Eating Peanut Butter Has An Unexpected Effect On Your Sex Drive

Peanut butter may be one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to living a longer, happier life. According to a 2016 scientific review published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, peanut butter has been shown to combat inflammation, hinder cancer growth, and support our cardiovascular health with its cholesterol-reducing compounds known as phytosterols. In fact, some research has shown that routine peanut butter eaters stand at a lower risk of heart disease-related mortality. 

All of these health benefits demonstrate peanut butter's ability to potentially help us live longer, but we also said it may help us lead a happier life, too. As it turns out, eating peanut butter may enhance our sex life. How so? We have peanuts' vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants to thank for that, according to experts at Allo Health. Here are three ways in which peanut butter can support our sexual health and one myth that we can finally put to rest.

Peanut butter may help jumpstart your sex drive

Believe it or not, this creamy spread may help kick-start libido. "Nuts and seeds contain L-tyrosine, often referred to as tyrosine, and when tyrosine is broken down, it converts to dopamine," registered dietitian nutritionist Kylene Bogden told Well+Good; and the same article lists peanuts as also being a good source of tyrosine. According to 2010 research published in European Psychiatry, dopamine is a key element in human sexual behavior influencing everything from desire to orgasm to sexual satisfaction. In fact, mating activity has been found to boost dopamine release in male rats, the effects of which last to the point of ejaculation. Although there are many different factors that influence desire and sexual pleasure, regularly snacking on peanut butter may potentially heighten one's sexual experience.

Like tyrosine, arginine is another amino acid found in peanuts that can support our sexual health by enhancing circulation, explains Allo Health. This can subsequently stimulate arousal and help with initiating or maintaining an erection. Similarly, the antioxidants contained in peanuts may alleviate symptoms of erectile dysfunction due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Finally, peanuts are also rich in zinc and vitamin E. These nutrients can keep both our sperm and our reproductive organs happy and healthy.

Do peanuts really increase your risk of STIs?

If you've heard rumors circulating that there's a link between peanut consumption and increased susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), know that you can breathe easy. Allo Health explains that there is no science-backed proof of this notion and that the opposite may actually be true. While eating peanuts or peanut butter should not be considered a safe-sex practice, this healthy snack can support immunity. The stronger our immune system, the better we can fight off disease and infection.

If you weren't convinced to keep a jar of peanut butter on hand in your pantry before, you likely are now. However, certain peanut butters may be better for us than others. From crunchy to smooth to organic, PB may certainly offer numerous health benefits but some commercial products are made with higher amounts of sodium, sugar, or saturated fat, registered dietitian nutritionist Frances Largeman-Roth told Today. Therefore, if you're looking to up your peanut butter intake on a regular basis, experts advise sticking to just one serving of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter a day.