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Home » OSL Blog » 14 Foods that Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

14 Foods that Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally

January 12, 2020

Key Takeaways

  1. While men need more testosterone than women, both sexes need it to some degree for a variety of health benefits.
  2. As we age, testosterone levels naturally decrease. There are ways that testosterone can be increased, and one of those ways is through diet.
  3. If you struggle with low T, consider some of the foods listed here today, especially oysters, ginger, and certain vegetables, to help improve testosterone levels and for overall health.
  4. There are also some foods that should be avoided that can inhibit testosterone or cause it to be converted to estrogen. High estrogen levels can lead to health concerns including cancer in both sexes.

Low testosterone levels can affect both men and women. While women don’t need as much testosterone as men, they still need it for overall health.

Testosterone is not only a sex hormone, but it also aids in:

  • Providing energy and combatting fatigue
  • Improving bone health
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Cardiovascular function
  • General well-being

While steroids weren’t as prevalent back in the Golden Era, they have become more commonplace in today’s bodybuilders. There are risk factors in taking synthetic hormones and steroids, which can affect you years after you stop taking them.

Whether or not you’ve gotten diagnosed by a doctor with low T, there are natural ways you can help yourself. One of those ways is eating a diet that is geared towards helping improve testosterone levels, both directly and indirectly.

Which foods increase testosterone the most? Take a look at today’s article to find out.

What Should a Testosterone Boosting Diet Consist Of?

Plant Based Diet

In the article How to Increase Testosterone Naturally, here’s what we learned about the types of foods you should be eating:

  • Cholesterol: This important fatty substance is needed in larger amounts to help boost testosterone levels.
  • Saturated fats: Needed in smaller doses for the same reasons cholesterol can boost T levels.
  • Trans fats: Should be avoided and removed from your diet, if possible. Foods containing trans fat aid in killing testosterone production. Foods in this category that lower testosterone:
    • Fried foods
    • Pastries
    • Cookies
    • Cakes
    • Deli meats
  • Protein: A diet higher in protein can increase fat loss and muscle growth, which indirectly helps improve testosterone levels.
  • Micronutrients: The right vitamins and minerals can help with a host of health benefits, including increasing testosterone. Some micronutrients to include in your diet:
    • Zinc
    • Vitamin D3
    • Magnesium
    • Vitamin K
    • Vitamin B6

Now that you have an idea of how you should be eating, let’s look at foods to include in your diet.

1. Oysters

Not just an aphrodisiac, oysters pack micronutrients essential for testosterone production: magnesium, zinc, and protein. 

Oysters Testosterone boost

In fact, oysters are one of the highest food sources of zinc available which also aids in muscle growth. 

We consider oysters to be one of the top 5 foods you must be eating for high testosterone levels. Whether you prefer them raw or cooked, feel free to enjoy them once a week, just avoid frying them.

2. Ginger

Ginger has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb and plant. It can help with many different diseases but also has a positive effect on testosterone levels.

Ginger Boost Testosterone

Most studies that showed positive results have been done in rats. However, this study set out to help infertile men increase sperm motility and testosterone levels.

A total of 75 men ranging in age from 19 – 40 participated and were given ginger supplements.

After three months, the results were positive and showed the following increases:

  • Sperm motility – up to 47.3%
  • Serum testosterone levels – up to 17.7%
  • Sperm viability – up to 40.7%
  • Ejaculate volume – up to 36.1%
  • Sperm count – up to 16.2%

If you happen to be having issues with infertility and/or sperm count along with T levels, ginger may be something to consider. Whether you supplement or add it to your diet, ginger can help increase testosterone levels naturally.

3. Honey

This tasty sweet food has flavonoids, phenolic acids, and antioxidants that work within the body to help improve testosterone levels.

Honey Boost Testosterone

While most studies, like with ginger, have been done on rats, the results have shown promising. By repairing, enhancing, and producing specific hormones and cells, eating honey can help boost testosterone in some men.

For those with a sweet tooth, this is great news. Reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet can be difficult, and some might feel impossible. However, honey can be a great substitute for sugar in many dishes and beverages.

If you struggle with low T, then consider substituting sugar with honey. Raw, unfiltered honey is best as it has the highest amounts of the required elements needed for health.

4. Onion

Onions have also long been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Containing the same antioxidant quercetin as honey, it also has other beneficial vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6. 

Onion Boost Testosterone

Okinawans are considered the longest living people in the entire world by the WHO.

They eat a diet high in antioxidants, low glycemic, and high in carbohydrates. They eat many yellow vegetables, including onions and enjoy higher serum testosterone levels than Americans.

Indians have long known this food increases testosterone production and also acts as an aphrodisiac. Crush and fry a white onion in pure butter, then take on an empty stomach with a spoon of honey to feel the effects.

Mixing a tablespoon each of onion and ginger juice and taking three times per day can also improve libido and sex drive.

5. Pomegranate

This fruit has long been considered a sex and fertility symbol due to its many seeds. It has also been known to lower cortisol levels in both men and women, which can positively affect testosterone production.

Pomegranate Boost Testosterone

A study conducted on both men and women showed a positive correlation between pomegranate juice and testosterone. After two weeks of drinking pomegranate juice, saliva testing for testosterone showed an average improvement of 24 percent.

Whether you enjoy the seeds as a snack or drink the juice, pomegranate may help you increase your low T levels.

6. Green Leafy Vegetables

Especially spinach and swiss chard, are high in magnesium.

This mineral is crucial for healthy testosterone levels, especially as we age. Magnesium directly affects insulin-growth factor 1 and testosterone secretion, making it a vital part of your diet.

Green Leafy Vegetables Boost Testosterone

The adequate intake each day for men is 420 mg while women should get at least 320 mg. Whether you choose to supplement or eat foods rich in magnesium, but sure to get in healthy amounts daily.

Spinach can be substituted for lettuce in a salad or used to elevate whole-grain pasta dishes. Saute Swiss chard in heart-healthy olive oil with garlic, lemon, and even red pepper flakes for some heat.

However you eat it, include these leafy greens in your diet to help build up your testosterone levels.

7. Beans

Beans are a great food source that vegetarians eat for protein, vitamin D, and zinc, which can help improve testosterone. Black, white, lima, and kidney beans are some of the top choices to get these vital nutrients.

Beans Boost Testosterone

There are lots of different varieties of beans to try, so you are sure to find one that you like. Add canned versions to salads, soups, stews, and other dishes.

Create a healthy dip option with black beans, onions, and garlic to really help improve T levels.

Due to their high protein levels, beans are a great substitute in the diet for red meat. While red meat doesn’t have to be fully eliminated from your diet, you should eat it sparingly. 

Finding the right substitutions will still provide you with the protein and nutrients you need to build muscle mass.

8. Fatty Fish

Eating fatty fish can help boost omega-3 levels, which may help to improve testosterone levels. Fish oil can help reduce inflammation and lubricate joints and muscles while also reducing the risk of arthritis. These are all important factors for bodybuilders and seasoned weightlifters.

Fish increase testosterone

You can get more benefits from eating fish two to three times weekly than supplementing with fish oil. When adding fish to your diet, choose wild-caught over farmed if you can. Here are some of the fish you should consider adding to your diet:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel 
  • Sardines
  • Cod
  • Mahi-mahi 
  • Herring 

These fish can also help to block estrogen and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which can naturally increase testosterone levels. Tuna is one of the best fish for this job, and it’s easy to incorporate the canned version into your diet.

Whether fresh or canned, both tuna and salmon are a great addition to almost any salad. Lightly sear a high-quality grade of fish and enjoy it with a side of sauteed greens for a testosterone boosting dinner. 

While it may be an acquired taste for some, a can of sardines is a nutritious and powerful superfood. Useful as a snack post-workout, they are high in protein and healthy fat to help aid in muscle recovery. They also contain all nine essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own.

9. Eggs

Specifically, egg yolks, are high in HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol that our bodies need to function.

Eggs Increase Testosterone

As mentioned earlier, testosterone is synthesized from cholesterol that we get from our diets. Include at least one egg per day if you don’t already suffer from high cholesterol levels. 

Eggs are very versatile and can be eaten boiled as a snack or added to a salad. Use a small amount of butter or oil to cook the egg to your liking for any meal of the day. Make an omelet with spinach and add a side of lox to your plate to start your day off right.

10. Cruciferous Vegetables

Foods in this category are ones that both boost testosterone and lower estrogen. High levels of phytoestrogens are found in cruciferous vegetables, including:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy
  • Cauliflower

Isoflavones are also found in these vegetables, which help to stop the body’s conversion of testosterone to estrogen. For anyone struggling with reducing estrogen dominance and gaining testosterone, cruciferous vegetables can help.

Cruciferous Vegetable Boost Testosterone

Cabbage can be fermented to sauerkraut, providing healthy and beneficial probiotics. It’s also great in a stir fry, using some of the other recommended vegetables and spices to make a tasty dish.

Broccoli is best raw as a snack or added to a salad. It can also be steamed or roasted, and easily added to soups or stews.

11. Grapes

To help boost testosterone levels naturally, consider eating some grapes as a snack or part of a meal. The Resveratrol in red grape skins has been shown to increase sperm output and improve testosterone levels.

In fact, some anabolic steroids include resveratrol due to its testosterone boosting abilities with little to no side effects.

Grapes Increase Testosterone

Boron is also found in grapes, which can help to increase the production of testosterone. So go ahead, grab a bunch of grapes to snack on prior to a workout. Or choose these fruit instead of eating a bowl of ice cream for dessert.

12. Garlic

Garlic, like ginger, is another beneficial food/spice that has been used for ages to improve a variety of ailments. It is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-candida, so it’s a great food source to add to your diet.

Raw garlic is best to improve testosterone levels and general testicular health. However, this study found the same success using garlic powder supplements as part of a high-protein diet.

Garlic Boost Testosterone

Garlic is a great addition to most dishes, either in powder form or sliced. 

For a power-packed option, consider fermenting garlic in honey for a few weeks. The garlic becomes sweet and mild and can be eaten right out of the jar if desired. Use the honey garlic as a great immune booster when not feeling well, and add some ginger to amp up the benefits.

If you’re feeling especially unwell or adventurous, or both, consider a recipe using 40 or more garlic cloves to make soup. The taste is unique and this soup has been used for years to help fight colds and build immunity.

Plus, if you’re really sick, you might not even be able to taste the garlic as much.

13. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This oil is high in antioxidants and is also a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Along with helping to improve T levels, EVOO can also reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

Virgin Olive Oil Boost Testosterone

A study on 60 healthy males was done to see how extra virgin olive oil can help boost testosterone. The participants ranged in age from 23 to 40 years old. After three weeks of adding this beneficial oil to their diet, they found the following results:

  • Testosterone levels improved by 17.4%
  • Luteinizing hormone improved by 42.6%

Luteinizing hormones are important for healthy T levels as it helps produce testosterone by stimulating cells in the testes.

In this same study, half the group consumed virgin argan oil to compare to extra virgin olive oil. In the end, the same tests showed improvement at 19.9% and 18.5%, respectively.

While the numbers for luteinizing hormone isn’t as profound, VAO may be a suitable option for EVOO.

Use either of these oils as a substitute for other less healthy oils, margarine, and butter. If you do use butter, make sure it’s grass-fed butter and go for the unsalted variety.

Either oil is also a great way to dress salads, with a splash of vinegar, instead of unhealthy bottled dressing.

14. Pumpkin Seeds

High in both magnesium and zinc, pumpkin seeds are also another food that can help boost testosterone levels. They also pack a lot of protein to help build and repair muscle.

Pumpkin Seeds Boost Testosterone

Pumpkin seeds are also high in tryptophan which helps for overall hormonal balance in the body. These seeds can be enjoyed alone as a snack or added to salads, and can also be used to top soup and other dishes.

Other seeds, including chia and hemp, are nutritional powerhouses for some of the same reasons as pumpkin seeds. Consider adding a variety of beneficial seeds to your diet to help boost and balance your hormones.

Foods to Avoid

When eating a diet geared towards improving testosterone levels, there are some that should be avoided. 

As discussed earlier, avoid trans fats as much as possible. They are empty calories that serve no nutritional value and should be removed from your diet.

Certain dairy products are a great source of Vitamin D, which many Americans lack. However, research shows that hormones from dairy cows can negatively affect human hormone levels

Also, some studies have found no direct correlation with vitamin D helping improve testosterone levels. This is a controversial issue, as some do say that increasing vitamin D will also increase testosterone levels.

Vitamin D Boost Testosterone

One way to improve vitamin D levels is to spend more time in the sun. However, there are other foods that can help boost vitamin D as well, some of which fall on the list we shared today:

  • Plant milk and cereals fortified with vitamin D
  • Fatty fish
  • Shrimp
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms 

Canned food should also be eliminated. If unavoidable, like in canned beans and fish, BPA-free cans should be used whenever possible. High levels of BPA can have detrimental effects on men’s hormone levels.

While a glass of red wine does have its health benefits, too much alcohol can have a negative effect on testosterone levels

Infertility can also be caused by too much alcohol consumption and can even damage future offspring.

Final Thoughts

Testosterone is absolutely essential for muscle growth, sex drive, and functioning at your peak. Both men and women have a need for testosterone hormones, and as we age, natural production decreases.

One of the best ways you can increase testosterone production naturally is through your diet. Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong foods can help. There are also supplements available that can be added into your day to assist in improving T levels.

Testosterone Supplement
Old School Labs Vintage Boost

Vintage Boost™ starts working immediately to deliver a potent dose of pro-testosterone and estrogen-regulating ingredients, which produce noticeable increases in strength and muscle hardness and amp up recovery. 

Challenge yourself to include as many of these foods and spices into your regular diet. Avoid foods that are highly processed and loaded with trans fat. It may take some time to feel the difference, but learning how to change your diet can help increase testosterone naturally.

Have you struggled with low T? What have you included (or eliminated) from your diet that you feel helped you increase production? Share with us in the comments, especially if you think you’ve found food or supplement we didn’t mention here.

Disclaimer: None of the individuals and/or companies mentioned necessarily endorse Old School Labs or COSIDLA Inc. products or the contents of this article. Any programs provided for illustration purposes only. Always consult with your personal trainer, nutritionist and physician before changing or starting any new exercise, nutrition, or supplementation program.
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