Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that’s responsible for a number of important processes such as:
- Libido and sex drive
- Muscle and bone mass
- Sperm production
- Secondary sexual characteristics (hair growth, deeper voice etc.)
There are several natural ways for optimizing testosterone production naturally.
One of the best and evidence-based methods is through proper nutrition and below you’ll find the top 5 foods to increase testosterone in men:
Pomegranates and their healing properties have been used for centuries, especially in warmer climates where it typically grows.
This round fruit that kind of looks like a red apple is packed with powerful biologically active compounds (e.g. flavonoids), as well as antioxidants, potassium, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate.
The truly incredible nutritional value of this fruit is why it also offers science-backed testosterone-boosting properties:
- A 2012 study courtesy of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that men and women who consumed pure pomegranate juice for 14 days experienced an average 24% increase in testosterone levels. In addition, their blood pressure and mood were improved as well (1).
- Another study by the same journal, but from 2020, examined how polyphenol-rich pomegranate juice affects steroidal hormones following a weightlifting session. Researchers found that pomegranate juice has the potential to increase T levels post-workout (2).
However, it’s not necessary to make juice out of this fruit as simply adding pomegranates to your diet should suffice.
Oyster’s might not be everyone’s favourite food, but they contain huge amounts of something that every man needs – zinc.
According to the National Institutes of Health in the US, oysters are the food with the highest amount of zinc per serving than any other type of food (3).
Needless to say, zinc is a vital mineral for men, especially when it comes to reproductive function and androgen hormones.
And this is what science shows about the connection between zinc (abundantly found in oysters) and testosterone:
- A 2000 study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology shows that taking ZMA (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6) that contains 30 mg of zinc daily leads to an increase in free testosterone levels (4);
- Researchers from a 1996 study concluded that zinc plays a crucial role in supporting healthy T levels, while zinc deficiency is associated with hypogonadism (impaired testosterone production) (5).
Unsurprisingly, zinc can be found as one of the key ingredients in some of the most effective testosterone boosters out there.
However, note that zinc and copper compete for absorption, so consider this if you’re also taking a copper supplement.
Ginger has been a staple in alternative medicine and food recipes for a long time.
But more specifically, its root has a plethora of potential benefits for men.
This is what relevant data has to say about that:
- A 2012 research from The Medical Journal of Tikrit University shows that adult men with fertility problems saw a 17.7% increase in T levels after supplementing with ginger for 3 months (6);
- A scientific review from 2019 by the Andrologia journal concluded that ginger enhances semen quality in men, while also having a positive impact on luteinizing hormone and testosterone levels (7).
Apart from being added to a specific dish, ginger root can also be used to make various smoothie recipes.
4. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
People living in Mediterranean countries have been using olive oil as an integral part of their diets for a very long time due to its potent health benefits.
Since olive oil is made of olives, it contains a lot of healthy fatty acids, predominantly monounsaturated fats (a.k.a. oleic acid) that’s responsible for the various positive health effects of this food (8).
In fact, the typical Mediterranean diet is all about healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, fish and other seafood.
And this is what relevant research shows:
- A 2013 study that examined the effects of extra virgin olive oil on male hormones found that after 3 weeks of using this type of olive oil, the men who participated in the research experienced an increase in T levels by almost 18% (9).
The good news is that you don’t have to live in Greece, Italy or Spain to take advantage of extra-virgin olive oil’s proven testosterone-boosting properties.
This type of food can be found in just about every grocery store as it’s generally known as a popular salad dressing.
Bananas typically make for a great snack due to having plenty of energy-boosting calories, mainly coming from carbs.
However, they also contain important nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and fiber.
But when it comes to the potential effect of bananas on male hormones, the secret weapon of this fruit is called bromelain, an enzyme also found in pineapples.
And here’s what science says about the link between bromelain and testosterone:
- A 2016 study courtesy of the European Journal of Sports Science shows that bromelain supports healthy testosterone levels along with a decreased subjective feeling of fatigue in competitive cyclists (10).
This makes bananas a great, calorie-dense addition to any man’s diet with potential testosterone-boosting properties.
What foods kill testosterone in males?
Some foods don’t have such a positive effect on male sex hormone, so if possible try to limit or avoid:
- Licorice root
- Processed foods
However, avoiding certain foods is only one part of the puzzle.
Other lifestyle-related factors such as physical activity are also very important for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
5 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally
Some of the best natural methods that may increase your testosterone production include:
- Working out on a regular basis
- Getting enough restful sleep
- Eating healthier and more balanced foods
- Keeping body fat levels within normal ranges
- Reducing or avoiding stress
But natural methods might prove ineffective when a particular disease is present, which means that a consultation with a doctor may be needed.
So, to sum things up – here’s the full list of the top 5 foods to increase testosterone in men:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
All of these great foods can be a superb addition to the diet of any man who looks to give his testosterone production a natural boost.
Now, what’s your favorite food from our top 5 list?
Let us know by leaving a comment below!