Testosterone is a male sex hormone that affects more than just sex drive. The hormone is also responsible for bone and muscle health, sperm production, and hair growth. In general, the normal range in males is about 270 to 1070 ng/dL with an average level of 679 ng/dL. Hypogonadism, also called low testosterone or low T, is often medically treated to prevent future health problems.
Foods that can boost low testosterone in men include tuna and wild salmon, egg yolks, shrimps, cereals, beans, pomegranates, garlic, cruciferous vegetables, olive oil, wheat bran, pumpkin seeds, etc to name a few.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that affects more than just sex drive. The hormone is also responsible for bone and muscle health, sperm production, and hair growth. You can lose testosterone as you age, as well as from chronic illnesses. Hypogonadism, also called low testosterone or low T, is often medically treated to prevent future health problems.
Along with your doctor’s recommendations, you may consider potential testosterone-boosting foods as a natural complement to low T treatments. Two nutrients that are especially important to your diet are vitamin D and zinc. In this article, we will discuss 11 top foods for increasing low testosterone. Read on to find our about the foods to eat and the foods to avoid:
Normal level of testosterone
In general, the normal range in males is about 270 to 1070 ng/dl with an average level of 679 ng/dl. A normal male testosterone level peaks at about age 20, and then it slowly declines. Testosterone levels above or below the normal range are considered by many to be out of balance.
11 Must Know Foods for Increasing Low Testosterone Levels
Tuna and wild salmon
Tuna and wild salmon are fishes which are rich in vitamin d, a nutrient linked to testosterone production. Just ensure that you stick to 2 to 3 servings per day to minimize the mercury intake, which is harmful. You can include a pack of canned tuna or salmon in your everyday meal. It’s best to sauté it instead of frying.
Egg yolks to boost low testosterone
Egg yolks are rich in vitamin d and can help boost your testosterone levels. Just be wary of the cholesterol in egg yolks, though – if you already have cholesterol issues, you can consume other alternatives (like fish). Include one egg yolk in your breakfast every day. It is better to poach or boil it rather than frying it.
Shrimp is another vitamin d-rich seafood that has a strong link to higher testosterone levels. You can add shrimp to your favorite evening soup, along with other veggies. A shrimp salad could do wonders to your testosterone levels.
Consuming cereals fortified with vitamin d is also a good way to boost testosterone levels. The cereals contain other healthy nutrients as well that help jump-start your day. Have the cereals as part of your regular morning breakfast.
Beans (white, black, and kidney) are all great sources of vitamin d and zinc – two essential nutrients for optimal testosterone levels. Make beans a part of your regular evening salad.
Research shows that pomegranates may help men improve their testosterone levels. In one study, 22 participants taking pomegranate juice every day for two weeks saw a 24% increase in their testosterone levels. You can drink pomegranate juice for breakfast. You can buy pomegranates from the nearest supermarket store.
Studies have shown that garlic can increase testosterone levels in males. This property can be attributed to diallyl disulfide, a sulfur-containing compound in garlic. You can simply garnish your dishes with roasted garlic. Consuming one garlic clove a day can also help.
These primarily include cabbage and broccoli that help flush out excess estrogen and make testosterone in the body far more effective. These veggies contain indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that aids this process. You can also include cauliflower in your diet to boost testosterone levels. Include these veggies in your evening vegetable salad.
Olive oil contains healthy fats, which, as per some sources, may boost testosterone levels. Drizzle olive oil over your evening salad or other snack dishes.
Wheat bran is replete with magnesium, a mineral that can boost testosterone levels. Studies show that this mineral supplementation can increase testosterone levels in athletes. Sprinkle wheat bran on your breakfast cereal.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, a mineral ideal for boosting testosterone levels. Sources state that women deficient in zinc may have lower concentrations of testosterone. You can have roasted pumpkin seeds as a delightful evening snack. Brush the seeds with olive oil and season with cumin or garlic powder. Bake until the seeds are roasted.
Food to Avoid with Low Testosterone
If your testosterone levels are low, you should avoid certain foods like:
Soy and soy based products
Some research shows that regularly eating soy products like edamame, tofu, soy milk and miso may cause a drop in testosterone levels. Soy foods are also high in phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances that mimic the effects of estrogen in your body by altering hormone levels and potentially reducing testosterone.
Perhaps most well-known for its powerful stomach-soothing properties, mint could cause a dip in testosterone levels. In particular, spearmint and peppermint — two herbs that hail from the mint family of plants — have been shown to have a direct impact on testosterone.
Licorice root is an ingredient commonly used to sweeten candies and beverages. It’s also a popular natural remedy in holistic medicine and often used to treat everything from chronic pain to persistent coughing. In recent years, several studies have found that licorice may also influence hormone levels, potentially leading to a decline in testosterone over time. Keep in mind that this applies to licorice root rather than licorice candy, which often doesn’t contain any licorice root.
Many of the most common vegetable oils, including canola, soybean, corn and cottonseed oil, are loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids are usually classified as a healthy source of dietary fat, but they may also decrease testosterone levels, as several studies have suggested.
Flaxseed is packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber and various important vitamins and minerals. In addition, some research shows that it may cause a decrease in testosterone levels. This is because flaxseed is high in lignans, which are plant compounds that bind to testosterone and force it to be excreted from your body. What’s more, flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may be linked to a decrease in testosterone as well.
Besides often being high in sodium, calories and added sugar, processed foods like convenience meals, frozen foods and pre-packaged snacks are also a common source of trans fats. Trans fats — an unhealthy type of fat — have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and inflammation. Plus, some studies have found that regularly consuming trans fats from sources like processed foods could decrease testosterone levels.
While enjoying the occasional glass of wine with dinner has been linked to health benefits, studies show that excessive alcohol intake could cause testosterone levels to plummet; especially in men.
Nuts are a great source of many important nutrients, including fiber, heart-healthy fats and minerals like folic acid, selenium and magnesium. Additionally, some studies suggest that certain types of nuts may decrease testosterone levels. SHBG is a type of protein that binds to testosterone, which can lead to a decrease in the levels of free testosterone in your body. Nuts are also generally high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been associated with decreased testosterone levels in some studies.
Therefore, to conclude, low testosterone problem is an issue that can be easily rectified if certain changes are brought about in one’s diet. However, if things still don’t get better, it is always advisable to consult a doctor.
“Serum vitamin D and sex hormones…”. US National Library of Medicine.
“Garlic supplementation increases testicular…”. US National Library of Medicine.