When you think of the relationship between your sexual health and the food you eat, your mind may go straight to proposed aphrodisiacs like oysters or dark chocolate. However, what some people don’t realize is that there’s a greater connection between your sexual performance and the nutrients you consume on a regular basis. In fact, some foods are specifically helpful for your penis.
Some of the main ways in which your diet can help your penis health is by improving blood flow, increasing libido, and overall helping to reduce symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
“ED can have various causes, including poor blood flow to the penis, and several nutrients like vitamin B12 and magnesium are essential for maintaining a healthy circulatory system and promoting good blood flow,” says Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, “and, these nutrients can also help promote healthy nerve function and regulate blood pressure, which are all functions that can contribute to preventing ED.”
Meat & Poultry
“Zinc boosts testosterone levels and helps enable erections and healthy sperm, while arginine (also called l-arginine) relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow,” says Katherine Gomez, RD, with Psyche Mag.
So, when focusing on your penis health and overall sexual well-being, it’s important to find foods high in B12, magnesium, zinc, and arginine. The following list of best foods for your penis not only contain one or multiple of these helpful nutrients, but they’re all also sources of protein, which is a macronutrient that helps with muscle building, strength, endurance, and the building of healthy tissue (which can certainly help you care for what’s down there).
Read on to see which proteins are best for your penis, and for more sexual health tips, check out The #1 Best Food to Eat for Sex.
Fish & Shellfish
Chicken contains arginine, which is an amino acid that your body needs in order to make proteins. Along with this function, it may also help reduce risk of ED. Specifically, your body converts l-arginine to nitric oxide (NO), and NO is a powerful force in fighting erectile dysfunction, because it can help widen blood vessels and increases blood flow. One study published in the journal Andrology found that many participants with ED had lower levels of nitric oxide in their body.
Nuts, Seeds, & Legumes
L-arginine is found in a lot of poultry, dairy, and meat products, including lean pork loin. This is a flavorful way to get what your body needs for a healthy sex life, and if you get the leanest cut, you’ll save yourself some extra fat calories, too. Not to mention the fact that pork is extremely high in protein, with 24 grams per 4-ounce serving.
Not only does lamb contain the nitric oxide-converting arginine (remember, many meat products do), but this animal is extra helpful for your sex life because it provides your body with zinc, too—one of the nutrients known to help boost testosterone levels and keep erections up.
One study found that supplementing zinc could help those with kidney disease who are experiencing ED, while another study concluded that when zinc was combined with folic acid, biotin, and golden root, the combination could help those struggling with premature ejaculation.
According to Sabat, a great protein for your penis health is beef.
“Beef is a protein-rich food that is also an excellent source of vitamin B12,” says Sabat. “This vitamin is essential in maintaining healthy nerve function, and nerve damage can contribute to ED.”
Sabat also notes that a study published in the journal Sexual Medicine found that men with lower levels of vitamin B12 were more likely to develop ED. “Therefore, incorporating beef into your diet can help promote healthy nerve function and prevent ED,” she says.