When it comes to men’s health, testosterone plays an important role in many different things. It’s responsible for the development of male reproductive organs and tissue, as well as muscle growth and hair growth on our body and face.
If you’ve battled with low testosterone levels, it’s likely that you’ve had an issue with one or more of the above things. The most common generally being hair growth. If you rarely have a need for cutting your hair, you probably have low testosterone!
Low testosterone levels can cause depression, thin bones, weight gain and low libido. In extreme cases, erectile dysfunction and impotence can occur.
While it’s natural for testosterone levels to fall as we get older, factors such as stress and alcoholism can also cause hormone levels to drop.
How to Increase Testosterone Levels in Men Over 40
Whatever the reason, there are many things you can do to help maintain a healthy level of testosterone. My personal favorite, as with virtually anything, is to do it with food!
A healthy diet has many benefits and incorporating certain foods into your daily routine can not only help increase testosterone, but also improve your health overall. Below are 10 foods that will do just that.
Egg Yolk to Boost Testosterone
Did you know that testosterone is synthesized from cholesterol? We all know having high cholesterol is bad but staying within your daily recommended amounts can have its benefits, including raising testosterone levels!
A healthy level of cholesterol is obtained from eating egg yolks. They contain high-density lipoprotein which is the good kind of cholesterol for testosterone to be synthesized from.
On a side note, eggs also contain biotin, which is known to strengthen hair. So, you’ll promote higher testosterone levels to help with hair growth and strengthen that hair with biotin. You’ll be needing a pair of hair clippers in no time!
Keep in mind that you don’t have to eat the yolk on its own. Don’t be afraid to get those egg whites in you too as they have a ton of health benefits as well!
Garlic to Increase Testosterone
Cortisol is a steroid hormone, of which an excess of can lead to symptoms such as rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, depression and muscle weakness. All these symptoms coincide with symptoms of low testosterone levels.
What does this have to do with garlic? Well, Garlic reduces cortisol levels and increases testosterone levels. Think of cortisol as a competitor for testosterone, and garlic being the stimulant that puts testosterone in the lead.
How Oysters Boost Testosterone
Oysters are a jack of all trades. They are rich in zinc, which speeds up testosterone production and keeps your sperm healthy. They also contain dopamine, a natural libido enhancer and are known to be an aphrodisiac.
While they are an acquired taste, I highly recommend trying to add them to your diet for a boost in testosterone.
Can Beef Increase Testosterone
Since it’s so common, chances are this is a part of your diet already. Beef is a great source of zinc and can be used in a plethora of recipes or eaten on its own, of course. After all, who doesn’t love a good steak?
Low testosterone is commonly linked to zinc deficiency, so getting a healthy dose of red meat in your diet is something to consider if you don’t already.
SHBG stands for sex hormone binding globulin. Essentially, it’s a protein that binds itself to testosterone (and other hormones) preventing it from being biologically active.
Salmon contains fish oil, which decreases the amount of SHBG, allowing more testosterone to get to work. It also contains zinc and vitamin A which helps increase testosterone levels and production.
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium which all help with raising testosterone production.
Vitamin E is especially important because it stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) which promotes testosterone production in men.
Almonds also contain arginine, which is a natural male libido enhancement.
Tuna contains fish oil as well as vitamin D. A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to low testosterone levels in men.
Believe it or not, there is enough vitamin D in just a single serving of tuna to meet your daily requirement, so eating tuna should be a no-brainer!
Red grapes contain two chemicals that block estrogen levels. “Resveratrol” which is found in the skins, and “Proanthocyanidin” which is found in the seeds.
Estrogen is the opposite of testosterone and they don’t really work together. High levels of estrogen results in low levels of testosterone, and vice versa. So reducing the level of estrogen or blocking estrogen production will naturally increase testosterone levels.
Oh, and yes, the nutrients stated above can be found in red wine as well. But you’re much better off blending the grapes to ensure the seeds are included in your diet.
Pomegranate is a bit special in this list as it’s one of the best foods that can help with erectile dysfunction.
While low testosterone levels are directly linked to erectile dysfunction, it’s not the only reason it occurs. Low levels of nitrates, or nitric oxide, are also responsible for erectile dysfunction.
Pomegranates are rich in nitrates that get converted to nitric oxide, reducing “testicular oxidative stress”.
Without getting too much into the science of it, testicular oxidative stress is directly linked to testicular and erectile dysfunction. Pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants to counteract this.
You don’t often see people eating pomegranates on a regular basis even though they are a delicious fruit. They are great on their own or blended in a shake. I recommend grabbing one next time you’re at your local grocery store!
Cruciferous Vegetables to Boost Testosterone
Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables rich in “phytochemicals” that block the development of estrogen. As mentioned earlier, people with higher levels of estrogen often have lower levels of testosterone.
Examples of cruciferous vegetables include brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, turnips, and kale.
All of these are extremely healthy and should be incorporated into your diet even if you don’t have low testosterone!
There are many things that can help with increasing testosterone levels in men over 40, and it’s important that whatever you have questions about, you consult with a medical professional first. This is especially important if you need treatment for erectile dysfunction.
While pills and other things may be necessary for more extreme cases of low testosterone, it is possible to see improvement naturally simply from the food you eat.
Incorporating these foods into your diet is not only a good place to start in terms of raising testosterone, but also for improving your lifestyle.
Adam is an avid gym goer who sparked an interest in health and fitness at a young age. He enjoys writing about personal health and men’s grooming in hopes of helping people look and feel their best.
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com