Erectile Dysfunction: Does the Food You Eat Make a Difference?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be defined as the inability for a man to attain and sustain an erection long enough to enjoy satisfactory sexual intercourse. Also known as impotence, this condition can affect men of all age groups for a variety of reasons. The causes can be related to physical issues, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. Sometimes, however, ED can be attributed to mental factors like stress, depression and anxiety.
The food you consume plays a fundamental role in the quality of your sex life. An unhealthy diet will have a negative impact on both your physical and mental states, messing up your energy levels, blood flow and hormones. Certain dietary choices (what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat) can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. Thus, many doctors agree: one of the best ways to prevent ED is by sticking to a healthy diet.
Vegetables, Not Viagra
While it’s true that pills, tablets and surgery can help men dealing with erectile dysfunction, we’re left to wonder, exactly how important is the food you ingest? Research has shown that certain nutrients in vegetables can greatly increase your libido. Since erectile dysfunction is usually due to low flow of blood to your penis, foods that are good for your vascular system can help prevent ED. If you want to enhance your sex life, try eating more garlic, peppers, olives, tomatoes, beets and leafy greens. It won’t be long before you feel more energetic, livelier, stronger and full of sexual energy!
Cut Down on Red Meat
Eating too much red meat can have a negative affect on your blood flow where it counts the most: below the belt. Animal fat and cholesterol are bad for your heart and arteries, which can lead to heart disease, and, consequently, erectile dysfunction. In order to attain a hard, long-lasting erection, good blood circulation is needed. Limiting meat in your diet is an excellent way to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure naturally. This can lead to not only a more vigorous sexual appetite, but also a much healthier lifestyle. As an added bonus, you’ll lose weight and gain strength, too!
Eat Fish and Shellfish
Shellfish such as oysters contain high levels of zinc, an important nutrient that your body needs to produce testosterone. Higher testosterone means a higher libido. Meanwhile, cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your heart and increase the nitric acid in your body. Furthermore, omega-3 will lower your blood pressure, reduce risk of heart attack, improve your arterial health and make it easier to attain an erection. If you don’t like eating fish on a regular basis, consider taking DHA fish oil instead. It will relax your arteries and ease the flow of blood throughout your entire body, including your penis.
Add More Fruits to Your Diet
As we’ve mentioned, ED is directly linked to heart disease. When your cardiovascular health is suffering, it means your organs are not receiving the proper blood flow. Recent studies have shown that eating a high amount of fruits that are high in antioxidants can help avoid erectile dysfunction. Fruits are nature’s medicine, delicious and abundant, and they contain nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fibers and salts that help lower your blood pressure. Strawberries, for example, are packed full of flavonoids, which reduce the risk of heart diseases and diabetes, and are the ideal fruit to help defeat impotence. Some other fruits to include in your diet for a healthier sex life are bananas, grapes, watermelons and figs.
Don’t Drink to Excess
Though drinking alcohol may lower your inhibitions, its negative effects on erectile function cannot be overstated. Excessive drinking will not only increase your chances of suffering from ED, it can make your impotence worse. Alcohol works as a depressant, eventually lowering your energy levels, dampening your mood and decreasing your sexual desire. Simply put, too much booze is bad for your sex life. It dehydrates your body, reducing oxygen and blood flow to your genitals, and increases angiotensin, a hormone directly related to erectile dysfunction. Try cutting down on the consumption of alcoholic beverages and it won’t take long before you to start noticing the benefits.
Avoid Fried Foods
Perhaps one of the unhealthiest foods you can possibly eat is anything that’s deep-fried in fat or oil. French fries, doughnuts, fried chicken, fried meat and fried fish are extremely bad for your overall health and especially for your heart and therefore sexual capacity. They will not only increase your chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction symptoms, but also contribute to dangerous ailments such as cancer and heart disease. As if that weren’t enough, they also make you fat, which contributes to erectile dysfunction. Give up fried foods altogether and start enjoying a healthier sex life. Your body will thank you for it!
The Mediterranean Diet
The popular and incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet (Med diet) comprises of fruits, veggies, oily fish, nuts and olive oil. Studies have demonstrated that eating nine tablespoons of olive oil, six pieces of fruit, two portions of beans, three servings of fish and thirteen vegetables per week can greatly reduce your chances of erectile dysfunction. Obviously, that is a much healthier alternative to taking Viagra or Cialis. Since it includes good fat and plenty of fruits and vegetables, this amazing diet has also been linked to lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. Do you want to experience a deeper sexual appetite? Try eating like a Greek!