Testosterone is responsible for muscle strength and bone density as well as secondary male sex characteristics, such as hair, beard growth and depth of voice. Boosting testosterone levels naturally can be achieved by giving the body the foods necessary to manufacture the hormone. The reasons for seeking this boost include preventing osteoporosis and other age-related illnesses, correcting falling testosterone levels after surgery, increasing muscle mass for body building and treating male sexual dysfunctions. The food choices are vast. There are different sources to suit all tastes and budgets.
Meat is the most obvious and for many the most expensive food to choose for boosting testosterone levels. It is high in the basic protein needed to make muscle and it also contains cholesterol, which is needed to help the body make the testosterone. High levels of zinc are present in lean red meats. Zinc is a trace mineral responsible for growth and repair of tissue used in the bodily manufacture of testosterone. Research suggests that men with lower testosterone levels are zinc deficient. A lean cut of red meat in the form of a grilled steak, four to five times a week, will help raise testosterone levels.
Seafood and Fish
Oysters and salmon are two excellent foods for producing testosterone. Oysters are another good source of zinc. Six of them deliver more than seven times the recommended daily dose of zinc, along with magnesium, selenium and many other trace elements used in hormone production. Fish is naturally high in protein, and oily fish such as sardines contain the added benefits of vitamins A, E and B, which are more building blocks needed for a healthy body.
Eggs have received bad press where cholesterol is concerned, but they are one of the easiest foods for the body to synthesise into testosterone. Any person who leads an active lifestyle can be less concerned about the possible ill effects of this commonly used food. Up to four eggs per day is not an unusual amount for those aiming at higher testosterone levels. Recent studies suggest lighter cooking of eggs for a protein more easily digested and better used by the body.
Not all sources of foods that help to boost testosterone levels are found in the animal kingdom. Beans are a potent source of protein. They are high in fibre, which cleanses and speeds up the digestive system, and they are one of the highest sources of zinc, the benefits of which were covered earlier. Adding cheese to a bean dish makes a delicious meal that vegetarians can enjoy and it boosts the protein levels found in beans up to that of a steak meal. Broccoli and cabbage, preferably steamed or lightly stir-fried, are two foods with a considerable amount of benefits. They reduce the amount of oestrogen produced in the body, and taste good dressed with garlic, which contains an active ingredient called allicin that increases testosterone production.
The Herb Tribulus
The herb tribulus is gaining popularity with top bodybuilders and athletes because it enhances the precursors to testosterone production. Available in supplemental form, it should only be used as recommended, with careful attention paid to possible side-effects, such as gastric disruption.