In our last post, we touched on how a poor diet can impact erectile dysfunction (ED) and kill your sex life! In today’s post, things will look a little brighter as we explore how certain foods and nutrients support ED while improving the associated symptoms such as your sexual desire.
At Charleston Men’s Clinic, there are many options available including GAINSWave and the Priapus Shot (P Shot) to treat ED. We’re here to always lend an ear and give options for optimal sexual health. Read more below about how food and their nutrients can support ED related symptoms.
Erectile Dysfunction and Food: The Connection
ED and food are closely related — the relationship can either make ED worse or be a beneficial one, but in either case, there is no miracle food!
One of the biggest causes of ED are blocked blood vessels and inefficient blood flow to the penis, and there are specific foods that can stimulate blood flow and get things moving systemically — including to your penis.
Antioxidants, specifically phytonutrients, have been shown to not only increase libido in those suffering from ED, but they have also been shown to supply a healthy blood to the penis. The most popular fruit in question is watermelon, but nutrients can also be found in other nuts, whole grains, beans, and tea.
Arginine is an amino acid and is a precursor to of nitric oxide which we discussed above. Arginine also plays a role in vasodilation (relaxing blood vessels). Foods rich in arginine include pumpkin seeds, pistachios, turkey, chicken, peanuts, lentils, and spirulina.
Flavonoids are antioxidants found in plants their specific when it comes to ED, and they support cardiovascular health by supporting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Flavonoids found in cocoa called flavonols have been found to reduce inflammation in arteries. The next time you’re looking for a treat, grab the dark chocolate and support your ED at the same time!
Lycopene is a beneficial phytonutrients that gives tomatoes and grapefruit their coloring and protects your heart from a myriad of common health issues, thus it can support symptoms of ED. Lycopene is found in tomatoes, watermelon, grapefruit, guava, papaya, and carrots. Lycopene is fat soluble, so mixing it with olive oil or an avocado increases its bioavailability.
These compounds get a negative name being associated with cured meats and being on the list of carcinogens, but what most people don’t know is that 80 percent of our nitrate consumption is coming from plants. Leafy greens, parsley, celery, leeks, cabbage, and beets all contain high amounts of nitrates from the environment they’re grown in.
Our bodies convert nitrates to nitrites and are stored until they’re turned to nitric oxide, which then increases blood flow and relaxes blood vessels. As a result of eating kale or chard, it can help relax and stimulate blood flow to the penis.
In men’s sexual health, zinc plays an important role in producing testosterone, so low levels of testosterone could be a cause of ED. Find an abundance of zinc in oysters and shellfish, pumpkin seeds, cashews, mushrooms, cocoa, and lamb.
At the end of the day, consuming nutrients such as antioxidants, arginine, flavonoids, lycopene, nitrates, and zinc can all support and benefit ED symptoms. A healthy diet comprised of whole-foods including protein, vegetables, and limited carbs, can help in fat loss that is often a major contributor in those who suffer from ED.