Impact of diet on erection
Erection problems are one of the main reasons for the dissatisfaction with sex life. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief they do not apply only to older men but to all age groups although the probability of their occurrence is actually higher among men over 40 years of age.
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Since the general condition of the circulatory system affects erection problems, diet is an important factor affecting erection. The impact of proper nutrition on erection is definitely greater than most men suppose. In times of high pace of life, ubiquitous stress, environmental pollution and insufficient physical activity, the importance of diet increases even more.
„Anything that is bad for a man’s heart is also bad for his penis”
This sentence was spoken by Andrew McCullough, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Urology and director of the Men’s Health Program at the New York University Langone Medical Center. It is hard to disagree with his message. Numerous studies prove that the same nutrition errors that impede coronary artery blood flow cause myocardial infarction, also contribute to obstructions in blood flow to and inside the penis.
Diet and erection
Interestingly, erection problems are less common among men who use a traditional Mediterranean diet, i.e. one that includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, including nuts and olive oil, fish and wine (obviously not excessive quantities). This has been demonstrated by numerous studies, in particular the Massachusetts Male Aging study1 , which showed a direct relationship between diet and erectile dysfunction. Men in the study who consumed a lot of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, and avoided red meat and processed grains were less likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
Let’s take a look at the particular elements of diet that should be used when arranging your diet in order to eliminate erection problems.
1. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
Alcohol consumption (especially chronic and frequent drinking), smoking and drug abuse can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. It is recommended to give up all of these and see how it will affect your sexual performance.
Having and maintaining an erection requires good blood flow and plenty of available nitric oxide. Studies have shown that antioxidant compounds called flavonoids can help improve cardiovascular health.
Flavonoids increase blood flow and nitric oxide levels in the blood. Chocolate, especially its dark variety, is rich in flavonoids. Milk chocolate has a lower flavonoid content and contains higher amounts of sugar and fat.
Pistachios are more than just a snack. A study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research2 showed how eating pistachios affects erectile dysfunction. A group of 17 married men who have had erectile dysfunction for at least 12 months have been invited to the study. For three weeks, the subjects’ diet was enriched with 100 g pistachios. Following the test the erection rates in the subjects improved. A pistachio-based diet also improved their cholesterol and blood pressure, while no side effects were seen.
Texas A & M scientists have shown a link between eating watermelons and fighting erectile dysfunction3. A compound found in watermelon, called citrulline, helps relax blood vessels. It also improves blood flow, as do medicines for erectile dysfunction.
5. Foods containing zinc, selenium and vitamin E
Testosterone levels have a significant impact on your ability to maintain an erection. Therefore you should make sure that among the consumed products are those that affect the greater production of testosterone. Particularly important is zinc which plays a huge role in the process of testosterone synthesis, as well as in the process of sperm production. This important element is found in products such as bran or nuts, as well as in whole-grain breads and seafood.
Vitamin E is also important in the synthesis of hormones. It is found in products such as nuts, almonds, cereal grains and fatty fish.
In turn, selenium is an antioxidant that is a component of seminal fluid. It occurs in pumpkin seeds, rice, as well as in fish meat and poultry meat.
Treatment methods for erectile dysfunction other than diet
Different methods are used for treatment, depending on the particular case. These include psychotherapy, relaxation and imaginative methods, as well as a changing a lifestyle to one that involves greater physical activity. Finally in some cases drug treatment is needed.
Read more: Treatment of erectile dysfunction