You probably think of erections as something that happens mechanically — stimulation and voila, it rises to the occasion. But in fact, for a long time impotence (the inability to have an erection) has been seen as the “canary in the coal mine” of heart disease. In other words, if a middle-aged man has trouble getting hard, it is likely that a heart attack is not too far down the line. Why is this the case?
In a new book called simply The Penis Book: A Doctor’s Complete Guide to the Penis — From Size to Function and Everything in Between, Dr. Aaron Spitz, a nationally-recognized urologist and expert on male sexual health and fertility, explains that like the heart, the penis is made up of a cell layer called the vascular endothelium that fill with blood when the man is aroused. This is the same type of cell layer that lines all blood vessels in your body, from your heart to your toe.
This layer releases a special molecule called nitric oxide (NO) that is critical to proper blood flow. It turns out that a man’s ability to produce NO declines as he ages, which explains why some older men have trouble with erections and may need drugs such as Viagra. If you’re having problems getting hard, it is likely a signal that there are issues with your overall cardiovascular health.
Diet is the biggest contributor to penis health
The good news is that there are changes you can make in your lifestyle that can help your penis, as well as your body. It turns out that exercise and sleep can help, but by far the biggest contributor to penis health (as well as overall health) is your diet. Some foods help to increase NO in a man’s body, while others block it. Which foods do what?
Which foods improve penis health?
You guessed it: Plant-based foods such as vegetables (especially the green leafy ones), fruits (especially berries), legumes, and grains all contribute to healthier levels of nitric oxide.
Which foods lower sexual performance?
Meanwhile, animal products, processed carbohydrates, and oils (including olive oil) add fat and viscosity to your blood and stifle the naturally occurring NO.
Research also shows that it is important to get your dose of nitrates (which produce NO) from whole foods, rather than juices or even smoothies. We have special bacteria in our mouths that break down nitrates into NO, but only when we salivate. So, you need to eat whole foods in their natural state. Luckily for you, Fresh n’ Lean vegan meals are created entirely from wholesome, plant-based ingredients so you do not have to think twice about it. By helping your overall health, you will also be improving your sexual health. Talk about win-win.
What about protein?
Research shows that even when animal products are organic, grass-fed, wild-caught, or free-range, they still seem to have a detrimental effect on penis health due to excess protein and fat. That being said, a diet that is 90% plant-based will still give you incredible health benefits, and if you are an omnivore you should see much of the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet even if you do not stick to it 100%. Indeed, Dr. Spitz himself takes a 90/10 approach, keeping his meals about 90% plant-based, without excess fats and simple carbohydrates, but occasionally indulges in meat when it’s high quality.
Plant-based diet gives you better erections, more stamina, better body odor
Not only does a plant-based diet give you better erections and more stamina, but it will improve other aspects of your sex life as well. First, it will help you lose weight, not only increasing your stamina but also your attractiveness to your mate and better body image for you. Plant-based foods also contribute to a better body odor (BO) and taste, including in the genital areas, which is surely to increase pleasure for both men and women.
Now, we just need more research on how lifestyle factors and diet in particular affect women’s sex lives. It would not be surprising if the same foods that help men get off the couch and into the bedroom help women’s pleasure too.