Society and pop culture have made us obsessed with our penises. The presence, size and degree of “activity” of our shlong all seem to contribute to our self-esteem and sexual prowess. It is therefore not surprising that the imminent threat of erectile dysfunction is anxiety-provoking for many.

According to the British Association of Urological Surgeons, erectile dysfunction becomes more common with age and affects 50 to 55% of men between the ages of 40 and 70. Nor is there a singular cause of helplessness. The disease can be caused by several factors, including underlying health issues, lifestyle, psychological issues, and a side effect of many medications.

Erectile dysfunction is also commonly associated with high blood pressure because it can damage the walls of the arteries, causing them to harden and narrow, ultimately reducing blood flow to the penis. But, instead of looking for Viagra or Spanish flies like the ancient Greeks, studies have identified a much simpler preventative measure: a Mediterranean diet.

Studies Show Mediterranean Diet May Lower Blood Pressure

The research was recently presented at the 2021 Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), supporting claims that the Mediterranean diet may improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Study author Athanasios Angelis explained in a statement: “In our study, consuming a Mediterranean diet was linked to better exercise capacity, healthier arteries and blood flow, of higher testosterone and better erectile performance. “

It seems plausible that this diet may improve physical condition and erectile performance by improving blood vessel function and limiting the drop in testosterone that occurs in midlife.

The Mediterranean diet is packed with healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, fruiting vegetables, whole grains, fish, and a limited amount of dairy products and red meats. Previous studies have also linked diet to reduced risk of diabetes and increased lifespan with few adverse health effects.

The study, published in the European Society of Cardiology, looked at 250 middle-aged men with both erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure. The researchers analyzed the subjects for their diet, exercise capacity, testosterone, vascular health, and the intensity of their erectile dysfunction.

The results showed that sticking to a Mediterranean diet was associated with better blood circulation, higher testosterone levels, fewer cases of erectile dysfunction, and reduced disease severity.

Angelis continued: “The results suggest that the Mediterranean diet may play a role in maintaining several parameters of vascular health and quality of life and in middle-aged men with hypertension and erectile dysfunction.”

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, do not hesitate to consult a doctor

While the study shows promising results, it should also be taken with a grain of salt as it only showed a correlation between diet and erectile dysfunction, not necessarily a causal link.

Eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly is good for your health. But remember that erectile dysfunction is not exclusive to blood pressure and can be caused by a variety of illnesses. So, if you think you are suffering from impotence, it is best to make an appointment with your health care provider to reduce your worries.

Pop culture has continually ridiculed men for issues with their downstairs, so much so that 44% of men with erectile dysfunction over 40 neglect to seek treatment. Often times, ED problems can even spill over and affect both mental health and relationships. However, erectile dysfunction is common and can be a useful indicator of a larger problem. Not to mention that it is often treatable.