7 Best Testosterone Boosting Foods
Testosterone is a male sex hormone. It plays an important role in the overall well-being of the human body. Testosterone is thought to be the regulator of libido, fat distribution, muscle mass, bone density and strength among men past puberty. The hormone also plays a role in the production of sperm and red blood cells. There are several testosterone boosting foods available to help regulate the hormone levels in the body.
Testosterone was first used as a clinical drug in 1937. However, there was little understanding of its impact. It is now widely prescribed to men whose bodies fail to or naturally produce lower testosterone levels – no matter due to ageing or from other attendant medical conditions. The level at which a testosterone deficiency becomes medically relevant is still not well understood since testosterone production levels vary widely across men in the same age group.
Understanding Testosterone Deficiency
A situation of low testosterone, otherwise known as low T or hypogonadism, is said to occur when the testosterone levels are found to have fallen below 300 ng/dL. The condition is normally treated medically through focused therapies, including testosterone replacement.
Hypogonadism has emerged as a very common condition in recent times. Studies suggest that around 40 per cent of men over the age of 45 years and over 50% of men in the 80s are hypogonadal. The rise in a sedentary lifestyle, which increased rapidly during the pandemic-induced lockdowns, has also contributed by increasing body fat – considered a risk factor for low testosterone.
If you think that you might have testosterone levels that are lower than normal, then you should consult with a medical professional. Adopting a diet pattern that is rich in testosterone boosting foods containing nutrients is vital for maintaining healthy hormone levels and can be a great way to overcome the condition. Several nutrients, including magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, have played a key role in maintaining optimal testosterone levels.
We put together a list of seven top testosterone boosting foods to help you here:
Top 7 Best Testosterone Boosting Foods
1. Dark, leafy green vegetables
Dark, leafy green vegetables are considered to be an excellent option for the most vital micronutrients, making them a leading contender among testosterone boosting foods. They include magnesium, which has been found to be critical in maintaining the optimal levels of testosterone in the human body, especially among older men. Studies suggest that magnesium helps increase testosterone-induced bioactivity levels in the human body by reducing oxidative stress actions. Oxidative stress refers to the imbalances between the antioxidant defences and the free radicals.
Oxidative inflammation and stress can reduce the levels of testosterone. Ingesting nutrients that can address oxidative stress can help maintain healthy testosterone levels. A study in about 400 men aged 65 or above found that subjects with a high level of magnesium had a relatively higher level of testosterone as compared with the subjects reporting lower levels. Another study found that a prolonged lower intake of green leafy vegetables was directly linked to low testosterone levels.
Therefore, consuming magnesium-rich testosterone boosting foods like kale, collard greens and spinach could help promote ideal testosterone levels.
Avocado is another leading example of testosterone boosting food. It is rich in healthy unsaturated fats that have been found to be important in promoting improved hormonal health. The fruit (yes – an avocado is a fruit) also contains magnesium and boron – both of which have been found to be beneficial for testosterone levels in multiple studies.
Boron is consumed in trace quantities. It seems to influence testosterone metabolism within the human body directly and even protects against potential testosterone degradation. While some clinical studies have shown that supplementing our diet with a higher boron content may indeed help improve testosterone levels in certain age groups, the results have been mixed. More extensive research is required to understand how the intake of boron supplements can impact testosterone levels and overall health and well-being.
While currently it is not recommended that we include direct boron supplements in our diet, incorporating dietary intakes in the form of avocados may prove beneficial in maintaining ideal testosterone levels.
3. Pomegranates, cherries and berries
Cherries, berries and pomegranates rank high in the traditional list of testosterone boosting foods. They are rich in flavonoid antioxidant content, which has been found to be beneficial in protecting the testosterone-producing tissues from the chance of damage and degradation. This helps in maintaining and increasing testosterone production in the body.
A clinical study found that regular use of pomegranate juice in the diet helped protect against potential induced oxidative stress, boosted testosterone levels and protected the Leydig cells (responsible for producing testosterone) from potential injury and degradation. However, more research is needed before we can safely conclude whether pomegranate affects your testosterone levels without any side effects.
Cherries, berries and pomegranates are also key testosterone boosting foods as they are found to protect against potential instances of obesity-induced inflammation – identified as a major cause of lowering testosterone levels. In addition, consuming antioxidant-rich foods like these fruits may help promote overall health and well-being, besides helping maintain testosterone levels.
Studies have found egg yolks to be rich in protein, healthy fats and selenium, an antioxidant. This trace element underscores the role of eggs in the list of testosterone boosting foods.
Several clinical studies have found that selenium helps enhance testosterone levels in the human body. This is achieved by initiating certain specific pathways and activating certain marker genes. Additional studies have helped expand the original findings, reporting that the testosterone levels were considerably higher among those with the ideal levels of selenium in their bloodstreams.
However, more research may be needed as concerns have been expressed about the potential side effects of elevated selenium in the human body. That said, it is common knowledge that eggs are not only highly nutritious but are also a great source of nourishment. Therefore, including them in your diet is a great idea, just in case they are there yet.
On that note, remember that a whole egg is way more nourishing than a plain egg white since it is the yolk that contains the maximum amount of vital micronutrients.
5. Chocolate and other cocoa products
Cocoa products, including cocoa powder, chocolate and cacao nibs, are rich in magnesium and flavonoid antioxidants. Due to this reason, cocoa ranks among our list of testosterone boosting foods.
As we know, flavonoids are plant compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. Several studies suggest that certain flavonoids, including cocoa flavonoids like quercetin and apigenin, may help increase testosterone production in the human body by addressing oxidant stress.
No wonder chocolates have been a popular traditional recommendation for increasing testosterone production.
However, a word of caution! When you go shopping for cocoa products, you may want to choose ones that contain no added sugar or have only small amounts of added sugar. This sugar component draws down the value of cocoa in our diet. Consider opting for cocoa powder, cacao nibs or low-sugar dark chocolate for their impressive health benefits in terms of overall well-being and optimal testosterone levels.
6. Shellfish as an option
Like clams and oysters, shellfish is an excellent source of selenium, omega-3 fats and zinc. Studies show that zinc deficiency may cause hypogonadism, a direct result of prolonged periods of low testosterone. It is no wonder then that this excellent source of protein and minerals features among our list of testosterone boosting foods.
It should be noted here that while a high dosage of zinc supplements has been reported to be useful in treating cases of hypogonadism across some age groups of men, they are not recommended at present as the universal treatment in managing hypogonadism. Therefore, incorporating testosterone boosting foods rich in vital nutrients like selenium, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc can prove to be beneficial and effective in supporting all-around hormonal health.
7. Fatty and oily fish
Fatty and oily fishes like sardines and salmon are nutrient-rich. They have good levels of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamin D in them. This makes them a great source of vital antioxidants and a leading constituent of any effective list of testosterone boosting foods.
Even though certain high-fat foods, including fries and other such items, have been linked to a marked decrease in testosterone levels in human beings, according to research, a prolonged low-fat diet may also be detrimental in maintaining testosterone levels. An in-depth review of six clinical studies also found that low-fat dietary patterns were linked with a significant decrease in testosterone levels instead of higher fat diet pathways.
Nonetheless, more high-quality studies are required to understand this relationship better.
Regardless of the present findings, adding healthy fat sources like fatty oily fish to the diet can be advantageous for overall well-being, including enhanced hormonal health. Fatty fish has also been found to be a great source of zinc, vitamin D and proteins — nutrients important in maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
We need to remember that studies have shown that men with lesser vitamin D levels are also likely to have lower testosterone than men with greater levels. This underlines the importance of vitamin D in ensuring men's reproductive health. Fatty and oily fishes are therefore a tasty and important ingredient that comes under testosterone boosting foods.
Moving towards a healthy diet
Your diet directly influences your overall health and affects overall testosterone levels.
Incorporating food sources that are rich in key nutrients for maintaining recommended testosterone levels, including magnesium, zinc, flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin D, may support enhanced hormonal health. While testosterone boosting foods may play a key role here, using an ayurvedic testosterone booster from industry-leading suppliers like neuherbs, can positively affect your well-being.