Published November 20, 2012
Want to boost your sexual stamina? Just cut out meat, fish, and dairy from your diet.
As you probably know, junky diets typically lead to heart disease. And men often fail to remember that heart disease doesn’t just affect your ticker—it impacts the blood flow to other areas of the body too, says Lindsay Rajt, Associate Director of Campaigns for PETA. But if you’re eating the right foods, you can avoid that plaque from building up in your arteries, Rajt says.
That doesn’t mean you have to go fully vegan to perform like a pro, especially since plenty of well-designed studies have cleared saturated fat’s connection to heart disease. (Don’t believe us? Here’s Why “Bad” Fat Is Actually Good for You.) But you can absolutely learn a few things from vegans when it comes to nutrition, like making sure your daily diet always consists of sex-savvy foods—starting with these.
Oatmeal and Other Whole Grains
Your morning dose of oatmeal not only boosts the amount of testosterone in your bloodstream, it also keeps you rock solid. The science: Oats are packed with L-arginine, an amino acid that works with nitric oxide to reduce the stiffness of blood vessels. This amino acid has been used to treat erectile dysfunction, because it helps relax muscles around the penis’s blood vessels. That way, when they expand, blood flow increases so you can keep an erection. (Bread has received a bad rap lately, but not all carbs deserve it. Click here for The Healthiest Breads and Grains as selected by Men’s Health nutrition experts.)
Spinach and Other Leafy Greens
To prevent getting stuck at half-mast, stock up on spinach. Popeye’s favorite vegetable is jam-packed with magnesium, which helps dilate your blood vessels, according to Japanese researchers. Another perk: Spinach is a great source of folate. This nutrient is crucial for your manhood because it can lower blood levels of homocysteine, a harmful substance that irritates the lining of arteries and encourages plaque to stick to them. Other leafy greens that contain folate: broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, and bok choy.
Grapefruit, Oranges, and Peaches
When it comes to sexual health, vitamin C is your new best friend. Men who consume at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day improve their sperm counts and motility, according to research at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Researchers divided 75 men ages 20 to 35 (all heavy smokers with poor sperm quality) into three groups: two that took 200 and 1,000 mg of vitamin C, respectively, and a group that took placebo. The results: Those who took vitamin C saw a significant improvement in the quality of their sperm, with the 1,000 mg bunch benefiting the most. But that’s not all you need. Protect your prostate, safeguard your heart, and have more energy with The 10 Best Supplements for Men.