Because you enjoy making love, you will want to protect your body’s ability to manufacture this one very important molecule: nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is made by the endothelium, a one-cell thin layer lining the inside of the arteries, that allows arteries in both men and women to flex, to expand and contract, and to remain healthy long into old age. Healthy endothelium, contributes to healthy arteries; healthy arteries, to healthy everything, including healthy sex.

When it comes to sexual arousal, you want to have excellent endothelium.

For men, erectile dysfunction may be a symptom of extensive damage already done to the endothelium; for women, damaged endothelium may manifest as: less than peak sexual arousal.

Typically, even with extensive damage to the endothelium, there remains enough to allow us to enjoy all the pleasures of intimacy. Whatever remaining healthy endothelium there is, is capable of producing SOME nitric oxide.

Pharmaceutical companies are making a fortune by selling pills that temporarily boost production of nitric oxide in both men and, recently, women. It’s a wonder that anyone gets out of bed these days!

What about those of you, who wish to avoid taking pills, who want something “natural”?

Step one will be to examine your diet. A lifetime of animal products and packaged foods can be very taxing to the health of many people. With that in mind, you want to soon change your diet away from animal products and packaged foods and towards whole foods, plant-based. By changing to a healthier diet, and including a good exercise program, you may be able to stop further deterioration and possibly even reverse the damage to your endothelium, hence, to your arteries. A slight improvement of elasticity of your arteries can result in magnitudes improvement to your blood flow.

Next look to the foods you select to increase those with more of two important molecules which help the body to produce more nitric oxide. Foods containing L-Arginine and L-Citrulline help the body to make more nitric oxide.

We may face a paradox when making food choices. Though we want more foods high in L-Arginine to help improve our health, some foods high in L-Arginine may actually be damaging to some people’s long term health. Animal proteins, for example, comes to mind. Even the leanest cut of animal protein is loaded with fats, saturated fats. Both saturated fats and hydrogenated fats are very damaging to the endothelium, even if animal protein is high in L-Arginine which is helpful to the endothelium. Thus, the paradox.

That pretty much leaves us to enjoy L-Arginine, and L-Citrulline from non-animal foods: plant-based foods. Here’s a list of foods high in L-Arginine and/or L-Citrulline:

  • Kale
  • watermelon and any other melons
  • Swiss chard
  • cucumbers
  • onions & garlic
  • chick peas in particular but also all legumes and beans
  • arugula
  • spinach
  • seeds & nuts–careful with seeds and nuts.  They are VERY HIGH in fat. Though nutritionists to this day claim the fat in seeds and nuts is of the “healthy” type of fat, all fat is bad for the endothelium. Those who suffered strokes and heart attacks should avoid all nuts and seeds because they should avoid all fats and oils, as per Dr. Esselstyn, author of the book about, and an expert at,  reversing heart and artery disease. But if you have not had a heart problem or a stroke, there may be thousands of micro-nutrients/molecules of benefit to eating a relatively small or moderate  amount of nuts and seeds.
  • dark chocolate
  • grains
  • almost all other vegetables

NOTE: be sure to consult a qualified doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, especially if you are taking medications, supplements, or are on any therapy program. Do not self-diagnose. Always study the side effects and know the conditions under which you can take medications including any supplements or food choices.