If we lived in a perfect world, those who subsisted entirely on bacon and vodka martinis would be the coolest, healthiest, sexiest people alive, and those who lived on kale smoothies and protein supplements would be pasty, homely little cave-dwellers. But alas, we do not live in a perfect world, which means that the food we choose to put in our bodies has an impact on our health — including our sexual prowess.
According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there's a long list of foods that can improve your ability to sustain an erection in bed, allowing you to become a full-blown sex machine (or at least, like, someone who doesn't roll over and ask if you wanna order pizza after three minutes of mediocre porking).
The survey, which was authored by researchers at Harvard University and the University of East Anglia, polled more than 25,000 men over the course of 10 years, with the researchers sending the men a questionnaire every four years about what kinds of food they ate. The researchers were interested in examining the effect of flavonoids, a compound contained in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, on men's health — specifically men's boner health.
At the beginning of the study, none of the men surveyed reported experiencing problems maintaining an erection. (Which, let's be honest, they might have been lying about, because it literally happens to everyone, but for the sake of science, let's take them at their words.)
By the end of the 10-year mark, however, the researchers found that men who ate foods that were high in flavonoids, such as blueberries, peaches, celery, hot peppers and apples, were less likely to report having problems sustaining an erection than men who ate these foods less often. In science-y speak, eating such foods was "significantly associated with a reduction in risk of ED" or a minor reduction in the risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
This is hardly the first time science has linked certain foods with increased sexual performance. Contrary to myths about foods like oysters and chocolate boosting libido, there's actually some evidence that healthier foods rich in unsaturated fat, like avocados, or foods rich in Vitamin C, like broccoli, can help rev up your sex drive. Because various studies have linked poor vascular health to erectile dysfunction, there also might be a slight correlation between erectile strength and eating heart-healthy foods like salmon and potassium-rich bananas (though preferably not at the same time).
All this comes with a caveat, however: There's no evidence that eating such foods can actively cause stronger erections, so much as there's a correlation between eating flavonoid-rich food and having a decreased risk of erectile dysfunction. So if you're chugging peach-and-blueberry smoothies like water and you still have trouble maintaining an erection, it's probably best to see a doctor and make sure that your plumbing is in tip-top shape.
It's also worth noting that the study appears to have almost exclusively surveyed middle-aged men of "white European descent," so it was shockingly un-diverse. Still, it can't hurt to eat more fruits and veggies, and it's yet another reason for people who eat healthy food to keep patting themselves on the back. So good on you, blueberry-eaters! Keep partying over there with your bad selves! Ain't no sex party like a blueberry-eater's sex party, 'cause a blueberry-eater's sex party goes all night long.