Ok dudes. We’re about to get a bit ‘sciency’ here, but it’s for your own good. (Well, your BEARDS own good.)
Hormones & Beard Growth
The two primary hormones responsible for growing our beards are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone primes the hair follicles and DHT supports the growth. DHT is actually a metabolite of testosterone and therefore a byproduct of its production within the body. For the simplicity of this blog post, we will only be discussing the former hormone – testosterone
Testosterone is an androgenic male hormone produced by Leydig cells in your testicles. (Try saying that sentence 3 times in a row after chugging a few beers). It affects our sex drive, bone and muscle health, and generally controls men's masculine features. This includes our bone structure, eyebrow ridge, strong jawline, and of course, our beard hair growth.
Our testosterone levels naturally decline with age, but can also decline in response to medications, high body fat, and a variety of conditions including HIV, cancer, and many others.
Low testosterone production is also known as hypogonadism, and it’s quite common; 40% of men over 45 years old and 50% of men over 80 years old deal with it. Beard growth can be directly related to our masculinity hormone, testosterone. There are many reasons beards are associated with masculinity and let’s face it, dude, there’s no shortage of women who are naturally attracted to masculine men. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology showed that women were far more likely to rate men more attractive just by adding a beard to their face. There you have it! It’s evolution dudes!
Obviously, modern medicine does offer support for low T levels as seen in the sweeping rise in doctor prescribed TRT therapy and T-patches. But what about additional ways we can help try and boost our testosterone levels the all-natural way?.
If you want to grow a kick-ass, thick beard – one of the important things to remember is giving your body the right natural ingredients to ensure your manly hormone levels are supported. Specific foods rich in vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc are believed to help contribute to higher testosterone levels. Here are ten tasty options to help boost your overall health and also help support your body’s natural testosterone production
Possible Testosterone Boosting Foods
Fatty Fish & Oysters
Salmon, sardines, oysters, and other fatty fish have a lot of vitamin D, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Oysters in particular have one of the highest zinc levels which is healthy in and of itself!
Dark greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are high in magnesium, and high magnesium has been linked in several studies to higher testosterone
Cocoa products like cacao nibs and dark chocolate are also high in magnesium, along with antioxidants. Keep in mind that foods lower in sugar are healthier, so stick to dark chocolate and pure cacao.
Avocados are rich in magnesium and healthy fats, along with the element boron, which may be linked to higher testosterone. Boron is also plentiful in raisins, but the tasty advocado is king here.
Eggs Eggs Eggs
Eggs are rich in selenium, which is speculatively linked to high testosterone, and eggs are rich in protein and other nutrients in general, Egg yolks carry more nutrition than a plain egg white.
Ginger has been a medicinal tradition for centuries, and studies from 2012 and 2013 have proven links between ginger intake and higher testosterone. Could be a great indicator as to why ginger is also categorized as an aphrodisiac by so many outside sources.
Pomegranates have been a symbol of fertility and sexuality in ancient myths, and a 2012 study lends credence to the stories by finding that men and women who drank a daily glass of pomegrganate juice experienced a surge in testosterone and sexual desire.
Onions are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, a 2012 rat study showed significant improvements in testosterone levels, but the specific effects on humans require more study.
Almond, hemp, soy, and oat milk are often fortified with up to 25% of the recommended daily vitamin D amount, so these are good options. There are some concerns over soy’s similarity to estrogen, but there are plenty of fortified plant milk options to choose from. If you live in a warm climate, the best source of vitamin D is sunshine, so get out and enjoy it!
Extra virgin olive oil is also a healthy fat and a Morrocan study from 2013 linked argan and olive oil to both direct testosterone and luteinizing hormone which helps stimulate the production of other sex hormones.
Many foods that are good for general health can also help support healthy testosterone levels. Check with your healthcare provider for a more detailed list.
Stay safe and keep it healthy, dudes.
-Drew Plotkin (Chief Dude Officer)
Leonard, Jayne. “The 8 Best Foods to Boost Low Testosterone.” Edited by Natalie Butler, Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 28 Jan. 2020, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323759#foods-to-avoid.
B.J.W Dixson, D. Sulikowski, A. Gouda-Vossos, M. J. Rantala, and R. C. Brooks
Journal of Eveloutionary Biology, Volume 29, issue 11 - November, 2016
Kubala, Jillian. “7 Foods That May Help Boost Testosterone.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 20 Oct. 2021, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/testosterone-boosting-food#4.-Avocados.