17 Best Foods for Your Penis, According to Science
THESE SEXUAL SUPERFOODS ARE SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO BOOST YOUR VIRILITY.
What you eat doesn't just affect your waistline—it can have an impact below the belt, as well. Experts say the foods you eat are crucial to your sexual health, and can affect everything from erection strength to sperm motility.
"Many foods can provide essential nutrients and compounds that support men's sexual health," psychotherapist and sexual health expert Lisa Lawless, PhD, tells Best Life. "Most of the standard lists include foods high in antioxidants which improve blood flow to the genitals, thereby promoting sexual arousal and function."
So which foods, exactly, are best for your penis? "When it comes to good sexual functioning for men, the key is doing things that are heart-healthy," Lawless explains. "Strong erections come from healthy blood circulation. Thus, anything that is good for your heart will be great for sexual functioning."
Read on to find out what Lawless and other experts say you should put on your grocery list to keep your penis in tip-top shape.
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Next time you're looking to drizzle something on your salad, or fry an egg for breakfast, reach for a bottle of olive oil, and your penis will thank you.
"Extra-virgin olive oil has been found to increase testosterone production by up to 17.5 percent," explains wellness expert Anais Goldberg. "I suggest making the switch to cooking with extra-virgin olive oil as opposed to seed oils such as canola, grapeseed, or vegetable oil. You can even fry in olive oil! Just keep be watchful of the temperature with a thermometer. It should remain at 350 degrees."
Eating spinach, a green that's rich in appetite-suppressing compounds, not only makes you look better naked, but also increases blood flow below the belt. "Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow," dietician Cassie Bjork, RD, tells Best Life.
That may not sound sexy, but you're sure to enjoy the effects. "Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable," says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson, PhD. Spinach is also rich in folate, which increases blood flow to the nether regions and helps to protect you against age-related sexual issues.
When it comes to consuming things to improve your penis health, don't discredit drinks. A 2015 study from the University of Texas found that men who drink two to three cups of coffee a day—or 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine from other beverages—are 42 percent less likely to have erectile dysfunction than those who consume up to seven milligrams of the stimulant daily.
What's more, those who throw back four to seven cups are 39 percent less likely to have the condition than their decaffeinated counterparts. The trend holds true among overweight, obese, and hypertensive men, but not for those with diabetes, a condition that often causes the issue. How exactly does drinking coffee keep things going strong? Researchers say that the stimulant triggers a series of reactions in the body that ultimately increase blood flow to the penis.
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Oysters have long been associated with increased libido and virility—and for good reason! "As cliche as it may seem, oysters do indeed improve virility due to their high levels of zinc, which improves blood flow to the penis, resulting in more testosterone production," says Goldberg.
Lawless confirms this, adding: "Foods high in zinc aid with testosterone production and sperm health. Oysters provide more than 400 percent of the recommended daily intake per serving."
Double down on the marinara to protect your manhood. According to a 2014 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, men who eat more than 10 servings of tomatoes each week have an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. That's thanks to lycopene, an antioxidant which fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage.
Looking to conceive? You might want to consider stocking up on tomatoes. Another 2019 study also found that the garden vegetable could improve sperm morphology (shape).
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While you're making that marinara, go ahead and add a generous amount of garlic. "Garlic contains allicin, a compound that can help to improve blood flow and promote healthy sexual function in men," Lawless says.
Chocolate is one food that can satisfy your cravings and boost your penis health at the same time. Cacao increases levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin—and with more serotonin in the brain, your stress levels are lower, your libido is higher, and you're much more likely to reach orgasm.
That's not all: "Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which have been shown to improve blood flow and increase nitric oxide production, which can help improve sexual function," Miami-based urologist Edward Gheiler, MD, tells Best Life.
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Hot sauce is one of the best condiments when it comes to your penis health.
A 2015 study published in Physiology & Behavior found that men who have a taste for spicy foods tend to have higher testosterone levels than those who can't handle the heat. Of the 114 male participants surveyed, researchers saw a clear correlation between frequent hot sauce usage and higher testosterone levels. The study authors suggest that this may be due in part to capsaicin, the fiery compound in chili pepper that other studies have also associated with increased testosterone levels.
Green tea is rich in compounds called catechins that have been shown to blast away belly fat and speed the liver's capacity for turning fat into energy. But that's not all: Catechins also boost desire by promoting blood flow between your legs.
According to Bjork, catechins "cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow." Blood flow to the genitals equals sexual excitement, so sipping the stuff will, well, make you want to get it on. Bjork suggests drinking four cups a day to feel the full effects.
Sexual wellness expert Natasha Marie Narkiewicz tells Best Life that antioxidants can help boost sexual health. "Foods rich with antioxidants increase nitric oxide production in the body, and nitric oxide helps keep with erection function," she explains. "Berries and fruits are high in antioxidants, making produce nature's most nutritious form of sexual health enhancement for men, if consumed at least three times per week."
Cherries, in particular, are rich in anthocyanins, plant chemicals that clean your arteries of plaque and keep blood flowing freely. Make them a regular snack: One cup clocks in at fewer than 100 calories and has B vitamins, cancer-fighting flavonoids, and three grams of fiber.
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It's no secret that oily cold-water fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here's something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart, but also raises dopamine levels in the brain.
This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal. What's more, "dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun," says Nelson.
Packing a romantic picnic? Don't skip the watermelon! "Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, which can help improve erectile function," says Gheiler.
A 2013 study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility analyzed the effect of various fruit and vegetables on sperm quality and found that carrots had the best all-around results on sperm count and motility—a term used to describe the ability of sperm to swim towards an egg.
Men who ate the most carrots saw improved sperm performance by 6.5 to 8 percent. The Harvard researchers behind the study attribute the boost to carotenoids, powerful antioxidative compounds in carrots that help the body make vitamin A.
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Next time you want to reach the big O, opt for some oatmeal. The popular breakfast cereal is a good source of l-arginine, an amino acid commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Potatoes—whether they're of the white or the sweet variety—are a great source of potassium. This nutrient boosts circulation, which keeps blood flowing where it needs to go and enhances your bedroom pleasure.
A study presented at the 2012 Society for Endocrinology conference found that pomegranate juice, which is rich in antioxidants that support blood flow, can also help improve testosterone levels and boost mood. Specifically, when subjects consumed pomegranate juice for two weeks, they saw a 24 percent increase in salivary testosterone.
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"These tasty nuts are great for your—ahem—reproductive organs," says "Goldberg. "A study in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that snacking on pistachios can improve erectile function, 'sexual satisfaction, orgasmic function, sexual desire, and overall satisfaction.' I'd call that a reason to always keep a bag on hand at your desk!"