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Think about the last meal you just had. Was it a greasy, fried dish? Or was it a nutritious and balanced meal?
Whether you watch what you eat or not, it’s no secret that poor dietary habits can have major consequences on men’s health. Diets high in unhealthy fats have been linked to an increased risk of a plethora of health problems, includingheart disease, digestive and kidney diseases, and cardiovascular disease.
But poor diet habits don’t just cause chronic health problems or end up in our waistlines. They can also have a profound impact on something seemingly unrelated: our sexual health.
One study found that men with obesity are 30 to 90% more likely to have erectile dysfunction.
Aside from a reduced quality of life, obesity causes high blood pressure to develop too. This process erodes blood vessels throughout the body as a result of associated hypertension, reducing blood flow to the penis.
It’s important to seek medical treatment if you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction, while also recognizing the role that your diet plan has on your overall health. This means cutting out processed foods, eating more fruits and vegetables, and getting lean protein from sources like nuts and fish. After all, it’s possible to keep an erection without pills through medical therapies and diet.
Let’s explore how these poor dietary habits can cause erectile dysfunction and what you can do to improve your sexual health.
How a Poor Diet Causes Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
When we eat food that’s high in saturated fat and refined sugar, blood flow supplies to various organs decrease. These fats linger in the blood vessels in the form of plaque, inhibiting the normal and healthy circulation of blood to our vital organs, including the penis.
A poor diet can also cause artery hardening, which disrupts normal functioning and leads to conditions that exacerbate erectile dysfunction, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Foods that negatively affect sexual function include:
- Fried food
- Red meat
- White bread
- Refined sugars
On the other hand, eating a healthy diet has the opposite effect. Many nutrient-rich foods have the right amount of antioxidants, nitrates, and vitamins needed for our body to perform optimally.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, eating a balanced diet can improve blood flow and testosterone levelsthroughout the body and help reduce the risk.
Consult a physician for an erectile dysfunction evaluation and assessment of a tailored food plan.
Other Health Risks of an Unhealthy Diet
Aside from food, alcohol is another substance that can be detrimental to men’s sexual health.
While a glass of red wine is fine in moderation, alcohol in excess can have the opposite effect. Drinking too much alcohol leads to dehydration, which causes blood vessels to constrict.
One study found that long-term alcohol use was a risk factor for erectile dysfunction. The study participants who reported having alcohol liver disease were also more at risk compared to participants who didn’t have the disease.
Another potential health risk for men is smoking. Research has proved that there’s a significant relationship between ED and heavy smoke use.
The harmful chemicals in cigarettes can damage the blood vessels, making them more difficult to widen and open.
Smoking also increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries and reduces blood flow.
By cutting back on these risk factors, your sexual health may improve dramatically. And if you don’t have ED yet, abstinence from these vices may help prevent the development of the condition.
Quality Foods for Erectile Dysfunction
While you should avoid processed foods, fried food, red meat, white bread, and refined sugars, certain foods can help improve erectile function.
According to a recent study, an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and flavonoids was associated with a lower risk of ED.
Some good flavonoid foods to eat include:
- Citrus fruit
Flavonoids are plant-based compounds and powerful antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage.
Studies have also shown that flavonoid-rich foods may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer, so there’s no reason not to incorporate some of these types of food into your diet.
Aside from plant-based foods, certain types of seafood are also good for sexual health.
Oysters are a great source of zinc, which is essential for sexual health. Zinc plays a role in the production of testosterone, and low levels of it have been linked to ED.
Other seafood options that are good for sexual health include salmon, mackerel, and sardines. These fish are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve blood flow.
Nuts and seeds are also excellent for sexual health. Pumpkin seeds, in particular, are a good source of zinc. Almonds and walnuts are good sources of vitamin E, which is important for maintaining sexual health.
A Mediterranean diet may also offer many health benefits, including improved blood flow.
Other Ways to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re struggling with erectile dysfunction, there are other ways to treat the condition.
In addition to making ED diet changes, you can:
- Exercise regularly
- Lose weight
- Reduce stress
- Avoid alcohol
Making even just a few of these lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on your sexual health.
Before trying any home remedies or over-the-counter treatments, it’s important to speak with a men’s health doctor. They can help you determine the cause of your ED and recommend the best course of treatment.
Consult a Men’s Clinic for Medical Guidance to Fight ED
So, does a bad diet affect erectile dysfunction?
Yes, it does.
However, not all hope is lost. Changing your diet into a healthier one and avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive alcohol consumption can help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of ED.
If you’re struggling with the condition, it’s important to reassess your diet and make changes accordingly.
Need help? Our doctors at Paramount Men’s Medical Center will be happy to assist you.
We offer a variety of male health services, such as:
- Premature Ejaculation Treatment
- Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
- Adrenal Fatigue Treatment
- Acoustic Wave Treatment
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with a medical professional specializing in erectile dysfunction.