Dr. Alice Ojwang (Photo: Courtesy)

Dr Alice Ojwang is a dietitian and lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya. She runs a private practice where she deals with obesity and related risk factors

What do you think is the main sexual health problem for men?

Erectile dysfunction, which is one of the four types of sexual dysfunction, is the most common concern I have noticed in my practice, primarily treating overweight and diabetic patients.

It is a type of arousal disorder characterized by the inability to have an erection, the inability to maintain a full erection long enough to satisfy your partner, or reduced sexual desire.

Other concerns or troubles?

Other categories of sexual dysfunctions are desire disorders, which affect interest in sex, orgasm disorders, which involve the absence of orgasm or delayed orgasm, and pain disorders; which involve pain during sex, which can be caused by Peyronie’s disease (physical damage to the penis), infections such as urinary tract infections, prostatitis and yeast infections, genital herpes and skin conditions.

What would cause erectile dysfunction?

A poor lifestyle can affect one’s sexual desire; if you don’t sleep well, drink water or exercise, you are tired and tired. Some of the medications used to manage blood pressure can have the side effect of decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.

Heart disease, clogged blood vessels, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and uncontrolled diabetes affect blood vessels and could ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction.

Do men know that their lifestyle causes erectile dysfunction?

Not usually. People are shy to talk about their sexual health. As a dietician, one of the first questions I always ask my male patients is, “Do you have normal sexual function?” If they don’t, it could be a sign of a bigger problem to come.

This is because the blood vessels in the penis are smaller than the blood vessels in the heart and other major organs. If the blood vessels to the penis are blocked, causing erectile dysfunction, it’s a sign that other blood vessels are clogged and could lead to a heart attack.

What is your book, Nutrition and Your Sex Health, about?

The Sexual Health and Nutrition Book is a simple and easy to understand guide to the causes and solutions to erectile dysfunction. In the book, I educate on diet and include a weight loss plan for those trying to manage their weight to achieve normal sexual activity.

Are there any foods known to improve sexual health?

There are certain foods known to be aphrodisiacs like peanuts. However, your lifestyle is what you need to focus on. If you’re just taking aphrodisiac foods and not addressing the root cause, what good is it to you?

Other than a lifestyle change, is there any medication you recommend to treat erectile dysfunction?

I work with urologists and endocrinologists who prescribe medications to help manage certain conditions. However, medication is a short term solution and you should always treat the underlying condition, eg weight gain, as a permanent solution.

Let’s look at a case where a man has a big belly caused by weight gain. Although they can get an erection, positioning during sex alone is an issue. They have a problem with oxygen circulation. They have difficulty breathing as fat pushes on their lungs making it difficult to breathe.

Exercise has been touted as one of the ways to improve sexual health. What level of activity must be maintained to reap these benefits?

The level of activity depends on the activity level of the person. You can’t ask someone with a sedentary lifestyle to hit the gym, not if you want them to be consistent.

You start them by asking them to walk briskly for about 10 minutes, then increase the duration to 20 minutes, reaching 45 minutes a day or 10,000 steps. After six months, you then increase the challenge by asking them to train for a 5k or 10k marathon depending on their accomplishments.

The aphrodisiac juice (Photo: Courtesy)

How to make aphrodisiac juice

Ingredients:

½ watermelon

½ pomegranate

10-12 strawberries

½ lemon

½ lime

Method:

In a blender, add pomegranate and watermelon, including seeds, and blend until liquefied. Add the lime, lemon and strawberries and mix. Pour the juice into the bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Drink 1/3 cup of juice in the morning on an empty stomach and before dinner. This healthy and natural juice will incredibly improve blood circulation in your private part and help you perform better in bed. This mixture can be used by anyone, as it has no side effects.

Strawberries: are rich in vitamin C and improve sperm quality.

Watermelon: The citrulline in watermelon calms your blood vessels and produces arginine and creates nitric oxide. Nitric oxide plays a vital role in your sex life as it increases your emotions and gives you a stronger erection.

Pomegranate: Increases your energy level. It is rich in antioxidants which increase blood flow to the genital area.

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