There are a variety of methods for increasing individual testosterone levels (T-levels). While exercise, lifting weights, controlled stress levels, good sleep, and sun exposure can aid in boosting testosterone levels, a balanced diet can do wonders for it also. A diet based on whole foods has the potential to both optimise testosterone levels and the overall health of the individual.
Therefore, it is extremely crucial to keep in check your diet – especially if you want to keep up with a long life in a healthy body. Since we will be discussing testosterone and diet in this article, our focus is some of the foods that aid in boosting testosterone in the human body.
Are you ready to keep your T-level in balance?
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is found in both males and females, and is a sex hormone that plays important roles in the body. However, men are more closely associated with testosterone because of its connection to strength and muscle mass.
- In men, it is thought to regulate sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.
- A small amount of circulating testosterone is converted to estradiol, a form of oestrogen.
- Testosterone is required for sperm production, but the level in the testes where sperm are produced is many times higher than in the blood.
- Even men with low or borderline T levels may have sufficient T levels for sperm production.
- Testosterone is a male sex hormone, or androgen, produced in a woman’s ovaries in small amounts.
- Combined with oestrogen, the female sex hormone, testosterone helps with the growth, maintenance, and repair of a woman’s reproductive tissues, bone mass, and human behaviours.
Research suggests that the natural production of testosterone naturally falls as we age, that is by 1 to 2 percent each year.
- As men get older, their T-levels may decline about 1 percent per year after age 30.
- In premenopausal women, testosterone is made mainly in the ovaries.
- T-levels will decline after menopause, which usually begins between ages 45 and 55.
Whilst the above gives a general idea for an individual, poor lifestyle choices and unhealthy food habits can contribute in lowering the T-levels, occasionally, even before the age of 40.
While there are various treatments available for boosting T-levels in the body, individuals are advised to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle.
In pursuit of this, below is the list of seven (7) foods that scientific studies suggest can help raise T-levels in an individual. Therefore, if you are suffering from low T-levels, these foods, as part of your daily diet, could help you see improvements in your general health and well-being.
Top 7 foods That Can Help Boost T-Levels
Ginger is known for helping in various health problems, such as cough and cold, headache, and other ailments. Additionally, it also plays a vital role in cooking delicious meals (LOL).
As recent research suggests, ginger can have a positive effect on both sperm and T-levels. In other research, it was suggested that the intake of ginger roots improved the antioxidant and androgenic reproductive function of male diabetic rats in addition to its anti-diabetic property.
2. Egg Yolks
While most of the protein in an egg is found in the white, the fat, vitamins, and minerals are found mostly in the yolk. One typical egg yolk contains 37 IU of vitamin D, or 5% of the daily value (DV).
Much of the confusion around eggs has stemmed from the fact that egg yolks contain cholesterol. While egg yolks are high in cholesterol and are a major source of dietary cholesterol, it is saturated fatty acids that have a greater effect on our blood cholesterol levels and, therefore, heart disease risk.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol, all of which is found in the yolk. If you like eggs but do not want the cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol but still contain protein.
However, if you have high cholesterol levels, have concerns, or just want an alternative, then you might have to switch some other testosterone generating supplements. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites.
3. Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables are, without question, the most nutrient dense food group and it is no surprise that they are also a great source of magnesium. Vegetables high in magnesium include spinach, swiss chard, lima beans, acorn squash, artichokes, kale, peas, okra, sweet corn, and potatoes.
- Low testosterone can be a fairly common issue as men age.
- Men who are experiencing low testosterone, or “low T,” often have elevated levels of the hormone oestrogen.
- One potential way to remedy this excess is to try an oestrogen-blocking diet, which can be a natural complement to low-T medications.
As such, vegetables can help in raising/maintaining T-levels by reducing oestrogen (due to the presence of a compound called indole-3 carbinol) and cortisol levels.
Research suggests that supplementation with magnesium increases free and total testosterone values in both sedentary and in athletes – with the increases being higher in those who exercise than in sedentary individuals.
4. Vitamin D
Milk is an outstanding source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. It can also keep testosterone in check for men with low levels.
Drinking the correct type of milk matters, however. Select a milk that is fortified with vitamin D and is low-fat or skim.
Oysters are extremely rich in zinc, which is essential for testosterone production and maintenance of healthy sperm. And, even though women have much less testosterone than men, it also plays a key part in the female libido. Oysters also boost dopamine, a hormone that increases libido in both men and women.
Zinc deficiency is characterised by growth retardation, loss of appetite, and impaired immune function. In more severe cases, zinc deficiency causes hair loss, diarrhoea, delayed sexual maturation, impotence, hypogonadism in males, and eye and skin lesions
Onions are a pretty good source for antioxidants and several nutrients.
The mechanisms by which onion enhances testosterone production in males is mainly by enhancing the production of luteinising hormone, neutralising the damaging effects of the formed free radicals, mainly in the testes, enhancing the antioxidant defence mechanism (e.g. antioxidant enzymes, glutathione) in the testis, ameliorating insulin resistance, promoting nitric oxide production in Leydig cells, and altering the activity of 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase.
Another great source of vitamin D is Tuna, and it has also been revealed to help people live a long life and increased testosterone production. It is also rich in protein and, thus, helps further in keeping a balance in the hormones of the body – and it is also low in calories.
Whether you choose canned or fresh, eating this fish can be a natural way of boosting testosterone.
Others foods to consume in order to boost testosterone include: fortified cereals; fish oil; shellfish; pomegranates; beans; and shellfish.
In order to aid with the hormonal balance in your body, it is also recommended to avoid processed food and alcohol.
If you think there is a problem with your T-levels, please consult with a medical professional.