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Foods To Help Erectile Dysfunction

foods to help erectile dysfunction

Can Food Affect Your Penis?

We know pills, pumps, and surgeries work for erectile dysfunction, but what about food? Are there things you can eat that can help with ED? There are reasons to think there may be, even if more evidence is needed to confirm the potential of the following foods.

Foods that may increase your sexual desire:

  • Berries (as well as citrus fruits) contain chemicals that are associated with a decreased risk of ED.
  • Dark chocolate increases levels of dopamine, the “pleasure” hormone, in the body.
  • Oysters contain more zinc than other foods and assists with sperm mobility.
  • Cayenne pepper raises the heart rate and releases endorphins.
  • Red wine relaxes the arteries and increases blood flow to the genitals. (Red wine contains the same biochemicals found in berries and citrus fruits.)
  • Pistachios contain the protein arginine, which relaxes the blood vessels, increasing blood flow throughout the body.
  • Coffee. A study suggests that caffeine relaxes certain muscles and arteries in the penis, increasing blood flow and helping to maintain an erection.

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. If your doctor can’t pinpoint the cause, they can recommend lifestyle and diet changes that may help.

Exercise may help

Studies have shown that men who exercise more have better sexual and erectile function. Better sexual function was reported by men in the study who engaged in either two hours of strenuous exercise, 3.5 hours of moderate exercise, or six hours of light exercise a week.

And although there is no specific exercise men need to do in order to achieve better sexual health, any form of exercise is better than none at all.

The Mediterranean Diet for Erectile Dysfunction

The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy and tasty way to eat, and it has been shown to help men with erectile dysfunction2.

The basics of the diet are simple:

  • Meals should be plant-based, consisting of mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grain bread, pasta, and cereals.  Healthy options include:
  • Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens), brocolli, carrots.
  • Avocados.
  • Tofu.
  • Legumes (kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans).
  • Sweet potatoes or yams.
  • Limit meat portions to roughly 4 ounces (the size of a deck of playing cards).
  • Substitute fish or poultry for red meat.  Eat fish at least twice a week, and red meet no more than once a week.  Avoid sausage, bacon, and other fatty meats.
  • For snacks, choose small portions of almonds, cashews, pistachios walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or vegetables.  You can also spread natural peanut butter (no hydrogenated fat added) or tahini on whole-grain crackers.

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