We've put together a list of the worst foods for erectile dysfunction. Find out what to avoid and what alternative to choose.
Erectile dysfunction is a common concern among men as they get older. In looking at ways for treating the condition, you may think about whether the food you eat has any effect on your performance.
Based on current research, it’s possible that food may impact your ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
Some of the worst foods that can lead to conditions that cause ED include fried foods, processed foods, and red meats.
Foods that are a part of a healthy diet may help with treating conditions that cause ED. Some foods to consider eating include whole grains, leafy greens, and nuts.
Other issues that may cause erectile dysfunction include medications and smoking.
According to Dr. Tumbaga, from Wellness Diagnostics & Medispa, there’s limited scientific evidence that specific foods cause ED. But certain dietary patterns and habits can contribute to the development of conditions that are risk factors for ED. Here’s how she explained it:
We’ll explore the top 9 worst foods for erectile dysfunction (ED) and provide you with the information you need to make healthier dietary choices.
According to Harvard University, regularly eating fried food leads to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
One study noted that men with diabetes had a threefold increased risk of erectile dysfunction.
Fried foods are also high in unhealthy fats, which can lead to clogged arteries and reduced blood flow to the penis. Examples of fried food to avoid include:
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As an alternative, try baking, grilling, or steaming your food. Fried foods can also put men at an increased risk of having a stroke.
Research in the journal, Frontiers in Neurology, found that there was a significant increase of ED in men who’ve had a stroke.
Processed foods tend to be high in saturated fat, which can lead to ailments that affect erectile function. To maintain optimal sexual health, opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
Examples of whole unprocessed or minimally processed foods include:
In a Daily Mail article, it was reported that red meats can lead to erectile dysfunction because they contain excess iron. Additionally, a study also confirmed that eating less red meat contributed to lower occurrence of ED. Examples of red meat you should avoid include:
Opt for leaner protein sources, such as chicken, turkey, or plant-based options like beans and lentils to keep the heart healthy. A healthy heart can help men have better erectile function.
While alcohol isn’t a food, it’s important to include it on this list because of its negative impact on erections.
Research has concluded alcohol dependence can induce sexual dysfunction in men. It’s believed to be due to the depressant effect of alcohol. Other issues that excessive drinking can cause include:
Excessive sugar intake can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which are risk factors for ED. Cut down on sugar by avoiding sugary beverages, snacks, and processed foods. Limit your intake of sweets such as:
One study found that a diet heavy in soy products can cause low libido and erectile dysfunction. The participant in the study regained normal sexual function by adjusting their diet. Foods that have a high amount of soy include:
A high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure and impaired blood flow, both of which can contribute to ED. Different high sodium foods you should eat less include:
By avoiding processed foods and using herbs and spices to season your meals, you can help reduce your risk of ED.
Dairy products are often high in fat, and consuming a significant amount of it can lead to an increase of blood pressure levels and cholesterol.
Both of these increases can make it more likely for erectile dysfunction to occur. High-fat dairy foods you should avoid include:
Choose to opt for plant-based alternatives, such as almond or oat milk, to avoid these issues.
Trans fats are found in many processed foods and can lead to clogged arteries and reduced blood flow. Avoid foods containing hydrogenated oils and choose healthier fats, like those found in avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Dr. Tumbaga notes that the effects of foods on erectile dysfunction (ED) are not immediate or temporary in most cases.
She explained that, “ED is typically a complex condition influenced by various factors, including diet, lifestyle, and underlying health conditions.”
She also stressed that it’s important to consult a healthcare professional who can provide you with personalized advice and guidance based on your specific situation.
When we asked Dr. Tumbaga, she stated, “Continually consuming a diet that is unhealthy and contributes to erectile dysfunction (ED) can potentially increase the risk of developing or exacerbating ED over time. However, it is important to understand that ED is a complex condition influenced by multiple factors, including lifestyle, overall health, psychological factors, and underlying medical conditions.” She further stated, “Therefore, attributing ED solely to diet is often an oversimplification.”
According to Dr. Tumbaga, there is limited evidence to suggest that certain combinations of foods, when consumed together, may have an impact on erectile function.
She stated that the research in this area is still relatively limited, and individual responses to food combinations can vary.
Dr. Tumbaga also noted, “One possible interaction to consider is the combination of high-fat meals with alcohol consumption.
High-fat meals can slow down the absorption of alcohol in the body, leading to higher blood alcohol levels and potentially affecting sexual function.”
While food can cause health issues that can lead to ED, there are other factors they may also contribute to poor erectile function. Here are a few others to keep in mind:
Research has shown that smokers are at a higher risk of getting ED independent of age and comorbidities. When men in the trial quit smoking, there was a gain in erectile function.
There are a number of different types of medicine that may cause erectile dysfunction in men. A few of them include:
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to see if adjusting the dosage or changing the medication might reduce the likelihood of ED.
Additionally, Dr. Tumbaga notes that age, underlying health conditions, psychological factors, and hormone imbalances may also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
ED can be prevented and treated through adjustments to one’s diet. By avoiding these top worst foods for erectile dysfunction, you can take more control of your sexual health and overall well-being.
Focus on consuming a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats to support optimal blood flow and hormone levels.
Ask your doctor if any other issues may be causing your ED.Remember, a healthy diet is not only crucial for a satisfying sex life, but it's also essential for maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases.
Gloria Marie Tumbaga, M.D. is a medical aesthetics specialist with expertise in advanced anti-aging techniques. At her practice, Wellness Diagnostics and Medispa (WDM), Dr. Tumbaga relies on natural approaches to therapeutic and cosmetic healing to replace drugs and surgery. Dr. Tumbaga completed her undergraduate degree in nursing and medicine at the University of Hawaii. She trained with leaders in medical aesthetics at the Ageless Aesthetic Institute in Florida. Dr. Tumbaga’s passion is helping others to "be their best self." Dr. Tumbaga is leading the way at WDM by being at the forefront of regenerative medicine therapies using the most advanced techniques to facilitate the body to heal itself.
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