The media will try to convince you that the only way to increase testosterone levels is to subject yourself to testosterone replacement therapy. Yet men in the know realize there are other safer, natural ways to bring those T numbers up, including a number of lifestyle choices. Did you know that some foods can increase testosterone levels? Here are nine you may want to add to your menu or eat more of whenever possible.
Beets can work like the ED drugs
The contribution of this ruby root veggie to testosterone production is its high level of boron. Men need this mineral for testosterone production and especially for boosting levels of free testosterone. In a study of healthy men, investigators found that ingesting 10 mg boron daily for six days resulted in an increase in free testosterone, a decline in estradiol, and a drop in the concentrations of three biomarkers for inflammation. Beets and the popular ED drugs also work in a similar way. Both increase nitric oxide levels in your blood, and that dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the penis for longer, harder erections. Beets are also available in supplements that can help boost testosterone.
Cruciferous veggies decrease estrogen
Bring on the broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. These cruciferous veggies contains a substances called indole-3-carbinol that assists the body in eliminating estradiol, a type of estrogen. As estrogen decreases, your production of testosterone can rise.
Garlic can lower cortisol
The allicin in garlic is the compound credited with lowering levels of cortisol, a hormone that competes with testosterone for the same locations within your muscles. Once you reduce your cortisol levels, testosterone can do its job. Be sure to enjoy at least some of your garlic uncooked because it is more potent that way.
Nuts can boost free T
Not all nuts are created equally when it comes to boosting testosterone, but if Brazil nuts are not among your favorites (these nuts are super rich in selenium, a mineral that can boost T), then you can chow down on other varieties. The good news is you only need to eat two of them to take you over the top of the Daily Value for selenium.
Oats can make testosterone more bioavailable
Whip up some oats or pop a wild oats supplement (aka, Avena sativa) and some of your bound testosterone may be set free. That’s because wild oats contain high levels of avenocosides, an active substance that boosts testosterone by releasing T that is bound to proteins. If you choose a supplement, look for one that provides a 10:1 ratio of Avena sativa extract and take 100 to 300 mg daily in divided doses.
Olive oil increases testosterone levels
We recognize olive oil as a great source of healthy fats (monounsaturated fats), but it also may boost your testosterone as well. One study found that men who consumed olive oil daily for three weeks showed a 17.4 percent increase in their testosterone levels by the end of the trial. Choose extra virgin olive oil and use it to drizzle over vegetables and other foods as well as add to soups, stews, and smoothies.
Oysters are more than an aphrodisiac
This seafood is the richest source of the mineral zinc. Men who are low or deficient in zinc can experience an increase in their free testosterone levels if they take zinc supplements or eat foods rich in the mineral. If you prefer to skip the oysters but still eat your zinc, you can include beans, whole grains, sardines, wild-caught salmon, pumpkin seeds, and nuts in your diet and/or consider taking a zinc supplement.
Pineapples can stop the decline of testosterone
This tropical fruit is a source of the enzyme bromelain. In, which is perhaps best known as a digestive aid. However, supplementation with bromelain has been shown to maintain testosterone concentrations in situations when the hormone typically declines, suggesting it can help keep T levels up. Although bromelain supplements are available, it’s recommended you also include pineapple as part of your diet, as it is the only natural food source of the enzyme.
Pomegranate can boost your sex drive
This fruit has a reputation for being a little challenging to eat, but don’t let that stop you. In fact, you may find you prefer the juice, since it’s been shown that just one cup per day can increase testosterone levels between 16 and 30 percent, as well as boost sex drive and improve mood. Although this and other studies have focused on pomegranate juice, it is preferable to choose the whole fruit for the additional nutrition and fiber or a pomegranate supplement.
Al-Dujaili E, Smail N. Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women. Endocrine Abstracts 2012; 28:313
Brilla LR, Conte V. Effects of a novel zinc-magnesium formulation on hormones and strength. Journal of Exercise Physiology 2000 Oct; 3(4)
Derouiche A et al. Effect of argan and olive oil consumption on the hormonal profile of androgens among healthy adult Moroccan men. Natural Product Communications 2013 Jan; 8(1): 51-53
Naghii MR et al. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 2011 Jan; 25(1): 54-58