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Foods That Help With Erectile Dysfunction

Foods That Help With Erectile Dysfunction

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a man’s inability to have or maintain an erection. Reaching or maintaining an erection usually isn’t reason for concern. But frequent ED can cause stress, relationship conflicts, and a loss of self-esteem.

Doctors will often recommend certain medications for ED including Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These medications can treat ED for many men. But these medications may be unsafe for some men to take, or they don’t help relieve symptoms. In such cases, testosterone replacement therapy is another helpful option. This is prescribed when ED is caused by reduced levels of testosterone. Surgical implants or removal of blood vessel blockages may also be necessary if other treatments don’t work.

The role of lifestyle in ED

There are several reasons why a good diet can help prevent and even reverse ED. Eating healthy foods reduces your risk of common vascular problems caused by high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, and being overweight. ED is a problem of blood flow, so when you keep your blood vessels in good health, you reduce your risk of ED.

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study found a direct connection between diet and ED. Men in the study who ate plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoided red meat and processed grains, were less likely to experience ED.

Pick pistachios

This tasty green nut may be more than a great snack. A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research examined how eating pistachios affected ED. Measurements were taken before men were put on a nut-heavy diet and after. Consuming pistachios for several weeks showed improvement in several parameters of ED, including improved International Index of Erectile Function scores for study participants.

Pistachios also improved cholesterol levels and blood pressure with no notable side effects. If you like snacking on pistachios, it can’t hurt to up your intake.

Healthy diet

“A healthy diet and an avoidance of highly processed unhealthy food will go a long way towards relieving symptoms of erectile dysfunction,” said Dr Zakariyya Patel of Pelonomi Hospital Complex in Bloemfontein.

Although certain foods may assist with ED, cases are not well documented and evidence is only anecdotal – based on individual accounts, said Dr Patel. These foods can be labelled as aphrodisiacs, and although some people may swear by their effects, there is no medical evidence that any one specific food can cure ED.

“The reason for this is that ED is a complex condition that may have complicated aetiology (causes). So, certain foods may increase sexual desire to a certain extent but it does not mean that it will change the ED if the underlying cause is not addressed,” added Dr Patel.

Your lifestyle has an impact

Owing to the fact that physiological factors like blood flow and hormone levels may affect erectile dysfunction, a good diet with the right vitamins and minerals will optimise the patient’s sexual health, according to Dr Patel. It does, however, not mean that there is a "silver bullet" that will "magically" solve the problem.

And as the world population struggles with obesity and cardiovascular disease, there is a significant increase in diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, which have a direct impact on blood flow – consequently increasing the severity of ED, Dr Patel added.

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