Erectile dysfunction is a common occurrence that can cause both emotional and physical frustration for you and your partner.
While there are many treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED), your first step doesn’t have to be a medication, there are natural remedies for erectile dysfunction. Start with your diet. In fact, we think it’s best to start with a natural approach. As with many bodily issues, your diet can have a major impact on what is – or isn’t – working.In this article, we’re exploring how what you eat can affect your sexual performance.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
First, let’s define erectile dysfunction: ED is the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough to have sex.
What causes this? A penis that is unable to get or stay erect is actually a blood-flow issue. If your blood isn’t flowing optimally, it can affect circulation in your arms, hands, and legs – and your penis.
The good news, as doctors are quick to point out, is that this dysfunction is not an immediate cause for concern. While longer-term ED can contribute to stress, self-confidence, and relationship issues, treating your ED may not require a prescription or oral medication. In many cases, a physical issue can cause your decreased blood flow. So, let’s look at your diet for improving your blood flow.
As always, as soon as you’re concerned about ED, bring it up with your doctor – and trust us, your doctor has heard it all before.
Diet and erectile dysfunction
Because ED stems from blood flow issues, taking care of the heart is vital. Often, if a patient is diagnosed with heart issues, the first path of treatment is diet and nutrition. Fat clogs arteries, which limits blood flow throughout the body. In this way, anything that’s bad for your heart can be bad for your penis.
Heart healthy foods
You’ve probably heard the medical adage that the more colorful your diet, the better it is for you. This is true – for natural and minimally-processed foods. (The orange coloration of Doritos doesn’t boost your nutritional rainbow.) The Cleveland Clinic recommends many foods that boost heart health, often for their levels of vitamins, minerals, and soluble fiber. Incorporate heart-healthy foods into each meal, such as:
- Fish high in omega-3s, like salmon, tuna, and trout
- Healthy nuts like almonds or walnuts – but only a handful
- Dark beans, such as kidney and black beans
- Dark green vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, and asparagus
- Red, yellow, and orange vegetables, such as zucchini and bell peppers
Foods that help sexually in men
While you’re helping your heart out, research suggests that additional foods may specifically help your erectile dysfunction. Here are a few:
- Spinach and beets provide nitrates
- Dark chocolate provides flavonoids
- Shellfish, especially oysters, provide zinc
- Pistachios for protein
- Grapefruit and tomatoes provide lycopene
- Watermelon provides antioxidants
Erectile dysfunction diet
Fad diets are no new thing. However, clinical studies have found that the Mediterranean diet contributes to preventing ED. Clinical studies published in the June 2017 edition of Central European Journal of Urology analyzed the role of the Mediterranean diet in sexual function and particularly in erectile dysfunction. Results demonstrate that adherence to a MedDiet improves lipid and glucose metabolism, increased antioxidant defenses, and increased arginine levels which could raise nitric oxide activity.
Foods to avoid
Just as there are foods to help mitigate your ED, other foods can make it worse. Harvard Medical School indicates that what is bad for you overall – too much weight, too much fat, too much red meat – will also negatively affect your penis performance. In fact, a man with a 42-inch waist is 50 percent likelier to have ED than a man with a 32-inch waist. To keep your body in optimum shape, avoid or sharply reduce your intake of red meat, alcohol, fried foods, and processed foods.
Improve your lifestyle
By improving your diet, your energy and body image will soar. Be sure to get active with a brisk walk or workout regularly. All this combined will ensure better sleep – and studies are showing that more sleep will benefit your relationship overall.
If you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction, look to foods that promote heart health, hence improving blood flow to your penis. A natural side effect to choosing heart-healthy foods is an improved your body image. You’re eating better, sleeping better, and feeling better – which can lead to a better sex life for you and your partner.