Both men and women produce testosterone. Yet, it’s referred to as the “male hormone” because men produce a lot more of it. Testosterone is responsible for our maleness: for developing muscles, a man’s sex drive, his deeper voice, and the hair on his chest.
Testosterone levels peak in a normal male in his early to mid-twenties and then gradually begin to decline by 1% to 2% per year. By age sixty, roughly two out of every ten men suffer from Low T. However; low testosterone levels can develop even earlier in some men.
Low testosterone has been linked to a myriad of health and performance problems. Below is a partial list of potential issues per The Mayo Clinic:
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- Loss of bone mass
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hot flashes
If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, if you suffer from low testosterone or you’re seeking methods to maintain healthy levels, lifestyle, diet, and exercise are essential. In this article, we’ll focus on diet and address what foods kill testosterone, and what foods will increase testosterone naturally.
What Foods Kill Testosterone?
Certain foods may interfere with the body’s normal hormonal balance or its ability to produce testosterone effectively. Anyone who has concerns about their testosterone levels may want to avoid these foods.
5 Foods That Kill & Decrease Testosterone
Let’s start with five foods that kill testosterone and cause belly fat. Talk about adding insult to injury! As with so many things diet and health-related, moderation is crucial. Many of the foods highlighted in this segment contain essential vitamins and minerals, so we are not recommending abstinence, just careful, considered restraint.
Your diet is as important as how much you exercise and maintaining healthy body weight. Making sure you are eating the right foods, foods that increase testosterone, and avoiding the wrong foods, is a critical step in optimizing your health.
Of the five foods purported to kill testosterone, this one creates the most frenzy. Soy is an excellent plant-based protein that contains all the essential amino acids. Soy also contains significant amounts of phytoestrogen, which mimics the human hormone estrogen and can cause hormonal imbalances.
Perhaps Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RDN, and author of the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook says it best in Men’s Journal, stating, “In cases of duress and low testosterone, I steer guys towards other proteins, while allowing for some whole soy.” She then relates that in one small study of young, healthy males, without a control group, two scoops of pure soy protein powder (56 grams) per day decreased blood testosterone levels by 19 percent after four weeks. T levels returned to normal within two weeks of eliminating the soy protein powder.
Much of the soy research is conflicting and the subject of rather heated debate. Other studies have failed to link low testosterone to soy-based products. It will require more research before a definitive answer is determined. Until conclusive evidence is found, it might be a good idea to avoid or dramatically minimize soy products if you already have low testosterone.
Licorice root extract is used as a flavoring agent in candies, beverages, and many natural home remedies for everything from coughs to pain relief. It’s also one of our five foods that kill testosterone and cause belly fat. Licorice may reduce testosterone in healthy women as well as their male counterparts.
Several studies over the last several years have found that licorice causes hormonal changes over time. As reported by PubMed, two different studies conducted at the University of Padua (Padua, Italy) found that licorice decreased testosterone in men by 26% after daily use for just one week.
Polyunsaturated fat, along with monounsaturated fat, is typically considered one of the healthy fats. Polyunsaturated fat is found in most vegetable oils, vegetable oil-based margarine and spreads, and some nuts and seeds. Unfortunately, it’s another one of the five foods that kill testosterone and cause belly fat.
Recent studies have found that frequent consumption of polyunsaturated fats can significantly lower testosterone. While some of these “healthy fats” are required for proper overall health, it is a good idea to moderate your intake of these fats.
Flaxseed is commonly found in health foods and is a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, lignans, and healthy fats. The healthy fats, ALA, or omega 3 may be beneficial in lowering the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
However, according to several studies, too much flaxseed could significantly lower 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.
Most medical professionals consider trans fats the worst kind of fat. They increase the risk for heart attack, diabetes, and stroke, and have an adverse effect on your cholesterol levels. Trans fats are found in many processed and fast foods, think tortilla chips, cookies, and other fried foods.
Trans fat is another of our five foods that kill testosterone and cause belly fat, but this one has no redeeming factors, and no one is debating its benefits.
In recent studies, men who consumed the highest amounts of trans fats had lower levels of testosterone and free testosterone. In this instance, for your overall health, we do recommend abstinence.
Additional Foods to Avoid
As noted in the above examples of five foods that kill testosterone, polyunsaturated fats, and omega 3 fatty acids can significantly lower testosterone over time. For these reasons, you should avoid these additional foods as well as any other foods or supplements high in these fats. When trying to maintain healthy testosterone levels, we recommend a lower-fat diet. So, let’s talk about a couple more foods that decrease testosterone.
Walnuts and Almonds
Nuts are a healthy snack packed with protein and healthy polyunsaturated fats. As such, you may be tempted to indulge a bit to boost your protein intake on workout days. However, you might want to cut back on your consumption of walnuts and almonds. Both are foods that lower testosterone. One research study found that these two nuts increase levels of sex hormone-binding globulin also called SHBG proteins. These proteins adhere to testosterone and carry it out of the body. Keep nuts and seeds in your diet, but skip the walnuts and almonds.
Fresh-Water; Cold-Water Fish
Fresh cold-water fish is one of the many foods that lower testosterone. It’s packed with omega 3 fatty acids. Fish in this category include walleye, salmon, cod, and trout. For several years, nutritionists have recommended eating at least two servings of this type of fish for overall health due to the omega 3 fatty acids they contain. However, those with low testosterone should avoid going beyond two small servings of this type of fish as omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to lower testosterone in both men and women.
You may have noticed that several of the five foods that kill testosterone and cause belly fat are good for you in other ways. Eliminating healthy fats, for example, is counterproductive for your heart health. Other foods that lower testosterone include vitamins and nutrients that you need to be healthy.
Let’s turn our attention to a much more positive, and tastier subject, foods that increase testosterone naturally. People with low testosterone may be able to increase their testosterone levels by the foods they consume. We’ll think you’ll find this list of testosterone foods to be tasty, nutritious, and a welcome addition to your diet regimen.
Five Foods that Increase Testosterone Naturally
There are many foods to increase testosterone. By incorporating these into your diet even just a few times a week, you may experience a rise in testosterone levels. If you have a severe testosterone deficiency, you may need supplementation on top of diet changes. But the proper diet alone may take you a long way toward reversing the symptoms of low testosterone.
Oysters & Shellfish
We couldn’t resist listing oysters as our first testosterone boosting food. This shellfish has long been considered the natural way to increase libido for men and women. This is due to oysters’ high zinc content, which is essential for testosterone production, and they boost dopamine, a hormone that elevates the libido. Enough said.
Shellfish are often high in zinc, which can further boost your testosterone levels. Lobster, crab, and shrimp can all be key parts of your diet. According to the National Institutes of Health, in just three ounces, Alaskan king crab has over 40 percent of your daily zinc value.
We’ve all heard about the negatives associated with eating too much beef. And, to a degree, we concur, there are real concerns about overconsumption. But just as in moderation of foods that kill testosterone, we believe there is the potential for reduction in the consumption of foods that increase testosterone, such as beef. Once again, beef, as well as lamb and pork, is an excellent source of zinc.
Note: We recommend grass-fed, organic red meats whenever possible.
Zinc is required for many crucial bodily functions, including the production of testosterone. Since the body doesn’t store zinc, it’s essential that you consume a sufficient amount every day. The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for men is 11 mg/day and for women 8 mg/day.
Eggs & Egg Yolk
By now, we’re pretty confident that you agree, foods that increase testosterone are a much tastier option than those foods that kill testosterone, which brings us to the incredible egg yolk. The egg yolk has far more nutrients than the egg white, and it tastes better! The egg yolk is rich in Vitamin D3, which is what makes egg yolks a testosterone food. In one study, men who supplemented with D3 for one-year increased testosterone levels by over 400%.
Eggs also contain a moderate amount of zinc, so we recommend eggs, particularly the egg yolk, which should be a staple in your diet. For healthy individuals, up to three eggs per day should be safe. Those with cholesterol issues may need to moderate.
Another testosterone food for breakfast is fortified cereals. Many fortified kinds of cereals contain Vitamin D, the same nutrient as found in egg yolks. Vitamin D, in clinical studies, has been shown to positively correlate with testosterone in older men.
Cereals can be an incredible source of nutrients for those looking to boost testosterone while monitoring their blood cholesterol levels. Certain cereals are fortified with vitamin D and other health-boosting nutrients. Cereals can be a quick, easy way to increase your morning protein and bring your testosterone up.
Vitamin D is different from other vitamins in terms of the effect it has on the body. Vitamin D acts more like a hormone than other vitamins and is considered a key for regulating other hormones, including the production of testosterone.
With your oyster appetizer and steak entrée, you’ll need a side dish. Preferably another testosterone food that naturally increases your T levels. How about white beans, kidney beans, or black beans? They are each an excellent source of zinc and vitamin D.
Beans are also an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Pomegranates are full of antioxidants, which may help reduce stress and boost heart health. Some research indicates that pomegranates may help boost testosterone levels.
Vegetables like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard contain high amounts of magnesium, a mineral crucial to the production of testosterone. One study found that patients who took magnesium supplements for four weeks experienced raised testosterone levels in both athletic and sedentary participants. Those who were active experienced a greater increase, outlining the necessity of exercise in addition to good nutrition.
Leafy greens have many health benefits for all parts of your body. Many of them are high in vitamin A and iron, which boosts your body’s red blood cell count. But in regards to testosterone deficiencies, they are also important. Studies have shown that the amount of magnesium in leafy greens can help bolster testosterone production. Magnesium supplements combined with an exercise regime can significantly increase testosterone.
There are many ways to eat leafy greens, so there is no need for despair if you are not a fan. These greens include kale, chard, and spinach, and there are dozens of ways to prepare them. A quick glance at a recipe website will show everything from kale chips to delicious salads. If you would rather boost your magnesium in other ways, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds are also good sources.
At least one study indicates that onions may help raise low testosterone levels. While this research was conducted on rats, it may indicate that onions have a beneficial effect on human testosterone levels too.
Studies conducted on onions show that long-term daily intake caused a significant rise in testosterone. Research has only been conducted in animals so far and thus is inconclusive.
Garlic, meanwhile, contains a compound that fights stress by lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone produced under stress. Stress plays a significant role in decreased testosterone levels. Cortisol and testosterone are “enemies” in this sense, fighting for dominance in the body. To unlock the biggest benefits of garlic, eat it uncooked.
Olive oil may have numerous benefits like helping to prevent various cancers and heart disease. It has abundant amounts of vitamin E and monounsaturated fat. It may also improve male reproductive health. One study indicates that olive oil can increase serum testosterone levels in healthy adult males. It may also stimulate cells in the testes to produce more testosterone.
Tuna is packed with vitamin D, which is thought to be connected to both longevity and higher testosterone levels. Therefore, it is a solid choice for foods that increase testosterone levels. As a low-calorie, heart-healthy food that has lots of protein, it is an easy addition to any diet. Just one serving of tuna takes care of the daily recommended serving of vitamin D. Other fish, like salmon and sardines, can also be reliable elements in a testosterone-boosting diet. Two or three servings each week are recommended to keep below specified mercury levels while boosting testosterone.
Milk is a reliable source of protein and calcium and also helps to sustain male bone health over time. Vitamin D levels in fortified milk can help keep testosterone at healthy levels. Low-fat and skim kinds of milk are useful for anyone looking to cut back on fat in their diet too. The main benefit of these types of milk is that they contain all the nutrients of milk without the higher fat content.
If you are a lover of spicy food, there is good news. Studies show that ginger has the potential to significantly increase testosterone levels by as much as 17.7 percent. There are also indications that the spice may improve sperm health as well. There are many ways to incorporate ginger into your diet. You can find crystallized ginger for a sweet snack or start eating cultural dishes that use it. Many Indian and Asian dishes use ginger for flavor.
Some research indicates that ginger may be beneficial to those experiencing lowered testosterone levels and may even improve fertility.
Other foods you may consider for your testosterone boosting diet:
- Low-fat, fortified milk, plant-based preferred
- Other shellfish
Armed with the above, we think you have options for great-tasting, nutritious foods that increase testosterone naturally to add to your shopping list.
Diet can help improve, but alone is not a cure for, hypogonadism. It is important to talk to a doctor if you believe you are experiencing symptoms of lowered testosterone. They will properly diagnose and treat the conditions causing it.
As in all health-related issues, moderation and preventing excess is what’s important. If you are currently concerned about low testosterone or are attempting to optimize your test levels, you may want to consider supplementation in addition to your new diet. If so, we recommend you find a natural testosterone supplement such as Ageforce Testosterone Patches. AgeForce will optimize, not override your natural testosterone, by counteracting the effects of a poor diet and testosterone killing foods.
Many studies today have shown the benefits of skin patches for administering hormone treatments. AgeForce’s testosterone-boosting skin patches are an easy way to help regulate your hormone levels.
Lifestyle, diet, and exercise are crucial for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. As with all things regarding your health, keep balance in mind.