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It’s estimated that erectile dysfunction or ED affects 30 million men in the United States alone.
If you’re one of these men, you know that just about the only answer doctors have is that little blue pill. Yet, taking it leaves you open to side effects from diarrhea and stomach pain to anxiety, depression and even loss of bladder control.
Not exactly a great trade-off…
Luckily, you don’t have to choose between living with ED and living with those unwanted side effects.
In fact, overcoming difficulties with erection could be a simple as changing your diet.
Erectile dysfunction causes, risks and incidence
But what kicks off ED in the first place? And who is most likely to suffer the issue?
Well, you probably already know that age is a factor.
That’s because, with every decade that passes, your risk of ED goes up another 10 percent. Because of this, men in their 50s have approximately a 50 percent chance of being diagnosed with the condition.
It begins due to blood flow problems — mainly in the small blood vessels of the penis.
This makes sense when you consider that strong blood flow is required to produce a strong erection. So if blood flow is restricted, an erection may not be possible at all.
Of course, other conditions play a role in ED, such as hypertension, which doubles your chances of erection problems.
Additionally, declining levels of testosterone and estrogen dominance in middle age also contribute to the onset of ED.
The ED triangle of diet, fitness and blood pressure
So where does that dietary change that we talked about come in and how can it help?
Well, it’s important to note that fitness has been linked to improved survival in men with high blood pressure. And a super healthy diet that includes fish, oils, nuts and lots of fresh fruits and veggies has been shown to both lower blood pressure and prevents heart attacks.
That diet’s name is the Mediterranean diet.
And this got researchers with the European Society of Cardiology wondering…
If the diet improves blood pressure and better blood pressure improves ED, could the diet itself help men everywhere living with the condition?
So they recruited 250 men with both high blood pressure and ED. They then delved into their dietary habits and how they were linked with fitness, testosterone levels, blood flow, arterial stiffness and erectile performance.
And without a doubt, men who followed a Mediterranean diet were the winners.
The results showed that following a Med Diet resulted in:
- Higher coronary blood flow reserve
- Enhanced testosterone levels
- Better erectile performance
- Lower arterial stiffness
The diet also improved exercise capacity itself. This demonstrated that men with healthier diets were more likely to stay fit — which also plays its own role in improving ED.
So if you’re ready to fight ED the Mediterranean way, take these tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- Eat fish at least two times per week.
- Build your meals around veggies, beans and whole grains.
- Use olive oil for its healthy fats instead of butter.
- For dessert, go for fresh fruit.
It’s simply healthy eating for stronger, healthier erections.
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Mediterranean diet shows promise in men with erectile dysfunction — European Society of Cardiology
Erectile dysfunction statistics 2021 — SingleCare
Sildenafil (Oral Route) — Mayo Clinic
Nutrition and healthy eating — Mayo Clinic