One unfounded but persistent historical rumor has it that Casanova would eat 50 raw oysters daily to maintain his libido. The idea is that because of their “suggestive shape,” oysters arouse the senses for sexual activity when consumed. Similar reasoning supposedly led Montezuma to consume vast amounts of cocoa and hunters to illegally poach rhinos for their horns.

While the merit of these and other so-called “aphrodisiacs” are scientifically debated, it is still true that what we eat has a huge impact on our sexual health—just not in an immediate, Popeye-and-spinach way. The health of blood vessels and the corresponding blood flow is a key to sexual performance; by eating a diet that promotes good blood flow, you can promote your sexual health at the same time. Here are a few foods to eat for better sexual health—as well as some to avoid.

The Good

Fish 

Fish like salmon, tuna, and trout are rich in omega-3, which helps lower blood pressure and reduce blood clotting.

Nuts

Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds contain L-arginine, which the body uses to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide leads to increased blood flow to the penis.

Garlic

Long boasted as a miracle addition to any diet, garlic contains allicin. Allicin is a potent compound unique to garlic that improves blood vessel health.

Watermelon

Watermelon is an excellent source of L-citrulline. According to a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, “watermelon could significantly reduce blood pressure in overweight individuals both at rest and while under stress, partially due to the effects of L-citrulline.”

Spinach

Spinach is packed with nutrients like potassium, folate, and magnesium, all of which help to lower blood pressure.

Pomegranate Juice

According to Medical News Today, “Small studies have shown that the juice improves blood flow and keeps the arteries from becoming stiff and thick. It may also slow the growth of plaque and buildup of cholesterol in the arteries.”

Peppers

Hot peppers like jalapenos and habaneros help relax blood vessels. The key is capsaicin, which is found in peppers. As Everyday Health reports, “researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that capsaicin lowers blood cholesterol levels and blocks a gene that makes arteries contract, which can lead to dangerous blockages of blood flow.”

The Bad

White Bread

White bread and other highly processed carbohydrates lead to weight gain and the potential for plaque buildup in a man’s blood vessels. Plaque buildup causes weakened blood flow.

High Sodium Food

High sodium foods can cause hypertension. When a man suffers from high blood pressure, the blood vessels are damaged. Damaged blood vessels struggle to provide the blood flow necessary to achieve an erection.

Fried Food

Frequent consumption of fried foods and trans fats can lead to plaque buildup and the clogging of blood vessels. When blood vessels are blocked or damaged, blood flow is restricted and sexual performance suffers.

Red Meats

The overconsumption of red meats like beef and pork cause plaque buildup in blood vessels, along with contributing to unhealthy weight gain.

Flavored Soda

Soda is often heavy with sugar. Overconsumption of sugar leads to weight gain and corresponding issues. 

At Metro Men’s Health, we know that erectile dysfunction is more than a performance issue—it’s a health issue. That’s why instead of treating it directly, we focus on the larger health issues causing it. By focusing first on your diet—adding those foods that improve blood flow and removing those that harm it—you can speed your way to better sexual health.

If you too have been struggling to conquer erectile dysfunction and are ready for a healthier, happier you, reach out to us today. We’re ready to help.

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