Can the foods that you eat actually be related to sexual performance, and specifically erectile dysfunction (ED)? The human body is a very complex machine, with the function of one system directly or indirectly effecting the other systems. ED is a problem that can involve many parts of the body, including the brain, nervous systems, blood vessels, muscles and hormones. So, though there is no food that will miraculously cure ED, what you eat may very well effect how you perform.
Why Look to Nutrition for ED Treatment?
ED is typically a symptom of another underlying problem. Because there are many causes of ED, there are also many treatments for ED which are related to the causes. Some treatments include prescription medicines, testosterone replacement, injections or suppositories, blood vessel surgery. Because these treatments each have possible side effects that come with their benefits, doctors usually first look to lifestyle changes, such as modifying your diet for a positive impact without the potential side affects.
Foods for a Healthy Vascular System
If your ED symptoms are related to blood flow and circulation problems. which is the case with many men, doctors will recommend that you add foods to your diet to improve your vascular system. A healthy vascular system means that the heart is working well and pumping blood to all parts of the body, including the penis. Which foods are good for a healthy blood flow?
Spinach: Foods such as spinach and other leafy greens are high in nitrates. Nitrates are vasodilators, which means that they help to open up constricted blood vessels and increase blood flow.
Beets: Also high in nitrates, beets are healthy for circulation. Add a few beets to that spinach salad for a meal that will promote healthy circulation and may help avoid ED.
Dark chocolate: Can something this decadent and delicious be good for you? Scientists believe so! Dark chocolate contain flavonoids which improve circulation, helping to keep your blood flowing properly and to avoid problems with ED.
Pistachios: Pistachios contain a protein called arginine, which may help to relax the blood vessels and improve circulation. The next time you are looking for a snack, grab some pistachios for a snack with healthy benefits!
Watermelon: A summertime favorite, watermelon contains phytonutrients which are a type of antioxidant. These antioxidants help to relax the blood vessels and may have a positive effect in relieving ED symptoms.
Tomatoes: Dark red fruits such as tomatoes and grapefruits contain an ingredient called lycopene, which promotes healthy circulation. Some studies show that combining tomatoes with an oily vegetable such as an avocado may help with the lycopene absorption for maximum effect.
The above mentioned foods all have an ingredient which may have a direct effect on circulation and ED. These are important, but the indirect effects of these nutritious foods are important as well. A healthy, balanced diet, a minimal amount of alcohol and a tobacco-free lifestyle will promote overall health and will go a long way toward keeping all of your bodily systems in top working condition. For more information about how you can change your diet to avoid ED symptoms, schedule an appointment with your urologist today.