I’m often asked what’s the best way to increase testosterone, and usually the answer is pretty simple: Get more sleep, lose weight, lift heavy, avoid certain foods, and reduce stress.
The #1 thing that will help boost your testosterone levels is simple: diet.
With that said, putting together the perfect diet is no small (or inexpensive) feat!
Which is why, generally speaking, I turn to supplementation to help fill the void.
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I’ve put together this list of 50foods that increase testosterone, as well as arguments as to why they do so.
I’ve broken this down by category to make it a bit easier for you to figure out exactly what you need.Fruits / Veggies
For an abbreviated version of this list, check out my “5 High Testosterone Foods You Must Be Eating“!
Fruits / Veggies
Native to north-central and eastern China, Kiwifruit is rich in Vitamin C and E, and a good source of dietary fiber. (Source)
Studies on Vitamin C have shown to preserve testosterone concentrations, as well as reducing levels of circulating cortisol.
What does this mean for you?
Well, increased levels of cortisol are released in the adrenal glands during instances of stress. Because testosterone is released in the adrenal glands as well, this can have a direct influence on how much testosterone the adrenal glands are pumping out.
Kiwi will help to reduce the amount of cortisol released, effectively boosting testosterone.
Don’t like the taste of Kiwi? Well, who doesn’t like the taste of oranges!?
Similarly to kiwi, Oranges and orange juice pack a HUGE dose of Vitamin C, which has all of the same benefits we discussed above.
Not only will it lower circulating cortisol levels, but it has numerous other benefits, including protection against auto-immune disorders, cardiovascular issues, and even with skin texture. (Source)
Another great food that builds testosterone is grapefruit.
For those who aren’t big fans of Oranges, Grapefruit is a great alternative.
Not only can grapefruit lower your blood sugar and promote regularity, because of it’s Vitamin C content it can also increase testosterone.
However, you have to be careful about consuming too much Grapefruit.
You know those warnings you see about grapefruit on medication labels?
Well, it turns out that consuming grapefruit can overwhelm the liver by metabolizing it through the P450 pathway, or the same pathway that medications are typically metabolized through. (Source)
This can cause a host of problems, and you should definitely heed the warning if you’re taking any medications that have it.
It’s also speculated that grapefruit can actually LOWER testosterone levels by increasing estrogen levels.
Studies have yet to prove this, and anecdotal reports also seem to support the idea that it shouldn’t have ANY effect on testosterone levels. (Source)
Grapefruit is definitely a tasty choice, but I would put it lower on my list if I were you.
Pineapple has always been my favorite choice when it comes to fruit. Not only does it taste great, but it’s also a testosterone rich food.
For one, it contains a health dose of Bromelain, which is an enzyme that is literally only found in pineapples and bananas.
In a study involving 15 highly trained competitive cyclists, Bromelain was shown to reduce fatigue AND maintain testosterone concentration. (Source)
It’s unclear why this was the case, but it’s suspected to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation, which results in faster recovery times.
Pineapple also contains an average dose of 432 mg of Vitamin C per serving, which gives it all of the testosterone boosting benefits we discussed above.
If you’re looking for a great natural food to help this, pineapple should definitely be on your testosterone boosting foods list.
Depending on who you ask, Tomatoes can be classified as either a fruit OR a vegetable.
Tomatoes are a major dietary source of Lycopene, which is an antioxidant with numerous health benefits.
I know what you’re thinking!
Isn’t lycopene a food that LOWERS your testosterone?!
Well, that’s what a study on the matter found out.
Hear me out first…
The study, which involved rats, showed that by pumping them with a big dose of lycopene, phytofluene, or tomato powder, serum testosterone concentrations were recorded at 30% – 40% LOWER than the control group. (Source)
HOWEVER (and this is a BIG however), the amount of lycopene they were force feeding these rats was the human equivalent of eating 3.3 tomatoes PER DAY.
Would you eat 3 – 4 tomatoes per day?
Most people don’t.
Tomatoes have been mentioned as a leading food to boost testosterone by numerous outlets, including Livestrong.com.
6.) Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers contain a pretty significant dose of Vitamin A, which was linked to an increased production of testosterone in an abundant amount of animal studies.
In one study, which involved rats, showed that increased Vitamin A consumption resulted in decreased estrogen production in male testicles. (Source)
This same study also noted increased basal testosterone secretion, and an increased transport of Iron, whose absorption increases with increased testosterone.
Perhaps the most intriguing study conducted on Vitamin A’s effects on testosterone was one conducted on 102 teenage boys suffering from delayed puberty.
In the study, which was divided into 4 groups, the group that received Vitamin A and Iron therapy saw practically the EXACT same results as the group given ACTUAL testosterone injections. (Source)
Sure, you can get Vitamin A from many sources, but Red Bell Peppers have LONG been considered one of the best foods that raise testosterone production naturally.
The jury is still out on Bananas and their effect on testosterone function, but there is some evidence that this fruit possess libido enhancing effects.
Because it contains a healthy dose of Vitamin B6, some studies have indicated that a diet insufficient in Vitamin B6 consumption can actually REDUCE circulating concentration of testosterone in plasma. (Source)
In short, if you’re deficient in Vitamin B6, it can have a HUGE impact on your overall testosterone levels.
Just like with Pineapple, Bananas also contain Bromelain, which as we mentioned earlier helps with maintaining testosterone concentration.
Some of you may have seen Watermelon in my article on foods that actually lower testosterone, but hear me out.
Watermelon has been revered by some in the scientific community as being natural viagra, primarily due to its L-Citrulline content. (Source)
L-Citrulline converts to L-Arginine in the liver, and when this happens it causes a process called Vasodilation.
During vasodilation, the smooth muscle tissue surrounding the cell walls relax, allowing for increased blood flow.
Along with this increased blood flow comes, you guessed it, better quality erections.
While it’s unknown as to whether or not Watermelon will ACTUALLY increase your testosterone levels, it will certainly make you feel like it’s shot up!
Specifically red grapes, the skin contains resveratrol, which is a proven aromatase inhibitor.
What does that mean?
Well, Aromatase inhibitors are actually a class of drugs that are used to treat gynocomastia in men.
They’re also very popular in bodybuilding
10.) Blue Berries
Blueberries actually contain two substances that work to naturally increase testosterone levels.
Like grapes, blueberries – specifically the skin – contain resveratrol, which works as an Aromatase inhibitor blocking the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.
It stands to reason that if less testosterone is being converted in to another substance, you get the benefit of more active testosterone in your system.
Not to mention that as a guy working on his body, want as little estrogen as possible coursing through your veins.
Calcium-D-Glucarate is the other relevant substance in blueberries.
It acts as an estrogen blocker to help maintain a testosterone positive hormone profile in your body.
Calcium-D-Glucarate is actually used to treat some estrogen dependent cancers (though the evidence for its effectiveness so far is inconclusive). (Source)
Additionally, blueberries provide Vitamin C, which we talked about above for its antioxidant and testosterone boosting benefits as they relate to decreased cortisol levels.
With all these testosterone related benefits, it’s hard to deny blueberries are one of the best choices if your goal is to increase levels naturally.
Lean meats like turkey provide protein, the building blocks needed to produce lean muscle mass.
You might be thinking increased testosterone needs to come before increased muscle, and that’s true, but it also works the other way.
Engaging lean muscle in resistance exercises (weight lifting) increases testosterone production for hours after the exercise occurs.
The more lean muscle mass there is in your body, the more testosterone you produce while engaging in resistance exercises because the more muscle that’s engaged, the more testosterone is produced.
That’s why compound exercises – those using more and bigger muscles groups – are considered best for increasing testosterone in generally.
The protein content in lean meats combined with resistance training, therefore, works to improve testosterone levels.
Turkey affects testosterone in another way that’s unique to turkey, not true of all lean meats.
Turkey contain Tryptophan and Zinc, both of which can help boost levels.
Tryptophan is the chemical in turkey that makes you feel sleepy after you eat it; it does this in part by decreasing the release of cortisol – that stress hormone we talked about with some of the other food types.
Cortisol will lower testosterone production levels, so lowering Cortisol has the residual effect of boosting testosterone.
Zinc is a necessary component in the chemical reaction that creates testosterone in your body, so its presence helps prepare you better to produce the hormone.
In fact, studies have documented a positive correlation between zinc levels and testosterone levels.
12.) Boneless / Skinless Chicken
We’ve already talked about how increasing your protein intake will help fuel your workouts and the get you the muscle building results you’re after, which then increases your testosterone levels by providing you with more lean muscle to engage.
One 3 1/2 ounce serving of chicken comes in at a respectable 31 grams of protein, but there’s more to it than that.
In addition to being a rich source of protein, meat also provides an abundance of fat, and depending on the type of meat, either a lot of a little of it is saturated fat.
While saturated fats turn into cholesterol which actually helps produce testosterone, too much could contribute to heart disease and/or Type 2 Diabetes.
Boneless, Skinless Chicken contains some needed saturated fat, but far less than some red meats, making it a good choice for balancing your need to produce testosterone and your need to remain heart healthy.
13.) Sirloin Steak
Considered a lean cut of beef, Sirloin Steak comes in at about 24 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving and 5 to 12 grams of fat, a third of which is saturated fat.(Source)
This makes it a trade off when it comes to all the potential health benefits and drawbacks.
The testosterone boosting advantages of the protein and saturated fat and cholesterol need to be weighed against the artery clogging and potential cancer causing properties of the meat.
Your testosterone levels will also benefit from the 5 mg of zinc in that 3 ounce serving of Sirloin Steak.
Putting other potential health drawbacks aside, you can’t argue that a nice lean sirloin steak doesn’t have a positive effect on your testosterone levels, if that’s what you’re working toward.
One study showed very clearly that if you substitute soy products (tofu) for red meat in your diet, your testosterone levels will be decreased by a significant amount.(Source)
The key here is balance; use red meat sparingly to bolster your protein, zinc, and iron intake, but choose lean cuts such as sirloin steaks, and limit your intake to once or twice a week unless you’re in a bulking phase or are on a short term high protein diet for any given purpose.
The protein content in Lamb is significant and comparable to that of beef, and the same can be said of the fat content, with lamb coming in slightly higher. (Source)
The fat in lamb is about half saturated and half monounsaturated, supplying the saturated fat and cholesterol necessary for producing testosterone.
The correlation between cholesterol and testosterone has been studied and appears to be solid.
In fact, cholesterol is actually a pre cursor to testosterone.
While it’s been vilified as the big bad artery clogger with no redeeming qualities, this is simply not the case as cholesterol is present and necessary in every cell in the body, particularly cell membranes.
It is what allows cells to communicate with each other.(Source)
15.) Beef Liver
Love it or hate it, Beef Liver provides much of what your body needs to maintain high levels of testosterone.
A 4 ounce serving contains roughly 23 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat in only 153 calories, with a little less than half of that fat content saturated. (Source)
While we’re on the topic of testosterone AND overall healthful nutrients in beef liver, we can’t forget that it’s a great source of Zinc as well, which we know to be crucial for making testosterone.
The biggest drawback for liver is its high cholesterol content.
We’ve already discussed how some cholesterol is necessary for testosterone production, but there is definitely a limit and liver has the real potential of putting you over it.
At 403 mg in that 4 ounce serving, Beef Liver comes in well over the total daily recommended intake of 300 mg for healthy individuals.
So if you’re going to use Beef Liver as one of the testosterone foods in your diet, use it sparingly so you get the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.
16.) Ground Beef
Ground beef is definitely one of the higher fat content meats you can choose to help increase your protein intake.
In a 3 ounce serving, 80%/20% ground beef is going to give you 23 grams of protein and almost 15 grams of fat (over 5 of them saturated fat) in its 230 calories.
That’s 130 calories in the fat alone, making ground beef something you should use sparingly as you work to incorporate testosterone boosting foods into your diet.
We’ve been talking about all the various meats and how they contribute to healthy testosterone levels, but we haven’t talked about one important thing to consider, and that’s HOW the animals you’re eating are raised.
In today’s world of grain fed livestock pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, it’s important to point out that the best, most nutrient dense and toxin free meats come from grass fed animals.
It’s undoubtedly more expensive to by free range, grass fed beef free from hormones and the like, so if it’s not in your budget, get your animal protein where you can, but if you have the means, the more natural the better.
As with the other forms of beef protein, Ground Beef provides a significant amount of zinc as well.
17.) Chuck Roast
A 3.5 ounce serving of Chuck Roast is also high in both protein and fat at 29 grams and 18 grams respectively, making it another great choice for boosting testosterone levels.
The fact that half the fat is saturated is an added bonus for T levels, though maybe not so great for other aspects of weight management and heart health.
Just like other cuts of beef, a Chuck Roast will provide high levels of zinc to add to its testosterone friendly profile.
Looking at the big picture, Chuck Roast is another good candidate for your menu rotation while you’re eating to increase testosterone, but you need to choose it sparingly to avoid loading up on the kind of fat and cholesterol that could cause problems in other areas of your health.
Venison is leaner than beef and lamb, but doesn’t come on short on the protein side of things.
A 3.5 ounce serving will net you 174 calories made up of 26 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat, 4 of which are saturated.
I know we’ve talked about how you need fat (specifically saturated fat) to produce testosterone, but Venison makes for a good compromise if you’re trying to eat a little leaner than beef will allow.
Certainly, it’s a good way to add variety.
Another great aspect to consider is that deer meat will undoubtedly be free range, so you’re not introducing the toxins and hormones that you might inadvertently get with meats you normally buy in the grocery store.
Just like the other meats we’ve discussed, Venison is also a source for a significant amount of zinc.
19.) Black Beans
Black Beans are another good choice if you’re looking to boost testosterone without going too overboard on your fat intake.
At 230 calories, 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of dietary fiber, and less than a gram of fat, it’s clear Black Beans fit the bill.
Add 30% of the recommended daily allowance of Magnesium and 13% of the RDA for Zinc, and this popular health food choice starts looking even better, testosterone-wise.
Magnesium increases the amount of free testosterone in your system by interfering with the Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) that tries to block its availability.
If allowed, SHBG will bind itself to testosterone, making it essentially useless, but when there’s sufficient Magnesium around, testosterone will preferentially bind itself to it instead, allowing it to remain available for use. (Source)
20.) Baked Beans
If you’re not a fan of soaking and cooking beans all day, or just want something a little easier sometimes, Baked Beans are a good compromise.
Calories and fat are significantly higher for prepared Baked Beans than they are for its counterparts, but again, when it comes to increasing testosterone levels, this is not a negative.
Although there are many varieties, typically, a 1 cup serving of Bush’s Baked Beans comes in at just under 400 calories, 13 grams of fat (5 of which are saturated), and 14 grams of protein. (Source)
Magnesium and Zinc content are similar to that found in the other legume choices, but you might want to watch out for the high sodium levels, coming in at 44% of the daily allowance.
21.) Coconut Oil
Figuring out whether or not Coconut Oil is “good for you” can be a tricky thing.
On the one hand, it’s basically 95% saturated fat, so clearly you should avoid it at all costs if you want your heart to keep beating, right?
That’s because saturated fat leads to cholesterol which leads to clogged arteries and heart attacks.
On the other hand, it turns out the saturated fat in Coconut Oil is largely Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which actually increase metabolism and fat burning, and don’t end up stored.
MCTs do this because they are transported directly to the liver for instant conversion to energy. (Source)
So the counter-intuitive result is that eating more coconut oil in your diet leads to widht loss and
Add that to the fact that the saturated fat increases testosterone production, as we know it does, and it turns out this oil consisting of mostly saturated fat is actually quite good for you.
22.) Red Palm Oil
We’ve covered the fact that a diet too low in fat can lead to lower testosterone levels in two ways: your body needs saturated fat and cholesterol to produce testosterone, and low fat diets lead to an increase in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) which binds to testosterone – making it effectively useless.
Right alongside Coconut Oil sits Red Palm Oil when it comes to the best types of oil to keep your testosterone levels high.
Like Coconut Oil, Red Palm Oil is also high in saturated fat, making it perfect for boosting T levels.
Unlike the saturated fats found in meat and dairy, plant based saturated fats like that which is found in Red Palm Oil are primarily those Medium Chain Triglycerides we mentioned early, so they don’t make you fat and they don’t raise bad cholesterol levels, ultimately because they are used, not stored.
The added benefit of Red Palm Oil comes from the fact that it provides an abundance of carotenoids, which have antioxiant (and anti-cancer) properties and that they convert to Vitamin A. (Source)
Both Coconut Oil and Red Palm Oil are great for cooking because their high saturated fat content keeps these oils stable at high temperatures.
23.) Olive Oil
In order to produce testosterone, your testes need cholesterol.
Olive Oil can increase the presence of the cholesterol needed for this process and help the Leydig cells in your testes better absorb and use the cholesterol that is present and use it to produce testosterone.
I know it seems counter-productive to add fat to your diet when we know that the fatter you are, the less testosterone you have – in large part because SHBG lives in your fat cells.
But there’s a huge difference between animal fats and plant fats, and the science shows that the best way to get the fats we need to keep our systems running smoothly, without ending up storing it all as excess fats on our own bodies, is to get them from plant sources.
Olive oil is not primarily saturated fat like Red Palm and Coconut Oils; it’s monounsaturated fat, which is considered healthier in most respects than saturated fat.
Yet it has still been shown to increase testosterone levels, in this study by over 17% in just 3 weeks. (Source)
24.) Cod Liver Oil
When we talk about using certain foods to increase testosterone levels, the important thing to understand is that we’re talking about providing your body with the raw materials it needs to produce and maintain optimal T levels.
Cod Liver Oil is exactly what it sounds like – oil extracted from the liver of a cod fish.
It contains plenty of Omega 3 Fatty Acids as well as lots of Vitamins A and D, all of which help provide that perfect environment for building up and maintaining high levels of testosterone.
When Vitamin A and D levels are sufficient (ie not deficient), your body’s resources are not needed to compensate and can be focused on maintaining proper hormone levels and ratios.
The Omega 3s in Cod Liver Oil act in 2 ways: first they help reduce that inflammation that can lead to reduced testosterone, second they keep your insulin response in correct balance which is also known to help boost T levels. (Source)
Aside from increasing testosterone levels, an important way to improve your hormone profile as a man is to decrease estrogen.
Sesame seeds contain polyphenols, which can do just that – reduce estrogen levels in the blood.
They are also rich in zinc, which we know is a necessary building block for testosterone and that a lack of zinc leads to decreased levels. (Source)
As an added bonus, studies have shown that adding sesame seeds to your diet can increase sperm count and motility, and can be used to treat certain individuals with issues of infertility. (Source)
Sesame Seeds are easy to add to your diet; you can sprinkle them on vegetables and salads for an added bit of crunch and heartiness, or you can add them to some chick peas, olive oil, and garlic for a great tasting humus to spread on a pita sandwich or use as a dip for vegetables.
Pumpkin Seeds are commonly found in prostate support supplements.
This is because, like Saw Palmetto, they can help prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which is a major cause of prostate problems.
By preventing the conversion to DHT, pumpkin seeds are effectively increasing the amount of testosterone that remains in your blood.
Pumpkin Seeds also contain Zinc which correlates to not just healthy testosterone levels but healthy sperm and sperm count as well.
In addition, they provide a good amount of Magnesium which is also necessary for adequate testosterone.
The benefits don’t stop there as a 1 ounce serving of Pumpkin Seeds provides 5 grams of fat, split pretty evenly among saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated varieties, also adding to their testosterone friendly profile.
You can sprinkle them on salads and other veggies, add them to your protein shake, or just eat them straight from the oven, roasted with a few of your favorite seasonings.
27.) Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower Seeds are certainly some of the most popular seeds when it comes to just snacking on them straight out of the bag, which is why it’s good news that they’re on this list of testosterone boosting foods.
On the list of reasons these seeds increase testosterone are the:
7 grams of protein per quarter cup serving
16 grams of healthy plant based fats (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated)
Almost 2 mg of Zinc
Antioxidants are also in the mix, to help maintain optimal health at the cellular level.
But perhaps the most significant contribution is the copious amounts of Vitamin B6 since animal studies have shown a correlation between Vitamin B6 deficiency and low serum testosterone levels (Source)
When you’re carving jack-o-lanterns for your front porch this year, save and roast the pumpkin seeds for a great snack that protects your heart health as well as increases your vitality.
28.) Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds are one of those foods that’s been lately classified as a superfood.
It’s hard to deny their overall healthful components which include: protein, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
The nutrition profile looks something like this:
This profile for some reason doesn’t show the Zinc (1.7 grams), which we know is crucial.
The biggest stories here are the 9 grams of fat which is necessary for producing testosterone and the mineral profile (zinc and magnesium specifically) which are some of the most important building blocks when it comes to male sex hormone production. (Source)
Let’s not forget the Omega 3s and antioxidants which are what really stood out to get Chia classified as a superfood, and the fact that Chia Seeds have been used for centuries (dating back to the Mayans) to provide energy for exercise endurance.
Cruciferous vegetable like Cabbage are another group that take an indirect route to boosting testosterone levels.
Cabbage et al contain Indole-3-Carbinol, which breaks down and eliminates excess estrogen.
In fact, studies show that healthy men who supplemented with Indol-3-Carbinol demonstrated a loss of estrogen metabolites in their urine samples by half after only one week of supplementation. (Source)
It’s specifically the phytochemicals in cabbage and other plants that provide the estrogen blocking benefits.
But there’s more; Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables fight cancer by inhibiting the growth and spread of cancer cells. (Source)
This is connected to the estrogen blocking abilities, as blocking estrogen has been used for some time now to prevent the recurrence of cancer in patients in remission.
While you won’t get the fat or cholesterol you need for testosterone production, you’ll get the anti-estrogen factors you also need as well as a healthy dose of Vitamin C and the B Vitamins important for testosterone levels.
Asparagus is often included in herbal supplements designed to increase both testosterone and libido.
It’s known to produce effects associated with increased testosterone levels, including boosted anabolic activity, increased sex drive, and better quality sperm. (Source)
While as is also the case with Cabbage and other vegetables, you won’t get needed fat and cholesterol from Asparagus; you’ll have to get that from some of the other foods on this list.
But Asparagus does have a testosterone friendly nutritional profile that includes both zinc and a large complement of B Vitamins, both important for elevating testosterone levels.
Kale belongs to the dark green leafy family of vegetables, and it’s also cruciferous, so you’re getting double duty testosterone benefits from this superfood.
The fact that it’s abundant in B Vitamins is Kale’s main claim to testosterone fame, but there’s more.
As a cruciferous vegetable, it also provides Indole-3-Carbinol to help fight against too much estrogen minimizing the effect of testosterone and increasing the likelihood of certain cancers. (Source)
Lastly, Kale provides a healthy dose of Magnesium (at 7% of the recommended daily allowance per 1 cup serving) to help boost testosterone levels.
Try sauteing it in Coconut Oil and sprinkling a handful of sesame seeds on top for a nice side dish to go with your sirloin steak for top notch testosterone friendly dinner idea.
Broccoli is another cruciferous vegetable so it helps combat excess estrogen with Indole-3-Carbinol.
Other testosterone boosting factors in broccoli include
Vitamin C (220% of RDA per serving) which we know increases testosterone by reducing the release of cortisol and also boosts your immune system which helps keep you in an anabolic state.
Vitamin B6 which is essential for optimal testosterone production.
Magnesium, a mineral needed to produce testosterone.
Broccoli is one of the easiest vegetables to add more of to your diet.
One of the best ways in terms of testosterone boosting is to steam it lightly to the point where it’s still just a little crunchy, drizzle Olive Oil over it, and sprinkle with some black pepper.
Garlic is well known to provide many health benefits including antioxidant protections, immune system support, and maintaining good cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
It turns out it’s also a natural testosterone booster.
Garlic contains a substance called diallyl disulfide, a compound that stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland, which then signals the testes to produce and release testosterone. Source)
On top of increasing testosterone, garlic contains quercetin which is a powerful aromatase inhibitor, meaning it blocks the conversion of excess testosterone to estrogen. (Source)
So when you’re thinking about adding flavor to your testosterone boosting dishes and meals, consider mincing up a few cloves a garlic to make it even more anabolic and hormone friendly.
Spinach is the quintessential dark green leafy vegetable.
Thanks to Popeye, it will forever be associated with strong muscles, but does this have a basis in fact and is it related at all to testosterone?
The answer turns out to be yes.
Spinach is one of the best sources around for Vitamin A and Magnesium, both of which help the body form testosterone.
In studies, Vitamin A (Retinol) deficiency in rats caused a significant drop in testosterone levels. (Source)
Magnesium has been shown to correlate with free testosterone in the body by having testosterone molecules preferentially bond to it rather than SHBG, which takes your T out of commission.
Spinach provides numerous other health benefits in addition to helping increase testosterone levels, making it an easy choice to add some to your weekly menu.
35.) Brussel Sprouts
Brussel Sprouts are a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, known to have a positive effect on testosterone levels.
They contain the phytochemicals Indole-3-Carbinol that can flush the system of excess estrogen which not only diminished the power of the testosterone in your body, but also can lead to certain types of cancer. (Source)
You’ll also get plenty of testosterone friendly vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium.
Yet another cruciferous veggie, Cauliflower also contains Indole-3-Carbinol, along with its estrogen flushing capabilities.
One of the best things about Caulflower is that if you’re not a big fan of cruciferous vegetables (and I know there are many of you out there), you can disguise it as a healthy substitute for starch in many of your favorite dishes.
There’s Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”, Cauliflower Quiche, Cauliflower Fried Rice, and even Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
Add Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Antioxidants, and Fiber to the benefits of Cauliflower and it’s clearly one veggie you should take another look at.
This one comes as a surprise to me too, but celery contains elements that both increase testosterone and decrease estrogen.
Celery contains plant sterols Androstenone and Anrostenol, which both act like testosterone in the body.
It also contains a phytochemical called Apigenin that helps rid the body of excess estrogen, in much the same way as the cruciferous vegetables do. (Source)
So include it in your green salads, and think of Celery as one of your new go-to testosterone boosting snacks.
38.) Peanut Butter
Generally speaking, all healthy fats are good for your testosterone profile, and that’s true for peanut butter in a number of ways.
First of all, a 2 tablespoon serving contains 16 grams of fat distributed among all 3 healthy kinds: some saturated, more polyunsaturated, and most monounsaturated, which provide the right environment for increasing testosterone.
A benefit more unique to Peanut Butter, however, is the boron content, which has been shown in studies to increase serum testosterone levels in bodybuilders. (Source)
39.) Almond Butter
With a similar fat content to peanut butter, Almond Butter is another good choice for boosting testosterone.
Along with the fat content, it’s loaded with testosterone boosting Vitamins and minerals Vitamin E, Magnesium, and Zinc.
We’ve talked plenty about how Magnesium and Zinc increase testosterone levels; Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces the oxidative stress and damage that can affect the health and functioning of your testicles. (Source)
Of course, you don’t have to use Almond Butter, you can just pop a handful of almonds as an afternoon or bedtime snack.
Clearly the fat content in Avocados, at 21 grams in a medium sized fruit, most of it monounsaturated, is beneficial to your testosterone levels.
Next on the list is plenty of Vitamin B6 which is used in the body’s testoserone production process.
We know we need saturated and/or monounsaturated fat to make testosterone, and avocados provide that, but with the healthier monounsaturated fat that doesn’t sacrifice your heart for the sake of your muscle building efforts. (Source)
Keep eating the red meat, but mix it up with the heart healthier fats you get from an avocado or two.
41.) Butter From Grass Fed Cows
Butter contains a ton of fat, and most of it is saturated.
This is both what caused it to be demonized in the past when everything had to be low in fat (specifically saturated fat), and what causes it to be classified as a T boosting food today.
Testosterone is made from saturated fat and cholesterol like that found in butter. (Source)
Choose Butter from Grass Fed Cows if you want the added benefits of Vitamins A, D, and K and Zinc.
42.) Low Fat Milk
The testosterone boosting components of Low Fat Milk mainly include saturated fat and Vitamin D.
One cup of Low Fat Milk provides 2.5 grams of fat to to help put you in that testosterone boosting state, and about 30% of the daily RDA for Vitamin D. (Source)
You have to be sparing with your milk intake however, because it does also contain estrogen and has been shown to increase estrogen levels in humans when they drink it. (LINK TO SOURCE HERE)
Historically, it’s been believed that yogurt decrease testosterone, or at the very most, it was neutral.
But new studies have shown that it actually helps increase it.
The probiotics (good bacteria) in yogurt have been found to increase luteinizing hormone and testosterone in mice, as well as increase the size of their testes, improve their semen quality, and increase their tendency for social domination (Source)
44.) Cottage Cheese
Cottage Cheese is not a major player in the testosterone game, but it does play an important supporting role.
With lots of protein and little fat (at least in the low fat varieties) it helps build muscles and lose fat, leading to increased production.
Like milk, it also contains plenty of the Vitamin D you need to boost those levels.
Salmon, often considered a superfood in general, is definitely a superfood when it comes to boosting testosterone.
The list of benefits in this fish are Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, dietary cholesterol, B Vitamins, Zinc, and Selenium.
We’ve covered pretty extensively the rest of the listed nutrients, but let me add that Selenium supplementation has been shown to work together with Zinc to boost testosterone in athletes post exercise. (Source)
Like some of the other fish choices listed here, Sardines pack a serious testosterone boosting punch.
As an oily fish, they’re probably best known for providing an abundance of Omega-3s, but they also contain megadoses of protein, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Selenium, and even D-Aspartic Acid.
You may recall that D-Aspartic Acid is one of the few nutrients/supplements proven to have a direct and marked effect on testoserone levels in just 2 weeks. (Source)
Sardines are definitely the kind of food you either love or hate; if you’re on the love side, now you have even more reason to include them in your diet.
Honey contains 2 nutrients that benefit testosterone levels: Boron and Chrysin.
Boron has been shown in some studies to increase free testosterone levels, by inhibiting the activity of SHBG, a protein that binds up much of your total testosterone molecules. (Source)
Chrysin also helps boost testosterone by inhibiting its conversion to estrogen.
Taken together, that’s a one-two punch from Honey against forces that lower testosterone.
48.) Raw Chocolate
Raw Chocolate or Cacao is a great testosterone boosting food to add to your menu.
The fat content is perfect at about 60% saturated and 40% monounsaturated, leaving almost no room for the polyunsaturated fat you don’t want.
On top of that, it’s loaded with antioxidants and provides decent amounts of magnesium and zinc. (Source)
It’s easy to fit into your diet too – just drop a tablespoon or two of raw cacao powder into your protein shake for a little flavor with your T boost.
Parsely contains Apigenin, the same testosterone boosting element as Celery.
Apigenin increases the presence of the molecule that transports cholesterol to the leydig cells in your testicles in order for it to be converted to testosterone.
Parsely is easy to add to your diet, it’s a mild spice and garnish and blends easily into a protein shake or smoothie.
50.) Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne Pepper is commonly used in sexual performance enhancement supplements for its positive effect on circulation, which is good for erections.
But it’s recently been shown to also increase free testosterone in rats. (Source)
The way it works is that the Capsaicin content decreases the effect of grhelin, which triggers hunger when you are on a reduced calorie diet, so that when you’re eating a calorie deficit, your testosterone levels won’t decrease as they do without the Capsaicin.
That’s 50 foods in all that you can eat to increase your testosterone levels naturally.
You don’t have to get to all 50, but a list this long gives you plenty to work with.
Testosterone boosting supplements will often contain many of the nutrients we’ve listed, and supplementation is great, but it’s even better to be armed with real foods to provide the broadest compliment of testosterone boosting nutrition possible.
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