10 Top Foods To Increase Testosterone [Beware of #3 Before Your Date!]

By Reviewed by Men Published on March 22, 2014 Updated on August 22, 2019
Top 10 Testosterone Boosting Foods

Are you looking for the top foods to increase testosterone? If so, then you know that testosterone is important to every man. Maintaining high levels of it should be of utmost importance. As Sean Russell writes in his testosterone boost article, men typically have half the testosterone today than what they used to have 100 years ago! [1]Menprovement. (2018, August 28). How To Boost Testosterone Naturally: The Ultimate Guide. Retrieved from https://www.menprovement.com/boost-testosterone-naturally/

The source of all manly powers, “testosterone is about vitality and virility,” says Dr. Malcolm Carruthers of Harley Street Centre for Men’s Health. “Men as young as 30 years old are now showing signs of low testosterone: reduced libido, brain fog and fewer erections on waking,” he says. Since testosterone is produced in the testes, exercise, relaxation, and loose fitting pants can help improve the situation [2]Malcom, C. (2018). Centre for Men’s Health. Retrieved from https://www.centreformenshealth.co.uk/.

Top Foods To Increase Testosterone

1. Oysters

Oysters

Oysters are famous for their zinc content, which may be beneficial in increasing the levels of testosterone. They are considered natural aphrodisiacs and according to a report from National Institutes of Health, 3 ounces of oysters either breaded, cooked, or fried contains about 493 percent of the total recommended daily requirement of zinc for the body. [3]National Institutes of Health. (2018). Zinc: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

This seafood also contains N-methyl-D-aspartate and D-aspartic acid that may be beneficial in enhancing muscle growth, physical endurance, and sperm production. [4]LaMacchia, Z., Willaims, B., & Horvath, P. (2016). Effect of Aspartate Supplementation on Athletic Performance and Testosterone Levels in Young Men. The FASEB Journal, Abstract Number:898.12. Retrieved from https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.898.12 In addition, a study conducted on the topic, found that fertile men have elevated levels of D-aspartic acid. [5]Di Nisio, A., De Toni, L., Ferigo, M., Rocca, M. S., Speltra, E., Ferlin, A. & Foresta, C. (2016). D-Aspartic acid stimulates steroidogenesis through the delay of LH receptor internalization in a mammalian Leydig cell line. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 39(2), 207-213. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40618-015-0333-4

Other foods high in zinc include chicken liver, beef, crap, cereals, and pumpkin seeds. Zinc also helps with wound healing.

2. Broccoli

Increasing the number of cruciferous vegetables in your diet, which includes broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, rids the body of excess estrogen, [6]Cutillas-Tolín, A., Mínguez-Alarcón, L., Mendiola, J., López-Espín, J. J., Jørgensen, N., Navarrete-Muñoz, E. M., Torres-Cantero, A. M., & Chavarro, J. E. (2015). Mediterranean and western dietary patterns are related to markers of testicular function among healthy men. Human Reproduction, 30(12), 2945–2955. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dev236 thus allowing the increased production of testosterone. This is primarily because these vegetables contain a compound known as indoles. These compounds are also beneficial in preventing the growth and development of cancer cells. [7]Royston, K.J., & Tollefsbol, T.O. (2015). The Epigenetic Impact of Cruciferous Vegetables on Cancer Prevention. Current Pharmacological Reports, 1(1), 46-51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40495-014-0003-9

As men age, the level of estrogen gradually increases while that of testosterone declines. Increased levels of estrogen in men may be accompanied by weakness, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction and much more. A study that looked into the relationship between indole-3-carbinol and estrogen levels in the body found that diets high in this compound led to increased excretion of estradiol (one of the most important estrogen hormones) in men and women by up to 50 percent. [8]Upadhyaya, P.,  Zarth, A. T., Fujioka, N., Fritz, V. A. & Hecht, S. S. (2018). Identification and analysis of a mercapturic acid conjugate of indole-3-methyl isothiocyanate in the urine of humans who consumed cruciferous vegetables. Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 1072,341-346. Retrieved from  https://experts.umn.edu/en/publications/identification-and-analysis-of-a-mercapturic-acid-conjugate-of-in

Cruciferous vegetables are also high in fiber, which may help with weight control, and losing weight can also increase your body’s production of testosterone.

3. Garlic

Animal studies conducted at Japan’s Kobe Women’s University found that garlic boosts testosterone levels in one month when combined with a high-protein diet. [9]Oi-Kano, Y., Kawada, T., Watanabe, T., Koyama, F., Watanabe, K., Senbongi, R., & Iwai, K. (2013). Oleuropein supplementation increases urinary noradrenaline and testicular testosterone levels and decreases plasma corticosterone level in rats fed high-protein diet. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 24(5), 887-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.06.003 Garlic contains the chemical diallyl disulfide, which stimulates the body to release a hormone that kick-starts the production of testosterone. In addition, garlic contains allicin, a compound that lowers levels of ‘stress hormone’ cortisol. Cortisol competes with testosterone for the same sites within muscle cells, according to research literature [10]Gudmand-Hoeyer, J., & Ottesen, J. T. (2018). Analysis and validation of a new extended method for estimating plasma free cortisol including neutrophil elastase and competition from other steroids. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 181, 109-124. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2018.04.003 .

4. Bananas

bananas

Bananas contain the enzyme bromelain, which some studies have found boosts a man’s libido. This fruit is also rich in B vitamins, such as riboflavin, which is essential for the manufacturing of testosterone. Pineapples are also rich in bromelain. [11]Shing, C. M., Chong, S., Driller, M. W., & Fell, J. W. (2016) Acute protease supplementation effects on muscle damage and recovery across consecutive days of cycle racing. European Journal of Sport Science, 16(2), 206-212. DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2014.1001878

5. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are high in magnesium, which helps raise testosterone levels. [12]Showell, M. G., Mackenzie‐Proctor, R., Brown, J., Yazdani, A., Stankiewicz, M. T., & Hart, R. J. (2014). Antioxidants for male subfertility. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD007411. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007411.pub3.  Another study found that older men who had low levels of magnesium had lower levels of testosterone than men who had the highest magnesium levels. [13]Rotter, I., Kosik-Bogacka, D., Dołęgowska, B., Safranow, K., Karakiewicz, B., & Laszczyńska, M. (2015). Relationship between serum magnesium concentration and metabolic and hormonal disorders in middle-aged and older men. Magnesium Research, 28(3), 99-107. doi:10.1684/mrh.2015.0391

6. Eggs

Eggs are rich in vitamin D, which is essential for optimal testosterone levels. One study found that men who were deficient in vitamin D had lower levels of testosterone and higher levels of estrogen than men who weren’t deficient. [14]Tirabassi, G., Sudano, M., Salvio, G., Cutini, M., Muscogiuri, G., Corona, G., & Balercia, G. (2018). Vitamin D and Male Sexual Function: A Transversal and Longitudinal Study. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2018, 3720813. http://doi.org/10.1155/2018/3720813  Although vitamin D supports the production of testosterone, researchers believe it also hampers a process in which testosterone is converted into estrogen in men (aromatization). Don’t worry about your heart. A University of Connecticut study found that subjects could eat three eggs a day without affecting cholesterol levels. [15]DiMarco, D. M., Norris, G. H., Millar, C. L., Blesso, C. N., & Fernandez, M. L. (2017). Intake of up to 3 Eggs per Day Is Associated with Changes in HDL Function and Increased Plasma Antioxidants in Healthy, Young Adults. The Journal of Nutrition, 147(3), 323–329. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.116.241877

7. Tuna

Tuna’s ‘fragrance’ may not be ideal for some individuals, but its vitamin D content is. This vitamin bolsters testosterone by up to 90%, as was found in a study at Graz Medical University, Austria. [16]Canguven, O., Talib, R. A., El Ansari, W., Yassin, D. J. & Naimi, A. A. (2017). Vitamin D treatment improves levels of sexual hormones, metabolic parameters and erectile function in middle-aged vitamin D deficient men. The Aging Male, 20(1), 9-16, DOI:10.1080/13685538.2016.1271783 It does this by slashing the levels of the libido-killing chemical called Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG). [17]Satkunasivam, R., Ordon, M., Hu, B., Mullen, B., Lo, K., Grober, E., & Jarvi, K. Hormone abnormalities are not related to the erectile dysfunction and decreased libido found in many men with infertility. Fertility & Sterility, 101(6), 1594-1598. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.02.044 One 3 ounce can of tuna contains 50% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA).

8. Avocados

Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels are significantly associated with lower testosterone levels and low LDL-C may also be responsible for erectile dysfunction. [18]Kobat, M. A., Fırdolas, F., Balin, M., Çelik, A., Bentli, R., & Baydas, A. J. (2013). Circulating soluble lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor-1 levels are associated with erectile dysfunction in patients without known coronary artery disease. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10(11), 2782-2789. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02964.x. Numerous researchers have found that men with higher intakes of monounsaturated fat – like avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils – had lower LDL-C and higher testosterone levels. [19]Mínguez-Alarcón, L., Chavarro, J. E., Mendiola, J., Roca, M., Tanrikut, C., Vioque, J., … Torres-Cantero, A. M. (2017). Fatty acid intake in relation to reproductive hormones and testicular volume among young healthy men. Asian Journal of Andrology, 19(2), 184–190. http://doi.org/10.4103/1008-682X.190323 Try taking half a mashed avocado and spread it on a bagel, topped with shreds of smoked salmon as another one of your top foods to increase testosterone.

9. Pomegranate

pomegranate

Pomegranates have many health benefits when added to the diet. The seeds of this fruit contain vitamins A, C, some B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron. These health benefits come from two compounds called punicalagins and punicic acid. [20]Aruna, P., Venkataramanamma, D., Singh, A. K. & Singh, R. P. (2015). Health Benefits of Punicic Acid: A Review. Comprehensive Review in Food Science and Food Safety, 15(1), 16-27. https://doi.org/10.1111/1541-4337.12171 The International Journal of Impotence Research reports that 47% of impotent men found their condition improved after a daily glass of antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice. [21]Forest, C., Padma-Nathan, H., &  Liker, H. R. (2007). Efficacy and safety of pomegranate juice on improvement of erectile dysfunction in male patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. International Journal of Impotence Research, 19, 564-7. 10.1038/sj.ijir.3901570.

10. Honey

Honey contains the mineral boron and a compound called chrysin (Flavonoid) [22]Yao, L.H., Jiang, Y.M., Shi, J., Tomás-Barberán, F.A., Datta, N., Singanusong, R., & Chen, S.S. (2004).Flavonoids in food and their health benefits. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 59(3), 113-22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15678717?log$=activity, that are linked to high testosterone levels. [23]Gholami, M., Abbaszadeh, A., Khanipour Kayat, Z. Anbari, K., Baharvand, K., & Gharravi, A. M. (2018). Honey improves spermatogenesis and hormone secretion in testicular ischaemia-reperfusion-induced injury in rats. Andrologia, 50(1),e12804. doi: 10.1111/and.12804, [24]Tatli, O., Karaca, Y., Turkmen, S., Gulgen, G. S., Sahin, A., Eryigit, U., ….Gunduz, A . (2016). The effect of mad honey on testosterone levels of male rats. Bratislava Medical Journal, 117(11),677-680. doi: 10.4149/BLL_2016_130, [25]Gambelunghe, C., Rossi, R., Sommavilla, M., Ferranti, C., Rossi, R., Ciculi, C., ….Rufini, S (2003). Effects of chrysin on urinary testosterone levels in human males. Journal of Medicinal Food, 6(4):387-90. DOI: 10.1089/109662003772519967 Honey is also rich in nitric oxide: This is key in opening up blood vessels that create erections. Four teaspoons of honey can boost nitric oxide levels by 50%.

BONUS: 4 More Foods that Increase Testosterone

11. Raisins

Raisins are a rich source of boron and fructose. A moderate intake of fructose indirectly benefits testosterone levels by reducing the levels of SHBG in the body. [26]Araujo, A. B., & Wittert, G. A. (2011). Endocrinology of the Aging Male. Best Practice & Research. Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 25(2), 303–319. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.beem.2010.11.004 This is especially useful as SHBG inhibits the activities of testosterone by binding itself to the hormone but not to androgen receptors thus making it inactive. Fructose functions to reduce SHBG which in turn leads to increased bioavailability of testosterone in the body.

Furthermore, raisins contain resveratrol which functions as an antioxidant. Studies conducted on the benefits of the compound have found that it may also be beneficial in reducing the levels of estrogen [27]Zhou, X., Zhao, Y., Wang, J., Wang, X., Chen, C., Yin, D., ….Yin, X. (2018). Resveratrol represses estrogen-induced mammary carcinogenesis through NRF2-UGT1A8-estrogen metabolic axis activation. Biochemical Pharmacology,155,252-263. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2018.07.006 as well as increasing the levels of testosterone [28]Aslankoc, R., Gumral, N., Saygin, M., Senol, N., Asci, H., Cankara, F. N., & Comlekci, S. (2018). The impact of electric fields on testis physiopathology, sperm parameters and DNA integrity-The role of resveratrol. Andrologia, 50(4) e12971. doi: 10.1111/and.12971 in the body.

12. Argan Oil

Argan oil has been studied for its numerous medicinal benefits. Recent studies now suggest that the oil extracted from the Moroccan argan tree kernel may be beneficial in increasing the levels of testosterone in the body.

A study conducted on the benefits of this oil in Moroccan men found that it led to a significant increase in the level of testosterone in the participants. [29]Derouiche, A., Jafri, A., Driouch, I., El Khasmi, M., Adlouni, A., Benajiba, N., ….Benouhoud, M. (2013). Effect of argan and olive oil consumption on the hormonal profile of androgens among healthy adult Moroccan men. Natural Product Communications, 8(1), 51-53. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=argan+oil+testosterone The oil also contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful in improving cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation and treating skin infections. [30]Vaughn, A.R., Clark, A.K., Sivamani, R.K., & Shi, V. Y. (2018). Natural Oils for Skin-Barrier Repair: Ancient Compounds Now Backed by Modern Science. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 19(1), 103-117. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40257-017-0301-1, [31]Lin, T. K., Zhong, L., & Santiago, J. L. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(1). pii: E70. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010070

13. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are another option to consider when searching for an amazing testosterone boosting food. Many studies conducted on the benefits of this food, found that it contains anti-estrogenic properties. [32]Jiraungkoorskul, K., & Jiraungkoorskul, W. (2016). Review of Naturopathy of Medical Mushroom, Ophiocordyceps Sinensis, in Sexual Dysfunction. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 10(19), 1–5. http://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.176566 Although there is no evidence to support the benefits of the mushrooms for testosterone production, the reduction of estrogen will go a long way in enhancing the bioavailability of testosterone in the body.

In addition, it contains phytochemicals that are useful in inhibiting the activities of aromatase enzymes that actively convert testosterone into estrogen. [33]Adams, L. S., Phung, S., Wu, X., Ki, L., & Chen, S. (2008). White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) exhibits antiproliferative and proapoptotic properties and inhibits prostate tumor growth in athymic mice. Nutrition and Cancer, 60(6):744-56. doi: 10.1080/01635580802192866. Incorporating this superfood in your diet is beneficial not only for testosterone but also for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. [34]Muszynska, B., Grzywacz, A., Kala, K., & Gdula-Argasinska, J. (2018). Anti-Inflammatory Potential of In Vitro Cultures of the White Button Mushroom, Agaricus bisporus (Agaricomycetes), in Caco-2 Cells. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 20(2),129-139. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2018025408

14. Cacao Beans

Cacao beans are considered to be highly effective testosterone boosters. The benefits of this food are attributable to its antioxidant and anti-free radical properties. [35]Oracz, J., Zyzelewicz, D., & Nebesny, E. (2015). The content of polyphenolic compounds in cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao L.), depending on variety, growing region, and processing operations: a review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 55(9),1176-1192. doi:10.1080/10408398.2012.686934, [36]Hu, S., Kim, B. Y., & Baik, M. Y. (2016). Physicochemical properties and antioxidant capacity of raw, roasted and puffed cacao beans. Food Chemistry. 194,1089-1094. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.08.126 It is rich in testosterone boosting compounds like zinc, iron, magnesium, and manganese. The healthy fat content of the food may also be beneficial for the increased production of testosterone.

Cacao beans also contain enzymes and bacteria that may aid in digestion and increase metabolism. Regular intake of cacao, whether raw, roasted or puffed may improve blood pressure, cardiovascular health, as well as blood glucose levels. [37]Franco, R., Oñatibia-Astibia, A., & Martínez-Pinilla, E. (2013). Health Benefits of Methylxanthines in Cacao and Chocolate. Nutrients, 5(10), 4159–4173. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu5104159

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Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

About Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

Fran Sanchez, the founder of Herbolab, graduated from Uppsala University (Sweden) with a master in molecular biology and Karolinska University (Sweden) with a degree in medical sciences and business. He then moved to Singapore to run e-commerce operations in a pharmaceutical company, until eventually, he could fulfill his dream of creating a brand dedicated to help men reach their peak performance. Drawing on his experience as a lifelong multi-sport athlete and cutting edge medical and scientific research, Fran launched herbolab tongkat ali as flagship supplement in April of 2014. Fran now spend most of his time weight lifting and creating content dedicated to improve people’s lives.

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