50+ testosterone boosting foods

Testosterone is a dominant anabolic hormone found in men and women. Men should not expect to add muscle or lose fat without a healthy testosterone level. After thirty, testosterone levels start to decrease, this is natural but it gets worse with stress or a bad diet. So here are some incredible foods (most of which you will love!) that are scientifically proven to boost your testosterone production or reduce estrogen levels. See also the testosterone killers.

(click here for non-dietary ways of improving testosterone levels)
(click here for information on viagra and testosterone)

Potatoes

Potatoes are excellent non-gluten source of testosterone boosting carbohydrates. They are also very dense in nutrients. Gluten containing grains are bad carbs as they increase prolactin levels, messing up testosterone production. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. They are fat free and cholesterol free (only 110 calories). Potatoes are also very high on the satiety index (they make you feel full, faster)
More about potatoes >

  • Potatoes

Watermelons

Watermelon (natural viagra?) doesn't really increase testosterone directly (although the health benefits of eating it would indirectly help increase testosterone levels). Watermelon is a great source of natural antioxidants such as lycopenevitamin C and citruline. These functional ingredients act as protection against chronic health problems like cancer and cardiovascular disorders. Lycopene increases the volume of semen. L-citrulline boosts nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide helps your arteries relax and work better, which improves blood flow throughout your body. This improve erections.  More about watermelons >

  • watermelons

Beef Gelatin & Bone Broth

Collagen is a type of protein found mainly in bones, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue; cooking broth extracts it from the bones and cooks it into gelatin. Beef gelatin is a dense source of connective-tissue protein. 35% of the amino acids in gelatin are glycine, 11% alanine, and 21% proline and hydroxyproline. Gelatin is also used for improving hair quality and to shorten recovery after exercise and sports-related injury. Bone broth provides important minerals and vitamins that we need for hormonal health. It is an inexpensive way to get minerals and vitamins without taking supplements, which sometimes are not absorbed by the body when taken in tablet form. Gelatin contains p-chlorophenylalanine which has been shown to increase male potency. More about beef gelatin >

  • Gelatin

Virgin Olive Oil

Changing to extra virgin olive oil as your main source of fat, has been shown to raise testosterone levels by 17%. Olive oil has a great fat ratios for testosterone production (73% MUFAs, 14% SFAs, 13% PUFAs). Olive oil is anti-inflammatory and is very high in antioxidants. Olive oil increases the activity of the 3beta-HSD and 17beta-HSD enzymes. These are involved in the manufacture of testosterone. Olive oil also raises the concentration of the body's own antioxidants in the Leydig cells, which produce testosterone. There is a strong relationship between diet, the amount of free cholesterol in the Leydig cells and testosterone levels. The Leydig cells make testosterone from cholesterol. A diet that is rich in olive oil helps the cells to absorb more cholesterol. Always try and buy an organic virgin oil. More on olive oil >

  • Olive Oil

Parsley

Parsley is a great testosterone booster because it contains a compound called apigenin. Apigenin is a flavonoid and is found mainly in various fruits and vegetables, as well as several types of herbs including parsley. Apigenin has been found to increase StAR gene expression and steroid creation. The drop in testosterone in older men is linked to a decrease of a protein synthesized in the testes. This protein is called the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein or StAR.  The StAR protein is also found in womens ovaries. StAR has also been found in all tissues that can produce steroids, including the adrenal cortex and the brain. Testosterone is mainly synthesized in testicular Leydig cells from substrate cholesterol and then released into the circulation. It is known that the levels of blood testosterone are affected by multiple physiological and biochemical factors associated with aging. The rate-limiting step in testosterone production is the transfer of cholesterol from the outer to the inner mitochondrial membrane. The StAR protein, plays a critical function at this step by facilitating the mitochondrial cholesterol transfer. Alcohol also blocks the activity of StAR, which explains why drinking too much can lower testosterone levels in men. More on Parsley >

  • Parsley boosts testosterone.

Cacao Products

Cacao is essentially RAW version of the cocoa bean that maintains the antioxidants, enzymes and friendly gut bacteria. Cacao that is linked to increased cardiovascular health, lowered blood pressure and lowered blood glucose levels. Cacao is rich in minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, and copper. Cacao also contains the perfect fat ratios for testosterone production. Very dark chocolate is good for you (look out for cocoa / cacao mixes), never go for the factory produced chocolates. Studies suggest a beneficial effect of dark chocolate on blood pressure, lipids and inflammation. Benefits include greater nitric oxide bioavailability (which helps men achieve an erection). Never go for the factory produced cheap chocolates. Dark chocolate contains L-Arginine. This is an amino acid which is known to increase semen volume. More about cacao >

  • Cacao

Himalayan Rock Salt

Himalayan rock salt contains about 60+ trace minerals. Table salt on the other hand can have up to 3% anti-caking agents such as aluminum silicate or sodium ferrocyanide. The sodium ion is responsible for regulating blood volume and blood pressure, along with other functions too. Athletes get into trouble when they eliminate sodium from their diet, because their bodies are regularly losing so much of it through sweat and cellular activity. Estimating your sodium needs is relatively easy. The rule of thumb is 2g of sodium for each liter of water replacement. At 2g per litre of fluid replacement, it's obvious that most people training do not take in nearly enough sodium. More about Himalayan rock salt >

  • Unrefined Salt

Capers

Capers contain huge amounts of quercetin (#1 vegetagle source with 230mg in 100g, 100% RDA) which is a powerful anti-inflammatory phytochemical compound.  Quercetin inhibits an liver enzyme called UGT2B17 which breaks down hormones. Anabolic steroids such as testosterone can regulate body weight. Males with lower testosterone levels are 2.4 times more likely to be obese than males with higher testosterone levels. Testosterone levels are consistently inversely correlated with BMI in humans. UGT2B17 metabolizes testosterone to a metabolite, which is then excreted in urine. So quercetin  does a really good job in maintaining testosterone levels. Red wine (resveratrol) and component flavonoids also inhibit UGT2B17. More on capers >

  • Capers

Avocados

75% of the calories in an avocado come from fats: 16% is SFAs, 71% is MUFAs, and only 13% is PUFAs. Avocados are also loaded with fat soluble vitamins, many of which are crucially important for healthy testosterone production. The high levels of monounsaturated fat in avocado, especially oleic acid, have heart-related benefits. This high level of monounsaturates puts avocado in a similar category with olives. Avocados are likely to provide you with health benefits in the areas of blood sugar control, insulin regulation, satiety and weight management and decreased inflammation. More about avocados >

  • Avocados

Blue Cheese

Fermented cheeses are excellent for testosterone production, since they contain the probiotics (health-promoting live and active cultures) and enzymes associated with increased testosterone production. The bacteria are incredibly good for gut health. Blue cheese contains large amounts of testosterone boosting saturated fat and certain testosterone boosting fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin K2. These high quality cheeses are typically made from quality pastured cows. Blue cheese contains 130μg of vitamin K2 per 100g (100% of RDA). Blue cheese can also provide a number of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin D, potassium, sodium, calcium and zincMore about fermented cheeses >

  • Blue Cheese

Full Fat Yogurts

Yogurt contains lactobacillus and other living bacteria. There has been a lot of evidence suggesting that prebiotics, probiotics, live enzymes, and other kinds of friendly bacteria could have a positive impact on testosterone production.

  • Yogurt

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky has a high quality amino-acid balance. The fats are mainly the healthy saturated kind, which is the kind of fat linked to biggest increases in testosterone production. Beef is incredibly rich in vitamin B12, iron, selenium, phosphorous and riboflavin and creatine all helping to boost hormones. Beef jerky is high in protein and it's ideal between-meals snack. 100g of beef jerky contains around 2g of salt which is great for you. Make surer you get quality jerky, from grass fed pastured animals. 
More about beef jerky >

  • Beef Jerky

Dark Berries

Dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries and acai berries have always been super healthy. They contain resveratrol which has been found to raise testosterone levels, block estrogen synthesis and possibly activate androgen receptors. Calcium D-glucarate is found in fruits and vegetables. D-glucaric acid is believed to inhibit the action of the enzyme beta-glucuronidase, which is associated with an increased risk of hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancers. Calcium-D-Glucarate has also been linked to regulating estrogen metabolism and as a lipid-lowering (fat lowering) agent. More about berries >

  • Berries

Onions

In a study that was conducted on rodents by Iranian scientists, it was shown that onions significantly increased testosterone levels in rats. According to a research done at Tabriz University in Iran, onion juice can raise testosterone levels as much as substances like nolvadex or clomid. It is believed that antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the testes. The researchers suspect that the antioxidants in question are probably selenium compounds found in onions, and phenols. Onions contain potentially testosterone boosting substances such as apigening (associated with a decrease in the steroidogenic acute regulatory, StAR protein) and quercetin (UGT2B17 is an enzyme that converts testosterone into a form that can be excreted out of the body through urine. This has the effect of lowering your circulating testosterone levels. Quercetin has been shown to inhibit this enzyme's activity). More about onions >

  • Onions for testosterone promotion

Kale

Kale is a vegetable that is packed with vitamins (A, K, and C) as well as a substance called DIM (a potential anticancer component of cruciferous vegetables). DIM may be a powerful way to prevent estrogen dominance. For women, this means a reduction in breast cancer risk and for men, it means avoiding the side effects of estrogen dominance such as man-boobs, mood swings and sex drive. Bodybuilders eat cruciferous vegetables in hopes of raising testosterone and reducing estrogen. Kale is low in calorie, high in fibre. More about kale >

  • Kale

Pineapple

If you’re eating pineapples, you should be getting the enzyme bromelain (mainly in the core). Many professional bodybuilders have used this supplement to prevent their testosterone levels from dropping and to enhance post-workout recovery. Bromelain maintains levels following hard exercise sessions. Canned or pasteurized pineapple juice does not contain enough bromelain to have therapeutic effects. It is best to eat a very ripe pineapple where some of the stem can be eaten. The balance can be used in a smoothie. More about pineapple >

  • Pineapple

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk product (cow, goat or sheep milk) that tastes like a drinkable yogurt. Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics. Kefir also provides a healthy amount of zinc. Both vitamin K2 and zinc can be beneficial for increasing levels of testosterone. Probiotics seem to decrease cortisol levels extremely well. More about kefir >

  • Kefir

Organic Honey

Honey in the diet may have a subtle impact on testosterone levels due to the fact that it contains boron (Raisins contain high levels too). Boron is a mineral that is associated with increasing free testosterone via the decrease on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). According to a 2011 human study, free testosterone increased and estrogen decreased significantly. Vitamin D was also elevated. Honey also happens to contain nitric oxide, which is acted upon by testosterone or a metabolite to create an erection. Honey is a sugar-rich syrup that is thought to be a beneficial sweetener because it contains natural sugar, rather than artificial sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup. In addition to Boron, honey is a relatively rich source of a chemical called chrysin. Chrysin acts in the same way as Boron, blocking the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. More about honey >

  • Honey

Lamb

Lamb is an excellent source of protein, 4 oz of lamb contains 27g of protein, or 55 percent of your RDA. Lamb also delivers vitamin B12, niacin and riboflavin. Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell production, nerve function and metabolism. Niacin, or vitamin B3, helps the body release energy from food and is important for nervous system function. Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, also helps the body release energy from foods and plays a role in good vision. Lamb is also a good source of zinc (33% of RDA). Zinc helps to maintains healthy testosterone levels. More about lamb >

  • Lamb

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar tends to blunt insulin and glucose responses.  As we get older, glucose and insulin spikes cause hormonal problems. Vinegar also suppresses your appetite. It is not thought that vinegar consumption boost testosterone production, rather it maintains the levels of free testosterone in the blood particularly after a sugary carbohydrate rich meal. This is because the vinegar subdues the glucose spike after a meal with a high glycemic load, helping you maintain testosterone. 
More about apple cider vinegar >

  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Testosterone

Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in antioxidants that promote testosterone production.  Various minerals contained in asparagus include vitamin E, potassium as well as folic acid, all of which help with production of testosterone. Asparagus is considered to be a natural aphrodisiac (Folic acid aids in the production of chemicals that enhance sex drive. Vitamin E stimulates the production of testosterone). Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally balanced plant-derived foods. Asparagus has vitamin A (essential for eye health) and vitamin K1 (which helps your blood clot and is the precursor to vitamin K2), magnesium, zinc and selenium, as well as fibre, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, copper, and manganese. Asparagus is also a good food to increase sperm volume.  More about asparagus >

  • Asparagus

Wild Salmon

The male reproductive system requires vitamin D for health and proper function, as well as lots of protein and necessary fatty acids. Wild salmon has the highest level of vitamin D than of any other fish and contains high levels of magnesium, vitamin B and omega-3 for healthy testosterone production. Wild sockeye salmon have 38mg astaxanthin per kilo. Astaxanthin is ten times stronger than beta-carotene and way more potent than vitamin E as an antioxidant. Salmon reduces SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) in the blood, which binds to testosterone. 
More about salmon >

  • Salmon

Sardines

Sardines are all wild and not farmed. Sardines are full of Vitamin D, but is also low in calories and great for heart health. You can eat sardines cheaply, either fresh or canned, as it doesn't really make a difference. Vitamin D is an aromatase inhibitor, so it will stop free testosterone from being converted to estrogen. But remember that the cheapest form of vitamin D is from sunlight!! Sardines are also rich in selenium, which is a proven testosterone booster (and essential to heart and thyroid health).
More about sardines >

  • Sardines

Tuna

There are two important kinds of omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna: docosahexnoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is the one that has a positive effect on male fertility. Studies have shown that DHA plays a central role in sperm formation. However, omega 3 benefits include reducing body inflammation, lowering blood pressure and improving heart health, all of which will aid testosterone levels. Adding more omega-3 will also improve you body's omega-3/omega-6 ratio. Imbalance in these two puts our bodies into a state of constant inflammation, which can lead to all kinds of cardiovascular and hormonal problems. Many clinical trials have also confirmed the effect fish oil has on decreasing the SHBG count in adult males. SHBG binds to the sex hormones. Omega-3 also have an effect upon insulin resistance, which leads to higher testosterone levels. Vitamin D also plays a role in boosting testosterone. More about tuna >

  • Tuna

Anchovies

Anchovies are a good source of these crucial fatty acids, providing 300mg of omega-3 fatty acids in each 20g serving (5 small fillets). Although there is no set guideline for the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that you need each day, the recommend amount is 250–500 milligrams of combined DHA and EPA, the two main forms of omega-3 fatty acids found in anchovies.  Anchovies provides 10% of the calcium you need for the entire day, plus 7% of your daily requirements for vitamin K to help enhance bone health. They are also rich in selenium, zinc and magnesium, all of which are critical for good testosterone levels. Anchovies boast an impressive nutrient profile and contain many vitamins and minerals that can help protect the health of your heart. Anchovies are very high in Vitamin B3 which reduces triglycerides and cholesterol, two risk factors for heart disease. Anchovies are also high in salt, which is good for you! . More about anchovies >

  • Anchovy

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast (vegan fairy dust) is a food additive made from a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to kill or “deactivate” it. Nutritional yeast is a great source of complete protein and vitamins, in particular B-complex vitamins (they play an important role in keeping our bodies running like well-oiled machines. These essential nutrients help convert our food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day). Yeast contains folates, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, making it a great superfood. It’s low in sodium and fat, gluten-free, and doesn’t contain any added sugars. It is also zinc which increases the levels of luteinizing hormone, a pituitary hormone that stimulates testosterone production. More about yeast >

  • Nutritional Yeast

Almonds

Almonds contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids along with high levels of bioactive molecules (such as fibre, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals and andantioxidants), which may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E (130% RDA per ounce), also manganese (130% RDA), riboflavin (51% RDA), copper (70% RDA) and phosphorus (70% RDA). Almonds may slightly increase Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which can decrease the free action of testosterone. Another negative is the lack of omega-3 and the relatively high levels of omega-6. However the fat profiles are quite good with PUFAs being lower than many other nuts. More about almonds >

  • Almonds

Free Range Eggs

Eggs are highly nutritious and contain nearly all of the vitamins (except vitamin C). Eggs are full of essential fatty acids and other micro-nutrients such as seleniumiodinevitamin K2vitamin Avitamin Evitamin D, several B vitamins, and choline. These nutrients are great for the maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system as well as a balanced endocrine system. Eggs are also a good source of zinc which is important for male health. The fatty-acid ratios are great for for testosterone production and adrenal hormones. Eggs are also greatfor eye healthMore about eggs >

  • Eggs

Macadamia Nuts

The kinds of fats that have been linked to increased testosterone production are saturated fatty-acids and monounsaturated fatty-acids. Polyunsaturated fatty-acids tend to lower testosterone levels. 100 grams of macadamia nuts contain 75 grams of dietary fat (60 grams are mono, 13 grams are saturated and less than 2 grams are the bad poly fats). They contain some important essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, iron, B vitamins, manganese and folate, as well as protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Because they’re rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, they help reduce cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides, a type of body fat. Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty oil that provides the building blocks for the enzymes that control the burning of fat. More about macademia nuts >

  • Macademia Nuts


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Micro-nutrients that boost testosterone

Here are some micro-nutrients that boost testosterone. At a minimum you should be taking plenty of magnesium, zinc and boron (borax is ultra cheap) plus the standard anti-oxidants to keep your body clean.

Non Dietary Ways To boost Testosterone

  • Lose Weight. A man who is carrying too much weight is in a bad situation.  A poor testosterone diet full of processed foods will reduce testosterone production and add weight. Gaining weight will lead to a more sedentary lifestyle which will also reduce testosterone levels.
  • HIIT Exercises. The best exercise for testosterone levels is fast but brief cardio, which includes high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Prolonged hard exercise can increase cortisol levels which dominate testosterone.
  • Intermittent Fasting. You stop consuming calories for a set duration each day. During this time you only drink water (this fasting period also includes sleep!). A fasting window of 16 hours is easy to maintain followed by an 8 hour eating window where you consume all your daily calories. Every time you eat something your testosterone levels will dip. Eating breakfast and multiple small meals throughout the day will kill testosterone levels, thanks to prolonged insulin levels in your blood.  Intermittent fasting has an instant effect on your testosterone levels. Intermittent fasting is by far the easiest way to burn body fat (16 hours in fasted state will shift your body to burning fat as fuel as opposed to simple sugars which will no longer be present). The lower your body fat, the higher your testosterone! It’s been shown to increase testosterone by 200 - 400 percent. Also, your levels of human growth hormone will be boosted and growth hormone levels are correlated with testosterone.
  • Cold showers could be the answer. Why do your testes hang in a sack? Why does the sack lengthen when it's hot and shrink when it is cold?  Why has mother nature put them in a place where they can be kicked or injured?  The answer is simple, your testes love being a little colder than the rest of your body and thousands of years of evolution have created the perfect position for your testes to reside. The theory of cooling your testes for increased testosterone production has been around the bodybuilding scene for decades now. According to a scientific study, human testes perform at their best when they’re around 31-36 °C (87-96 °F). anything hotter than that will negatively impact DNA synthesis, spermatogenesis and most likely also testosterone production. So tight underwear and thick jeans are a no-no. So wear a kilt or get some loose boxers! When sat at home or on the computer, ditch the trousers and lower the AC. Fat thighs and an overhanging belly will also insulate them from the cold. Check out the Wim Hof Method.
  • Underwear choice. This is linked to temperature and the best option is to go for micro-mesh underwear (not the high-fashion thick cotton rich designs). Loose fitting jeans or trousers are also a must. Definitely go commando whilst sleeping and keep the duvet tog to a minimum! There is also a thriving market for cool bedding and mattresses.
  • Consume plenty of Zinc. Zinc reduces the frequency of illness and supports optimal levels of testosterone. In high doses, zinc can act as an aromatase inhibitor and reduce estrogen levels. It is also a potent antioxidant and can provide benefits for prostate issues. Zinc is lost through sweating, so you need to get a lot of zinc through correct foods.
  • Strength training.
  • Take vitamin D. Get some sunlight.
  • Reduce stress and cortisol levels. Cortisol is a testosterone killer so relax and take a "Jamaican" view on life.
  • Meditate and do breathing exercises. People who meditate regularly have higher testosterone and lower cortisol (the stress hormone that degrades muscle tissue and counters many of the benefits of testosterone). Meditation also improves sleep, reduces post-workout soreness, and accelerates recovery from intense exercise due to its radical effect on hormone regulation.
  • Massage. This is linked to reducing stress levels and cortisol peaks which trash testosterone.
  • Limit simple sugars from your diet.

Viagra and Testosterone

Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) is a strong PDE-5 inhibitor that causes the tissue of the penis to “relax” allowing constant blood flow to the erectile tissue. But sildenafil was also able to increase testosterone levels via elevating the levels of cAMP (Cyclic guanosine monophosphate),  which is is a messenger between cells and hormones. Elevated levels of cAMP in the body have been linked to an increase testosterone levels. Most prescription drugs are known for their testosterone lowering effects, but the active ingredient of Viagra (sildenafil) is a potent testosterone booster. Sildenafil increased total testosterone by 40% and free testosterone by 50% in a controlled human study. Although elevated levels could be down to elevated sexual activity.

Should a man take Viagra in later life? The answer seems to be that a testosterone enhancing diet can boost male sexual prowess without the need to spend $20+ dollars per Viagra tablet.