Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which the penis cannot achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sex. Erectile dysfunction is more common in older populations, affecting 44% of people with a penis aged 60 to 69, compared to 5% of those under 40. However, cases of erectile dysfunction in younger age groups are more and more common.
Although occasional occurrences of erectile dysfunction are common, it becomes a cause for concern if it occurs more than 50% of the time. This means that there may be an underlying psychological or physical issue that needs to be addressed. There are a number of potential causes of erectile dysfunction, and more than one factor can be to blame.
One of the main causes of erectile dysfunction is lack of blood flow to the penis, which can be due to high blood pressure (hypertension) or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). It turns out that diet can help both of these conditions, which in turn can help improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Read below to learn more about how your diet can play a role in erectile dysfunction and what foods can help improve the condition.
Foods that help erectile dysfunction
Spinach is a low-calorie green leafy vegetable with a high density of various vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B2, vitamin C, calcium, etc.
Spinach also contains a substantial amount of folate, also known as vitamin B9. A 1-cup serving of raw spinach contains 58 micrograms (mcg) of folate. Folate deficiency has been linked to ED.
Avocado is a fruit rich in calories and nutrients. It is an excellent source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K.
When it comes to erectile dysfunction, avocados also contain a rich amount of vitamin E. A 100 gram (g) serving of avocado contains 2.7 milligrams (mg) of vitamin E. A 2021 study found that vitamin E and ginseng improved symptoms of erectile dysfunction after six weeks. The researchers hypothesized that vitamin E and ginseng would be beneficial in cases of erectile dysfunction due to their antioxidant properties.
Watermelon is a water-rich, low-calorie fruit that is 92% water. It contains citrulline, a compound known to help relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation.
A 2018 study found that study participants who supplemented their erectile dysfunction medications (like Viagra) with L-citrulline-resveratrol saw improvements.
Dark chocolate isn’t just delicious. It also contains flavonoids, an antioxidant, which may reduce the risk of developing erectile dysfunction.
In 2018, a study showed that participants who consumed 50 milligrams (mg) or more of flavonoids per day were 32% less likely to report symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Flavonoids are also found in various nuts and grains, vegetables, tea, and wine. However, when it comes to wine, moderation is best, as alcohol can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
A word from Verywell
ED can, of course, be a frustrating and worrying experience. However, there are steps individuals can take to improve their reproductive health. One area often overlooked is food.
Research shows that a balanced diet is vital for overall health, and sexual health is no exception. Incorporating more nutritious foods such as spinach, watermelon, olive oil, salmon, and others can help improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Talk to your doctor about your concerns. Again, although episodes of erectile dysfunction are common, repeated cases can signify an underlying physical or psychological problem that needs to be taken care of.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Diet Affect Erectile Dysfunction?
Diet can play a role in erectile dysfunction when underlying physical problems are the cause. For example, hypertension. Diet can help improve cases of hypertension, thereby improving erectile dysfunction.
What can I drink for erectile dysfunction?
Researchers investigated whether coffee and / or caffeine could relieve symptoms of erectile dysfunction. However, the results were inconclusive, with some finding a link and others finding none.