Whether you're 25 or 45, eating a nutrient-dense diet is key to staying healthy, lean, and strong. For men, that means making sure you eat three well-balanced meals every day, including breakfast.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), men who skip a morning meal have a 27% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease than men who don't. So listen up, lads! Here, we reveal 50 foods all men should incorporate into their diets, plus delicious (and easy!) ways to add them to each meal.
The Best Foods for Your Penis
Despite its reputation for being temperamental, the penis doesn't ask for much: support, protection, and a healthy diet. The food you eat is crucial for sexual health, from erection strength to sperm motility. Research indicates that some specific nutrients—from common vitamins to lesser-known plant extracts—have demonstrated positive effects on very specific aspects of penile performance. Here's the most potent of the lot.
Often skipped over in favor of almonds or peanuts, Brazil nuts are packed with magic for your manhood. Selenium is a trace mineral found in Brazil nuts that plays an important role in hormone health. You only need a tiny bit for healthy sperm, but a tiny deficiency can be catastrophic for reproductive health. In one study, men who had lower testosterone and were infertile also had significantly lower selenium levels than the fertile group.
Supplementing with the mineral improved chances of successful conception by 56 percent. And a second study that included 690 infertile men with low levels of the mineral, found selenium supplementation could significantly improve sub-par sperm motility associated with testosterone deficiency. Moreover, 11 percent of the men successfully impregnated their partners during the trial! Bonus: Brazil nuts are one of the healthy fats to make you thin!
Recent University of Texas findings suggests that men who drink two to three cups of java a day—or 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine from other beverages—are 42 percent less likely to have erectile dysfunction than those who consume less of the stimulant. And those who throw back four to seven cups were 39 percent less likely to have the condition.
The trend holds true among overweight, obese and hypertensive men, but not for those with diabetes, a condition that often causes the issue. So, how exactly does drinking coffee keep things going strong? The scientists say that the stimulant triggers a series of reactions in the body that ultimately increase blood flow to the penis. For more benefits of java, check out our exclusive report effects of coffee on the body!
"Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow," explains Cassie Bjork, RD, LD, of Healthy Simple Life. And when it comes to a man, blood flow is everything. "Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable," says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson, PhD. Spinach is also rich in folate, which increases blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect your guy against age-related sexual issues. Speaking of, don't miss these best supplements for your penis.
Watermelon is one of the richest natural sources of L-citrulline, an amino acid that can help make your erection harder. Once it's in the body, it converts to L-arginine, stimulating the production of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the penis, strengthening erections.
Thanks to the pine nuts that provide its base, this sauce is rich in zinc. Men with higher levels in their system have been shown to have higher sex drives than those with lower levels. Pine nuts are also a good source of magnesium, which boosts testosterone and helps keep sperm healthy and viable, according to the International Journal of Endocrinology. We love to mix pesto with zoodles, fresh basil, chopped tomatoes and grilled chicken—super delish!
A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research discovered that pomegranate juice, which is rich in antioxidants that support blood flow, can help improve erectile dysfunction. Though this study was funded by POM Wonderful, animal studies have also shown that the elixir improves long-term erectile response, so it's definitely worth a shot–literally. Knock a shot back or water your juice down a bit: One cup of tart POM Wonderful packs 31 grams of sugar.
Nature's candy can be a cherry bomb for your sex life. Cherries are rich in anthocyanins, artery-clearing plant chemicals that keep them open for business. Not only does that help you stay healthy, it has a direct effect on blood flow below the belt, too. So make them a regular snack: One cup clocks in at fewer than 100 calories and boasts B vitamins, cancer-fighting flavonoids and three grams of satiating fiber. Looking for even more belly-filling healthy eats? Check out these delicious high fiber foods!
Potatoes—whether they're the white or the sweet variety—are a great source of potassium. This nutrient boosts circulation, which keeps blood flowing where it needs to go and boosts your bedroom pleasure. It also counteracts salt-related bloating, so you'll look better naked, too.
Want to become a dad? Pick up a few bags of baby carrots. A study published in Fertility and Sterility that analyzed the effect of various fruit and vegetables on sperm quality discovered that carrots had the best all-around results on sperm count and motility, which is the ability of your sperm to swim towards an egg. Men who ate the most carrots saw improved sperm performance by 6.5 to 8 percent. The Harvard researchers attribute the boost to carotenoids, powerful antioxidative compounds in carrots that help the body make vitamin A.
Ancient Incans consumed this energizing Peruvian plant before battles and before sex, says Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Maca increases sexual appetite, stamina, endurance, and fertility. One study conducted at the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that maca helped people with antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction to regain their libidos.