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Do Cashews Increase Testosterone? (3 Surprising Benefits)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Cashews are rich in fiber and healthy fat, which makes them good for weight loss.

But one question I frequently get from my clients is whether snacking on nuts like cashews can help increase testosterone levels.

So I spent several weeks researching scientific literature and consulted our dietitian to get a second opinion to put this guide together.

Here is what I learned.

Quick Summary

  • Cashews can help boost testosterone levels due to the presence of minerals and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
  • Cashews can have a wide range of benefits related to men’s reproductive health, such as improving fertility and sperm count.
  • Unlike cashews, you should avoid certain nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, because they may decrease testosterone levels.

Can Cashews Increase Testosterone Levels?

A person holding a bunch of cashews to increase testosterone

Yes, cashews can increase testosterone levels.

The kidney-shaped nuts are rich in lipids and selenium, both of which have been linked to higher testosterone levels in men.

In addition, cashews are also a good source of zinc and magnesium, two nutrients that are essential for male reproductive health [1].

While you should not consume large quantities of selenium in an attempt to boost your testosterone levels, incorporating a small amount into your daily diet is proven to help boost sperm quality and, as a result, increase T levels [2].

Cashews provide 3 micrograms of selenium per ounce serving, with 55 micrograms being the recommended daily intake for men [3].

That said, high doses can cause the following side effects [4]:

  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Nail discoloration
  • Heart failure

The safe upper intake level for selenium is 400 micrograms daily for both adult men and women. Anything above that can lead to serious health risks.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Cashews for Testosterone Production?

Close up shot of a bowl of cashews to boost testosterone

Eating cashews for testosterone production boosts male fertility, improves libido, and keeps you in shape.

Let’s go over each benefit and find out what causes them.

Increased Male Fertility

Cashews are a good source of zinc (Zn), which is proven to boost fertility in men. Multiple studies have shown that without this crucial mineral, sperm quality becomes poor, which results in an increased risk of male infertility [4].

Improved Libido

Cashews contain potassium, monounsaturated fats, and vitamin B6, all of which are proven to be beneficial for restoring testicular function and overall sexual performance [5,6].

Cashew nuts also contain vitamin B-17, which was proven to cause a significant increase in sperm counts, sperm motility, sperm morphological index, and the levels of serum total testosterone [7].

Maintaining Healthy Weight

Cashews are low in carbohydrates and calories, making them a good choice for people who are looking for natural ways to boost their testosterone production while maintaining a healthy weight.

They are also packed with monounsaturated fats, which are “good” fats proven to help with weight loss [8].

Aside from that, although the total fat content of cashews is 46%, research has found that our bodies don't absorb all of the fat found in nuts [9].

“When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, cashews work wonders. A good source of iron, cashews have a low glycemic index, which means slower digestion. So you feel fuller for longer. Not to forget, a healthy weight and well-balanced glucose levels are beneficial for fertility.”

- Lovneet Batra, Nutritionist

Which Nuts Lower Testosterone Levels?

A row of different types of nuts that lower testosterone levels

Nuts that lower testosterone levels are peanuts, pistachios, almonds, and walnuts.

Here is why you should avoid these four types of nuts if your goal is to maintain healthy testosterone levels.

  • Almonds and walnuts – These two were proven to raise the Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) levels by up to 20% and, as a result, decrease the amount of testosterone and estrogen [10].
  • Peanuts – Containing high amounts of phytosterol, they reduce cholesterol levels necessary for the production of sex hormones, such as testosterone [11].
  • Pistachios Another nut rich in phytosterol, a substance you should avoid if your goal is increasing T levels.

Final Thoughts

Based on our research, cashew nuts can help you increase testosterone levels and promote your overall health to a point. However, bear in mind that eating nuts won’t help you produce noticeable results during high-intensity workouts.

That said, you can definitely combine nuts with testosterone boosters and a consistent workout routine to achieve your optimal fitness goals.

If you are unsure of what products are worth trying, you can start with the list of supplements we tested and approved:

These are the most efficient products currently available on the market, with a wide range to choose from.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6907795/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31276070/
  3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/selenium/
  4. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1003/selenium
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6010824/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12378824/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312216/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424766/
  9. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/monounsaturated-fats
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25351860/
  11. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn2010266
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