Before you call my bluff, know that it’s completely plausible. It wouldn’t be an exact science, but it would, in fact, be rooted in science. According to a recent preliminary discovery by Johns Hopkins University researchers, low levels of vitamin D (a fat-soluble nutrient that our bodies absorb through sun exposure and dietary sources and supplements) may be connected to erectile dysfunction. To come to this finding, researchers analyzed data from more than 3,400 American men, age 20 and older, who were free of heart disease, a common health condition related to below-the-belt issues. Of the study participants with erectile dysfunction, 35 percent were deficient in vitamin D, or the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ compared with 29 percent of those without erectile dysfunction.
The takeaway here? If you’re having trouble rising to the occasion, it’s worth getting more of the vitamin. And because prolonged exposure to the sun isn’t safe, it’s best to do so by adding foods rich in the nutrient to your diet. The best part is, doing so won’t just help your boner. The versatile vitamin has also been shown to keep depression and belly fat at bay! In fact, in one study vitamin D supplementation was associated with a 7 percent decrease in body fat, while other findings suggest that it helps to zap belly fat!
Here, some of the best food sources of vitamin D in the supermarket, plus a handful of other healthy foods that have been shown to benefit your penis. Consider this your get-hard, stay-hard shopping list!
(And for more foods that will help your package stay healthy for life, check out these 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis!)
Besides providing nearly 7 percent of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin D, pork loin is a great source of muscle-building lean protein. Plus, it can add some pizazz to a chicken- and beef-filled weekly dinner lineup. Never prepared the meat before? Our Pork Loin and Potatoes recipe is delicious, healthy and super-simple to make.
If you’re an avid Eat This, Not That! reader, you likely know we’re big fans of whole eggs. The yolk may add some extra calories and fat to your plate, but it also contains a host of fat-blasting and health-boosting nutrients—including vitamin D. In fact, a three-egg omelet serves up 20 percent of the daily D requirement. We suggest adding some veggies to the mix for an added boost of flavor and nutrients.
And speaking of breakfast foods, be sure to check out these 50 Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss—Ranked!
If you don’t usually connect Greek yogurt with erections, that’s understandable (and probably sane). Just know that one container can provide 20% of your daily value of B12, a nutrient that’s been linked to healthy erections. And some brands, like Dannon Light & Fit Greek Vanilla Yogurt (one of our 25 Best Yogurts for Weight Loss is fortified with vitamin D, too, making it a double win! Yogurt is also a good source of potassium, which keeps your heart healthy and aids circulation—two essential factors in getting hard.
According to legend, Casanova—the Tinder master of his time—regularly ate a breakfast of 50 oysters. Turns out he could’ve doubled as a nutritionist if he’d been able to get out of the sack. In addition to being high in B12, oysters contain more zinc than any other food source (almost five times your daily DV). This nutrient is essential for testosterone production, and when your T levels drop, so does your business. Like other bivalves, oysters are high in D-aspartic acid, an amino acid that has been shown to temporarily boost low testosterone levels and improve sperm quality in infertile men. On a purely aesthetic level, zinc also helps the body synthesize protein into muscles, which will pump you up in more ways than one.
Fortified Cow’s Milk
Although cow’s milk isn’t naturally rich in vitamin D, in America it’s commonly fortified with the nutrient. To best absorb the D—and the full alphabet of nutrients listed on the carton—opt for 1 percent over skim. It’s well worth the calories, because vitamins A, D, E, and K need fat to be absorbed. One cup provides more than 19 percent of the day’s recommended D intake.
Eat This! Tip
Don’t love the taste of milk? Throw some of the stuff into a smoothie. We’ve got a ton of delicious smoothie recipes you’re sure to love!
Chanterelle and Shiitake Mushrooms
A cup of mushrooms provides up to 19 percent of the day’s D requirement, making them the best source of vitamin D in the produce aisle. They’re an excellent addition to omelets, stir-fries, salads and tacos. Check out our Soft Veggie Chicken Tacos recipe to see how we use the vegetable in the Tex-Mex inspired dish. It only takes 15 minutes to whip up! And to look better naked, check out these 30 Foods That Melt Love Handles.
Wild Salmon and Mackerel
Just one three-ounce serving of these health-promoting fish provides nearly all of the daily recommended vitamin D intake. Salmon is also a primo source of vitamin B12 and iron, which increases blood flow to the penis, strengthening erections.
To look—and feel—even better between the sheets, check out these 25 Weight Loss Tips From The World’s Fittest Men!
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.
Grass Fed Beef
In addition to being leaner and lower in calories than conventional cuts, grass-fed beef offers a host of benefits, from muscle-building to fat-burning to heart protection. You can add assistance in the bedroom to its list of good qualities; it’s a good pick for getting your B12 if you’re not into seafood. So eat up — it may be just what you need to get up, and stay up.