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3 Best Testosterone Boosting Nuts (From a Nutritionist)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: March 16, 2022

Some people claim that nuts are the ultimate cure for low testosterone. But I wanted to check whether science confirms this.

That’s why I’ve spent hours researching relevant studies and other men’s experiences.

And the results surprised me.

It turned out that some nuts can indeed boost your testosterone levels, but others will actually lower them.

So, here’s which nuts to try and which ones you should avoid.

Quick Summary

  • Some nuts, like Brazil nuts, can help increase the male sex hormone.
  • Conversely, some nuts may decrease testosterone levels and should be avoided.
  • You should especially avoid nuts high in PUFAs and phytosterols.
  • Combine nuts with other testosterone-boosting foods and habits for maximum results.

3 Types Of Nuts That Boost Testosterone

tiger and brazil nuts in a bowl

Nuts are my go-to for increasing low testosterone levels. But it’s not necessarily because they’re the best choice to do so.

I admit that testosterone boosters may be more effective and help you achieve results faster.

But supplements may not always be 100% safe. That’s why I always tell my clients to try to raise their T in a natural way first.

Besides potentially boosting low testosterone levels, nuts have a range of other health benefits.

The three types of nuts we’ll discuss here are filled with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. So, consuming them will benefit your overall health and not just your testosterone.

1. Brazil Nuts

bowl filled with brazil nuts

Men have recently gone wild about Brazil nuts. And it’s not just because they sound exotic and exciting.

They may also boost testosterone levels.

Brazil nuts contain a lot of selenium, a mineral that can stimulate testosterone production. You’ll get 96mg of selenium from just 5g of Brazil nuts [1], which is already 74% higher than the recommended daily intake [2].

But does selenium actually help increase testosterone levels?

Several studies suggest that it does [3]. Selenium seems to enhance sperm quality and increase T levels as a consequence.

However, there’s one problem with these studies.

They all tested the effects of selenium supplements — and not Brazil nuts.

So, the only thing we know for sure is that selenium can boost lower testosterone levels. No one can guarantee that the same is true for Brazil nuts, at least not until more research is done.

You should also be careful with Brazil nuts, as high amounts can cause selenium toxicity.

These are just some of the symptoms of consuming too much selenium: 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Hair loss
  • “Garlic breath”
  • Nail discoloration, brittleness, and loss

To avoid these adverse effects, limit yourself to eating up to three average-sized Brazil nuts a day [4].

2. Macadamia Nuts

stack of macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts are packed with monounsaturated fats, which might stimulate testosterone production [5].

First off, it seems that fat benefits your T in general. Several studies have shown that high-fat diets increase testosterone levels, while low-fat diets decrease them [6].

But not all fats are equally good.

Some types of fat may actually decrease your testosterone.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are the most detrimental. They can damage cells’ ability to produce testosterone [7].

Luckily, macadamia nuts are loaded with just the type of fat you need to increase your hormone levels.

Don’t eat too many, though. 30 grams of macadamia nuts per day is all you need.

3. Tiger Nuts

Tiger nuts have been used for boosting low T since ancient times.

Generations of Nigerians have used them as natural aphrodisiacs, and science partly confirms tiger nuts’ testosterone-boosting effects.

During one study, researchers fed mice with tiger nuts over 30 days. As a result, the rats’ testosterone levels and sexual activity increased, while the intromission time between mating seasons decreased [8].

But I should note that we still don’t know if tiger nuts raise testosterone levels in humans.

Studies have only been done on animals. And what applies to animals doesn’t necessarily apply to us.

With that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to try. Just make sure you don’t consume too many tiger nuts, especially if you’re sensitive to high-fiber foods or prone to digestive issues [9]:

“Tiger nuts are quite high in fiber at 10 grams per 1 ounce (37.8 gram) serving. For this reason, they should be added to the diet gradually to assess tolerance and reduce the risk of any digestive issues.” - Sheri Vettel, RDN at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Too much fiber can cause uncomfortable side effects like bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.

That’s why you should limit your daily tiger nut intake. Women should eat 21 - 25 g of fiber per day, while men should eat 30 - 38 g [10], so adapt your intake to these recommendations.

Nuts That Decrease Testosterone

bowls filled with walnuts and pistachios

While some nuts may benefit testosterone levels, others can decrease them.

But nuts aren’t detrimental per se. Rather, they contain some substances that can decrease your T levels.

Here’s which nuts you should avoid:

  • Walnuts and almonds. Walnuts and almonds reduce serum testosterone levels by increasing the SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin) by 10% to 20% [11]. High SHBG decreases the production of free testosterone. It’s also linked with infertility, decreased sex drive, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Peanuts and pistachios. Both peanuts and pistachios contain high levels of phytosterol, a type of plant sterol. Sterols are similar to cholesterol, the human stress hormone, and seem to have the same decreasing effect on testosterone. For example, one study found that phytosterol reduces testosterone levels and sexual activity in quails [12].
  • Nuts with high PUFA content. We’ve already said that PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats) negatively affect testosterone production. So, you should avoid them as much as possible. Nuts like walnuts and pine nuts, for example, contain a lot of PUFAs. Besides nuts, try to avoid other foods high in these fats, too.

FAQs

Which Foods Increase Testosterone the Most?

Ginger, oysters, pomegranates, onions, fish oil, and extra-virgin olive oil are among the foods that increase testosterone the most.

Are Pecan Nuts Good for Testosterone?

There’s no evidence that pecan nuts are good for testosterone. But they contain a lot of zinc, which may boost testosterone production.

For example, one study found that men who consume 30mg of zinc per day had higher levels of free testosterone [13].

Should You Rely On Nuts To Boost Your Testosterone Levels?

Yes and no.

Here’s the thing. If you have low testosterone levels, the chances are that eating a handful of nuts won’t make a huge difference.

What you want to do is combine them with other testosterone-boosting foods and habits, like strength training and magnesium-rich foods.

You can always try testosterone boosters and other supplements if that fails.

But I suggest you take the nut route first. Nuts are more budget-friendly and may result in many additional health benefits.


References:

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html
  2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/selenium
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31276070
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/brazil-nuts-testosterone
  5. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117564&page=1
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33741447/
  7. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210409/Study-Low-fat-diets-reduce-mene28099s-testosterone-levels.aspx
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26400055/
  9. https://www.thehealthy.com/nutrition/what-are-tiger-nuts/
  10. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948
  11. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn2010266
  12. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032579119315536
  13. https://www.asep.org/asep/asep/BrillaV2.PDF

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