There are many natural ways to boost testosterone. However, one of the best strategies is to eat foods that have been proven to raise your testosterone levels.
You’ve probably heard of some of these foods before. For example, most people know the benefits of olive oil and sockeye salmon for boosting testosterone. However, it’s rare for someone to know the testosterone boosting benefits of foods like oysters, Brazil nuts and pomegranates.
In this guide we’ll give you 21 of the best science-based foods for boosting testosterone, as well as the best natural and medical solutions for raising low-T.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the human body. Testosterone is known as the male sex hormone and it is primarily produced by men in their testes, although women naturally produce some testosterone as well.
Testosterone is known as an androgen hormone and it plays a critical role in the development of muscle mass, muscle strength and overall athletic performance. It also plays a critical role in preventing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Multiple research literature reviews have shown that testosterone levels are declining in most developed countries, such as the United States. Many younger and older men are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone levels and they don’t even know it [1–3]. This is a huge problem because low testosterone levels are associated with many negative health outcomes, like an increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Many people including athletes, businessmen, and average Joe’s are interested in raising their testosterone. This makes perfect sense as normal to high testosterone levels have been shown to improve your ability to build muscle mass and strength, raise your energy levels and improve your overall health and well-being [1–3].
Why Testosterone Levels Matter?
Testosterone is truly one of the most important hormones in the human body. If you want to maximize your energy levels, build a great physique, or even improve your performance in the bedroom then having healthy testosterone levels should be one of your top priorities.
Here are a few of the benefits of normal to high testosterone levels:
- A leaner, more muscular physique
- Improved energy levels
- Improved sexual performance
- Reduced risk for chronic disease
- Enhanced cognitive function
Of course, the opposite is also true: having low testosterone levels is associated with many negative health outcomes. For example, many recent studies have shown that low testosterone levels are associated with sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and obesity [4–6]. In other words, low testosterone levels are associated with reduced muscle mass/bone mass and an unhealthy amount of body fat.
Low testosterone levels can also cause major problems with your reproductive system [7–9]. Many men find they have impaired sexual performance when their total testosterone levels fall below 300 ng / dL, or nanograms per diliter.
Healthy testosterone levels are also critical for avoiding chronic illnesses and diseases. There is a growing body of research showing that low testosterone levels are associated with cardiovascular disease, while healthy testosterone levels protect your heart [10–12]. Low testosterone levels are also associated with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity [13–15].
The verdict is clear: low testosterone levels are associated with many diseases, while testosterone levels in the normal to high range have a positive impact on your overall health.
21 Testosterone Boosting Foods | Ultimate Guide
One of the best ways to naturally raise your testosterone levels is to add testosterone-boosting foods to your diet. These diets contain essential nutrients like zinc, antioxidants and even the natural testosterone boosting substance “ecdysterone.”
Here are 21 of the best foods that you can eat to naturally boost your testosterone levels:
Testosterone Boosting Food #1: Whey Protein
Whey protein is one of the most popular sports supplements in the world. Athletes love it because whey protein is a convenient way to increase their protein intake, especially right after a hard workout.
Whey protein contains plenty of leucine, an amino acid that has been proven to raise testosterone and protein synthesis levels. Unpublished data presented by Lockwood et. all. shows that whey protein alone can boost testosterone levels in healthy males .
Whey protein can be a great testosterone-boosting food to add to your diet, especially before or after a tough workout. It also has many other benefits like raising protein synthesis levels and strengthening your immune system.
Testosterone Boosting Food #2: Grass-Fed Beef (17-19)
Beef is by far one of the best foods you can eat to raise your testosterone levels and build muscle mass / strength. However, when it comes to beef, quality matters. Grass-fed beef comes from cows that were fed their natural diet of grass. It is superior to commercially raised or grain-fed beef because it contains more testosterone-boosting nutrients.
Grass fed beef contains more of the following muscle-building nutrients:
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Heme iron
One of the biggest reasons to include grass-fed beef in your diet is the amount of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, it has. Grass-fed beef has been shown to have twice as much CLA as regular grain-fed beef. This is a big deal because CLA has been shown to boost muscle mass, lower blood sugar and even reduce your risk of cancer [17–19].
Testosterone Boosting Food #3: Wild Buffalo
Wild buffalo, or bison, is another testosterone-boosting superfood. Many sports nutritionists like Stan Efferding like to include wild buffalo in their athletes’ diets because of its superior micronutrient profile.
Wild buffalo is leaner and has more testosterone-boosting nutrients than grass-fed beef! Specifically, it has more protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, selenium, and B-vitamins. Researchers have not performed any direct studies on the testosterone-boosting effects of bison but adding this food to your diet is still a great choice.
Testosterone Boosting Food #4: Wild Salmon
Wild Salmon is another one of the biggest “superfoods” in the world. Wild salmon has been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease and improve many other health biomarkers . One of the biggest advantages of wild salmon is its omega 3 fatty acid content.
Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the most important testosterone-boosting nutrients in the world. They have been shown to help build muscle mass, lose body fat, reduce inflammation, and improve cognitive function [20–21]. Wild caught salmon has been shown to have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than farm-raised salmon, but all types of salmon are known to be very healthy.
Testosterone Boosting Food #5: Sardines
Sardines are another fantastic testosterone-boosting food. They are a great alternative to wild salmon as they are also packed full of omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, a 3-ounce serving of sardines has about 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.
Sardines are also low on the food chain which means they have less testosterone-lowering mercury than other predatory species like sharks, swordfish, and tuna.
Testosterone Boosting Food #6: Oysters
Oysters might be the most underrated testosterone boosting food in the world. Oysters are loaded with the testosterone boosting mineral zinc. In fact, one 3-ounce serving of oysters has as much as 74.1 milligrams of zinc! That’s more than you would find in most over the counter zinc supplements.
Zinc has been shown to boost testosterone levels, as well as prevent your testosterone from being converted to estrogen through a process called aromatization. This isn’t just bro-science, though: there is a mountain of evidence showing that the consumption of oysters directly raises testosterone levels . Oysters have also been shown to improve reproductive health and sexual performance.
Testosterone Boosting Food #7: Lobster
Lobster is another testosterone-boosting food that you can add to your diet. Lobster is so beneficial for your testosterone levels because it contains superior levels of the amino acids taurine and glycine.
Taurine has been shown in the scientific literature to have a positive impact on testicular function and testosterone production . On the other hand, glycine is an amino acid that helps your body remove dangerous toxins from your body that can lower your testosterone levels. Specifically, glycine is used by the liver in something called phase-2 detoxification to help remove toxins from the body.
Testosterone Boosting Food #8: Eggs
Eggs have gotten a bad rap. For years many health experts said that they were unhealthy and should be avoided. However, we now know that eggs have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health and testosterone levels when eaten in moderation .
Eggs are one of nature’s true superfoods. They are absolutely loaded with testosterone-boosting nutrients like vitamins A / B / D / E, choline, iron, lutein, phosphorous, pholate, iodine and selenium. Vitamin D has been shown to have testosterone-boosting properties.
As long as you are eating eggs in moderation (and not going on a binge that would make Rocky Balboa proud) then they are a great addition to your diet.
Testosterone Boosting Food #9: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you don’t know about the testosterone-boosting benefits of extra virgin olive oil, then you must be living under a rock! Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, has been a staple food in the Mediterranean diet for decades. It has been shown to be protective against cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and even help boost testosterone levels .
The real benefit of extra virgin olive oil is its antioxidants. These nutrients have been shown to destroy free radicals that damage your blood vessels and even improve the function of the testes.
Testosterone Boosting Food #10: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is another underrated testosterone-boosting food. Like eggs, coconut oil was believed to be an unhealthy food because of its saturated fat content. However, numerous studies have shown that coconut oil has a cardio-protective effect and can help raise HDL levels, aka your “good cholesterol.”
Testosterone Boosting Food #11: Brazil Nuts
Different nuts like walnuts, almonds and pistachios are known as some of the healthiest foods in the world. However, when it comes to boosting testosterone levels, Brazil nuts reign supreme. Brazil nuts have been shown to directly boost testosterone levels in research studies. The scientists believe it is because of their superior selenium content, but they are not 100% sure yet.
Testosterone Boosting Food #12: Spinach
What is spinach doing on a list of testosterone-boosting foods? I’m glad you asked! Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. Researchers say that “spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium and vitamin C.”
However, the real reason spinach made our Testosterone.org list of the top 21 testosterone boosting foods is because it contains a testosterone-boosting nutrient called “ecdysterone.” Ecdysterone is one of the most popular legal anabolic steroids in the world. This natural substance has been shown to boost muscle mass, strength and protein synthesis levels in several scientific studies [30–31].
Eating some spinach every day is a great way to get the testosterone-boosting benefits of ecdysterone. Another great option is to use ecdysterone as a sports supplement.
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Testosterone Boosting Food #13: Broccoli
It’s time to talk about some of the best testosterone-boosting vegetables. Broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables with bodybuilders and athletes. This nutrient-packed superfood has been shown to improve estrogen metabolism [32–33]. This is important because too much estrogen can have a negative impact on your overall testosterone levels.
If you are worried about your estrogen levels, then swapping out your morning soy latte for a plate full of broccoli could be a smart decision.
Testosterone Boosting Food #14: Onions
Did you know that onions are one of the best testosterone-boosting foods that you can eat? It’s true! Onions have been shown in the scientific literature to directly boost testosterone levels in men and women .
Scientists believe onions are loaded with antioxidants and other naturally occurring plant compounds that help raise testosterone levels.
Testosterone Boosting Food #15: Garlic
It’s not 100% clear if garlic would have the same effect in humans. However, adding some garlic to your diet makes sense if you are trying to naturally raise your testosterone levels. Once again, researchers believe the naturally occurring plant compounds in garlic are responsible for the gains in testosterone levels.
Testosterone Boosting Food #16: Avocado
Avocados are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They are absolutely loaded with different testosterone-boosting nutrients like vitamins B6, C, E, K, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, potassium, beta carotene, lutein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Avocados are almost like nature’s very own multivitamin – they have been shown to have a protective effect against many illnesses like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression. Avocado oil is another great option if you do not like the taste of avocados.
Testosterone Boosting Food #17: Blueberries
It’s time to talk about some of the best testosterone-boosting fruits. If your goal is to raise your total testosterone levels, then blueberries are a great choice. The thing that makes blueberries so special is their antioxidant status.
Blueberries have more antioxidants than any other food in the world. This is important because numerous research studies shows that the antioxidants found in blueberries and other berries may help protect testosterone producing cells from damage and increase overall testosterone production.
We’re not saying that adding blueberries to your diet will cause your testosterone levels to shoot through the roof. However, they can be a good “insurance policy” to help make sure your testes are protected against free radical damage and operating at their peak potential.
Testosterone Boosting Food #18: Pomegranates
Pomegranates are another great testosterone-boosting fruit. Pomegranates are loaded with different antioxidants and flavonoids that have been clinically proven to raise men’s testosterone levels. In fact, one study showed that men’s testosterone levels improved as much as 24% following the consumption of a pomegranate juice drink .
The antioxidants found in pomegranates and other foods have also been shown to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness and speed up your recovery following a demanding workout.
Testosterone Boosting Food #19: Ginger
Let’s round out the list by talking about three unusual testosterone boosting foods: ginger, red wine and dark chocolate. Researchers are absolutely fascinated by ginger. This spice has been shown in numerous scientific studies to raise testosterone levels more than a placebo .
Scientists believe ginger raises testosterone production through several different mechanisms:
- Increased LH production
- Raising cholesterol in the testes
- Reducing oxidative stress
- Reducing lipid peroxidation
- Enhancing certain antioxidant enzymes
- Normalizing blood glucose
- Enhancing nitric oxide production
- Increasing blood flow in Leydig cells
- Increasing testicular weight
- Recycling testosterone receptors
Talk about a testosterone-boosting superfood! I’m not recommending that you sprinkle some ginger onto your dish of oysters, but it would sure be a powerful way to raise your testosterone production and improve your sexual health.
Testosterone Boosting Food #20: Red Wine
The research is very clear that heavy alcohol consumption has a negative impact on testosterone levels. However, there is one alcoholic drink that raises testosterone levels: red wine.
Red wine is unique because it is loaded with testosterone-boosting antioxidants. These antioxidants can inhibit aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen in your body .
The Mediterranean diet has been heralded for many years as one of the best heart-healthy diets in the world and many researchers think the health benefits come from the liberal use of red wine and extra virgin olive oil in their diet.
Testosterone Boosting Food #21: Dark Chocolate
Yes, you read that correctly: dark chocolate made the official Testosterone.org list of the 21 best testosterone boosting foods. Research shows that the cocoa in dark chocolate has a positive impact on testosterone levels .
Dark chocolate has higher levels of cocoa and other antioxidants than other types of chocolate. Binging on dark chocolate might not be the best idea for your health, but the research does show that a little bit can go a long way for boosting your testosterone levels.
Free Testosterone Levels Vs Total Testosterone
When most people talk about raising their testosterone levels, they are talking about raising their total testosterone, or the total amount of testosterone that is floating around in their bloodstream.
Most men have a total testosterone level of 300 – 1200 ng / dL, or nanograms per deciliter [43–44]. If your goal is to live a healthy, high-energy life then it’s important to be aware of your total testosterone levels.
Research has shown that men with testosterone levels below 300 ng / dL may have impaired sexual function and be at a higher risk for chronic disease. However, some men have a normal testosterone level, but they still experience some of the signs and symptoms of low testosterone. This is where free testosterone comes into play.
Free testosterone measures the amount of active, or freely available testosterone in your bloodstream. About 98% of your total testosterone is attached to other proteins like stream, or sex-hormone binding globulin, and is completely inactive. Only 2% or so of your total testosterone is freely available – this is known as your “free testosterone.”
Your free testosterone is probably even more important than your total testosterone because it tells you how much of the hormone is exerting physiological effects at any given time. Some men have normal total testosterone but below-average free testosterone levels.
If you are interested in testing your testosterone levels, then it may be a good idea to test your free testosterone levels in addition to your total testosterone levels.
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How To Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally
Testosterone plays a critical role in your overall health and well-being. If you have low testosterone levels then you may want to consider some natural, research-proven strategies for raising your total testosterone levels.
Eating testosterone-boosting foods like oysters, olive oil and pomegranates is a great first step. Here are some other strategies that you may want to consider:
- Losing weight
- Resistance training
- Sexual activity
- Vitamin D
Exercising and losing weight are two of the simplest strategies for raising testosterone levels. Research shows that engaging in resistance training and losing belly fat are both extremely effective for raising low-T [45–46]. However, there are also some lesser-known strategies that you can try. Improving your sleeping habits, getting plenty of vitamin D, and spicing up your sex life are all proven strategies for raising your testosterone levels [47–49].
Another popular strategy is to supplement your diet with ecdysterone or other natural testosterone boosting supplements. Research shows that ecdysterone is a safe and effective way to raise testosterone levels, improve muscle mass, and speed up your recovery from your workouts [50–51].
Ecdysterone has even caught the attention of Joe Rogan, who has talked about this popular supplement on his popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. If you are looking for a great ecdysterone supplement, then we highly recommend the one sold by Huge Supplements. Their ecdysterone is manufactured in the United States under FDA-regulated facilities, so you know you are getting a high-quality product.
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How To Increase Testosterone Levels With TRT
Testosterone replacement therapy is a medical intervention designed to treat men (and women) with hypogonadism, or low testosterone levels. The goal with testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, is to raise your testosterone to a normal, healthy level. It is designed to replace the testosterone that your body used to produce when you were younger.
TRT is one of the fastest, safest, and most effective ways to raise your testosterone levels. Countless research studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy is a reliable way to take someone with hypogonadism and raise their total testosterone to the upper end of the normal range [52–54]. This is important, because research shows that higher testosterone levels are associated with positive health outcomes like improved cardiovascular health, reduced body fat levels, reduced incidence of depression, and improved reproductive health.
Testosterone replacement therapy is actually a very safe medical intervention [55–57]. It is normally performed under the supervision of a doctor. This means that a doctor is monitoring the patient to make sure that their testosterone, estrogen, and several other hormones are optimal.
There are many different treatment options available, including injectable forms of testosterone but also gels that you rub directly on your skin. If you are interested in learning more about testosterone replacement therapy, then a great first step is talking to your doctor about the signs and symptoms that you are experiencing.
The Best Online TRT Clinic
In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in testosterone replacement therapy. It’s easy to see why – this medical intervention is a safe and effective way to raise low testosterone levels.
Many doctors have begun to open online TRT clinics to meet this growing demand. Online TRT clinics work like regular, in-person clinic. The big difference is you will be communicating to your doctor online through zoom, email, and other telehealth technologies.
An online TRT clinic can be a great choice if you are interested in getting started with TRT, but you want to avoid the hassle of visiting an in-person clinic. Most online TRT companies use a simple 3-step process with their patients:
- Step #1: Fill out an online questionnaire and talk to your doctor about your symptoms of low-T.
- Step #2: Perform a blood test to measure your testosterone levels and talk to your doctor about your results.
- Step #3: Discuss the different treatment options that are available, including gels and injectable forms of testosterone, and have your prescription medication delivered directly to your door.
There are a lot of great online TRT clinics out there. However, one of our favorites is called Fountain TRT. Fountain TRT was co-founded by Dr. Doron Stember, a board-certified urologist with decades of experience treating men with low-T.
One of the things we like about Fountain TRT is they use a simple testosterone gel with all their patients. Dr. Stember says that you just must rub the testosterone gel on your shoulder once per day and you are good to go. Fountain TRT is a great choice if you want to avoid the hassle of using syringes and needles every week.
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Testosterone And Food | Overall
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the human body. It plays a huge role in your athletic performance, energy levels, sexual performance, and your overall health and well-being.
There are many natural ways to raise your testosterone like getting enough vitamin D and getting plenty of sleep each night. However, one of the best strategies is to add proven testosterone-boosting foods to your diet like oysters, wild buffalo, eggs, olive oil and Brazil nuts. Eating testosterone-boosting foods is especially important for overweight individuals who are at greater risk for hypogonadism, or low-T.
If you are serious about increasing your testosterone levels, then talking to your doctor about different medical treatment options including testosterone replacement therapy may also be a good idea.