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The Sauerkraut Testosterone Secret: Testosterone Enhancing Foods You Would Never Expect
If you’ve never heard sauerkraut and testosterone mentioned together, you’re not alone. Grappling with falling testosterone levels and rising estrogen levels can jeopardize feelings of manhood as we age, but these surprising foods that increase your testosterone may be able help.
Some things just go together: peanut butter and jelly, Simon & Garfunkel, sauerkraut and testosterone… wait, what? For men, trying to maintain desire, performance, and vigor with age can be a battle against dropping testosterone levels that rob you of your former confidence. But, there are certain testosterone enhancing foods to help get you on the right path to raising those T-levels, and get back that strong sense of manhood you’ve been missing.
If you’re looking for a diet to increase testosterone, but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about some testosterone enhancing foods that might surprise you, including one that really blew our minds: sauerkraut.
The Basics: How Does a Testosterone Increasing Diet Work?
Before we jump into specific foods that increase testosterone and that mysterious “sauerkraut testosterone secret”, it’s important to understand some of the intriguing mechanics at work. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, is responsible for everything from sexual drive, to sperm count, to hair growth, and can naturally fall by about 1-2% every year as men age.
There are two main ways that your diet can affect testosterone production. On a broader level, the overall healthiness of the foods you eat affects T-Levels due to the fact that having a higher body weight can stimulate the production of estrogen while reducing that of testosterone. In fact, one study found that weight loss can reduce the prevalence of low-T by a stunning 50%. 1
The testosterone rich foods we’ll be looking at, such as sauerkraut, have a second added benefit. Not only are they part of a healthy diet; they also contain nutrients such as vitamin D, zinc, probiotics, and sulfur that may directly influence hormones in the body to help increase testosterone and battle unwanted estrogen.
Sauerkraut’s Testosterone Secret
Alright, so what is it about sauerkraut and testosterone that’s so special? For starters, sauerkraut is an excellent natural probiotic and prebiotic, meaning it contains good bacteria your gut needs and helps nourish the bacteria that are already there. That’s not just great for your overall health; two interesting studies have unearthed the testosterone enhancing effects of probiotics such as those found in sauerkraut:
- A 2014 study found that aging mice given the probiotic strain Lactobacillus reuteri experienced testicular growth, higher serum testosterone levels, and increased sperm production.2 That same strain is found in sauerkraut!
- Another study conducted on men with fertility issues discovered that probiotic therapy resulted in significant improvements to testosterone levels and sperm quality.3
It’s amazing that sauerkraut’s testosterone supporting effects are that notable, considering most men might have some in their pantry right now. There’s even more to sauerkraut and testosterone’s relationship, though. Sauerkraut is high in sulfur compounds that the body converts into a useful chemical called indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Much like how losing weight helps restore a healthier estrogen/testosterone balance, I3C also aids in reducing excess estrogen in the body to help men reach the hormonal balance they’re looking for.
Oysters and the Magic of Zinc
Aside from sauerkraut, there are other nutrients that are key for any diet to increase testosterone, and zinc ranks high on the list. Men who are deficient in zinc may be prone to low testosterone levels and sexual dysfunction, due to the fact that it’s a crucial nutrient for sexual function. A study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology even found that zinc supplementation corresponded with higher testosterone levels. 4
Oysters have an almost mythical reputation for being an aphrodisiac, but there’s truth to their being a testosterone rich food. According to the NIH, oysters clock in with a massive 74mg of zinc per 3 ounce serving! Other foods that increase testosterone and are rich in zinc include:
- Fatty fish such as salmon
- Beans - especially lentils, chickpeas, and black beans
- Beef chuck roast
These powerful foods that increase testosterone prove that sauerkraut definitely has some competition, and there’s still one more important nutrient we need to explore.
Rise and Shine With Testosterone Enhancing Foods Containing Vitamin D
Zinc and sauerkraut aren’t the only game in town when it comes to nutrients that have a major effect on testosterone levels. Researchers have also linked vitamin D deficiencies to low-T, and found that boosting vitamin D intake can result in big testosterone increases. 5,6
Since vitamin D is important to so many other areas of health as well, there are plenty of foods that are fortified with higher levels of it. As luck would have it, many foods that increase your testosterone make for a great breakfast:
- Orange juice
- Fortified cereals
- Eggs (especially the yolks)
Other foods that increase testosterone rich in vitamin D include tuna, beef liver, and some cheeses, although you may want to wait until lunch or dinner for those. When it comes to the milk and OJ you’re choosing, just make sure that you are in fact getting products that have been fortified with vitamin D; it should say so right on the label.
Enjoying all of the confidence and vigor of manhood for years to come doesn’t have to be wishful thinking if you take the right steps in finding foods to increase testosterone that are right for you. Remember, while the testosterone rich foods we’ve talked about here can make for a great addition to an already healthy diet, building on a foundation of strong overall health complete with exercise is what matters most for total wellness. Make sure to talk with your doctor about low-T so you can get the right treatment plan - you might even impress them with a fun fact about sauerkraut and testosterone!
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- “Overweight Men Can Boost Low Testosterone Levels by Losing Weight,” The Endocrine Society, via Newswise.com. Jun 24, 2012.
- Poutahidis, Theofilos et al. “Probiotic microbes sustain youthful serum testosterone levels and testicular size in aging mice.” PloS one vol. 9,1 e84877. 2 Jan. 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084877
- Tremellen, K. and Pearce, K. (2017), Probiotics to improve testicular function (Andrology 5:439–444, 2017) – a comment on mechanism of action and therapeutic potential of probiotics beyond reproduction. Andrology, 5: 1052-1053. https://doi.org/10.1111/andr.12400
- Brilla, L. & Conte, V.. (2000). Effects of a novel zinc-magnesium formulation on hormones and strength. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online. 3. 26-36.
- Wehr, E et al. “Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men.” Clinical endocrinology vol. 73,2 (2010): 243-8. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03777.x
- Pilz, S et al. “Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men.” Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et metabolisme vol. 43,3 (2011): 223-5. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1269854