Most men want to boost testosterone naturally in some way as it can significantly increase their quality of life. But some plant-based foods have been overlooked in when it comes to boosting testosterone naturally.
Before we proceed, it has to be said that there are more impactful methods of naturally boosting testosterone, namely, losing fat.
You can eat all of the testosterone boosting foods in the world, but if you carry excess body fat, your testosterone levels will be nowhere near where you’d want them to be.
Furthermore, most foods that are written about when it comes to boosting your testosterone levels tend to be animal based.
In the past, we’ve written about how some foods such as eggs, steak, and salmon can help you achieve a higher quality of life.
However, there are some plant-based foods — aside from herbal supplements — which can help elevate your testosterone levels.
Plant-Based Foods That Can Boost Your Testosterone Levels
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Garlic contains the compound called allicin which can be useful for lowering your levels of cortisol, a hormone that is produced in the adrenal gland.
But what’s cortisol got to do with testosterone?
Under stress, your body produces cortisol, which has an impact on other bodily functions, including the production of testosterone. Some, but not all, of a man’s testosterone is produced in the adrenal gland, with the rest being produced in the gonads.
Cortisol also competes for the same muscular receptor sites as testosterone, and so the more cortisol you have in your system, the more competition testosterone will face at the receptor sites.
Therefore, by reducing the amount of cortisol in your system you allow testosterone to be produced more effectively by the adrenal gland and prevent it from facing so much competition to bind to skeletal muscle receptors.
So while garlic itself act isn’t a testosterone-boosting food, it reduces cortisol and as a result can help boost testosterone levels.
Garlic is most potent in its raw form. You can either eat raw cloves (skinned and chopped in half) or you can take a raw garlic supplement. In our free ebook, ‘How To Lose 20lb and Build Muscle in 12 Weeks’, we give a recipe for a potent homemade pre-workout formula using raw garlic.
While we’re on the subject of cortisol and stress, it’s worth also saying that both can lead to overeating, weight gain and the storage of unhealthy body fat around the internal organs, all of which can reduce your testosterone levels [R] [R] .
Eliminating as much cortisol and chronic stress from your life as possible, whether through your diet or through practices such as meditation and visualisation, is an essential part of restoring your natural masculine balance [R].
Honey is just awesome.
Not only can honey boost your nitric oxide levels in your body, helping you achieve awesome workouts and sexual prowess, as well as giving your immune system a boost, improving insulin sensitivity, increasing glutathione levels, reduce inflammation, an reduce aromatase, but it can also help you increase testosterone levels.
Honey contains boron, which has been linked to increasing T levels.
Moreover, many of the previously listed positive health benefits such as improving insulin sensitivity and reducing aromatase can also help contribute to higher T levels.
Popeye vindicated? It certainly looks that way.
In fact, after a study at a German university, scientists called for the World Anti-Doping Agency to add ecdysterone – a hormone found in spinach – to the list of prohibited substances for athletes [R] [R].
As part of a 10-week study, researchers split nearly 50 athletes into four groups to assess how ecdysterone affected their physical performance: one was a control group, another received a placebo, and the remaining groups received a daily dose of either two or eight capsules containing 100mg of ecdysterone extracted from spinach. The four groups followed the same strength training programme for the 10 weeks.
The group on ecdysterone enjoyed both increased muscle mass and strength gains. In fact, their strength gains were up to three times those of the other participants.
In another study investigating the compound’s method of action, the authors write:
“The anabolic potency of the ecdysterone was comparable or even higher as found for the anabolic androgenic steroids [dianabol and trenbolox], SARMs or IGF-1”
Ecdysterone doesn’t, in itself, appear to stimulate increased testosterone production, but rather to act on estrogen receptors, suppressing estrogen production [R].
Spinach, though, contains a great many other vitamins and minerals, some of which will directly aid your testosterone. Magnesium is one of these minerals. It helps to free up testosterone in the blood by preventing sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) from binding with testosterone. Only unbound, or free, testosterone can actually be used in the body [R].
It’s worth noting that the dose of ecdysterone given to the participants in the study mentioned earlier was equivalent to the amount contained in 4kg of spinach. Even if you can’t manage that amount on a daily basis, a decent helping of spinach each day will almost certainly help you balance your hormones and chase those gains.
This delicious, creamy fruit is high in many vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin K and the B vitamins.
Avocados are also high in zinc which is fundamental in the production of T.
High in fat, avocados pair well with a variety of savory dishes.
Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables
Don’t forget to eat your greens!
While we don’t recommend eating chicken, rice, and broccoli ad nauseum, you should not fail to include them in your diet as they can positively affect your testosterone levels.
Indole-3-carbinol is a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables (including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale). As well as serving as a powerful antioxidant and reducing cell damage from free radicals, indole-3-carbinol serves to regulate and suppress estrogen production.
A study at Rockefeller University showed that men who took 500mg of indole-3-carbinol daily for a week enjoyed a 50% reduction in estrogen. As we’ve seen with ecdysterone, estrogen suppression is a powerful way of increasing the effectiveness of the testosterone you have available [R].
Another great addition as Brazil Nuts are brimming with nutrients and minerals.
But for the purpose of this article, Brazil Nuts contain selenium, zinc, and cholesterol which are all crucial in the production of testosterone.
Brazil nuts are a delicious versatile snack that can be included in cooking or your yogurt.
Bananas and pineapple
Surprised? Well, don’t be. Both of these fruits contain bromelain, a protease enzyme which has been shown to have testosterone-boosting effects.
One study of cyclists taking part in a six-day race showed that bromelain supplementation enhanced recovery and also prevented reductions in testosterone [R].
Bromelain’s power as a protease enzyme cannot be overstated; pineapple pickers are often known to have their fingerprints worn down by repetitive exposure to the fruit. Franco Columbu famously ate pineapples as part of his post-workout meals.
Bananas are also rich in B vitamins, which have also been shown to be essential in maintaining healthy levels of testosterone. A study of rats, for instance, showed that deficiencies in vitamin B6 reduced testosterone synthesis [R].
Chronic low testosterone levels also seem to be associated with chronically low levels of vitamin B12, as the following human study shows [R].
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