Need a Testosterone Boost? Try These 8 Foods
You probably already know that the sex hormone testosterone, produced in your testicles, does everything from igniting the libido to helping you put on muscle. If you struggle with low testosterone (low-T) or want to prevent decreased testosterone associated with aging—men's levels drop about 1 percent each year after age 30 or 40—eating certain foods may help. The following eight foods boost testosterone levels naturally and may help you improve your overall health. In general, getting nutrients from foods instead of supplements is the way to go, and you should speak with your doctor before you start adding supplements to your diet.
1. Egg yolks
Egg yolks are an excellent source of vitamin D, a deficiency of which is associated with low testosterone levels in men. Eggs are also loaded with protein, which enhances lean body mass and helps you maintain a healthy weight. While studies have shown that eggs are high in cholesterol, you can eat around seven eggs per week without significantly upping your risk of heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
2. Fatty fish
You've likely heard of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, from lowering blood triglyceride levels to providing anti-inflammatory relief. While some people take over-the-counter fish oil supplements, studies about their benefits have shown mixed results. Your best bet is to get these healthy fats right from the source by eating fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, which are also loaded with vitamin D and protein. Studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids found in these and other fatty fish can boost testosterone in overweight and obese men.
Long hailed as an aphrodisiac, oysters might actually boost your performance in the bedroom. Shellfish, particularly oysters, are loaded with the essential mineral zinc, a crucial part of testosterone development. Zinc deficiency negatively affects blood testosterone and sperm production, and is linked with low-T, also called hypogonadism. Getting enough zinc helps keep your body's natural testosterone at a healthy level.
4. Leafy greens
The reason leafy greens are classified as a testosterone-boosting food is because they're packed with magnesium, which studies indicate may prevent age-related decline in testosterone. Add Swiss chard, spinach, kale or other leafy greens to your daily meals. If you're not a huge fan of vegetables, you might find you can sneak more magnesium-packed greens into your diet with the smoothie trick. Simply toss some greens into a blender with protein powder and water or milk to make protein-packed and magnesium-boosting smoothies.
5. Beans and other legumes
Beans and other legumes, including black beans, navy beans, lentils and chickpeas, are also excellent sources of testosterone-boosting zinc and magnesium. Legumes are loaded with fiber, protein and other vitamins and minerals and are often used in place of meat for leaner meals that can help you maintain a healthy weight.
An excellent source of protein and zinc, it's easy to see why beef makes the list of the top testosterone-boosting foods. However, make sure to choose lean cuts of meat with little or no fat marbling and avoid highly processed meats made with beef, such as hot dogs and cold cuts, because these can negatively impact your sperm count.
7. Almond milk
Most types of plant milk are loaded with vitamin D, which helps prevent age-related testosterone declines. Some types of almond milk are also enriched with extra protein. Include protein-fortified almond milk in your daily menu by consuming it with cereal, by itself or as part of a smoothie. However, use caution with soy milk and cow's milk because they may actually reduce testosterone levels.
8. Pomegranate juice
You've probably heard about the antioxidant-boosting power of pomegranate, and it also may have an impact on testosterone. Studies show that pomegranate juice is associated with significant elevations in testosterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in male rats. If that success can translate to humans, adding pomegranate fruit or its juice may help you boost your testosterone levels.
The bottom line
With aging often comes natural decreases in testosterone levels in men, but there are several ways you can boost testosterone levels naturally.
In addition to eating foods that may increase testosterone, eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fats that will help you maintain a healthy weight. You can adopt other healthy habits, such as getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol use.
Certain supplements have also shown promise in counteracting low testosterone. Giddy Health Male Libido vitamins provide natural testosterone support, with clinically proven ingredients extracted from the eurycoma longifolia plant, as well as zinc, ashwagandha, and D3 to support healthy testosterone levels and boost libido. Created in conjunction with industry leaders and researchers, these capsules utilize microbead technology for a timed release throughout the day, further helping to reduce stress and boost testosterone production.
If you suspect your testosterone levels are still low, you should head to the doctor for testing. Blood tests can determine whether you do, in fact, have low-T, and from there you and your doctor can discuss treatments that might include testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).