Better sex, more muscle, improved mental focus: these are just some of the benefits of boosting testosterone to healthy levels.
On the flip side, a deficiency in the major male sex hormone—a condition that burdens some 13.8 million American men over the age of 45, according to US census data—is, well, far from sexy. Side effects of “Low-T” include low libido, limp erections, hair thinning, muscle loss, fat gain, depression … In fact, one study found that that the lower a man’s testosterone levels, the higher his risk of death from any cause—heart disease in particular. Adding insult to injury, the Food and Drug Administration says there’s little evidence that testosterone drugs are beneficial. (Did we mention depression?) The good news is you can boost your testosterone naturally, and diet plays a key role. So grab a pen, jot down a grocery list of these Eat This, Not That!-approved, T-boosting foods and get ready to unleash your hard-wired alpha male.
There’s a reason why Olive Oyl was totally smitten with Popeye, and it may not have been his bicep muscles (wink!). Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of magnesium, a mineral involved in muscle development that’s essential for reproductive function in men both young and old, active and sedentary. One study that compared athletes to non-active individuals found that supplementing with 22 mg magnesium per pound of body weight of the course of four weeks raised testosterone levels in both groups. And two separate studies, one on a group of men over the age of 65 and a second on a younger 18-30 year old cohort, present the same conclusion: levels of testosterone (and muscle strength) are directly correlated to the levels of magnesium in the body.
T-Boosting Tip: Take a cue from the sailor man and load up on leafy greens. Just one cup of cooked spinach provides nearly 160 milligrams of magnesium—half your recommended daily intake of 420 mg, and twice what you’ll find in the equivalent serving of kale!