Testosterone is a male sex hormone that plays a role in fertility, sexual function, bone health, and muscle mass.
A person’s testosterone level will fall naturally with age — by 1 to 2 percent per year — but some medical conditions, lifestyle choices, and other factors can influence the amount of this hormone in the body.
Some medical treatments can raise low testosterone levels, especially in younger men, but a person can also encourage the body to produce more by making some changes to the diet and lifestyle.
In this article, we list the best foods for increasing testosterone levels. We also describe products to avoid and other ways to increase testosterone production.
Top 8 testosterone-boosting foods
A person with low testosterone may benefit from trying:
People have used ginger for medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries. Modern research indicates that this root may improve fertility in men.
According to the findings of a 2012 study, taking a daily ginger supplement for 3 months increased testosterone levels by 17.7 percent in a group of 75 adult male participants with fertility issues. The authors suggested that ginger may also improve sperm health in other ways.
Authors of a study from 2013 report that ginger increased testosterone and antioxidant levels in a diabetic rat model in just 30 days.
Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food — and zinc is important for sperm health and reproductive function.
Males with severe zinc deficiency may develop hypogonadism, in which the body does not produce enough testosterone. They may also experience impotence or delayed sexual maturation.
People can also find the mineral in:
- other shellfish
- red meat
It is important to note that zinc and copper compete for absorption. Take care when choosing supplements to avoid consuming too much of either mineral.
The pomegranate is an age-old symbol of fertility and sexual function, and its antioxidant levels may support heart health and stress reduction.
Also, results of a study from 2012 indicate that pomegranate may boost testosterone levels in men and women. Sixty healthy participants drank pure pomegranate juice for 14 days, and researchers tested the levels of testosterone in their saliva three times a day.
At the end of the study period, both male and female participants displayed an average 24 percent increase in salivary testosterone levels. They also experienced improvements in mood and blood pressure.
4. Fortified plant milks
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and results of a study from 2011 suggest that it may increase testosterone levels in men.
It is important to note that the dosage in this study was 3,332 international units (IU) of the vitamin per day, which far exceeds the 400 IU recommended daily for healthy people.
While sun exposure is one of the best ways to get vitamin D, not everyone can spend enough time outdoors in sunny weather. In the average American diet, fortified foods provide the majority of the vitamin D.