Are There Foods and Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction?

12.12.2021 - Ori Gidor

Many foods have an effect on our general health, our mood and even on our level of focus and alertness. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that certain foods may likewise affect our sex life. S0 what should men eat in order to improve their sexual health and erectile function? In this article we have gathered traditional and scientific information on spices, medicinal herbs and foods that may help enhance erections

 

No matter when they are manifested, at a young age, in midlife or at an older age, continuous problems in getting or maintaining erections for sexual intercourse can be a challenging issue. However, recent medical innovations have yielded plenty of treatment options, whether medicinal or otherwise, designed to improve symptoms. Furthermore, studies have shown that a healthy diet as well as specific foods can have a direct effect on erectile function. While there is no single magic food that can make the problem disappear, there are studies supporting natural treatments which may help improve matters, particularly if lifestyle changes are likewise incorporated.

Leafy Greens and Beets

The most common cause of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men over the age of 40 is reduced blood flow to the penis. Similar to what happens in other body organs, the arteries supplying blood to the penis might become narrowed,  rendering penile blood flow insufficient for attaining erections hard enough for penetration. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, celery, lettuce, parsley, arugula as well as beet juice may increase circulation because of their high concentration of nitrates.

How does it work?
In the body, nitrates are converted into a molecule called Nitric Oxide (NO) which acts as vasodilator. This means that when blood vessels dilate (including those in the penis) they can hold significantly more blood. When it comes to erections, studies have shown that NO causes penile blood vessels to dilate in a way which improves blood flow to the corpora cavernosa – the spongy erectile tissues. Additional studies have demonstrated that beet juice relaxes and widens blood vessels, and this in turn lowers blood pressure. As one of the reasons for ED is hypertension, it could be assumed that drinking beet juice regularly may help regulate blood pressure and improve erectile function.

 

Watermelons

L-citrullinean amino acid found naturally in watermelons, significantly improved erection rigidity, according to a clinical trial published in the medical journal Urology. In the trial, 50% of the men (average age 56.5 years) with mild-moderate ED taking L-citrulline supplementation reported improvement in the erection hardness score, from 3 (mild ED) to 4 (normal erectile function) at the end of the treatment period. Additionally, they reported an increase in the average number of intercourses per month as well as high satisfaction with treatment outcomes.

How does it work?
In the body, L-citrulline is converted to L-arginine, which in turn enhances nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation. The researchers concluded that although less effective than phosphodiesterase type-5 enzyme inhibitors, at least in the short-term L-citrulline supplementation has been proven to be safe and patients were satisfied with its use, inter alia because it did not have the side effects associated with those medications.

 

Blueberries

Blueberries are considered one of the healthiest and most recommended fruits for preventing erection problems. One research, which analyzed the data of more than 25,000 men in different ages, found that those who reported high consumption of blueberries (as well as other berries) had a 14% decrease in the risk to develop erectile dysfunction, compared to men who did not consume berries. Blueberries are best consumed fresh or frozen.

How does it work?
Blueberries contain powerful antioxidant pigments and herbal constituents called flavonoids which support blood vessels health and improved blood flow to all body tissues. Blueberries likewise contain relatively high amounts of fiber which helps regulate blood cholesterol levels, and this is another way in which they promote healthy blood vessels.

 

Caffein

Espresso lovers will probably be thrilled to know that drinking 2-3 cups of coffee daily could boost their sex life, as revealed by a study conducted at Texas University which enrolled 4,000 participants. The results showed that men who drank 2 cups of coffee daily (approximately 85-170 caffeine) had a 42% reduction in the odds of prevalent ED, while men who drank 3 cups had a 39% reduction in the odds of prevalent ED, compared to men who did not consume coffee. This risk reduction was also observed among overweight, obese and hypertensive coffee lovers, but not among diabetics.

And if you haven’t yet heard of the Guarana plant, this is the place to note that it’s a climbing shrub that grows in the Amazonas rain forests in South America, with fruits containing 4-8% caffeine (compared to 1-2.5% caffein in coffee beans). Guarana is known to possess warming and stimulating properties and in traditional herbal medicine it is regarded as a key herb for promoting male potency and for treating ED. Thus, it is customarily consumed before sexual intercourse.

How does it work?
Studies have shown the caffein has vasodilating effects on smooth muscles in the penile erectile tissues. This allows for better penile blood flow and consequently harder erections.

 

Pistachios

Pistachios, also known as “love nuts”, were in use since medieval times as an aphrodisiac food to enhance libido. Therefore, it is not surprising that a clinical study which was published in the scientific journal ‘International Journal of Impotence Research’ had found that consuming 100 grams pistachios daily for 3 weeks improved erectile function of patients with erectile dysfunction, as well as their level of sexual desire and overall sexual intercourse satisfaction. Significant improvement in blood cholesterol and LDL levels was an additional added value, and there was also improvement in penile Doppler ultrasound measures.

How does it work?
Pistachios contain a large amount of the amino acid arginine and antioxidants. Previous studies have shown that pistachios consumption positively affects various parameters of endothelium tissue function – this is the inner layer of blood vessels which secretes various substances, including the molecule Nitric Oxide (NO). These cause blood vessel relaxation and vasodilation, thereby enhancing blood flow to tissues and organs while promoting the prevention of atherosclerosis.

 

Saffron

Saffron is a famous spice and a medicinal herb which has been in use for thousands of years to improve mood, calm fears, enhance libido and sexual function. The orange thread-like stigma is the plant part containing herbal active constituents which have been the subject of scientific research.

In a study published in the medical journal Urology, researchers found that saffron consumption for 10 days resulted in improved nocturnal penile tumescence and erectile function among study participants (i.e. more episodes of normal erections for longer periods of time). In another study, taking saffron for 4 weeks significantly improved erectile function among men with erectile dysfunction associated with antidepressants use. A review of 6 clinical trials has likewise found that saffron consumption by men significantly improved erectile function, libido and the overall sexual experience.

How does it work?
Saffron is likely to act in different modes of action which are not yet fully elucidated, including antioxidant and antidepressant activities.

 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice and a medicinal herb produced from the bark of a tree originating from Sri Lanka. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) cinnamon is regarded a stimulating herb having a “warming energy”, which promotes peripheral blood circulation including to the genitalia. For this reason, cinnamon constitutes an important component in many herbal formulations that are used in TCM for treating male sexual problems, including to improve erections. As a warming and appetizing spice, it is customarily used in cases of low libido for purposes of enhancing “sexual appetite”. Studies in animal models found that consuming a cinnamon helped to improve measures of sexual function, sperm quality and quantity and it additionally increased blood levels of the male hormone testosterone.

How does it work?
According to studies, a cinnamon extract has the ability to inhibit an enzyme called arginase. By doing so, the extract helps maintaining high arginine blood levels, and in turn improve penile blood flow by way of blood vessels relaxation and dilation.

 

Tribulus

Tribulus is a medicinal herb, which has been used in traditional herbal medicine for thousands of years as an aphrodisiac to improve libido, pleasure and sexual function. In recent years, clinical trials have likewise indicated that Tribulus increased satisfaction with sexual intercourse, orgasms and libido among men. In one study, Tribulus treatment was associated with improvement in sexual function in men diagnosed with testosterone deficiency (the male sex hormone). A particularly interesting clinical study examined the effect of Tribulus treatment on sexual function and desire. The results showed that taking 6 grams Tribulus twice daily improved sexual function and enhanced the libido of male participants.

How does it work?
The plant’s active constituents are a group of herbal substances called saponins. Studies indicate that Tribulus’ saponins are probably converted in the body to the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandosterone), which is known to have a positive effect on libido. Additional studies have shown that Tribulus promoted an increase in production of the molecule NO, causing blood vessels dilation, improved blood circulation and better erections.

 

Maca

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian plant which has long been used as a source of food and as herbal medicine to support sexual function, libido and fertility. Maca bulbs are highly nutritious and contain a complex of vitamins and minerals, fatty acids and essential amino acids as well as anti-oxidants and other unique active substances. In a clinical study involving young men with ED, taking 1200 mg Maca for 12 weeks significantly improved measures of overall satisfaction, physical performance and libido. In an additional study, taking 2.4 grams maca daily for 12 weeks significantly improved sexual function and measures of sexual health among men with mild ED.

How does it work?
Maca bulbs contain powerful anti-oxidants and unique compounds called glucosinolates and macamides that are likely to have an effect on testosterone receptors in the body.

 

Yohimbe

Yohimbine (Pausinystalia  yohimbe) is an evergreen tree which bark has been used in traditional African herbal medicine to improve male sexual function. In recent years studies have shown that Yohimbe has 30-50% efficacy in improving erectile function. Additional studies demonstrated that in cases of difficulties Yohimbe can improve orgasms and ejaculation.

How does it work?
the main active constituent, yohimbine, is likely to have an effect on brain centers that send signals to the penis, causing it to become erect. Additionally, yohimbine has vasodilatory effects which improve penile blood flow. Yohimbine has been in pharmacological use for many years but it requires a physician’s prescription.

 

Korean ginseng

Korean (Panax) ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese and Korean medicine for thousands of years, inter alia, as a tonic and restorative to promote health and longevity, for coping with chronic stress and to improve erectile function. Several clinical studies have shown that the plant improved erectile function parameters among men with ED, such as penile tumescence and girth, duration of erection and libido, without affecting testosterone levels.

How does it work?
The main group of active constituents in the Ginseng root are saponins called ginsenosides. They have been shown to cause relaxation of the corpus cavernosal smooth muscle, by stimulating NO production.

 

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a tree native to China and Japan. Its leaves and seeds have been used for medicinal purposes in traditional Eastern and Western herbal medicines for thousands of years. Ginkgo has been attributed the ability to “move blood” and improve circulation, particularly to the body’s extremities, including the brain, hands, feet and genitalia. Therefore, it is not surprising that the plant has been traditionally used to treat ED, as it is often result from problems in penile blood flow. Interestingly, researches who investigated the plant’s effect on memory enhancement observed that male geriatric patients who were on Ginkgo therapy for memory enhancement, reported improved erections as well. Additionally, several studies found that taking Ginkgo improved ED associated with the use of antidepressants.

 

How does it work?
SSRIs drugs work in part by increasing brain levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It has been suggested, that elevated serotonin inhibits the effects of neurotransmitters involved pro-erectile physiologic mechanisms and in turn reduces NO production – the molecule promoting penile vasodilation and blood flow. Studies have shown that in these cases, Ginkgo promotes NO production by affecting enzymes required for its synthesis.

 


The Company hereby clarifies that the information contained on the website is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical and healthcare advice, and does not constitute medical advice or opinion. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any medical condition or question you may have regarding a medical condition.

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