While hormone supplementation is often a key aspect of any FTM’s journey, some of the most common foods that we eat on a day-to-day basis are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that help enhance testosterone levels. Given that testosterone plays a central role in lean muscle development, ensuring that your diet is rich in these so-called superfoods can pay off in spades when it comes to your physique transformation.
Here are 5 of our top testosterone boosting edibles that will ignite your efforts to gain lean muscle mass and torch stubborn body fat:
1. Cruciferous Veggies
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage contain tons of anti-cancer compounds called indoles. Indoles combat the buildup of excess estrogen, thereby indirectly heightening T production. One study found that men who consumed indole-3-carbinol from cruciferous veggies over a mere 7-day period chopped their levels of the female estrogen hormone estradiol by about 50%.
Eating plenty of shrimp and other seafood is a great way to amp your levels of vitamin D, which carries a strong link to testosterone levels. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, men with higher vitamin D levels also had higher T levels. Another study in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” indicated that both men and women with higher vitamin D levels in their bloodstream tended to possess greater upper- and lower-body strength. The upshot? Don’t take your vitamin D levels lightly, and even considering supplementing with vitamin D for a big T boost.
As spices and seasonings go, garlic offers a powerful way to both flavor up your recipes and increase your T volume. This is due to a compound in garlic called diallyl-disulfide, which indirectly fosters testosterone production. Studies conducted in animals have demonstrated that, when combined with a diet rich in protein, garlic significantly elevates the body’s testosterone levels.
4. Ricotta Cheese
Believe it or not, that lasagna you ate the other night may actually be doing your testosterone levels a favor! Ricotta cheese offers an excellent source of whey protein, which is useful for lean muscle building. Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found that people who supplement with whey protein face lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can both blunt testosterone production and increase your body’s fat storage tendencies. If you’re doing any sort of intense weight training, whey protein and the branched-chain amino acids it contains are essential for minimizing the cortisol response during recovery.
Strawberries offer an amazing source of vitamin C. This is important because higher consumption of vitamin C has been linked to lower cortisol levels (again, a known testosterone-buster) during the post-workout recovery phase. By reducing the amount of cortisol competing with the testosterone in your body, you’ll ensure maximum anabolic benefits from the latter.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
If you ever thought pumpkin seeds were just for Halloween season, it’s time to reconsider! These tasty morsels are a wonderful source of zinc, a mineral that contributes to scores of enzymatic reactions in the body including those at play when it comes to testosterone production. In fact, one study appearing in “Nutrition” concluded that men with deficient zinc intake had lower T concentrations. There are several ways to sneak pumpkin seeds into your diet for a daily zinc infusion, including by adding them to yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and even your protein shakes!