Good blood supply is important for sexual function.
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Certain foods, diet changes, lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in addition to medical treatment can help reduce erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a man is unable to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for satisfying sex.
There are many factors that can cause or contribute to erectile dysfunction, including stress, hormonal problems, and a lack of a good blood supply to the penis. Some foods can help with some causes and have shown positive results for erectile function in some studies.
1. Dark chocolate
Not only can dark chocolate help you feel more relaxed. Cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavonoids with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Flavonoids favor the production of nitric oxide, helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow which is important for achieving and maintaining an erection.
A study conducted in Greece and published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that male participants ages 18 and 40 who consumed 50 milligrams or more of flavonoids per day were 32% less likely to report erectile dysfunction.
Opt for dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content to get the most flavonoids. Other sources of flavonoids are green tea, citrus fruits, berries, red wine, and apples.
Oysters are the richest food in zinc, a mineral that plays an important role in testosterone production, low testosterone levels could be one of the reasons for erectile dysfunction.
A three-ounce serving of others provides six times the necessary daily amount of this mineral, providing 74 mg of zinc of the 11 mg required by an adult man. The National Institutes of Health note that Zinc deficiency can cause delayed sexual maturation, impotence, and hypogonadism in men.
3. Green leaves
Spinach and other leafy greens contain nutrients that help improve blood flow and increase testosterone, which supports erectile function. They are rich in nitrates that promote better blood flow.
Spinach is a source of folic acid, a form of folate. Human studies have linked folic acid deficiency to erectile dysfunction.
Pistachios are a great source of arginine that can help relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. In one study, men with erectile dysfunction experienced a 50% improvement in erectile function parameters after eating 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of pistachios daily for 3 weeks.
Watermelon is rich in antioxidants and is a natural source of citrulline, an amino acid that the body converts to arginine. Arginine can help increase blood flow to the penis and improve erections.
In rat studies, citrulline has shown positive results in improving libido and erections. In research with small groups of men, citrulline supplementation has been shown to be safe and with better erection hardness than with placebos. A 2018 research published in Sexual Medicine found that supplementing with citrulline and transresveratrol can help those who find that standard treatment doesn’t work well enough.
To help maintain erectile function, choose whole foods, low-fat dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.