Can A Poor Diet Cause Erectile Dysfunction in Men?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the most common male sexual problem reported to doctors. And it’s surprisingly prevalent, affecting up to 30 million men, though the majority of men will experience at least a minor instance of ED in their life.
An occasionally sluggish sexual performance is inevitable. But if you commonly have trouble achieving an erection, maintaining an erection, and suffer from reduced libido, we suggest a consultation with double board-certified physician Dr. Raj Singh at HEALOR Primary Care in Las Vegas, NV. To find out how Dr. Singh and our expert team can help improve your quality of life, get in touch with us today!
And to understand ED and potential solutions, let’s first take a look at what makes erections possible.
Erections are made possible by nerves that trigger a release of chemicals, instructing the circulatory system to increase blood flow to the penis. Blood rushes into two chambers (the corpus cavernosum) made of spongy tissue. These spongy regions trap blood, making the penis firm. After orgasm, nerve signals again prompt circulation, directing blood flow out of the penis and back into the general circulation.
Causes of ED
There are multiple potential causes and factors that affect ED, including vascular, hormonal, and even psychological. Stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional distress are also linked to ED.
Among physical causes, major considerations include reduced blood flow or damage to the nerves in the penis. The following physical factors can also influence ED:
Vascular issues (affecting the blood vessels)
High blood pressure
Certain prescription medications
Tobacco or alcohol consumption
Certain underlying diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or Peyronie’s disease
ED can also signal more serious, developing issues, including heart disease, atherosclerosis (a blockage or hardening of the blood vessels), or high blood sugar implicated with diabetes.
Can a proper diet affect ED?
As with most health issues, diet can have a significant impact on sexual performance. However, alcohol consumption may play a bigger role. It’s a well-known fact and something many men have experienced: a few (or a few too many) drinks can negatively impact sexual performance, making it difficult, even impossible, to achieve or maintain an erection. Additionally, drugs that combat ED may not work if combined with alcohol or taken on a full stomach.
Long-term drinking habits are even more damaging. Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to ED, decreased libido, or premature ejaculation.
Though drinking is a major culprit, proper nutritional choices are vital to preserving good health since ED is linked to all-too-common conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and high blood sugar.
Those suffering from ED should pursue a lower-fat diet, as overconsumption of fatty foods leads to blockages and hardening of blood vessels, including the arteries that supply blood to penile tissues. Additionally, studies have shown that men with obesity benefit from improved sexual performance after losing weight.
There’s also evidence that a diet full of flavonoids (anti-oxidants) could protect against ED. A 2016 study involving more than 50,000 men found that those who consumed at least three portions of flavonoid-rich foods per week were less likely to suffer from ED. Researchers believe that flavonoids increase the flexibility of blood vessels, allowing better blood flow.
Flavonoids are found in plants, especially berries, citrus fruits, apples, pears, grapes, and cherries. Therefore, doctors recommend a Mediterranean diet, which includes many fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. It also favors fish over the fattier meats and full-fat dairy products that may exacerbate the vascular issues influencing ED.
Contact us right away to find the best option for you
The sooner you act, the sooner you’ll benefit from improved sexual performance, increased confidence, and an overall better quality of life. To find out how double board-certified physician Dr. Raj Singh can best help you, contact us at HEALOR Primary Care in Las Vegas, NV, today!