Whether you want to increase your testosterone for athletic purposes, good-looking muscle mass, performance in the sheets or simply a higher quality of life, you can’t get around the fact that there is no solution as effective as anabolic steroids.
However, you can still get results that will put you above 99% of the human population with completely natural steroid sources – which is great, because these sources come without any side effects. In fact, they’re as healthy as you can get!
Natural Steroids in the Body
When we talk about boosting our body’s levels of anabolic hormones, we’re usually talking about testosterone.
It’s the primary male sex hormone and it influences our body to a great degree:
from muscle and bone mass to general health and well-being.
Now, unless you are getting your testosterone from outside sources, your body has to make your own.
Testosterone, like other steroid hormones, is synthesized from cholesterol. It’s a well-researched fact that a common side effect of cholesterol-reducing drugs is a drop in testosterone.
The relationship in the other direction has not been widely researched, but studies on animals show promising results. And in his popular book The 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferris describes an experiment where he ate four raw eggs with milk before sleep, which increased his testosterone levels next morning.
In men, the T is primarily made in the Leydig cells, the number of which is regulated by luteinizing hormone (hint: a certain food on our list increases it).
Besides those two, many minerals and vitamins influence the production of testosterone. The most important ones are zinc, magnesium and vitamin D.
All of these play a role in your production of testosterone and a deficiency in one of them can disturb the process enough to make your levels drop.
If you wanted to cover for every single one with supplements, you will quickly be eating over a 100 pills daily. You can certainly do that, but there is no need. Besides a few exceptions, most deficiencies can be corrected by improving your diet.
Vitamin D (particularly D3, the one responsible for T-level increases) is the only one that can really be a problem: it’s hard to get enough of it with just food, and unless you live on a sunny beach, it’s also impossible to get enough with sun exposure. For that reason, it is recommended that you take a supplement.
Of course, we can’t discuss testosterone without mentioning exercise and sleep. Heavy, compound exercises are known to have an anabolic effect on the body, while testosterone and growth hormone is synthesized and released during quality sleep.
Combined with food, these are the three things you need to take care of if you want to see your Testosterone-levels soar.
Avocado, fish, eggs, and nuts are among the best foods to consume for an anabolic diet. But there are many more other great products that can help you to drive anabolic processes in your body.
Let’s take a look at 11 natural steroid foods you should have in your diet if increasing testosterone is your goal.
1. Eat Spinach To Get More T-boosting Magnesium
Remember Popeye? He used the power of spinach to get his supernatural strength.
If only it worked like that, right? Well, it sort of does. Spinach contains high levels of magnesium, which has been proven to be effective at increasing free testosterone levels.
This study researched effects of magnesium supplementation on both athletes and sedentary men and found that both saw an increase in their T-levels, with the increase being higher among athletes.
It appears that magnesium and exercise are a potent combination for boosting your testosterone.
However, since one package of spinach (10 oz or 284 grams) only contains approximately half of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, it is advisable to either take a magnesium supplement, or to add other magnesium-rich foods to your diet, like chard, pumpkin seeds, and yogurt or kefir.
2. Bananas Can Save You From Losing Your Gains
A banana probably isn’t at the top of your list of foods you’d eat to increase testosterone, but it deserves a spot among the top.
Bananas contain B vitamins, potassium, and the bromelain enzyme.
Bromelain enzyme is most often found in pineapples and causes that biting aftertaste. Actually, that aftertaste is the enzyme breaking down the tissue in your mouth – but don’t be alarmed, the effects are negligible.
But its effects on testosterone aren’t. In a peer-reviewed, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled (in short, they’re right) study on competitive cyclists, a gram of the enzyme a day was found to counteract the effects of endurance exercise on testosterone.
Usually, testosterone drops significantly if you do a lot of endurance work: but with bromelain, these athletes had no significant drop in T-levels.
So, if you do a lot of endurance exercise for your sport or for weight loss, eating bananas, pineapple or supplementing with bromelain is the way to keep your testosterone up.
3. Asparagus, a Natural Source of D-AA
Asparagus? Really? Yes. Asparagus contains nutrients like D-aspartic acid, magnesium (which we know works), vitamin B6 and vitamin K.
If you haven’t heard of D-aspartic acid before, listen closely: it increases testosterone levels in the short term, but it is especially good for increasing fertility.
With the combination of ingredients, it contains, asparagus has been used as an aphrodisiac as far back as 2nd century in Ancient Greece. Today, we also know why it works.
4. Fava Beans Help Increase Growth Hormone
Fava beans are not a common food in most places, but they contain one of the strongest naturally occurring growth hormone increasing supplements, L-dopa.
0.5g L-DOPA has been shown to increase levels of circulating growth hormone, with the concentration being highest 60 minutes after ingestion. Other animal studies also show correlations to increased testosterone and luteinizing hormone, but we need more research done on people before we will know for certain.
5. Avocado, a Vitamin & Mineral Bomb
If you didn’t already love avocados and guacamole, here are a few more reasons to do so.
Besides being full of over 20 vitamins (including ones that are crucial for testosterone production like A, K2, C and the B complex) as well as containing plenty zinc, magnesium, and copper (minerals that help increase testosterone), it is also a great source of monounsaturated fatty-acids, which is the kind you want to eat if you want to boost your T-levels.
6. Quinoa With Actual Steroids
The Andes of South America gave us many powerful foods like maca, and quinoa is no exception.
The number one substance that makes quinoa interesting are ecdysteroids. They are actually a group of compounds that function as androgenes (in humans, that would be testosterone) and are natural steroids alternatives. Despite that fact, they can be used by humans – actually, a number of bodybuilders do use them.
Besides that, raw, uncooked quinoa is also packed full with vitamins and minerals, containing in one portion (among other things) 46% of daily folate, 55% of daily magnesium and a third of your daily recommended zinc intake.
7. Eat Eggs To Cover Your Cholesterol Needs
There’s nothing better first thing in the morning (except perhaps a cold shower) and bodybuilders don’t just eat them raw by the dozen because they like them.
They do it because they’re effective.
Not only are eggs are a great source of protein, they also contain healthy fatty acids and most importantly, cholesterol. Cholesterol used to have a bad reputation in the past, but through scientific research, we’ve thankfully learned that it is very beneficial to our general health and our T-levels as well.
Oh, and did I mention vitamin D, calcium, and aspartic acid?
8. Figs Contain Arginine and Leucine
Perhaps the tastiest food on this list, figs are a natural source of amino acids (particularly of leucine and arginine), fatty acids, iron, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin K.
Arginine helps with the production of testosterone as well as with blood flow, which makes it a popular substance both for bodybuilders and for those looking for an extra boost in the bedroom.
Add to that a high fiber content (that also includes pectin, a soluble fiber which is excellent for mopping up that bad LDL cholesterol) and you have yourself a truly tasty and healthy snack.
9. Wild Oats Increase Your Luteinizing Hormone
Avena sativa (also known as wild oats) is a nutrient rich cereal grain. They are associated with lower blood cholesterol when consumed regularly.
We all know that oats are a great thing to eat for breakfast. But very few people know of their anabolic effects Like Tribulus Terrestris, avena sativa increases the levels of luteinizing hormone and it also frees up bound testosterone to make it more available in the body.
Also, I’ve heard that they go great together with eggs. Maybe that’s the start of a perfect breakfast recipe…
10. Oysters For Zinc (even Casanova liked them…)
Oysters have been a well-known aphrodisiac (Casanova apparently ate 50 for breakfast each day) for a while, but now we also know why they really work.
They are full of zinc (100 grams or 81 calories of oysters will give you 16.6mg of zinc, which is 111% of the recommended daily dose), which is a crucial part of the testosterone puzzle. Getting enough zinc is especially important for people who sweat a lot – athletes in particular.
To add to that, they are also a source of D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) & N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA), two testosterone-boosting amino acids which are not common in nature.
11. Celery Is A Great Source Of Vitamin K
If you’re into green shakes, you probably already include celery in them. But if you don’t, you should consider doing so for a few reasons.
First off, celery has a high count of vitamin K, which can help maintain optimal levels of testosterone. One cup provides a quarter of daily recommended intake.
It also contains androstenone and androstenol, which are powerful anabolic hormones. In theory, eating more celery should have a positive impact on your T-levels, but the current studies are mostly on animals and so far, inconclusive. However, as there is little potential for side effects, celery could be something worth experimenting with.
A Natural Testosterone Boost
Did you enjoy this list? Tell us which natural testosterone-boosting foods you already eat in the comments – and tell us which of them you plan to start eating now that you know the benefits they can provide.
The price of time you have to spend to reorganize your diet with a few simple adjustments is nothing to pay when the results will be having a more muscular body, a more energetic life, better libido and all around life quality.
I know that this list might seem daunting – and it isn’t even a complete list of foods that have an anabolic effect on the human body.
So, instead of nodding “Cool article” and not changing anything in your diet, write a few of these down and try to see where you can “sneak” them into your existing food habits.
For example, take a banana to school or work for a delicious healthy snack. Combine eggs and oats at breakfast for a protein and testosterone boosting start of the day.
But at the same time, don’t get too hung up on any individual food. The most important thing is always your general diet, getting enough calories and water, plenty of exercises and adequate sleep. That will be the basis of your success and no amount of oysters (or dedicated supplements) can correct that.
If you liked the article, please share it! We want as many people as possible to get their T-levels in order, and it starts with food and natural steroid in it.
Eddie Johnson is an ex-bodybuilder, fitness addict, writer, editor and founder of Anabolic Bodies. Also a proud father of two boys and passionate about bodybuilding, nutrition, and the science behind modern-day supplementation.