If you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED), you might be looking for ways to improve your condition. According to recent statistics, erectile dysfunction affects up to 30 million men in the United States. This makes it one of the most common sexual dysfunction in men. Though it is not rare for a man to have problems on some occasions, erectile dysfunction becomes a concern when it starts happening frequently.
Many individuals are surprised to learn that ED might be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from genital trauma, high stress, emotional issues, cardiovascular disease, or the most frequent reason: low testosterone levels and aging.
Despite the fact that ED is a typical disease, many males are still ashamed to discuss it with their doctor. If you’re one of those guys, there’s no need to be concerned because all sorts of treatments are accessible: pills, vacuum pumps, implants (for very severe cases), and so on.
However, there are several natural treatments for ED that do not require pills or surgery. These natural ED therapies focus on lifestyle changes and food items that may help your situation. We’ll concentrate on a few foods that can assist you in overcoming erectile dysfunction.
Erectile Dysfunction: How Food Helps
The science behind erectile dysfunction, is fairly simple: an erection is the result of a complex physiological process that starts with sexual arousal. This arousal starts in the brain, which signals the nervous system to release chemicals, such as nitric oxide, into the blood.
Nitric oxide helps increase blood flow and activates enzymes that create cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which is a key component involved in getting and keeping an erection.
Due to the complexity of erectile dysfunction, there can be a variety of things that interfere with the process of obtaining and maintaining an erection, from low testosterone levels to cardiovascular disease. The primary cause is generally due to poor blood flow.
This is where foods come into play: certain foods helps improve blood flow and, as a result, can help improve erectile function.
Tomatoes, while not the first fruit that comes to mind for many, are a wonderful source of nutrients with a lot of antioxidants. In fact, this fruit has a number of advantages that are all related to male sexual health and fertility.
Tomatoes contain a natural compound called lycopene and is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants known. What makes lycopene unique is that even when heated, it still maintains its powerful antioxidant capabilities.
A number of studies have linked this antioxidant with helping restore erectile dysfunction by reducing blood glucose, stress, and promoting nitric oxide production.
According to Dr. Juan Carlos Ruis, lycopene has a vasodilatory effect (improved blood flow) owing to the overall boost in blood flow in the body, causing erections to become easier. He also added that due to the antioxidant properties of tomatoes, it also serves as a protector of sperm in the testis.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, Arugula, Celery
Popeye did not invent eating his spinach; it was actually beneficial. Leafy greens such as aspinach, arugula, and celery are all good examples of green foods that provide a variety of benefits in addition to their nutritional value.
It is well established that leafy greens are not just a great source for boosting testosterone production, but evidence shows they are great for helping improve your erections. Leafy greens are high in folic acid, which is beneficial for general cardiovascular health and improved blood flow throughout the body. One study looked at men that consumed folic acid daily for 3 months.
What they found was that of those men with a higher folic acid intake had improvement in their erections. In fact, all the patients in the study went from having severe ED to mild or moderate ED.
And, similar to lycopene in tomatoes, leafy greens are also a great source of nitrates. When converted into nitric oxide, it helps improve blood circulation and as a result can help with ED.
Other good sources of green vegetables rich in folic acid are: asparagus, spinach, and brussel sprouts.
Sometimes spice isn’t just for flavor. Adding chili peppers to your diet may not only make your meals more enjoyable, but it can also help improve erectile dysfunction.
Chili peppers contain a natural compound called capsaicin, which is the active ingredient that gives chili peppers their “heat”. Capsaicin helps by dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow throughout the body.
The way this spicy compound works is by helping blood vessels dilate (expansion of the blood vessels) in the entire body which helps to improve blood flow throughout the body and as a result help with your erectile dysfunction.
You might be wondering what science says about it. According to one research that used capsaicin, males had improved erections. It is thought to be attributed to the increase in nitric oxide availability in the body, which supports blood flow. However, studies on the effects of capsaicin on ED are still at an early stage and further study is needed; nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction.
Fruits: Blueberries & Oranges
Although these two fruits might not have much in common in taste or with any of the other foods listed above, they do share one thing in common: they are both flavonoid-rich foods.
Flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient (natural plant compound) that have a number of impressive health benefits. They are known for their antioxidant properties and have been linked with reducing the risk of ED.
One particular flavonoid, anthocyanins, is found in blueberries and has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Not only have blueberries been linked to a decreased risk of heart diseases like high blood pressure, but in a previous studies by Harvard, they found that eating blueberries helped middle-aged men with impotence (another term for erectile dysfunction).
Another study found that a diet rich in flavonoids helped treat erectile dysfunction in rats. The way it works is by helping to relax smooth muscle tissue, which allows for increased blood flow and, as a result, helped improve ED.
Oranges are another flavonoid rich food, specifically hesperidin. Research shows that hesperidin works by improving the production of nitric oxide, which helps increase blood flow to the smooth muscle tissues, which also helps improve erectile dysfunction.
Watermelon is one fruit that’s often considered an aphrodisiac because it contains an amino acid called citrulline. Citrulline is converted into arginine in the body, which is an amino acid that’s needed for a healthy erection. This is what makes watermelon a “natural viagra”.
A research published in Nutrition revealed that men who consumed three to six, 8-oz glasses of watermelon juice had greater amounts of arginine in their bodies, which indicated enhanced blood flow.
While nut may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of foods for ED, they actually contain a number of important nutrients for sexual health.
Nuts are a good source of zinc and L-arginine which is essential for testosterone production and as discussed above helps with production of nitric oxide. Low levels of testosterone have been linked with erectile dysfunction. Research has shown that men who consume more zinc have higher levels of testosterone.
One study linked a mediterranean diet (which is rich in nuts) with improved sexual function. Some particular nuts that show to be the most beneficial are: walnuts, almonds, and peanuts.
Coffee is one of those foods that people either love or hate. But whether you like it or not, coffee has a number of benefits for your you which includes your sexual health. This is because coffee contains a substance called caffeine, which is known to improve blood flow by relaxing smooth muscle tissue in the arteries, which is what carries blood away from the heart and distributes it throughout your body.
A study published in the Public Library of Science found that men who had an increased caffeine intake (one to two cups of coffee per day) were less likely to experience ED than men who had a zero caffeine intake diet.
This is most likely due to the fact that caffeine activates a chain reaction in the body that encourages improved blood flow for viagra-like results.
Chocolate doesn’t need to be a guilty pleasure. If you ever needed an excuse to eat more chocolate, here it is.
Many scientific studies have shown that chocolate (more specifically, dark chocolate), is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that makes this super-food top contender for helping men with erectile dysfunction.
Dark chocolate, like blueberries and oranges, are high in flavonoids, which is linked to improvement of cardiovascular health and reducing the incidence of erectile dysfunction. This is fantastic since it implies you’re not restricted to just vegetables when looking for things that include flavonoids.
Another great thing about dark chocolate is that it can help increase levels of endorphins and serotonin. These are hormones that are linked with increased feelings of happiness, which in turn reduce stress levels.
Erectile dysfunction has been linked to stress, in part, because of how it interferes with the brain’s transmission of messages and the restriction of blood flow to the penis. So anything you can do to reduce stress is always a good thing.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that men with a high dietary flavonoid intake had reduced ED symptoms. So the next time you want to munch on chocolate, don’t be embarrassed. Just make sure it’s a dark chocolate bar rather than a milk one.
Overall Health Benefits
While there is no food that is magic and guarantees to work perfectly for ED, these 8 foods are good for your overall health. This means that not only will they improve your sexual function, but they will also improve your heart health, blood pressure, weight, and reduce your chances of developing other conditions that affect erectile function.
So if you’re looking for foods that can help with your ED, these are a great start for those looking to achieve a more satisfying sex life.
While These foods can help with ED symptoms, they are not a cure for ED. But incorporating these foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health and sexual function.
Always remember to discuss with to your doctor before making any changes to your diet, especially if you have a medical condition. Since ED can be a result of various medical conditions, it is important to talk to a doctor if you believe you have symptoms of ED.