Foods That Boost Testosterone Levels
Here’s the bad news. Testosterone levels decline with aging in both men and women. Low testosterone is also called androgen deficiency or hypogonadism and is increasingly common. About 40% men over age 45 have hypogonadism and that percentage increases with each decade of life. Low testosterone is usually defined as a total testosterone level less than 300 ng/dl.
In this post, we discussed foods that lower testosterone levels. Quickly, those foods include soy and soy products, alcohol, foods with trans fats, omega-6 fatty acids, mint, licorice, processed foods, flaxseed, and nuts. Diet is important for maintaining optimal testosterone levels. Diets high in unprocessed foods (typically low in nutrients) can reduce testosterone levels.
But, you need to do more than just avoid those foods. You will want to add certain foods to your diet to boost your testosterone levels which we will soon discuss here.
Here’s the good news. How you eat and exercise can help maintain healthy testosterone levels. Today we look at foods that boost testosterone levels. Before we get to that let’s ask, “what does testosterone do?”
What Does Testosterone Do?
Commonly known as the male sex hormone, testosterone does much more. Other functions of testosterone include:
- maintain muscle mass.
- maintain bone density.
- maintain energy levels.
- regulate sleep.
- maintain red blood cell levels
- facilitate healthy pain response.
Read our article, 15 Benefits of Testosterone to learn additional functions of testosterone.
Would you not want to eat better if it would boost your testosterone levels given all these benefits?
What Makes Testosterone Levels Decline?
This is important question. Far more contributes to declining testosterone levels than aging only. The following accelerate declines in testosterone levels.
- chronic or persistent stress.
- being overweight.
- poor nutrition.
- low vitamin D levels
- lack of exercise.
- prescription drugs including statins (cholesterol) and some blood pressure medications, and narcotics.
- recreational drugs including tobacco, alcohol, and narcotics.
Nutrients That Boost Testosterone Levels.
First, we will look at those important nutrients that boost testosterone levels and later the foods that contain these nutrients. Below are the critical nutrients that will boost testosterone levels.
- high quality protein.
- indole-3 carbonyl.
- olive oil (healthy fats).
Cholesterol? Really? Yes, really. Why is that? Well, cholesterol is the backbone structure that makes up on sex hormones including testosterone. In other words, you need a certain amount of cholesterol to make an optimal amount of testosterone. One reason cholesterol tends to go up as we age is to partially offset the decline in testosterone levels associated with aging. The body makes more cholesterol in attempt to make more testosterone. Interesting enough, when we restore mens testosterone levels to normal, elevated cholesterol levels frequently come down.
High Quality Protein
High quality protein stimulates testosterone production. A high quality protein is a complete protein. A complete protein contains the 9 essential amino acids. There are 20 amino acids. Eleven of them our body can make. The other nine we must get from food. That’s one reason why diet is important.
A certain amount of testosterone we make gets converted into estradiol, which lowers testosterone level. This conversion takes place in our fat or adipose tissue. The more fat you have, the more this conversion takes place. Zinc partially blocks this conversion facilitating optimal testosterone levels.
Magnesium is associated with higher testosterone levels in athletes.
Indole-3 carbinol also blocks the conversion of testosterone to estradiol levels and directs the metabolism of estradiol to healthier estradiol metabolites.
Olive oil and healthy fats
Olive oil helps the testes (where sperm and testosterone are produced) pull in more cholesterol into the Leydig cells that produce testosterone. More cholesterol in the Leydig cells increases the potential to produce more testosterone.
Foods that Boost Testosterone Levels
Now, what foods contain these important nutrients and what other food can boot testosterone levels?
High Quality Proteins
Excellent sources of high quality protein include:
- grass-fed beef
- free-range chicken
- whey protein
- bone broth protein
- wild salmon
Sources of Zinc
Sources of zinc include:
- grass-fed beef
- pumpkin seeds
Sources of Magnesium
Sources of magnesium include”
- wheat bran
- dark chocolate
- sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- almond butter
Sources of Healthy Fats
Sources of healthy fats include:
- coconut oil
- fish oil
- chia seeds
- fermented foods like yogurt and kefir
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- collard greens
- cocoa powder
- cacao nibs
- dark chocolate
Berries and other fruits
Berries are high in flavonoid antioxidants which protect Leydig cells, the cells that produce testosterone.
Shellfish contain magnesium and zinc and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Improve you diet and boost your testosterone levels.