There are plenty of factors that could affect sexual performance. Many of them are psychological, some of them are related to diseases and other health conditions, and some of them may even have to do with the medications you’re taking.
As it turns out, the foods you’re eating could also have a significant impact on your sex life, too. A new study reveals that, for middle-aged men, the Mediterranean diet is linked with better erectile performance.
RELATED: What Happens to Your Body On the Mediterranean Diet
The study, which was published in the journal Nutrients and recently featured in the European Society of Cardiology’s annual Congress, looked at 250 men experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) and high blood pressure and scored each of their eating habits based on how well they adhered to the Mediterranean diet.
For context, the diet is rich in whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and olive oil, among other foods. Researchers found that those who scored highest on this scale reported better erectile performance.
“Lifestyle habits that benefit our health, and especially those that benefit our cardiovascular systems may protect or even improve erectile performance,” study author Athanasios Angelis, Ph.D. of the University of Athens, Greece told Eat This, Not That! in an interview. “However, adopting a healthy diet is not a medical prescription.”
Study participants whose food habits more closely resembled the Mediterranean diet also had better blood flow and higher testosterone levels. Higher Mediterranean diet scores were also associated with increased exercise capacity.
Researchers suspect that the diet’s positive impact on erectile performance could have something to do with the diet’s ability to improve blood vessel functioning as well as help maintain testosterone levels as men age.
Angelis adds that getting to know all of the different foods that are a part of the Mediterranean diet and finding ways to pair them with the foods you eat every day is “the best way to really enjoy and incorporate this special diet into your daily routine.”
Try drizzling some olive oil onto your next salad, swapping out the fried chicken for grilled, or grabbing a handful of nuts instead of chips next time you reach for a snack. For additional options, try these 15 Mediterranean Diet Swaps for Your Go-To Meals.
Following the Mediterranean diet isn’t the only major food change that could have a positive impact on your performance in bed. For more, be sure to check out The 50 Best Foods for Men that Help You Stay Erect.