Although you may identify testosterone as being a primary male sex hormone, it is an essential element in all aspects of puberty and development in women. Testosterone effects estrogen production, menstrual and ovulation cycles, breast tissue development, hair growth and libido. When levels decline with age during the perimenopause and post menopause stages, fatigue, irritability, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and a lack of libido can occur. Hormone replacement therapy can offset these symptoms; however, eating the right types of foods can also help increase testosterone levels naturally.
Bananas are good food sources and can help increase your testosterone. Bananas also boost your energy levels and contain B vitamins to balance your hormones and potassium, which according to an article on the Discovery Health website is vital for the production of testosterone. Avocados are also a good source of potassium and vitamin B.
An article on the Advanced Health & Life Extension website explains that post-menopausal women are vulnerable to experiencing deficiencies in zinc, suggesting that changes in diet could be a causal factor. Zinc is said to raise testosterone levels, and raw oysters--which contain zinc, selenium and magnesium--are often thought of as being aphrodisiacs because of the effect they have on the libido. Other foods rich in zinc are beef, chicken, pine nuts, salmon and turkey. Yogurt also contains zinc and is a good source of calcium, which can help combat osteoporosis.
In women, testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, and according to research referenced in an article on the I Love India website, protein rich eggs can encourage the adrenal glands to maintain a healthy balance of testosterone in the body. Eggs are also rich in vitamin B5 and B6, which can help lower stress levels and reduce irritability and depression.
According to an article on Muscle-Health-Fitness.com, vitamin A can help the body maintain a healthy balance of testosterone and improve muscle strength. Vitamin A is found in animal sources such as liver, eggs and milk. The body also transforms beta-carotene rich foods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots and kale into vitamin A, utilizing it when needed.
HealthMad.com lists asparagus as being a rich source of vitamin E and useful in boosting testosterone levels in men and women to raise libido levels. Avocados, nuts, vegetable oils, mustard greens and Swiss chard are also good sources of vitamin E. Swiss chard has an added bonus, as it is rich in magnesium, a nutrient vital for bone health.