10 Foods to Help you Stay Erect
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
Your diet has an effect on your body. This shouldn’t be news to anyone. But did you know that what you eat and drink can affect your erections? What you put in your mouth can make a difference to what happens down there.
There are foods that can help you stay erect. Specifically, foods that have been scientifically proven to boost testosterone, improve blood flow, and to help combat erectile dysfunction (ED).
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Start the day the right way, and you could reap the benefits later on. Try including some of these foods for erectile dysfunction in your breakfast:
It might not sound like the sexiest of meals, but oats are rich in the amino acids your body needs to stay healthy, including L-arginine, which has been shown to reduce ED by improving blood flow to the penis, which is what sildenafil (Viagra) actually does. Oats can also reduce cholesterol levels, helping to prevent arteries becoming narrowed or blocked, which can also help combat ED.
Research has shown that men who drink the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee a day have a lower chance of having ED. It’s thought that caffeine is the magic ingredient, and that it possibly helps to stave off ED by relaxing the arteries and muscles inside the penis, improving the flow of blood, resulting in stronger erections.
Ditch that mediocre meal deal for some of these:
3. Shellfish, chicken, and tofu
Zinc plays an important role in the production of testosterone. Loads of studies have found links between low levels of zinc and low levels of the hormone, which can lead to reduced desire for sex and ED. Good sources of zinc include shellfish, particularly oysters, chicken, and for vegetarians, tofu.
Magnesium has been shown to boost testosterone, and it also helps your body process nitric oxide, which helps relax muscle tissue inside the penis and encourage blood to flow into it. Tuna and other oily fish like mackerel and pollock are rich in magnesium and therefore decent foods for erections.
5. Green vegetables
Green vegetables, like asparagus, spinach, edamame beans, and broccoli, are all good sources of folic acid, a type of B vitamin that improves blood flow. Research has linked low levels of folic acid to ED, so make sure you don’t skip your greens.
Potassium has been shown to assist blood flow as it helps to stop your arteries from becoming blocked.
Many types of fruit are good sources of potassium, including kiwis, cantaloupe melons, guavas and bananas. Yes that’s right, the most phallic of fruit does in fact help with ED. Why not have a portion of fruit for dessert after lunch and avoid the inevitable post-lunch snacking?
Steak, curry, and chocolate. Now we’re talking.
Beef can be a great testosterone booster. It’s high in zinc, but it also contains an amino acid called leucine which has also been shown to improve testosterone levels. Beef can be fatty though, so make sure you choose leaner cuts, like sirloin steak. Remember that red meat has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, so make steak an occasional treat more than a regular part of your diet.
Research has shown that men who eat spicy foods have higher than average levels of testosterone. The key ingredient in the spice is thought to be capsaicin, a molecule found in chili peppers that may boost levels of testosterone. Foods high in capsaicin are those which contain chili, like curries. You can also add capsaicin to your diet by using hot pepper sauces like Tabasco sauce.
9. Dark chocolate
Great news if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in plants, and in high levels in dark chocolate, have been shown to improve blood flow. Dark chocolate is also high in magnesium, making it a double win.
Steer clear of those artery-clogging, waist-expanding biscuits and crisps, and grab a handful of nuts and seeds instead:
10. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients, including erection-friendly magnesium and zinc. Research has also found that regularly eating nuts improved men’s libidos and the quality of their orgasms. Awesome. Nuts and seeds can be high in calories though, so don’t eat the whole bag in one go.
Healthy life, healthy heart, healthy erections
You might have noticed a trend here. Yep, most of the foods we’ve recommended are healthy. But if you want good erections, you need to try and lead a healthy life too.
In addition to the specific benefits we’ve mentioned here, a good diet, that’s rich in fruit and vegetables, fish, and lean meats, can help keep your weight and cholesterol down, as well as ensure your heart is strong, and that blood is pumping around your body. All of these will improve your chances of avoiding erectile dysfunction. In fact, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting enough sleep can also help too.
These specific foods for erectile dysfunction aren’t a miracle cure though. They can help, but if you regularly experience ED, you should see your doctor too. It can be an early sign that you have a more serious health condition. Read our causes of erectile dysfunction post where you can learn more about erectile dysfunction and get advice on what you can do about it.