We often eat with our hearts and stomachs in mind, but how often do we consider how foods affect extremely specific body parts?
First things first though: no matter what we eat, the benefits are holistic — it goes where our bodies need it.
But, let’s say, if you know, that apples and carrots are good for your prostate and penis health, wouldn’t you be inclined to eat these foods more often?
That’s the goal of our below-the-belt food list.
Instead of eating as if your penis needs special attention, fill your day with foods that optimize your whole body, and in turn, help your blood bring the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your penis needs to function. (Erectile dysfunction in younger men is rising and about 1 in 9 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.)
On the plus side, enhancing your diet just might help with other concerns, such as heart disease, hormonal imbalances, fat burn, and more.
From prostate cancer, low T-levels, ED, and possibly infertility, these foods are here to help.
1. Spinach to boost testosterone levels
Spinach worked for Popeye, and it’ll help you, too.
Cooked spinach contains 66 percent of your daily folic acid requirement per cup, making it one of the most folate-rich foods around. Additionally, spinach contains a fair amount of magnesium, which also helps improve and stimulate blood flow and has been shown to boost testosterone levels.
Spinach for penile health
- A good source of folic acid which may help prevent erectile dysfunction.
- Contains magnesium which has been shown to boost testosterone.
- Pro-tip: Try our favorite spinach recipes for your next date night.
2. A daily cup of coffee for better sex
Your morning cup of java can be a below-the-belt pick-me-up, too!
Caffeine is shown to improve blood flow by relaxing penile arteries and muscles, leading to stronger erections. Cheers!
3. Apple peels to prevent prostate cancer
Apples have some great all-around health benefits, but one of their lesser known advantages pertains to penis health.
Apple peels, in particular, contain the active compound ursolic acid. This compound has been shown in cell studies to stop the growth of prostate cancer cells by “starving” the cells. Still, you should always follow a medical professional’s treatment plan when faced with prostate cancer.
Eat more fruits and veggies Grapes, berries, and turmeric also have similar effects. Studies suggest that men who consume more fruits and vegetables in general have better odds at beating prostate cancer.
Apples for penile health
- Contain an active compound that may starve prostate cancer cells.
- Men who consume more fruits and vegetables have a better prostate cancer survival rate.
- Pro-tip: The cancer-fighting compound is contained in the peel so be sure to eat your apples with the skin on. You can also make dried apple chips or apple peel tea.
4. Supercharge your libido with avocados
The Aztecs were on to something when they named the avocado tree the “testicle tree.”
An excellent source of healthy fats, potassium, and vitamins, avocados are great for getting you in the mood.
This toast-topper favorite has vitamin E and zinc, both of which have positive effects on male sex drive and fertility. Zinc has been suggested to increase levels of free testosterone in the body, while vitamin E may improve sperm quality.
Avocados for penile health
- Contain zinc which increases testosterone levels.
- Are a good source of vitamin E which improves sperm quality.
- Pro-tip: Out of ideas beyond guacamole and toast? Find inspiration with our 23 delicious ways to eat an avocado.
5. Chili peppers to spice up the bedroom
Can you handle the heat? Studies have found that men who consume spicy foods have higher-than-average testosterone levels.
While this doesn’t mean spicy food gives you testosterone, the chemical capsaicin has been shown to have bedroom advantages.
Found in hot sauce and chili peppers, capsaicin triggers the release of endorphins — the “feel good” hormone — and can rev up the libido.
Chili peppers for penile health
- Men who eat spicy foods have higher-than-average T-levels.
- Capsaicin found in chili peppers triggers the release of endorphins.
- Pro-tip: There’s more health benefits to spicy foods than a healthy libido. Read about our top five here.
6. Carrots keep your sperm healthy
Looking to improve your sperm count? Science says to eat more carrots.
This fertility superfood may improve both sperm count and motility (the movement and swimming of sperm).
Research suggests this is due to the chemical carotenoids found in carrots, which is also responsible for giving the vegetable its orange color.
Carrots for penile health
- Research finds that carrots can improve male fertility.
- Carotenoids found in carrots may improve sperm quality and motility.
- Pro-tip: Another vegetable high in carotenoids is sweet potatoes, which makes our list of the 14 healthiest vegetables on earth alongside carrots.
7. Oats for a bigger O
Oatmeal might not come to mind when you think of the world’s sexiest foods — but maybe it should!
Like Viagra, L-arginine helps penile blood vessels relax, which is essential to maintaining an erection and reaching orgasm.
Oats for penile health
- Wild oats are a known aphrodisiac.
- Amino acids found in oats relax blood vessels and can help with erectile dysfunction.
- Pro-tip: New to oats? Try our quick and easy 10-minute overnight oats, made three ways.
8. Tomatoes are a penile health trifecta
Want all the benefits in one punch? Start with tomatoes.
Tomatoes include several of the benefits listed above and can be eaten in a variety of ways.
Research shows lycopene-rich foods, like tomatoes, may help prevent prostate cancer.
Tomatoes for penile health
- Help prevent prostate cancer.
- Are beneficial to male fertility and improve sperm concentration, motility, and morphology.
- Pro-tip: Too busy to make your own marinara? You don’t just have to cook with tomatoes. Try drinking tomato juice for a quick and healthy way to get your daily lycopene.
After all, your health is more than one body part.
Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.