Erectile dysfunction is a condition that can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection. Following certain diets or eating specific foods may be helpful. In this article, we look at what foods people can include in their diet to help combat erectile dysfunction.
What is it?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that makes a person unable either to get an erection or to keep it firm enough during sexual intercourse. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, ED affects roughly 30 million males in the United States.
Factors that can increase the chances of developing ED include:
- the natural aging process
- having some health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease
- taking certain medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs
- experiencing mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression
- consuming too much alcohol
- having overweight or obesity
- being physically inactive
According to 2016 research, the main cause of ED is poor vascular function. As a result, the risk factors for ED are the same as those for cardiovascular disease.
Some sources indicate that ED may be an early indicator of cardiovascular disease.
A healthful diet that includes certain foods may have the potential to improve ED.
According to an older study, cardiovascular disease and ED share underlying mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction. This dysfunction refers to the inability of the blood vessels to relax properly and widen to allow the blood to flow. There is evidence that the Mediterranean diet reduces the chance of cardiovascular disease.
A 2017 review of four studies found that following a Mediterranean diet also helped reduce the risk of ED in males, as well as improving sexual function. The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that emphasizes healthful whole foods, including:
- olive oil
- whole grains
Flavonoids are a group of plant compounds called phytonutrients that people can find in fruits and vegetables. They may be able to improve endothelial function and blood pressure. A 10-year prospective study of 25,096 males in middle age indicated that those who consumed the most flavonoids had a 9–11% reduced incidence of ED compared with those who consumed the least.
The authors observed that the chance of ED reduced by up to 19% in those who ate the following six flavonoid-rich foods and drinks:
- red wine
- citrus products
Additionally, total fruit intake was associated with reducing risk by up to 14%.
Protein foods containing L-arginine
L-arginine is an amino acid that people consume in protein-rich foods. The body uses it to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that widens and relaxes blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the penis. Some research suggests that l-arginine levels are lower in males who have ED. Foods that are good sources of l-arginine include ………. Continue Reading……….