How about what a guy eats? Is there any link between food and sexual performance?
Absolutely! This is a big topic, of course. I'm going to focus here on a few of the key food nutrients that have a clear link to sexual performance.
First are foods that promote the production of a key chemical in the body called nitric oxide. This is actually a gas that is released in minute amounts and is vital to both healthy blood vessels and the ability to get an erection. Nitric oxide is made from an amino acid called arginine. The following foods are rich in arginine:
- Soy products
- Cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna
Another class of nutrients important for sexual health are the bioflavonoids. These are plant compounds that work like antioxidants, scavenging byproducts of the body's metabolism or harmful molecules resulting from exposure to environmental pollutants like smog, cigarette smoke or pesticides. Fruits and vegetables are the main sources of bioflavonoids. The table shows the types of bioflavonoids and some of the best food sources for each.
What's the buzz with pomegranate juice? It seems like the latest cure for what ails you...including a drooping sex drive.
Pomegranate juice is great stuff. Expensive, but great. It's packed with vitamins and natural antioxidants. Although, as mentioned before, taking additional antioxidants in the form of mega-doses of vitamins or supplements hasn't been shown to increase fertility, keeping natural sources of antioxidants in our diet (such as from blueberries, broccoli, and a host of other fruits and vegetables) is probably what nature intends. Research from several quarters suggests that natural antioxidants are "heart healthy" and may reduce the buildup of plaques that could clog arteries. As I've said repeatedly, what's good for the heart is good for the penis, so having a glass of pomegranate juice every day is probably a good thing.
Okay, got it. Pomegranate juice is a good way to get some antioxidants. Never mind that it costs five bucks at Whole Foods – it's worth it! What about other sources – in foods, for example?
Lots of foods contain antioxidants, and they'll all help a guy's sexual health. As you'll see, many of these foods also contain the other nutrients we've been talking about. The general message is obvious: Fresh, whole foods are always going to be better for you than refined or processed foods. Here are some of the best foods for upping your antioxidant levels:
- Sunflower seeds
- Citrus fruits
- Red cabbage
- Brussels sprouts
Other foods to help boost sexual performance:
- Anthocyanidins found in berries, cherries, grapes, fruit skins and true fruit juices
- Catechins found in true teas (not herbal teas)
- Flavanones found in citrus food sources
- Flavones found in grains, celery, parsley and other herbs
- Flavonols found in grapefruit, oranges, apple kin, berries, onions, endive, radishes, tomatoes, leeks, broccoli and red wine
Used with permission from Size Matters.