Medical doctor taking a mans blood pressure.

4 Foods That Can Help Men Overcome Erectile Dysfunction

When you think of erectile dysfunction (ED) treatments, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is Viagra, the drug of choice to treat ED that generates billions of dollars of revenue in the United States alone. But did you also know that you might already have something to overcome ED in your own home? In your own pantry in fact? 

It’s true, there are certain foods that can promote overall erectile health and functioning. Read below for an overview of the link between erectile health and foods, including 4 foods to add to your diet to help with ED.

Understanding Erectile Health

Erectile functioning is surprisingly complex. That’s right, it’s not just about being ‘in the mood’. Men’s erectile health is affected by physical or biological factors, their lifestyle choices, and their psychological health.

Biological Factors include:

  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

Lifestyle Choices affecting Erectile Functioning:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use and/or alcoholism
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Medications

Psychological Health Concerns that can Reduce Erectile Function:

  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions
  • Stress

The above lists highlight but a few of the conditions that can cause men to experience erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, ED is treatable once the root cause is known. For many men, their ED is a result of poor circulation, which is why Viagra is widely prescribed and favored as a treatment for ED.

Viagra works to increase blood flow to the penis to aid in getting and keeping an erection. Usually taking 30-60 minutes to take effect, Viagra offers ED relief at a single point in time. For men looking for ongoing ED support, the answer may reside in their kitchens.

The Link between Diet and Erectile Health

Green leafy vegetable.As mentioned earlier, lifestyle choices can affect erectile health, including the foods we eat. Eating a healthy diet may help men overcome ED symptoms or even prevent ED altogether. The good news is that many of the foods thought to promote erectile functioning are common staples in our homes and grocery stores.

Four Foods to Overcome Erectile Dysfunction

  1. Leafy greens
  2. Shellfish
  3. Nuts
  4. Fruit

Certain properties in the foods above are linked to improved health outcomes that may help men overcome ED. For example, vegetables with leafy greens, like spinach and celery, contain higher concentrations of nitrates, which help with blood circulation. Remember, ED is often the result of poor circulation, so taking in nitrates through plants may act like a natural dose of Viagra. You may’ve heard of oysters recommended as a libido enhancer, but they may also help penile functioning due to the zinc they contain, which can help testosterone production.

Further, nuts like pistachios may also help blood flow, and subsequently ED, thanks to a protein they contain known as arginine. Finally, fruits like watermelon that are high in antioxidants may help improve erectile functioning by relaxing blood vessels, thereby helping blood reach the penis to maintain an erection.

Eating the Right Foods to Get Results in the Bedroom

Salad in one hand and a hamburger in the other.If you cannot take Viagra or are looking for a more natural approach to erectile health promotion, success in the bedroom may very well start with what is on your plate. Choosing what foods to eat to promote erectile functioning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start by making small changes, like carrying around pistachios or fruit high in antioxidants as snacks instead of junk food. Try adding a leafy green to your dinners each night and incorporate shellfish into your diet once or twice a week. Both your waistline and your partner may thank you.

To learn more about prescription medications for ED and how to use telemedicine to acquire them safely, visit the eDrugstore Erectile dysfunction page.

Kwynn holds a Master of Public Health and is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Work. Her research examines the intersections of health, technology, and gender-based violence.