It’s no secret that the foods we eat affect our overall health and well-being, but science now reveals that the foods we put into our bodies may influence our sexual abilities as well.
A recent study published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a higher intake of certain foods may help men sustain erections during sex.
Surveying over 25,000 men during the span of 10 years, researchers from Harvard University and the University of East Anglia discovered that flavonoids, a compound found in a number of fruits and vegetables, reduced the risk of erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 70. Foods that are abundant in flavonoids include blueberries, peaches, celery, hot peppers and apples.
At the beginning of the study, the subjects did not report having difficulties maintaining erections. They were required to fill out a questionnaire every four years to track their health and diets. The participants were also asked to rate their erectile function in the year 2000, 2004 and 2008. Ten years later, researchers found that men who ate foods rich in flavonoids were less likely to have problems with sustaining an erection versus men who ate foods with less flavonoids.
After accounting for other variables, the researchers wrote:
“The results remained statistically significant after additional adjustment for a composite dietary intake score.
“…To our knowledge, this is the first observational study to suggest that increased habitual intakes of several dietary flavonoids are associated with improved erectile function.”
Of the total, 35.6% of the men reported an incident of erectile dysfunction. In their food-based analysis, a higher total intake of fruit was correlated with a 14% reduction in risk of erectile dysfunction. However, the correlation is not indicative of a causation. Eating more foods with flavonoids does not guarantee stronger erections.
Limitations of the study worth mentioning include the subject pool surveyed. Researchers collected data from mostly middle-aged men of “white European descent,” suggesting the results may not be representative of other populations.