Low testosterone levels are typical as we age. However, seniors are not the only ones who want to increase testosterone naturally with foods and diet. You may want to increase your muscle mass or prevent sexual dysfunction.
Food contains the building blocks of testosterone. Not eating what you need for testosterone production will ultimately lower blood levels. That’s why the testosterone diet is so important.
This article will describe the link between what you eat and testosterone concentration in your blood. You will also get a list of foods that increase testosterone and others you might want to avoid. Finally, we will show you a sample dietary plant using the information laid down in this article in practice.
Diet and testosterone: what’s the impact?
Your food choices can optimize or bring down your endocrine health. If you want a positive result, you have to eat the correct type of macronutrients and micronutrients.
Carbohydrates are not bad, and dietary fat is not the enemy. The problem is how we use them, their type, and their quality.
Thus, let us break down the diet into different components and see how each one impacts testosterone:
It is the number of calories you consume throughout the day compared to the calories you burn. If you’re eating more calories than you need, they will store as fat. Keep doing that long enough, and you can end up overweight.
Why is that? Because there’s an enzyme in fat cells called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen. This is the female sex hormone, and we definitely don’t want that.
Thus, you want to maintain a healthy energy balance and eat what you need to perform. You also want to lose weight healthily through a controlled diet to avoid converting testosterone into estrogen.
It includes all types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Keep in mind that testosterone hormones are created using cholesterol as a building block.
You want dietary fat around, and it is essential to create male sex hormones. But you don’t want to overdo it.
According to the Institute of Medicine, your daily calories should include 20-30% of dietary fat. The type of fat recommended is monounsaturated, found in nuts, olive oil, and avocado.
If you consume these fats, your body will have enough cholesterol and signaling substances to create testosterone.
Saturated fats found in whole milk and the fatty portion of beef can also increase testosterone, but they also increase your cardiovascular risk. Thus, give monounsaturated fats a preference if you want to stay safe.
Fat is required to create testosterone, and carbohydrates turn on the system. When you have an adequate amount of blood glucose, the hypothalamus releases something called the gonadotropin-releasing hormone. This hormone reaches the pituitary, which stimulates testosterone production via luteinizing hormone.
You want to keep carbohydrates around, but not any type of carbohydrate. Candies and white bread have carbohydrates, but they are the wrong type.
These simple carbs are absorbed instantly and lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. Such a spike causes a testosterone drop.
You will be safer by choosing complex carbohydrates instead. They are found in whole wheat bread, beans, and vegetables.
They are trendy in the bodybuilding world to increase muscle mass. You would think that foods containing dietary proteins would increase testosterone levels, but not necessarily.
There’s a carrier protein in the blood known as sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). It binds testosterone in the blood, and only free testosterone (unbound) is active. Thus, you could experience low testosterone symptoms if SHBG is high.
Proteins do not change testosterone synthesis, but they modulate SHBG levels. Very high and very low protein levels in the diet can both be detrimental. The recommendation in most cases is around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram per day.
They include vitamins and minerals. They are required for healthy metabolism and creating testosterone.
In terms of testosterone synthesis, the most important micronutrients include vitamin A, C, D, E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
They protect the testes from free radicals, promote enzyme function, and contribute to a signaling process required for testosterone synthesis.
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14 Foods To Include That Increase Testosterone
Based on the information laid down above, we can suggest the following testosterone boosting foods to increase testosterone levels:
They are tiny powerhouses with vitamins, minerals, 44% monounsaturated fat, and protein.
A recent study on egg consumption recommends eating whole eggs instead of egg whites, especially after exercise. You could get a testosterone and strength booth by eating a post-exercise omelet.
We mentioned zinc as one of the most important micronutrients for testosterone production. Oysters are probably one of the best sources of zinc. Besides, they have plenty of magnesium, vitamin D, and selenium.
If you’re not into oysters, you can also try tuna. It doesn’t have as much zinc, but you can still get omega 3 (monounsaturated fatty acids) and vitamin D3.
Other healthy sources of protein include turkey, chicken, and fatty fish.
4) Brazil nuts
Similar to almonds and other nuts, brazil nuts contain a significant proportion of healthy fatty acids. But they also have many micronutrients, including selenium. All the selenium you need for one day is found in a handful of Brazil nuts.
We mentioned aromatase in relation to obesity. It is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen.
Grape skin contains an inhibitor of this enzyme. It is a flavonoid known as resveratrol, which is also a potent antioxidant.
It is also found to reduce the effect of estrogen in a man’s body (12).
This is an important ingredient if you’re serious about boosting testosterone levels. It contains gingerol, a molecule with known androgenic effects.
The usual white button mushroom is another valuable addition to your salad. It inhibits the enzyme aromatase and has an anti-estrogenic activity.
Potatoes are a source of healthy carbohydrates. We can use potatoes as the primary carb source without a problem.
Absorption is not very fast and won’t cause a spike in insulin levels. Instead, eating potatoes will give energy to your every day and prevent metabolic stress.
They have a very high level of monounsaturated fat. Additionally, olives display an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
That’s why olive oil is so prevalent in healthy eating. Do not cook with olive oil, though. Use it as a dressing for your salads.
14) Ricotta cheese
If you can’t live without cheese, this is a very healthy alternative. Ricotta cheese is fermented and has probiotics.
It is also a source of whey protein, which may counter high cortisol levels in people who frequently exercise.
5 Foods To Avoid That Decrease Testosterone
You could be surprised with this list of foods. Sometimes we don’t know we’re consuming foods that reduce serum testosterone levels, but that’s why you’re here.
So, let’s go through the most important foods to avoid:
This is on top because it is particularly relevant. Studies show that drinking every day may reduce your testosterone levels by 14%.
This happens when you reach 30 grams of alcohol per day. This is around 10 ounces of wine or 24 ounces of beer (volumes vary depending on alcohol content).
Luckily, wine has resveratrol, which may counter this effect. But still, you don’t want to overdo it.
2) Refined sugar
We mentioned above how simple carbohydrates are detrimental to testosterone production. That is what refined sugar is, and it is found in bakeries, white bread, sweets, and fizzy drinks.
Refined grains such as corn and wheat are rapidly absorbed, cause an insulin spike and a significant testosterone drop. Whole wheat and natural corn won’t have the same effect.
We’re always told that nuts and seeds should be a part of a healthy diet. But if you’re worried about testosterone, it is recommended to leave flaxseed for later.
They are very high in phytoestrogens and reduce testosterone levels by up to 20%. This could be useful in prostate cancer if you want to counter the effects of testosterone for a limited time. But not if you’re trying to relieve low testosterone symptoms.
4) Vegetable oils
You’re not eating vegetables by consuming vegetable oil. It is not healthy unless it is coconut oil or olive oil.
Canola, soybean, and sunflower oil should be discarded because they have the wrong omega 3:6 ratio. To make it simple to understand, the proportion of fats it contains can trigger chronic inflammation.
5) Trans fats
Trans fats are found in almost any fatty processed food such as margarine, frozen pizza, bakery, and microwave popcorn. They are not only bad for testosterone but also decrease fertility and trigger heart disease (20).
3 day sample meal plan
With all of this in mind, we can apply the knowledge and build a meal plan such as this:
- Breakfast: Coconut smoothie with grapes and two scrambled eggs
- Lunch: Grilled chicken thighs, mixed salad with green leafy vegetables seasoned with olive oil
- Dinner: Steamed oysters with sweet potato fries and a handful of Brazil nuts
- Breakfast: Egg muffins with broccoli and kale
- Lunch: Tuna and avocado sandwich with whole-wheat bread
- Dinner: Cauliflower rice with turkey
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with avocado and chives
- Lunch: Lettuce wraps with chicken and vegetables
- Dinner: Fajita bowl with potatoes, brown rice, chicken, and ricotta cheese
If you want to increase male hormone levels, this is possible through testosterone therapy. However, this type of therapy is not for everybody. If you’re not a candidate, you can still try foods that increase testosterone.
Testosterone booster foods include eggs, oysters, tuna, Brazil nuts, grapes, pomegranate, strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, ginger, potatoes, olive, ricotta cheese, and much more. Most of these foods have studies showing they can give men higher testosterone levels.
You should also avoid alcohol, refined sugars, flaxseeds, vegetable oil, and trans fat. These foods are becoming increasingly common, and they are usually convenient and cheap. But don’t fall for that trap if you care for your hormonal health.
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