Plant-based foods for increased testosterone.

calcium | arginine | carnitine | magnesium | selenium | zinc | vitamin D

What does testosterone do to the body?

Testosterone is a hormone with many health benefits, both for men and women. It’s vital for increased sex drive and energy, muscle mass, strength, decreased body fat percentage, healthy hair, fertility, mood, and quality sleep.

Foods rich in calcium may increase testosterone

Eating adequate amounts of calcium is necessary for increased testosterone. High calcium intake can increase testosterone levels in athletes and improve overall athletic performance.[1]

The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,200 mg for men and women. Moreover, most people can benefit from taking up to 2,500 mg of calcium a day.

Higher daily dosages may be bad for health, though. For instance, excessive calcium intake from supplements, is a common reason for the formation of kidney stones, and constipation.[2]

Dairy isn’t the only source of calcium. Actually, there are many plant-based foods high in calcium.

Soybeans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans, tofu, broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula, collard greens, chia seeds, mustard seeds, and whole cereals contain moderate to high amounts of calcium! Even fruits are high in calcium. For instance, goji berries, figs, apricots, and raisins are excellent vegan sources of calcium. We should consume them regularly in order to help the body produce more testosterone!

Arginine & carnitine are vital amino acids for testosterone synthesis

The human body needs adequate amounts of the amino acids arginine and carnitine to synthesize testosterone.[3]

We can take arginine from vegan food. For instance, seeds, nuts, and whole grains are excellent dietary sources of arginine for vegetarians.

On the contrary, only food from animal sources contain carnitine. Vegetarians don’t get high doses of carnitine from food. But, this isn’t a problem. The human body can synthesize all the carnitine we need from the essential amino acids, lysine and methionine.[4]

So, vegetarians have to consume lysine and methionine from plant-based foods for increased testosterone. These essential amino acids are naturally present in many plant-based foods, though. Hence, vegans and vegetarians who follow a well-balanced diet get high doses of these essential amino acids.

Magnesium in plant-based foods supports testosterone synthesis

Another vital compound for proper testosterone synthesis is magnesium. According to studies, high magnesium intake can increase free and total testosterone levels. Athletes can benefit the most![5]

Men need 420 mg and women need 320 mg of magnesium a day.[6]

A healthy diet provides adequate amounts of magnesium. Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach), legumes, nuts (e.g. almonds), seeds, and whole grains are great plant-based foods high in magnesium!

Vegan foods with selenium for increased testosterone synthesis

Selenium is particularly important for the natural production of testosterone. Furthermore, selenium deficiency is associated with male infertility and decreased male sex drive.

The recommended daily intake of selenium is 55 mcg, both for women and men.

Whole grains are the main vegan sources of selenium, but they contain inadequate doses. Hence, vegans have a higher risk of selenium deficiency.

The richest vegan food in selenium is Brazil nuts, though. Just 1 Brazil nut contains up to 91 mcg of selenium. More than the recommended daily intake! Therefore, consume 1-2 Brazil nuts a day, for increased testosterone levels, sex drive, fertility, and weight loss.

Vegetarian men should eat plant-based foods with zinc!

Zinc plays a key role in male sex drive, fertility, and testosterone levels.[7]

The body can’t store zinc. So, we should consume foods containing zinc every day! The recommended daily intake of zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women.

Although, there are plenty of vegan foods high in zinc, zinc from plants isn’t absorbed easily. Phytates in plants bind to zinc and inhibit its absorption. Therefore, vegans may require up to 50% more zinc than meat eaters. Athletes have even higher zinc needs! Actually, zinc deficiency is pretty common in athletes, causing impaired sport performance!

Good vegan dietary sources of zinc are oats, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.

In general, consuming at least 1 handful of mixed seeds and nuts a day can increase testosterone levels and sex drive!

Vitamin D is necessary for the production of testosterone

Vitamin D is necessary for increased testosterone levels! Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is pretty common.[8]

Actually, there aren’t many plant-based foods high in vitamin D. So, the main source of vitamin D for vegetarians is exposure to sunlight. The body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sun radiation.

However, vegetarians might benefit from taking vitamin D supplements. Even high dosages are considered pretty safe.

Boron raises testosterone levels

Boron is an essential nutrient that enhances calcium and magnesium absorption. Also, it raises vitamin D and testosterone levels. A daily dose of 6 mg may increase free testosterone levels about 20%!

You can get boron from diet or supplements! You can see the richest foods in boron here.

Obesity inhibits testosterone synthesis!

Most noteworthy, obesity inhibits testosterone synthesis. Obese men have decreased testosterone levels! Therefore, losing weight may be beneficial for increased libido.[9]