Anabolic Nutrition: The Science Behind 10 Testosterone Boosting Foods
Alex Eriksson, Founder of Anabolic Health
"Steroids and "testosterone" often get a bad rap when it comes to sports. People often overlook that everyone produces these compounds at certain metabolic levels for normal body functioning, and that some might truly need bioidentical testosterone injections (TRT) for medical reasons.
In men, low T-levels can not only be seen in the lack of low-hanging testicles because of the lack of production. At a physiological level, low testosterone may even lead to overall poor function of the male reproductive system as exhibited through erectile dysfunction and weak sperm counts. Testosterone is responsible for male sex drive and low levels can affect your libido and performance in the bedroom. Low T-levels may also affect male physical attributes such as the presence of body hair, bone density and muscle mass. Moreover, T-levels contribute to certain male behaviors and low levels may lead to fluctuations in aggression, energy levels and even self-esteem. More testosterone does not make you more aggressive, but a lack of testosterone definitely will!
A decrease in T-levels is an unavoidable consequence of aging for every man. But for the healthier, younger crowd who want to maintain their testosterone at higher levels while they can, it might be best to skip the medications and head to the kitchen instead. Unless you have a serious hormonal imbalance or severely low testosterone levels that needs medical attention, you may instead rely on healthier food options to boost your manly hormones.
A Closer Look at the Chemistry
Before we draft your next menu, let us first look at some of the possible T-boosting mechanisms you can achieve through food intake. Certain types of food can either stimulate testosterone production or regulate your oestrogen levels, with both options leading to higher testosterone levels in the end.
Remember that testosterone is an androgenic steroid, an organic compound that the body produces when you give it the necessary building blocks to do so.
Consuming Dietary Fats
The building blocks of testosterone are found in dietary fats. But then, which fats? There are many different types of fats, some examples being unsaturated, saturated and cholesterol. All of these types have their respective functions and are needed by the body. If you are particularly after boosting your T-levels, then pay more attention specifically to your monounsaturated fats, saturated fat and cholesterol, the precursor of testosterone.
On Controlling Estrogen Levels
Cows bred for milk production are usually fed with grains and supplements that contain growth promoting hormones and xenoestrogens. Such hormones are similar to oestrogen and an excess of this in your body will harm your hormonal balance. It is important to buy grass-fed, organic meat to avoid all the extra hormones and additives that are typically passed on to you through your diet. Not to mentioned, grass-fed animals contains a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (that’s right folks, you don’t need to eat fish to get your omega-3s).
Your New Shopping List
Now that you have grasped the basics, fill your pantry and refrigerator with all 10 of these testosterone-boosting foods to get in on the action:
- Eggs (especially raw)
Forty-four percent (44%) of the fatty acids in eggs is of the monounsaturated kind. Aside from having a sufficient protein content and being of high nutritional value, eggs contain cholesterol which is a precursor of testosterone. If you also want to focus on increased muscle mass, then consume your eggs raw.
- Oysters (Zinc)
The aphrodisiac myths surrounding oysters is probably not just because of how it looks but mainly due to its nutritional content. Oysters have high levels of magnesium, selenium, copper and vitamin D – with special mention to zinc which needs constant replenishment for optimal testosterone production. Basically, oysters is as close as you get to a perfect natural multivitamin for men.
- Olive oil / Coconut Oil / Butter (all great fats)
These fatty oils do not just contain many different kinds of fatty acids but are also very healthy. Olive oil has high monounsaturated fat content, while coconut oil is a great source of saturated fat. On the other hand, butter contains important vitamins (A, E, K and D) which promotes testosterone production.
- Brazil Nuts (Selenium)
Brazil nuts may be mistakenly labelled as seeds but there’s no mistake in the testosterone-boosting super powers from their high selenium content. Selenium has glutathione-stimulating effects which are linked to stimulating T-production.
Testosterone-like sterols may also be found in plants such as celery, which has androstenone and androstenol. These act in a similar fashion to testosterone and together with a celery flavonoid called apigenin, helps regulate estrogen metabolism. And if that was not enough, there is also another flavonoid called luteolin, which can reduce oestrogen levels.
- Broccoli (DIM)
Another veggie that makes it to the list is broccoli, together with other cruciferous greens including cabbage, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. The DIM content in these vegetables help lower oestrogen levels by metabolizing estrogen into less harmful forms.
- Red Wine / Grapes
Research on testosterone being increased by grapes is still under study but positive results including improvements in sperm production have already been observed so far. These effects have been attributed to the substance resveratrol which also functions as a potent antioxidant that can regulate oestrogen levels.
Pomegranates increases nitric oxide and in turn vasodilation, they are also a very potent source of antioxidants all packed into a tasty fruit – what more can you ask for? You don’t only boost testosterone with this snack but also get improved blood flow and erectile function.
- Pine Pollen (contains real testosterone)
Some food sources only boost testosterone by providing the building blocks or by regulating oestrogen levels. Pine pollen does not belong to these foods because it has actual real testosterone in it. No needles or pills – use a pine pollen tincture under your tongue for direct absorption of the testosterone into your blood stream. This is one of the best supplements for aging men.
- Blue Cheese
Forgive its strong smell and give blue cheese a chance, it has lots of nutritional value on offer. Enjoy the benefits of probiotics, saturated fat and even vitamin K for a cheesy testosterone boost.
There are many other food sources to naturally boost your testosterone levels. Stick to a balanced diet high in healthy fats and pair it with high intensity resistance training and you are guaranteed results. Try boosting your androgens the natural way before considering other options. Besides, who wouldn’t enjoy eating tasty, healthy meals over swallowing pills or TRT injections anyway?
- Anabolic Health. (n.d.). 45 Foods that Boost Testosterone: The Ultimate Guide to Manly Cooking. http://www.anabolichealth.com/foods-that-boost-testosterone/
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- Juan, M.E., et al. (2005). Trans-Resveratrol, a Natural Antioxidant from Grapes, Increases Sperm Output in Healthy Rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15795430
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- Nagata, C., et al. (2009). Relationships Between Types of Fat Consumed and Serum Estrogen and Androgen Concentrations in Japanese Men. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327914NC382_4
- Nelson, M.T. (n.d.). 4 Reasons to Consume Raw Eggs for Recovery Post Training. http://miketnelson.com/mike_t_nelson_articles/4_reasons_consume_raw_eggs_protein_training_Vince_Gironda.php
- Pietrangelo, A. (2014). The Effects of Testosterone on the Body. http://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/effects-on-body?drivereffectslowt
By Alex Eriksson, Founder of Anabolic Health, a men's health blog dedicated to providing honest and research backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals. Check out www.anabolichealth.com to learn more about Alex and his work. You can also find him on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook