Testosterone is an important hormone that men should pay attention to because it increases lean muscle & bone density. Healthy levels improve your body’s ability to repair muscle tissues broken down during a workout.
A man’s testosterone levels begin to lower after 30 years old at a rate of about 1.6% per year. Low testosterone in males is linked to low sex drive, obesity, depression and osteoporosis. But before you go reaching for the supplement bottle there are foods that will naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Fats & Cholesterol
Once thought of as dietary heart attack stimulators, fats & cholesterol (the right types) are important when trying to increase testosterone levels naturally. Poly-saturated fats promote circulation and blood flow. Saturated fat contains cholesterol and cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone.
Foods with good quality levels of fats/cholesterol include:
- Eggs with yolks (this is a big one)
- Peanut butter
- Olive Oil
- Red meat
- Coconut oil
Zinc And Testosterone
Zinc plays an important role in testosterone production and levels can be increased through supplements and nutritional changes. When preparing foods with zinc, keep in mind that cooking it reduces the level of nutrients so it’s better to consume these foods as raw as possible.
Foods that contain high amounts of zinc include:
- Raw Cheese
- Raw milk
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Red meat
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and is linked to testosterone production. The easiest way to increase Vitamin D is to get some sun and/or take a supplement. Some foods contain Vitamin D.
Foods with high Vitamin D:
- Milk fortified with Vitamin D
- Egg yolks
- Mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light to increase vitamin D
To learn a little bit more about Vitamin D supplements read our post Bodybuilding Supplements That Work.
Avoid Soy & Sugar
Unknown to many is that soy promotes estrogen production. If you are avoiding dairy products or whey protein powders, avoid the soy alternatives and try to go with nut-based products and supplements.
Sugar decreases testosterone levels in the blood by as much as 25 percent. So put down the sweets!
Notice how some foods have made it into more than one category? Eggs, fish, cheese, and red meat are nutritional superstars when trying to increase testosterone levels naturally through diet.
It’s always good to get a physical with your doctor and get your testosterone levels checked before taking steps to increase levels, especially if you want to start taking supplements. Also ask them for any recommendations on testosterone boosting supplements.