Reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Here’s everything you need to know about the best foods for male virility.
What does male virility mean to you? Is virility improved sexual function, high sexual desire, better sexual activity or all of the above? In any case, it’s probably safe to say many men would like to increase their virility.
Habits to boost your sexual behavior can be as simple as drinking coffee, taking a walk and, of course, eating the right foods. It’s common knowledge that eating a balanced, nutritious diet helps improve your overall health — including your sexual health.
But while diet can improve sexual health, can it boost sexual desire? Will adding certain foods to your diet help improve sexual dysfunction issues like erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation? What are the best foods for male virility?
Below, we’ll cover the actual definition of virility and discuss the best foods for male virility.
Male virility is associated with many things — high sexual desire, vigorous sexual activity, healthy erectile function and overall, strong sexual function. But what does male virility mean, exactly?
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines virility as “male sexual strength or qualities,” with “manliness” and “masculinity” being synonymous.
Merriam-Webster simply states that virility is associated with “manly vigor” or “masculinity” or that virility is the state of being virile or having traditionally masculine traits.
While masculinity could be associated with a number of traits or features, many men might think of sexual function and sexual behavior as one way to describe virility — specifically, traits associated with healthy sexual behavior, such as healthy erectile function, high sex drive and vigorous sexual activity.
In other words, the descriptors “strong,” “vigorous” and “healthy” may often come to mind when you think of male virility. That’s why these words are often associated with sexual behavior.
Improving your sexual health can have a tremendously positive effect on your life, boosting everything from your self-confidence to your relationships. But can eating the best foods for male virility help boost your sexual behavior and improve your sex life?
The short answer? Yes and no. We’ll explain below.
The health benefits of some foods may have a direct impact on certain aspects of virility, like increasing reproductive hormone levels such as testosterone levels. This is because your body uses various nutrients to produce hormones, support healthy blood flow and manage a healthy weight — all of which can impact sexual function.
A balanced diet might not be enough for the treatment of erectile dysfunction or low testosterone on its own. But prioritizing the right foods may have a positive effect on your body’s ability to maintain healthy sexual behavior.
For example, the effects of testosterone are important for numerous functions beyond growing chest hair. Maintaining healthy testosterone levels helps regulate sexual desire, fuels reproductive health and allows you to maintain stable levels of energy, healthy bones and an optimal red blood cell count while improving sperm counts.
That’s not to say that eating certain foods as part of a balanced diet couldn’t hurt. Adding foods to boost the effects of testosterone or eating a diet for erectile dysfunction could improve your overall virility — that is, in addition to making other lifestyle changes or talking to your healthcare provider about other treatment options for sexual dysfunction.
Keep reading to learn about the best foods for male virility, along with other effective ways to increase your virility and sexual function.
The best foods for male virility are ones that may increase sexual desire, improve the effects of testosterone, reduce sexual dysfunction and boost overall sexual function.
They say you should eat your greens, and spinach is one of the best greens to incorporate into your diet for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Rich in nitrates, a natural chemical compound that widens blood vessels, eating more spinach could help improve blood flow — an important part of erectile function.
Another way the nitrates in spinach could help with erectile dysfunction is by affecting the nitrate‐nitrite‐nitric oxide pathway, in which nitrates in some types of food are recycled in blood and tissue to produce nitric oxide, an important molecule for your vascular health and blood flow.
Other nitrate-rich foods you can eat for the treatment of erectile dysfunction include green, leafy vegetables such as parsley and beet leaves.
You probably don’t need another reason to drink coffee, but here’s one more: a cup of joe in the morning could improve blood flow and be a helpful part of the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
A 2015 study found that men who consumed two to three cups of coffee daily (excluding diabetic men) had a reduced likelihood of ED.
We should note, however, that these findings were self-reported by the participants, so they may not be completely reliable. Research is pretty mixed about whether coffee is a useful treatment of erectile dysfunction, which we discuss in our full guide on caffeine and ED.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away — and may be one of the best foods for male virility.
In addition to all their other great health benefits, another reason to eat apples is that they may support prostate health. Apple peels, in particular, contain an active compound called ursolic acid, which may “starve” prostate cancer cells to prevent them from growing, according to one test-tube study.
Other studies also suggest that men who consume more fruits and vegetables have a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Regardless, more research is needed to understand all the health benefits of apples, especially whether eating apple peels actually helps — rather than ursolic acid being directly applied to cancer cells.
Rich in dietary fiber and healthy fats, avocados provide nutrients that can improve blood flow.
Avocados may help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, a form of cholesterol that can clog arteries and affect blood flow.
This fruit (yes, avocados are a fruit) is also rich in vitamin E, with 100 grams of avocado containing 2 milligrams of vitamin E. One smaller avocado provides about 13 percent of your daily value. Vitamin E may improve sperm quality — especially sperm motility — in men with infertility.
Another food that contains healthy fats that could help boost the effects of testosterone and improve virility? Olive oil.
Olive oil was found to increase testosterone levels by 17.4 percent over three weeks in men who used this cooking oil instead of butter.
The men also showed a 42.6 percent increase in levels of luteinizing hormone, which is closely associated with the effects of testosterone and sperm counts.
Another fruit commonly thought of as a vegetable, tomatoes could have beneficial effects on male sexual health, including fertility and prostate health, thanks to their nutrient and antioxidant content.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant associated with several health benefits, including improved vascular function and the prevention of certain cardiovascular health issues. Other foods that contain high amounts of lycopene include watermelon, guava and papaya.
More research is needed on the potential effects of lycopene on sexual performance in humans. However, some animal studies have found that it may play a role in improving erectile health.
A study on rabbits published in PLoS found that lycopene may have certain benefits for cardiovascular health — an important component of erectile function.
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Many of the foods listed above contain certain nutrients that may help improve sexual dysfunction like ED. So rather than hyper-focusing on eating one particular food to improve male virility, adding these to a balanced diet full of various nutritious foods could improve your sexual behavior.
While diet does play an important role in health — including sexual health — there are other ways to increase male virility, from boosting sexual desire to improving sexual dysfunction and erectile function.
It’s completely normal for your desire for sex to wax and wane. But if your sexual desire is lower than normal, talk to a healthcare professional. There can be many causes of low sex drive, so narrowing down the reason for your loss of sexual desire can help you figure out a treatment. A few ways to increase sex drive are to check testosterone levels, reduce stress, exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
If you’ve been struggling with erectile dysfunction, eating certain foods to help ED is one way to reduce this type of sexual dysfunction. The most effective treatment of erectile dysfunction is medications like sildenafil, tadalafil or avanafil (sold as Stendra®). Many of these medications are available as either oral tablets or chewable mints.
Or maybe you’re dealing with premature ejaculation or lower-than-normal ejaculation. You should talk to your healthcare provider to figure out the best treatment, but some ways to increase ejaculation include pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or other premature ejaculation treatments like topical creams or sprays.
The idea of male virility is one we often associate with strength, masculinity, vigor and impressive sexual health. But while the literal definition of virility is simply “male sexual strength” or “masculinity,” this can mean many different things.
Eating foods that have nutritional benefits is important for your well-being, including your sexual health. But focusing on the best foods for male virility is only one way to improve sexual behavior.
Honing in on lifestyle habits that can help you have a healthier sex life free of erectile dysfunction is also a great goal. If you’re struggling with sexual dysfunction, talking to your healthcare provider can help you figure out the cause as well as a treatment plan.
Maybe the combination of a healthier diet and ED medication is what one person needs, while talking to a licensed mental health professional about sexual performance anxiety might be a better option for someone else.
Just as sexual health is unique to every individual, so are the ways to treat sexual dysfunction and improve your sexual health.