Erectile Dysfunction - Food For Thought

You’re in the supermarket, browsing the aisles and thinking to yourself, "Is there anything I can choose to help with ED?"

The good news is that there are some tasty foods out there that can have a positive impact on erectile function.

As a rule of thumb, aim for foods that are good for your cardiovascular system. A strong heart and healthy blood supply are key to erections.

For general guidance just think ‘Mediterranean Diet’…

Green Vegetables: Deep green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are great sources of nitrates which have an important role to play in healthy erections. Nitrates can be converted into nitric oxide which serves as a vasodilator to open blood vessels. This helps maintain pressure in the corpus cavernosum in the penis which makes it easier to sustain an erection. Green vegetables such as spinach are also a great source of folate which is blood flow-booster.

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Hot Peppers: Peppers are not just hot on the tongue. Peppers, such as jalapenos and habaneros, contain the chemical capsaicin, which raises your heart rate and releases endorphins which are needed for optimal sexual health. Capsaicin is also a mild blood thinner which can help increase blood flow.

Nuts: Nuts, such as pistachios, contain plenty of arginine which is an amino acid that converts into nitric oxide. This means nuts may be useful to relax arteries and improve blood flow to the penis. Studies have also shown that nuts can improve sexual desire and overall sexual satisfaction. Just be sure to eat in moderation, as they’re surprisingly high in calories.

Shellfish: These aquatic invertebrates are healthy, low-calorie sources of zinc. Oysters are an especially good source of zinc with six medium oysters providing about three times your required daily value. Zinc plays an important role in the production of testosterone, of which low levels are associated with ED.

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Fish: Salmon and other fatty fish like herrings, tuna and mackerel, are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. A single portion of salmon (100g) can pack in  2-3g of omega-3 which helps to lower blood pressure and reduces the risks for heart attack and blood clots. Omega-3 supports the production of nitric oxide which is important for erections as it helps relax tissue in the penis.

Unsaturated fats: Healthy fats such as olive oil may aide healthy erections in several ways. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can reduce the level of bad cholesterol which clogs up arteries and increases blood pressure. Olive oil may also make the body make more testosterone which is the hormone principally responsible for sex drive.

And surprisingly…

Dark chocolate: This guilty pleasure may be useful for the bedroom. Dark chocolate is rich in organic flavonoids and other antioxidants which may help to improve circulation by lowering blood pressure and decreasing cholesterol, both of which are factors that contribute to ED.

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Coffee: Your morning Neros or Starbucks doesn’t just wake you up. It may get the juices flowing to give your love life a boost. It is believed that caffeine may have beneficial microvascular effects with a recent study showing that men who drank three cups' of caffeine a day were less likely to have ED.

So there we have it, plenty of food for thought, with lots of options out there to improve erectile function.

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