Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in middle-age and older men, but there are some ways that can improve the situation, without medications. One of these ways was pointed out in a research study just published by Harvard Medical School and the University of East Anglia (UK).
The study involved looking at the diets and lifestyles of over 50,000 men, compared with their likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction. The researchers found that men with diets rich in the antioxidants found in high concentrations in brightly colored fruits, had a significantly lower rate of erectile dysfunction.
Overall, the men who ate these fruits three or more times per week had a 14% lower chance of having erection problems. The fruits most helpful included: cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and citrus fruits. The scientists believe that the high content of the antioxidants called flavones and anthocyanins found in these fruits were the reason for the lower risk of ED.
In the past, it was believed that most cases of erectile dysfunction were related to psychological issues such as stress or anxiety, but now it is known that, at least in middle-age and older men, erection problems usually are caused by vascular problems.
A good erection depends on a good quantity of blood flow into the penis, so if the blood vessels there are narrowed by atherosclerosis or high blood pressure or diabetic changes, the penis just doesn’t receive enough blood to sustain a good erection. Often, if a man notices problems in his penis, he also is likely having problems with diminished blood flow to other vital organs, such as the heart.
But men are often not aware of diminished blood flow to the heart, or kidneys, but they do notice a diminished blood flow to the penis. For this reason, some medical doctors refer to the penis as the “barometer” of the vascular system of a man. Meaning, if he has problems with an erection, this is a warning that he could be starting to have significant cardiovascular disease developing.
So this current US-UK study makes sense. High fruit intake should help erections because it helps keep our blood vessels good.
How to combat erectile dysfunction
1) Eat lots of highly colored fruit, every day is best
2) Get some physical exercise, at least walking, for 30 minutes a day
3) Keep your weight under control. Big belly equals bad blood vessel function. A man with a waist size 42 is 50% more likely to complain of erectile dysfunction than a man with a 32 waist.
4) Control your blood pressure and keep your cholesterol and blood fats in a good range, and make sure your blood sugars tests are normal.
5) Dark chocolate (>60% cacao, 1 or 2 squares per day), and a little red wine (1 to 2 small glasses per day for men). But, if you drink more than that, beer or other spirits, you are likely seriously hurting your erections, so lighten up!
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