Testosterone plays an important role in both men’s and women’s health. It’s responsible for promoting muscle mass, libido, mood, strength, and energy. But as you age, your testosterone levels tend to drop—and that can have some negative effects on your health and sex life. Luckily, you can increase your levels naturally by consuming the right foods. Here are the top 10 foods to boost your testosterone level.
Eggs are a testosterone-friendly food. Research has shown that eating eggs for breakfast is linked with higher testosterone levels. Eggs provide a good source of lean protein, which could help give you an edge in the muscle building as well as improve fat loss by increasing your metabolism. Plus, studies show that people who eat egg-based breakfasts tend to eat less later in the day than those who don’t. So, whether it’s bacon and eggs or one of these recipes, try adding eggs for an extra boost of testosterone-boosting nutrition.
A study from Harvard University concluded that men who regularly eat oysters have higher testosterone levels than those who don’t. Oysters are high in zinc, a mineral that plays an important role in testosterone production. Additionally, research has shown that oysters’ high zinc content boosts sperm quality, which may play a role in testosterone production. Researchers say it could also help with erectile dysfunction (ED). A 2013 study published in PLOS One found that ED rates are 40 percent lower among men who have a daily zinc intake of 40 mg or more compared to men whose intake is less than 20 mg daily.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a bit of a newcomer on our list of testosterone-boosting foods, but it’s worth mentioning because of its caffeine content. A study in Cell Metabolism showed that healthy male subjects experienced an increase in testosterone levels when they consumed caffeine and ate dark chocolate. Subjects who ate sugar-free chocolate saw no such increase. When you eat dark chocolate, make sure you choose a bar with at least 70 percent cacao; other forms of chocolate contain much fewer cocoa solids (and therefore fewer active ingredients), so read labels carefully if your goal is to up your testosterone level naturally. One square of 80 percent dark has about 9 mg of active ingredients and 12 mg total.
Studies have shown that people who consume nuts on a regular basis enjoy higher levels of testosterone. Nuts are full of healthy fats, like omega-3s and monounsaturated fats, which are great for maintaining a good hormonal balance. Walnuts in particular contain several healthy compounds, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is thought to help block the production of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG works by binding free testosterone and makes it biologically inactive. By keeping your SHBG levels low and allowing your testosterone levels to be unaffected by other factors, you can keep your T at optimal levels.
Turkey is a great source of arginine, an amino acid that helps regulate nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide is key in regulating blood flow throughout your body and plays a role in sexual arousal; therefore, it can be useful for improving your overall testosterone level. It’s best to consume at least 3 servings of turkey per week.
Almonds are high in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, and may provide a variety of health advantages. One-eighth of a person’s daily protein requirements can be met by a handful of almonds (around 1 ounce).
You know it, you love it (or at least your kid loves it). Broccoli isn’t just great for a healthy body—it can also boost your testosterone levels. According to a report published in Nutrition Journal, men who eat higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli have up to 25% more bioavailable testosterone compared with men who don’t. Researchers believe that is due to sulforaphane and glucosinolate compounds found in broccoli, which may actually help convert testosterone into estrogen—the opposite of what many testosterone boosters are trying to do. Bottom line: If you want your hormones balanced, add broccoli!
The evidence is quite strong that mushrooms of all kinds can boost testosterone levels. Mushrooms contain D-Aspartic Acid (DAA), a compound that has been associated with an increase in testosterone production, especially in people who are suffering from low levels of it. Studies have found that supplementing with DAA significantly increases testosterone levels, even if you’re already at normal daily limits. Therefore, if you’re not getting enough sleep or your diet could use a boost, eat some mushrooms and enjoy their many health benefits!
Asparagus is a natural diuretic and improves circulation, both of which make it an ideal choice for a testosterone-enhancing diet. It also boosts nitric oxide production in your body, which increases blood flow to your organs. It may be best known for its anti-cancer properties, but asparagus has also been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. In addition, preliminary research shows that asparagus can improve male fertility. Bottom line: there are plenty of reasons why you should consider adding asparagus to your diet if you want to boost your testosterone level. A typical serving is about 5 spears; limit serving size since overdoing it can cause digestive problems or even heartburn.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumping up your testosterone levels is as easy as eating pumpkin seeds. That’s right, a mere handful of these crunchy kernels can increase your T-levels and promote healthy sperm production. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which boosts levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), thereby promoting the production of testosterone. In one study, scientists found that men who consumed a daily dose of pumpkin seed oil—allowing them to ingest over 100mg of zinc—experienced increased levels of testosterone. Not only that, but pumpkin seeds may be especially beneficial for those suffering from hormone deficiency and sexual dysfunction caused by certain medications or diabetes.