28 Foods & Supplements that Dilate Blood Vessels
This natural vasodilators article was written by site contributor, David Janes.
As you’ll see when you read it, he recommends citrulline supplements over watermelon because supps are a more concentrated source of citrulline.
I believe both can be effective, but I’ve actually had better luck with juiced watermelon than I have with citrulline supplements.
But only if I juice the white part of the melon right next to the rind, because this is where most of the citrulline can be found.
Take a look at the pic below and you’ll clearly see the white part I’m talking about…
I’d suggest you test watermelon (including the white) before you try supplements because the melon has several other nutrients not found in citrulline supplements.
One of these is lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that does very good things for cardiovascular health.
Watermelon also contains highly absorbable vitamin C that strengthens arteries and phenolic compounds including flavonoids and triterpenoids with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits.
And if you blend your watermelon with beet or celery juice, or a combination both, you’ll blow any citrulline supplement right out of the water.
You can read more about these natural vasodilators in my erectile dysfunction cure ebook, which you can download at no charge Here.
Now here’s David…
Natural Vasodilators For Harder Erections
Did you know that some foods are natural vasodilators that have been proven to improve erectile function? You can get harder erections by eating the right foods and taking the right supplements, and there’s plenty of science to prove it.
Vasodilators are substances that widen blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide production and relaxing smooth muscle cells found inside vessel walls. The largest veins and arteries are where these substances can do the most good, and you have some of those in and around your penis.
Natural vasodilators like the ones listed below can make a huge difference in cardiac function and overall health — so you can feel better and perhaps live longer when you eat them or take them as supplements.
In fact, a 2011 study review published in the American Journal of Cardiology points out that erectile health is an advanced indicator of cardiac health, saying that….
Lifestyle and nutrition have been increasingly recognized as central factors influencing vascular nitric oxide (NO) production and erectile function” and that the review “underscores the importance of NO as the principal mediator influencing cardiovascular health and erectile function.
But which food help with vasodilation and therefore ED and overall health?
Here are some things to try.
Foods That Dilate Blood Vessels Naturally
1: Dark Chocolate And Cacao Powder
It’s another reason to eat chocolate — the right chocolate. Most research related to chocolate involves premium-quality dark chocolate and raw cacao, which are much different than highly processed grocery store milk chocolate.
Raw chocolate is exceptionally high in nutrients of many kinds and has been used by humans for medicinal purposes over thousands of years. But in recent decades, we process it to so heavily that it loses many of its positive qualities.
Raw cacao and raw chocolate products and supplements are available, however. And there’s plenty of evidence about what they can do for erectile function.
How many studies to do you need to see as evidence?
There are dozens proving cocoa, cacoa and raw dark chocolate promote vasodilation that help vascular health by:
- Dropping blood pressure up to 10 points
- Doubling Circulating Angiogenic Cells (CACs) which help endolethium function
- Increasing nitric oxide production
One article in the journal Fertility and Sterility suggests a multifaceted approach to treat erectile function and specifically mentions the benefits noted from the flavanols in cocoa (source).
What could be better on a summer day than sharing a cool watermelon with your hot significant other? It makes the idea of having some watermelon even more romantic when you learn that it contains the amino acid citrulline, a potent vasodilator.
Truthfully, the quantity of citrulline in a watermelon isn’t enough to make much of a difference for you, but supplements are available that can really help.
Animal studies have shown that blood flow is improved through dilation of the blood vessels, and in humans watermelon can improve levels of arginine, a basic and essential amino acid found in most proteins — when consumed in very large quantities.
Supplements make sense because it’s the rind that actually contains the greatest quantity of the beneficial antioxidants.
One animal study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that taking a supplement with citrulline might do more than actually taking l-arginine itself and can improve nitric oxide levels in the blood, a key to vasodilation.
The study authors called l-citrulline supplementation a possible “novel therapy” for erectile dysfunction (source).
It seems like ginger is a cure for just about everything, doesn’t it? That’s because it may well be. Ginger has been used throughout the ages for curing a variety of ailments, and much of this usefulness is down to its impact as a natural vasodilator.
Herbal medicine textbooks call the compounds that bring about the positive effect gingerol, zingiberene and shogaol. And animal studies have demonstrated their benefits on blood vessels.
Research published in the Journal of Pharmacology in the late 1980s was already showing to the Western medical community a positive impact on blood vessels from use of ginger. So why haven’t you heard of this before?
When you add in the fact that ginger is also considered by some to be an aphrodisiac, what’s not to like about it? And it gives you a warm, spicy feeling when you use it in a tea, in its juice form or even as a supplement.
Who’s up for some fried rice or perhaps chicken and broccoli with some ginger sauce tonight?
4: Cold Water Fish
Do you really need convincing about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on overall health?
The best natural sources of these fatty acids that work as vasodilators are found in high concentrations in the following fish:
Science has proven again and again that omega-3 fatty acids improve blood lipids, relax arteries and blood vessels and enhance blood flow — including blood to your penis.
But what if you don’t like fish?
Fish oil supplements are available — and the higher quality products won’t leave a fishy aftertaste as they once did, especially if you take them at night right before you go to bed.
When you combine those supplements with a bit of exercise and some healthy eating, you get a recipe for healthy genitals and a healthy body as well.
5: Curcumin And Turmeric
Curcumin is the main component of turmeric — the spice that’s often used in curry and also gives plain old yellow mustard its distinctive color. It also plays a powerful role as a vasodilator.
And that’s just the beginning.
A study from 2012 published in the journal Nutrition sought to find out if there was anything to all the buzz concerning curcumin and turmeric.
The authors were concerned because only high-doses of curcumin had been studied. So they looked at giving people a low dose of lipidated curcumin extract, which is available on the market today.
The research indicated many health effects, including better triglyceride values, better salivary action and greater nitric oxide levels in the blood.
The researchers concluded that middle aged people could definitely benefit from this vasodilating spice.
When you consider that research has also shown curcumin to work as well as NSAID pain relievers like Aleve and Advil for pain and inflammation, cooking with turmeric or supplementing with it makes sense.
Update: 23 More Natural Vasodilators
We’re updating this article with 14 more natural vasodilators, and we’ve included a few supplements in this new list.
So if you’d rather go for the convenience of supplementation over eating vasodilating foods, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s the updated list…
6: Chili Peppers
Chili peppers are rich in capsaicin, a phytochemical responsible for their spiciness. Interestingly, the compound also appears beneficial for vascular and metabolic health.
Specifically, capsaicin can have a favorable effect on the endothelium and promote vasodilation.
The endothelium is a thin membrane that lines the inside of your heart and blood vessels. One of the membrane’s functions is to promote vascular relaxation, allowing blood to flow more freely.
Garlic is known for its many benefits, one being its positive impact on blood pressure.
Data shows that garlic can stimulate nitric oxide production by activating nitric oxide synthase––a family of enzymes necessary for NO production. As a result, blood vessels can relax, resulting in blood pressure reduction and potentially reversal of ED symptoms.
The great news is that garlic goes well in many dishes, and consuming it offers other benefits, including a more robust immune response.
Similar to garlic, onions can promote vasodilation without the specific odor that’s strong enough to repel vampires. Some research suggests that a diet rich in onion can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Onions are rich in quercetin––a flavonoid (plant pigment) that can reduce blood pressure thanks to its positive effects on nitric oxide production.
Further, onions possess anti-inflammatory properties that can further promote vasodilation and improve blood flow for good health and strong erections.
9: Red Wine
Red wine is well-known for its health benefits, especially regarding the heart. The alcoholic beverage is rich in polyphenols––compounds with powerful antioxidant functions that can protect healthy cells from oxidative stress.
Further, red wine can remove built-up plaque from the arteries, lowering blood pressure and promoting cardiovascular health.
Some data also suggests that regular red wine consumption can boost nitric oxide production, further contributing to its positive effects on vasodilation.
10: Beet Juice
Beet juice is packed with natural compounds called nitrates. These compounds serve numerous bodily functions, including converting into the active nitric oxide that promotes vasodilation.
In addition to its ability to promote vasodilation, beet juice is an excellent ergogenic aid. Studies suggest that beets and beet juice consumption improves athletic performance by stimulating blood flow to working muscles.
11: Celery is a Natural Vasodilator
Celery is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat for better health. Like other items on our list, celery can promote vasodilation by boosting nitric oxide levels in the body.
Specifically, celery is home to a group of natural compounds called phthalides, which can promote relaxation in blood vessels (including arteries) to allow blood to flow more freely.
As such, celery is considered a good option for natural treatment of hypertension and might even contribute to harder erections.
Pomegranates are well-known for their anti-hypertensive effects on the body. Aside from being super tasty and a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth, the sweet fruit contains natural compounds that promote nitric oxide production.
In addition, regular pomegranate consumption can reduce plaque in arteries, further improving blood flow, blood pressure, and cardiovascular outcomes.
Some sources also claim that pomegranate can increase testosterone levels, further contributing to strong erections and satisfying sexual life.
13: Citrus Fruits are Natural Vasodilators
Citrus fruits, including orange and grapefruit, are incredibly beneficial for our health. One of the primary reasons for their excellent nutritional status is the abundance of vitamin C.
The nutrient is necessary for strong immunity and oxidative protection. Specifically, getting enough vitamin C can help protect nitric oxide molecules from free radical damage.
Additionally, some research suggests that vitamin C can increase nitric oxide synthase levels, promoting nitric oxide production.
14: Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are excellent vasodilators. First, these vegetables are rich in nitrates the body needs to produce nitric oxide. Consuming such foods more frequently would lead to superior vasodilation and stronger erections.
Eating more leafy greens is also a great way to control your calorie intake and lose weight. The effect could further contribute to blood vessel health and better sexual function.
15: Raw Manuka Honey
Raw Manuka honey is another potent vasodilator that provides numerous health benefits. Made by bees that pollinate certain plants in Australia and New Zealand, this type of honey is rich in nitrates that promote nitric oxide production.
In addition, honey is rich in antioxidants that protect healthy cells and molecules, including nitric oxide, from oxidative stress.
Walnuts and other nuts are rich in an amino acid called l-arginine, which is readily converted to nitric oxide in the body.
Even when not converted to NO, the amino acid promotes blood vessel relaxation, leading to a drop in blood pressure and possibly stronger erections.
Arugula and other green leafy veggies are excellent sources of nitrates that readily convert to nitric oxide in the body.
Arugula is a particularly potent vasodilator because it contains the most nitrates: a staggering 480 mg per 100 grams of weight. Even a couple of servings can provide enough nitrates that promote significant vasodilation, leading to a healthier heart and stronger erections.
18: Parsley Vasodilates Blood Vessels
Parsley is a popular herb that functions as a potent vasodilator in the body. The herb is often added to dishes, especially in the Mediterranean diet, and is used as a natural remedy for hypertension.
Unlike other vasodilators on our list, parsley appears to uniquely impact blood vessel function through an endothelium-independent pathway. The result is a natural reduction in blood pressure and improved erectile health.
19: Cayenne Peppers
Similar to chili and chili peppers, cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, a compound responsible for their spicy taste. It also promotes vasodilation.
Research suggests that capsaicin can reduce blood pressure and lead to stronger erections. The substance can also reduce plaque build-up in the arteries, further improving blood flow and reducing coronary artery disease risk.
20: Spinach is a Natural Vasodilator
Spinach is another leafy green veggie that functions as a vasodilator, reduces blood pressure, and can promote strong and healthy erections.
Like arugula, spinach contains significant concentrations of nitrates that readily convert to nitric oxide.
Another benefit of spinach is that it contains more iron than other veggies, which is necessary for optimal hemoglobin levels and oxygen transportation around the body.
Rosemary is a medicinal plant native to the Mediterranean region. Commonly used to season various dishes, rosemary possesses potent antioxidant functions, allowing it to protect cells and molecules from damage.
In addition, rosemary is often used as a natural treatment in men with erectile problems.
L-arginine is an amino acid that serves as a precursor to nitric oxide. Because of that, l-arginine supplements are often recommended for people with erectile dysfunction.
Additionally, l-arginine can reduce oxidative stress, preventing damage to healthy cells and molecules, such as nitric oxide.
Aside from the supplement form, l-arginine is also found in meat, fish, dairy, nuts, seeds, and other foods.
L-citrulline, which we briefly discussed above, is another potent vasodilator that can improve athletic performance, overall health, and sexual function.
The amino acid serves as a precursor to l-arginine, which we discussed previously.
Interestingly, research suggests that a citrulline supplement is more effective for nitric oxide production than l-arginine. In other words, if you were to take a supplement to improve erectile health, you would be better off going with citrulline.
24: Coffee for Vasodilation
Coffee is rich in caffeine, a well-known central nervous system stimulant. Some of its most notable functions include better mood, improved focus, and reduced pain perception.
Interestingly, the favorite morning beverage for most adults can also lead to vasodilation, a reduction in average blood pressure, and stronger erections.
Some research suggests that men drinking two or more cups of coffee daily are less likely to experience ED.
25: Magnesium is a Natural Vasodilator
Magnesium is an essential mineral necessary for overall health and well-being. Some of its most notable functions relate to nerve signaling, brain function, and immunity.
Aside from that, magnesium can also work as a natural vasodilator. Specifically, the mineral can reduce calcium build-up, allowing blood to flow freely, leading to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stronger erections.
26: Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin is another nutrient that can work as a vasodilator and positively impact erectile health.
Specifically, the vitamin is crucial for maintaining healthy nitric oxide levels in the body, which is necessary for blood vessel relaxation. In addition, vitamin B3 can prevent plaque build-up inside arteries, reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues.
27: Natural Vasodilators – Quercetin
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in numerous foods, including onion, citrus fruits, olive oil, blueberries, etc.
The compound is well-known for its ability to help the body fight conditions that can result from chronic inflammation: cancer, cardiovascular disease, prostate infections, and more.
In addition, quercetin is praised for its ability to promote vasodilation, resulting in blood pressure regulation and potentially stronger erections.
Ginseng is a herb rich in beneficial compounds that can improve our health and reduce disease risk.
The herb has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat sexual dysfunction, particularly in men.
These applications make sense, given that ginseng can promote nitric oxide production, leading to better vasodilation and improved blood flow. The herb can also act as an aphrodisiac, promoting a healthy sex drive and contributing to greater satisfaction.
Adding these vasodilators to your diet and to your supplement regimen makes sense if you want better endolethial function, increased blood flow, a boost in nitric oxide production and increased repair capabilities for your arterial walls.