7 Testosterone Boosting Foods Plus Other Natural Methods
Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, can affect your bone health, sex drive, and mood.
Regardless of what causes the decrease, it is important to work with a medical professional to return your levels to a healthy range for you. In some cases, you may need testosterone replacement therapy, but you can also try to increase this hormone naturally.
Keep reading to learn which foods to eat and which to avoid to increase your body’s testosterone production.
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male” and “man” when discussing people assigned male at birth to reflect language that appears in source materials.
Research suggests that honey enhances serum testosterone levels in males. “Serum testosterone” refers to testosterone found in the blood.
In a peer review of studies from 2019, researchers found that honey may enhance the body’s luteinizing hormone production. The luteinizing hormone stimulates testosterone production.
Other factors, like honey’s antioxidant properties, may enhance the performance of Leydig cells. These cells are responsible for testosterone production.
Consuming eggs may increase your testosterone levels, but make sure you consume the yolk. The yolk of one medium egg contains about 225 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol. Your body uses cholesterol to make testosterone.
One 2021 study examined the effect of consuming just egg whites versus whole eggs. In the study, the group who consumed whole eggs experienced an increase in testosterone levels.
A 2021 study indicates that diets low in beans and legumes may have links to low testosterone levels.
Beans and legumes are high in protein and zinc.
In fact, 100 grams (g) of dried black beans contain 24.4 g of protein and 3.37 mg of zinc. For reference, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 11 mg of zinc for males and 8 mg for females daily.
The amount of protein you need varies based on your activity level and body weight, per 2016 research.
Research suggests that magnesium increases free and total testosterone values in males. “Free testosterone” refers to testosterone that, unlike most of your testosterone, is not bound to a protein in your blood.
One particular 2014 study demonstrated an increase in magnesium consumption leads to an increase in testosterone in men. The increase occurred in both athletes and people who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Dark leafy greens and vegetables contain high magnesium levels. In fact, 100 g of spinach contains 93 mg of magnesium.
The NIH recommends 400–420 mg of magnesium daily for males and 310–320 mg for females.
Avocados are another good source of magnesium. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 100 grams of avocado contain 29 mg of magnesium.
There is also another reason why avocados may increase testosterone. A 2015 research review states that this fruit contains boron, a chemical element linked with increased testosterone.
Increased boron intake may relate to higher levels and better use of testosterone in the body, according to the same review.
However, a 2018 study suggests that supplementing with boron supplementation is likely ineffective for increasing testosterone levels specifically for athletic performance purposes.
One 2020 study found a correlation between fish oil supplementation and higher free testosterone in males. Other research from 2020 also suggests a positive relationship between DHA-enriched fish oil and increased testosterone in males.
You do not need to take a supplement to get fish oil into your diet. Fatty fish contain high levels of fish oil.
Types of fatty fish include:
- black cod
A 2018 study by researchers at Taipei Medical University suggests that following a diet high in Western-style foods may decrease serum testosterone levels. These Western-style foods include bread, pastries, dairy products, and desserts.
The study participants who ate diets high in these foods and ate out often had lower serum testosterone levels. These diets were also low in homemade meals and leafy greens.
Learn more about low testosterone levels.
Exercising is good for your overall health, including your hormone health, 2020 research suggests. Avoiding testosterone-affecting behaviors can also help increase levels naturally.
One peer review of studies in 2016 examined the effects of smoking cigarettes and testosterone levels. The results suggest that smoking cigarettes may actually increase testosterone levels in males. This is because nicotine prevents your body from disposing of testosterone.
Yet other researchers in an older 2007 study noted that this correlation might mask borderline hypogonadism.
Read our tips for quitting smoking.
BPA exposure can also decrease testosterone in males, a 2019 research review suggests. Avoiding plastics with this chemical may help with low levels.
Learn more about BPA plastics.
Supplements and safety
Fish oil, zinc, and magnesium supplements may increase testosterone. You should always consult with your doctor before starting a new supplement. Additionally, taking certain testosterone-boosting supplements may pose a health risk, according to a 2018 case report.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not extensively regulate dietary supplements. Contact your doctor before starting use.
Here are some frequently asked questions about testosterone.
How can I raise my testosterone levels fast?
Eating a nutrient-rich diet, exercising, and avoiding activities that lower your testosterone levels may help raise your testosterone levels quickly.
Does milk increase testosterone?
There is conflicting information on whether milk increases testosterone. Researchers at the National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences hypothesized in 2021 that low fat dairy products may have a positive effect on male fertility, whereas full fat dairy products may have a negative effect.
Yet they note that more research is necessary to draw a conclusion.
Nutrient- and antioxidant-rich foods may boost your body’s ability to produce testosterone. Eating a diet high in fatty fish, avocados, and leafy greens can have a positive effect on your overall health.
Other natural methods for increasing your testosterone include exercising. While some supplements may improve your testosterone levels, you should talk with your doctor before taking any of these.