A penile erection is called a “hard-on” for a reason. But, some people’s penile hardness may hardly be enough to get the job done. This inability to achieve an erection is called erectile dysfunction (ED). As per NHS statistics, over two million men suffer from complete impotence, and one in four men experience some form of erectile dysfunction at least once by the time they reach 40 years. Though no foods can cure this problem and turn you into a sexual Tyrannosaurus, certain foods can help in the upliftment of men to a large extent.
Food That Help Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
As erectile problems are usually caused due to inadequate blood supply to the penis, foods that boost your vascular system may help prevent ED.
Pomegranate fruit and its juice are rich in fiber and potassium that helps regulate healthy blood pressure. It also helps increase genital sensitivity thanks to its ingredient called plant estrogen. Reports show that men who drank eight ounces of the juice for two weeks noticed an improvement in erectile dysfunction. Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants that support blood flow and help improve erectile dysfunction. Some studies conducted in animals have also shown that this juice can improve long-term erectile response.
2. Blue Mussels
While most seafood is great to improve sexual performance, blue mussels are especially effective. Containing over three times the recommended daily value, these mollusks are an excellent source of vitamin B12 and can help prevent ED. A 3-ounce serving of blue mussels contains 20 grams of muscle-boosting protein, with only 4 grams of fat and 150 calories. They are also high in iron content, which helps ensure that blood circulation is improved to all the parts of the body. They are a rich source of magnesium, which is a natural enhancer. Low magnesium levels in the body have been shown to contribute to ED.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend meeting daily zinc needs through diet. Liver is loaded with zinc, which is essential for keeping testosterone levels up. It also prevents your body from converting testosterone into estrogen. Beef liver is especially high in vitamin B12. Deficiency of this vitamin has been linked to erectile dysfunction. Liver is a good source of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, which is crucial for a healthy nervous system. Research has found that B1 may strengthen the body’s ability to control mood and physiological impairments due to stress.
As men grow older, their estrogen level gradually increases and testosterone level decreases. Anti-cancer compounds called indoles present in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli help boost testosterone production by breaking down and flushing the system of excess estrogen, which inhibits the production of male sex hormones. One study observed that supplementing the participating men with indole-3-carbinol from cruciferous vegetables for just seven days reduced their estrogen hormone estradiol by half.
Coffee is an excellent stimulant that boosts your metabolism and gets your blood pumping. It can also enhance endurance by releasing fat stores, giving you the energy to last all night. Recent studies at the University of Texas suggests that men who drink two to three cups of java a day are 42 percent less likely to have erectile dysfunction than those who consume up to seven milligrams of the stimulant daily. This works for overweight, obese and hypertensive men, but not for those with diabetes, which often causes the problem. The stimulant triggers a series of reactions in the body that ultimately increase blood to the penis.
6. Yohimbe Bark Extract
Traditionally, people in western Africa have been using the bark of the Yohimbe tree as an aphrodisiac. This African tree bark extract increases blood flow to the genitals. In some countries, the extract is used as a prescription drug to treat erectile dysfunction. Some experts warn that Yohimbe can cause nervousness and raise already-existing high blood pressure. People with heart or kidney disease must avoid this extract. It may also negatively interact with antidepressants.
Salmon is loaded with the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which your body requires for efficient blood circulation. Salmon is also rich in vitamin D which, when absent from the diet, can put men at a higher risk for erectile dysfunction. This happens as a result of the onset of arterial calcification that prevents adequate blood flow to the penile blood vessels. Omega-3 not only benefits the heart but also increases dopamine levels in the brain, which improves blood circulation, triggering arousal.
8. Goji Berries
Goji berries have been in use for thousands of years in Chinese traditional medicine to help increase energy and enhance the release of hormones. It improves the body’s ability to handle stress and support a healthy mood. Goji is also beneficial for increasing blood circulation that helps to enrich the cells and tissues of the body with oxygen, which increases your sexual drive. It is often called as the “Viagra of China”.
Oatmeal, a popular breakfast cereal, is a good source of l-arginine, an amino acid commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Whole grains like oatmeal also help lower cholesterol levels. Having high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition that clogs and narrows arteries, impairing blood flow. This could eventually lead to ED and even heart problems. It is packed with testosterone-boosting zinc, and the folate helps reduce abnormal sperm production.
While these foods help ED, do not cross the moderate consumption limits. Avoid a heavy dinner before bedtime, as a full stomach can cause somnolence and impaired erections. Since diabetes and increased cholesterol can cause erectile impairment, avoid or reduce all foods that encourage these two. Most importantly, a person with erectile dysfunction must consult a sexologist or a urologist for their advice.