Can Diet Affect Erectile Dysfunction?

Every man encounters some sort of sexual sluggishness from time to time. But when erectile dysfunction occurs on a regular basis, it could be the sign of a developing medical condition.  


Anything we consume that affect’s our blood circulation, such as alcohol, diet or vitamins, can theoretically affect an erection.

Does diet affect erectile dysfunction?

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study found an association between dietary cholesterol and unsaturated fat intake and the incidence of ED. Other studies have also shown that eating a Mediterranean diet—mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats (like olive oil)—may prevent ED.

12 foods that help ED

While further research is needed, preliminary evidence shows that eating these foods could be beneficial for men’s health. In addition to decreasing ED, they have other health benefits, making it a win-win to add them to your diet.

1. Blackberries and other flavonoid-rich fruits

study showed that regularly eating flavonoid-rich foods reduced the incidence of ED. Blackberries have six different types of flavonoids. If berries aren’t your thing, dark chocolate, strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, citrus fruits, and red wine are great sources of flavonoids. A 2016 study found that men who consumed these flavonoid-rich foods experienced a 9%-11% reduction in ED.

2. Watermelon

Research in animals shows that L-citrulline, which is found in watermelon, might stimulate blood flow to help with ED. In other words, this summertime fruit could have an effect similar to Viagra, increasing circulation to the penis, although further research is needed to evaluate this possibility. It also contains lycopene, which is beneficial for heart health, which is noteworthy if ED is being caused by an underlying condition. Lycopene-rich foods include tomatoes, guava, carrots, red oranges, pink grapefruit, and apricots.

3. Spinach and dark leafy greens

Vegetables such as asparagus and Brussels sprouts and dark leafy greens like spinach, romaine, arugula and mustard greens have high levels of folate (folic acid). Folate is a natural form of vitamin B9. A study found that men who experienced ED often had low levels of folic acid. Further investigation is needed to determine if increasing your intake of folic acid could help you to prevent or reverse the effects of ED.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains the nonessential amino acid L-arginine, which can relax the smooth muscle lining of blood vessels and increase blood flow. A systemic review and meta-analysis has shown that L-arginine supplementation could be effective for ED.

5. Pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds

Researchers examined if eating pistachios would help men who had ED. After three weeks of eating pistachios, the study participants in this small, uncontrolled experiment had a significant improvement in erectile function. Pistachios are a source of antioxidants that might help improve blood flow.

Another study found that healthy males who consumed a mix of almonds, hazelnuts, and almonds experienced enhanced orgasm quality and sexual desire, though more research is needed to determine their impact on ED.

6. Pomegranate juice

Although it was not significantly significant, a study of 53 men at California State University found that 25 of the 42 participants who had improvements with ED during the study achieved this when drinking pomegranate juice for four weeks. Antioxidants found in pomegranate juice, enhance nitric oxide levels which can improve ED. It’s not proven, but if you enjoy sipping on this tart beverage, it may be worth a try.

7. Avocado

The Aztecs named avocados ahuacatl, a Nahuatl word meaning testicle because these green fruits were symbols of love and fertility. In the modern day, it’s known that avocados have high levels of zincwhich may increase testosterone levels.

8. Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium. Bananas also contain lots of flavonoids. Research found that men who had the highest intake of flavonoids over a 10-year span were 10% less likely to experience ED.

9. Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in most types of fish, may help to increase blood flow during exercise. Possibly related to this effect, a study found that in an animal model, omega-3 fatty acids helped improve ED. Some types of fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include albacore tuna, salmon, herring, mussels, anchovies, swordfish, sardines, mackerel, and trout.

10. Chili peppers

Research looking at herbal remedies for ED used by men in Uganda noted that capsicum frutescens (chili pepper) may be helpful as a circulatory stimulant. You know that feeling of your sinuses opening up after you eat something hot and spicy? Chili peppers could increase blood flow by affecting your blood vessels, an effect seen in an animal study.

11. Peanuts

Peanuts are rich in arginine, an amino acid used by the body to build protein. According to a 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis, supplementing with arginine may help ED by boosting nitric oxide levels in the blood, increasing blood flow.

12. Coffee

With its numerous nutrients and antioxidants, coffee has many health benefits. It improves cognition, exercise performance, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. According to research, coffee may play an important role in ED, too–subjects whose daily intake of coffee was 2-3 cups per day experienced the lowest incidence of ED. That may be because caffeine relaxes arteries and increases blood flow.

3 ingredients to avoid for an ED diet

Just like certain foods can help your sexual performance, others may hinder it. If you’ve experienced ED in the past, it’s likely your healthcare provider will recommend cutting back on these three things to enhance your sexual health.

1. Alcohol and sugary drinks

While having a couple drinks to get in the mood might feel like an aphrodisiac, it can have the opposite effect. Drinking alcohol can reduce testosterone production and depress the central nervous system. These factors can cause ED.

“Stay away from alcohol,” says Kendrick Heywood, MD, internal medicine physician at HealthGAINS. “It does more harm than good. Sugary foods and sports drinks are also terrible. Stay away from those.”

2. Soy-based products

One case report examined a man who consumed large quantities of soy-based products and found a sudden onset of ED. Another study determined that healthy men who used soy protein powder for four weeks had decreased testosterone levels. If soybeans can reduce the production of androgens and the levels of testosterone, then they may cause ED.

3. Licorice

Licorice candy can lower testosterone levels, according to one study. Low levels of this male hormone could lead to decreased sex drive and increased risk of ED.

Clogged Arteries: Get Checked

In terms of an erection, blood flow is the most important ingredient. As we get older, and more blood vessels break and micro-plaque begin to clog up our veins, it becomes more difficult to gather the healthy amount of blood needed to create and maintain an erection.

When the arteries in our bodies become blocked with plaque or fatty deposits, blood will not reach the penis. Clogged arteries can also increase the likelihood of a stroke, a heart attack, and even death. Therefore, erectile dysfunction can be a predictor for more serious conditions ahead. Despite the frustration that erectile dysfunction will inevitably cause, think of the condition as a friendly warning and get checked by a medical professional immediately.

Why do Arteries Become Clogged?

Arteries can become clogged for many reasons. The most common cause of a clogged artery are poor lifestyle choices. After several decades, smoking, drinking or a poor diet will cause one’s arteries to clog, which in turn, will cause erectile dysfunction.

A diet consisting of a lot of saturated fats will cause heart conditions, which will result in erectile dysfunction. According to a Cleveland Clinic article, urologist James Ulchaker MD says, 

“High-fat diets can lead to blockages in the coronary arteries and decrease the size of the arteries supplying blood flow to the penis.” 

Those concerned about erectile dysfunction definitely need to eat healthy. A 2013 study from Clinical Endocrinology concluded that men who consumed excessive amounts of sugar suffer a decrease in testosterone levels. Testosterone is the body’s hormone that ignites the sex drive

Gigantic portions of food will also dim that love light for a few reasons. First, overeating lots of carbs and sugars, will inevitably cause one to crash, so that one may be to tired to walk to the bedroom, let alone have sex.

Changing the Diet Will Have Several Benefits 

Research shows that men who strictly follow good diets, like the Mediterranean diet have a lower probability of developing erectile dysfunction. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables and seeds may also reduce impotence.  

Watermelon, leafy greens, like spinach, dark chocolate, salmon, oranges, blueberries, almonds and walnuts are all believed to help a man stay erect.

How long it may take your penis to get back to normal is dependent on lots of factors, such as the severity of the erectile dysfunction. Most conditions of erectile dysfunction caused by poor diets, can be fixed after a few weeks. That should be enough incentive to skip those Twinkies and Mountain Dews.

GAINSWave Shock Wave Therapy

Eating healthy is a great one. Not only may such a change cure the condition, but eating healthy has a host of other benefits, such as boosting one’s immunity, improving digestive system, improving muscles and oh yeah, eating healthy will let you live longer.

Sadly, every man suffering with erectile dysfunction will not be cured by eating apples and walnuts. Luckily, a man with impotence has several options. The local pharmacy will offer a plethora of ED solutions, however, not many will work. Popular ED medications like Viagra and Cialis, will certainly get you hard for the night. But such a solution is only temporary. The next time you are in the mood, you will be faced with the same dilemma.

GAINSWave Shock Wave treatment is non-invasive, safe and it actually works. Don’t take my word for it, click on this link to read more than 30 clinical studies that all praise the effects of shock wave treatment against erectile dysfunction. 

GAINSWave is so effective because it cures the problem at the heart of the problem. Other ED remedies stimulate a temporary increase of blood to the penis. GAINSWave uses high-frequency and low-intensity sound waves to remove plaque from the blood and create new and healthy blood vessels. Essentially, GAINSWave Shock Wave therapy improves blood flow. 

Find out how a nearby provider can help you.

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