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Eight Penis-Friendly Foods To Boost T-Levels, Sperm Count, And More
Published Aug 06, 2022 IN Column, YOU & YOUR HEALTH,
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By Rosemary Nwaebuni


 ERECTILE dysfunction in younger men is rising, and about one in eight mentrusted source will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime — so your sexual health and prostate health may be top of mind.

One unexpected way you can improve your sexual health is — surprisingly — through diet.

The foods you eat provide the building blocks you need to power your body, including the penis and other sexual organs.

However, instead of eating as if your penis needs special attention, you can fill your day with nutritious whole foods that help your blood deliver the nutrients your penis, prostate, and other sexual organs need to function optimally.

Whether your concern is low testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction, or prostate health, these foods may help boost your sexual health and function.

1. Spinach

Spinach worked for Popeye, and it may help you, too.

Spinach is rich in folate, a known blood flow booster. Folic acid plays a critical role in male sexual function. Low blood folic acid levels have been linked to erectile dysfunction (1Trusted Source).

Cooked spinach contains 77% of the Daily Value (DV) for folate per cup (185 grams), making it one of the most folate-rich foods around. Additionally, spinach contains a fair amount of magnesium, which also helps stimulate blood flow and may boost testosterone levels (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

2. Coffee

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Your morning cup of java may help below the belt, as well.

One study in over 3,000 men noted that those who self-reported the highest daily caffeine intake (85–300 mg per day, equivalent to 1–3 cups or 240–720 ml of coffee) were less likely to report erectile dysfunction than those with the lowest caffeine intake (4Trusted Source).

It’s important to note, however, that these findings were based on self-reporting from the participants, so they may not be completely reliable.

3. Apples

Apples have some great all-around health benefits, but one of their lesser known advantages pertains to prostate health.

Apple peels, in particular, contain the active compound ursolic acid. One test-tube study has noted that ursolic acid may “starve” prostate cancer cells and prevent them from growing (5Trusted Source).

Note, however, that much more research is needed to fully understand how this effect would translate to apple peels being eaten — rather than ursolic acid being directly applied to cancer cells.

Regardless, some other studies also suggest that men who consume more fruits and vegetables have better odds of beating prostate cancer (6Trusted Source).

If you have prostate cancer, you should follow your trusted health professional’s treatment plan.

4. Avocados

Oddly enough, because of their shape and the fact that they grow in pairs on avocado trees, the Aztecs named avocados after a word meaning “testicles” when they discovered them in 500 B.C.E.

Avocados are rich in vitamin E, which may improve sperm quality in men with infertility. One medium (150 gram) avocado provides 21% of the DV for vitamin E (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

A medium (150 gram) avocado also provides 9% of the DV for zinc, an essential mineral with roles in sperm quality, testosterone production, and fertility (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

5. Chili peppers

Can you handle the heat? One small study found that men who preferred spicier food had higher testosterone levels in their saliva than those that preferred milder flavors (11Trusted Source).

While this doesn’t mean spicy food increases testosterone levels, the chemical capsaicin found in hot peppers may have some bedroom advantages.

Dietary capsaicin intake may stimulate your brain’s pleasure centers, which could potentially improve your mood and provide an aphrodisiac effect. However, most of the research regarding capsaicin and mood has been done in animal studies — so it should be taken with a grain of salt (12Trusted Source).

6. Carrots

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Looking to improve your sperm count? Science says to eat more carrots. They’ve long been recommended for male infertility in traditional medicine, as well (13Trusted Source).

This veggie may improve both sperm count and motility (the movement and swimming of sperm) due to its carotenoid content. Carotenoids are the orange-pigmented antioxidants in carrots that provide many of their health benefits (14Trusted Source).

7. Oats

Oatmeal may not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of sexual health, but it could have some beneficial effects on erectile function.

Oats are considered an aphrodisiac, and they may be beneficial for improving blood flow to the penis. They contain the amino acid L-arginine, which may help treat erectile dysfunction and boost testosterone levels (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).

L-arginine is thought to help blood vessels in the penis relax so that blood flow to the area can increase. However, recent studies suggest that the blood vessel relaxing effects of L-arginine may not be as powerful as they were once thought to be (17Trusted Source).

8. Tomatoes

Nutrient- and antioxidant-rich tomatoes offer several potential benefits related to male sexual health, fertility, and prostate health.

They contain lycopene, a red-pigmented antioxidant that has been linked to healthier sperm production. In addition, they’re rich in vitamin C, which may be linked to increased sperm concentrations in healthy men (14Trusted Source).

Because of their lycopene content, tomato consumption may also be associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer (15Trusted Source).

Finally, one small study in 44 men with infertility also noted that drinking tomato juice for 12 weeks was associated with healthier semen and increased sperm motility (16Trusted Source).

The bottom line

These eight foods all have some research pointing to their positive effects on male fertility, sexual health, or prostate health, but most of the research is limited.

What’s important to note, though, is that all of these are whole, minimally processed foods.

Dietary patterns that are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other minimally processed foods — along with adequate protein and healthy fats — have been shown to help reduce erectile dysfunction risk, improve prostate health, and optimize fertility (7Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

Looking for more ways to promote prostate or sexual health? Check out our best tips to prevent prostate cancer and advice on improving your sex life.

After all, your health is more than one body part.

What’s normal?

Sperm count can be important if you’re trying to conceive a child. An abnormal sperm count may also indicate an underlying health condition.

A normal sperm count ranges from 15 million sperm to more than 200 million sperm per milliliter (mL) of semen. Anything less than 15 million sperm per milliliter, or 39 million sperm per ejaculate, is considered low. A low sperm count is often referred to as oligospermia. A high, or above average, sperm count is over 200 million sperm per millimeter.

You can determine your sperm count through a semen analysis. You can get the analysis done at your doctor’s office, a fertility clinic, or with an at-home test.

Understanding your semen analysis

A semen analysis tests for the following:

•number of sperm (volume)

•shape of sperm

•movement of sperm, or “sperm motility”

The number, shape, and mobility of sperm are important for testing for male factor infertility. Your doctor may recommend testing up to three samples of sperm at different visits to get an accurate analysis.

At-home tests only test for the number of sperm. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in a full analysis.

Semen analysis results table

The following are the healthy or normal semen analysis results, as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Since results can vary from person to person, results are given as a range.

WHO reference range

Total sperm count in ejaculate 39–928 million

Ejaculate volume 1.5–7.6 mL

Sperm concentration 15–259 million per mL

Total motility (progressive and non-progressive)

40–81 percent

Progressive motility 32–75 percent

Sperm morphology 4–48 percent

Why does sperm count matter?

If you’re trying to conceive naturally, a healthy sperm count is often necessary. Even though it only takes one sperm and one egg to get pregnant, more healthy sperm will increase your chances of pregnancy each month.

Even if you aren’t trying to conceive, your sperm count may be an important measure of overall health. One study found men with a low sperm count were more likely to have a higher percentage of body fat (bigger waistline and higher BMI) and higher blood pressure than men with higher sperm counts. They also experienced a higher frequency of metabolic syndrome, or higher chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

For these reasons, if you’re diagnosed with a low sperm count, your primary care doctor may want to evaluate your testosterone levels, lifestyle, and overall health.

How does sperm count affect fertility?

Sperm count can affect fertility because your chance of getting your partner pregnant decreases with a lower sperm count. Problems with the quality of sperm can also affect your chances of getting a woman pregnant.

Male infertility factor, often due to a low sperm count, is a common reason many couples have trouble conceiving. But couples may also experience other health issues that can affect fertility. In some cases, infertility may be due to female factors, like:

•low ovarian reserve

•a blocked fallopian tube


Lack of conception may also be the result of not trying to conceive for long enough. In many cases, it can take six months to a year to get pregnant when there are no fertility concerns.



 To Be Continued Next Week


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