boosting benefits. The microbes that create the distinctive blue cheese flavor can help enhance the body’s own gut microflora.
Blue cheese microbes include lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacteria. There are also live enzymes and other helpful compounds that all support healthy T levels.
The probiotics (microbes) in blue cheese help protect cells from the damaging effects of certain toxic compounds such as organophosphorus pesticides, bisphenol A, heavy metals and perchlorate, that all have T-lowering effects. Some act as estrogenic agents that can lead to higher estrogen levels and consequent lower testosterone levels.
If you want to boost your muscle gains, you have to maintain healthy levels of testosterone.
While testosterone is naturally produced in the body, consuming anabolic foods that boost its production will certainly help you in your journey to building more muscle mass.
- Why Grass-Fed Trumps Grain-Fed
- Regular egg consumption does not increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
- Egg Protein as a Source of Power, Strength, and Energy
- Effects of dietary coconut oil, butter and safflower oil on plasma lipids, lipoproteins and lathosterol levels.
- Dose effect of caffeine on testosterone and cortisol responses to resistance exercise.
- Efficacy of selenium and/or N-acetyl-cysteine for improving semen parameters in infertile men: a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study.
- Protective effects of celery (Apium Graveolens) on testis and cauda epididymal spermatozoa in rat
- trans-Resveratrol, a natural antioxidant from grapes, increases sperm output in healthy rats.
- Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women
- "L-DOPA - Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects." Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects | Examine.com. Examine.com, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
- Testosterone, epitestosterone and androstenedione in the pollen of Scotch pine P. silvestris L.