Erectile Dysfunction Foods: A Guide To Foods That Can Help Your ED

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Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on July 12, 2022

Did you know that approximately 26.6% of Canadians are dealing with obesity? Rates in men are over three percent higher than in women. There are many obesity causes, but poor dieting is a lifestyle factor that can contribute.

Unfortunately, poor food choices can lead to more than obesity. It can also place you more at risk for cardiovascular disease and sexual health disorders. If you have noticed difficulties achieving an erection in the bedroom, you may have wondered about erectile dysfunction foods.

Do they work? What foods are best?

These are the questions we have answered for you in our complete guide. Keep reading on and learn more about the best and worst foods for erection quality! 

In this article, we talk about the following:

  • What is erectile dysfunction? 
  • How does food affect erectile dysfunction?
  • Best foods for erectile dysfunction prevention
  • Best foods for erectile dysfunction treatment
  • Flavonoid-rich foods and erectile dysfunction
  • Is eating nuts healthy?
  • Worst foods for erectile dysfunction
  • Erectile dysfunction foods risk
  • Are there other erectile dysfunction treatments?
  • Should you see a doctor for erectile dysfunction?

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a male sexual health disorder that is more prevalent than you may suspect. For most, they picture elderly men with several health problems, including an inability to get an erection. Others may assume it is part of the natural aging process. 

There are several misconceptions about erectile dysfunction; unfortunately, this guide isn't designed to address all of them. For starters, an inability to get or maintain an erection can occur at any age after sexual maturity for men. 

An occasionally missed erection when things are hot and heavy is completely normal. Most experts start looking at root causes when men have an inability to maintain an erection for penetrative sex more than 50% of the time. If it occurs around 20% of the time, that may be completely normal for you. 

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

As you can imagine, there are two primary reasons men have problems with erections:

  • Psychological 
  • Physical

Many younger men often suffer from psychological causes. These could include things like:

  • Work stress
  • Relationship problems
  • Recent major life changes
  • Mental health illnesses
  • And more

Physical causes are more serious, and poor erection quality can indicate underlying illnesses. For example, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are two common physical causes of difficulties with erections. They impede blood flow to the penis, resulting in fewer quality erections. 

You may need further medical management for optimal health. Additionally, lifestyle factors fall into a gray area. The development of chronic diseases is multi-factorial, but poor lifestyle habits can contribute. 

Lifestyle risk factors include:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Inactivity
  • Poor dietary habits
  • Lack of adequate sleep
  • Smoking

It may seem simple, but what you eat and drink plays a major role in how you feel. It can also affect the progression of sexual health problems or other illnesses. 

How Does Food Affect Erectile Dysfunction?

Picture this - you are facing a big, juicy steak that is dying for you to cut into it. You know you have been having problems with getting it up in the bedroom, but who can resist? It turns out that big juicy steak may be a bigger contributor than you initially thought.

Does that mean you must cut out all red meat for erectile dysfunction management? Not necessarily. However, it is important to start being mindful of your daily food habits.

Saturated fats are primarily found in animal-based products like beef, pork, and dairy products. Along with trans fat, it is one of two "unhealthy fats." Too much saturated fat can increase your risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Obesity

Does this sound familiar? Heart disease and obesity factors could contribute to your erections. Everything you eat or drink has a domino effect on the body.

Healthy eating helps you lose weight, feel energized, reduce inflammation, and improve your mood. In return, you may start noticing differences in your romantic moments at night. 

Best Foods For Erectile Dysfunction Prevention

If you haven't experienced erection difficulties yet, you might be interested in some of the top foods to help prevent future problems with erection qualities. Many of these foods also boost sperm volume, including coffee and watermelon. Low sperm volume counts are another cause of poor erections and can affect fertility.

Choosing healthy foods from the start can combat two prevalent sexual health issues. Here are some of the best foods for ED prevention: 

  • Watermelon
  • Spinach or leafy greens
  • Black coffee
  • Dark chocolate
  • Salmon
  • Almonds
  • Blueberries

Some drinks, like coffee, show promising effects on preventing erection problems. Experts found that men who drank two to three cups of black coffee daily had a reduced chance of an inability to get or maintain an erection. 

Read more about other ED remedies:

However, it is a fine balance since too much coffee can result in anxiety and sleep disruption, leading to future erection problems. The happy medium appears to be between 85 and 170 mg of coffee daily. These men had a 42% reduced likelihood of erection problems. 

Other foods like watermelon contain L-citrulline. L-citrulline works as a preventive and natural treatment for erection difficulties. It is an amino acid that the body converts into L-arginine. 

L-arginine creates nitric oxide, leading to better blood vessel dilation and erection quality. Research is fairly limited on L-arginine's effects on erections, but it could be useful for men who want to prevent erection difficulties or only have mild symptoms.  

Best Foods For Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Swapping to a healthy diet is one of the best treatments for problems with erections. First, cut back on smoking and excessive drinking. Next, look at your daily meals, drinks, and snacks. 

If you enjoy coffee but load it with sugar and cream, you defeat the purpose of coffee's benefits on penile health. Instead, try cutting back where you can and look at these top foods for erection quality:

  • Oats
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados

Many of these products contain amino acids, such as the ones mentioned above, that help with sperm count and maintaining an erection. As you may have noticed, many of these foods also hold a myriad of other benefits. 

For example, spinach and other leafy greens are excellent food choices to start adding to your diet. Some research shows spinach could help with age-related macular degeneration and bone metabolism. It is also loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that help with skin, exercise recovery, and even blood pressure. 

Incorporating more healthy ingredients can give you a much-needed health boost overall. 

Flavonoid-Rich Foods and Erectile Dysfunction

Flavonoids are plant metabolites found in many fruits and vegetables. Now that you have read more about the variety of foods you should eat, you have likely noticed a trend of eating fruits and vegetables. 

Flavonoids have an abundance of health benefits and few toxicity risks. Some foods that contain higher amounts include:

  • Parsley
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate

It has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects, including reducing LDL cholesterol levels. Mediterranean diets include higher amounts of flavonoids. Studies found that men who follow a Mediterranean diet have lower erectile dysfunction incidences. 

These results were primarily seen in younger men. Additionally, foods with long-chain fats (usually from fish) also reduce plasma levels and inflammatory markers. Both these effects improve endothelial functioning. 

Is Eating Nuts Healthy? 

Nuts are known to be high in fats, so you may wonder why they made this list. Unlike processed meat or meals, nuts are higher in unsaturated fat. Eating unsaturated fat can reduce LDL and triglyceride levels. 

Most healthy nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and cashews, also contain omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. These two compounds reduce high cholesterol risks or plaque build-up. 

They also contain fibre and protein. This can help with fullness and digestive health.

However, they are higher in calories and should be eaten sparingly. Try incorporating them onto salads or using them as a small snack throughout the day versus reaching for a bag of chips. 

Worst Foods For Erectile Dysfunction

The worst foods for erectile dysfunction are those loaded with ultra-processed ingredients, sugars, and saturated fats. Here is a more comprehensive list of foods you should avoid:

  • Excessive alcohol
  • Soda
  • Frozen meals
  • Excessive soy
  • Deli meats
  • Pizza
  • Bacon
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Ice cream
  • Butter 
  • Fast foods

Most of these foods are high in sodium and bad fats while limiting the number of nutritious ingredients, vitamins, and minerals. When your body is exposed to high calories with low nutritional value, it increases your risk for weight gain, high cholesterol, and other chronic illnesses. 

That isn't to say you should always avoid these foods. Instead, find simple ways you can swap out the majority of your meals for something healthy and leave a couple of favourite foods in there. 

You might wonder why alcohol harms erection quality. After all, it is often advertised across media sources that it sets the mood and sparks a flame.

Moderate alcohol intake shouldn't cause any issues. Excessive alcohol consumption is where the problems start to set in by:

  • Reducing blood flow
  • Depressing the nervous system
  • Causing dehydration
  • Lowering testosterone levels
  • Increasing angiotensin

Angiotensin has close ties to erection difficulties, but the good news is that once you cut back on the drinking, you should start noticing positive results. 

Erectile Dysfunction Foods Risk

Are there any risks with changing your diet for erectile dysfunction? Luckily, most of the foods on the list are healthy and safe for consumption. The only risk factor is if you have certain medical conditions or food allergies. 

You should always chat with your doctor first before making any drastic dietary changes. Additionally, if you currently take PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra, you should avoid consuming grapefruit. 

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice increase the availability of the active ingredient in PDE5 inhibitors. Essentially, your body metabolizes it slower, and it could lead to several unwanted side effects. 

Are There Other Erectile Dysfunction Treatments?

Yes! There are several other treatments available. Lifestyle changes and eating healthy are two ways to naturally improve erection quality. 

The gold-standard method of treatment is medication. Most medications fall under the classification of PDE5 inhibitors and include common brands like:

  • Viagra
  • Cialis
  • Levitra

All three have generic counterparts that are more affordable and contain the same active ingredients. PDE5 inhibitors are excellent options for men with poor blood flow to penile tissues. They work through several chemical processes that relax the walls of blood vessels and promote vasodilation

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With improved blood flow, you should start noticing a difference in getting or maintaining an erection. However, there are a few drawbacks, such as:

  • Timing medication with sex
  • Side effects
  • Prescription

Depending on the medication, you must time it before sexual intercourse. Viagra should be taken approximately 30 minutes to two hours before intercourse for the best results. It remains in your system for approximately four to five hours. 

Cialis has a long-acting version that you can take once daily without consideration for when you have sex. Most side effects dissipate within a few weeks after starting a new medication. Lastly, you will need a prescription. 

These medications are not available for over-the-counter purchases and require stricter regulation. You should never take more than the dosage recommended or combine it with other similar medications.

Should You See a Doctor for Erectile Dysfunction?

If you have dealt with difficulties getting or maintaining an erection, you may wonder about the best erectile dysfunction foods. Ultimately, this is a great first step if you want to prevent or address minor problems.

When changing your diet to something healthier doesn't work, it might be time to call on the professionals. Talking to a qualified practitioner can help you determine the next best course of treatment. 

At UPGUYS, we have qualified practitioners that can meet with you remotely and help you get a prescription. Visit our site to talk to a practitioner today!




Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.