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Are Beets Nature’s Viagra?

The humble beet is packed with helpful nutrients, and is part of a heart-healthy (and erection-healthy) diet. 

 

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, affects millions of men.

Though the condition was hardly talked about for decades, since the accidental discovery of the compound that eventually came to be known as Viagra, doctors have been rethinking ED, its causes, and how to treat it.

It’s still not an easy subject for many men to bring up with their doctor (or their partner), and misperceptions and taboos surrounding the subject led ordinary people and medical professionals to chalk ED up to psychological problems for a long time. But it turns out that ED is usually a physical problem directly related to the quantity of blood flowing to the penis.

Some doctors see ED in younger men (under 40) as an early possible indicator of coronary disease and may elect to run tests to evaluate a man’s cardiac health. Like many health conditions, cardiac disease is far easier to reverse if it’s identified early. Furthermore, when ED does indicate early heart disease, treating the heart can result in reversal of ED, and can help ED drugs like Viagra work better.

Beets Are Great for Cardiovascular Health

Beets are not the most exciting food, and maybe you associate them with something you “had” to eat growing up. But it turns out that beets are incredibly good for you. Packed with nutrients, the cardiac-friendly beet can offer protection against coronary disease and stroke, help people keep cholesterol levels under control, and even have anti-aging effects due to unique antioxidants contained in them.

The ancient Romans used beets as an aphrodisiac, and there is some scientific basis to back this up. Beets contain a lot of boron, which can increase levels of testosterone. Consuming beets has also been linked to better athletic performance. One study found that drinking beet juice increased blood flow to muscles by 38%, particularly to muscles responsible for quick bursts of speed or strength. Another study found that runners who ate beets before a 5K race ran faster. That could be because beets contain nitrates, which boost endurance and lower blood pressure.

Beets and Nitrates

You may be confused because you’ve heard that nitrates in preserved foods are bad for you. While it’s true that synthetic nitrates can be bad for you if you overdo it, beets contain natural nitrates, and they are actually beneficial to health. Natural nitrates help keep blood pressure under control, and are believed to help lower blood glucose levels too. That’s because low levels of nitric oxide are associated with insulin resistance.

Eating beets can increase nitric oxide formation, and as it turns out, Viagra increases nitric oxide formation to relax the smooth muscle cells that line blood vessel walls. Viagra and drugs like it block a form of phosphodiestase (PDE) found in the penis. PDE breaks down a substance called cGMP. Less PDE means more cGMP, relaxed blood vessels, and for many men, relief from ED. Eating beets could help raise levels of cGMP as well.

The Many Powerful Nutrients in Beets

Beets don’t have trans fats or saturated fats, and are an excellent source of folic acid, which is a B vitamin that helps with cell regeneration. They’re also rich in carbohydrates, but don’t cause a blood glucose spike the way many carb-rich foods do. Beets are also terrific sources for the minerals potassium, sodium, and magnesium, and they’re high in vitamin C as well.

It isn’t just the roots of beets that are edible. The leaves are edible too, and are known for combating garlic breath. Additionally, beets contain a chemical called Trimethylglycine (TMG). TMG is important in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which may be lower in people with depressed mood.

Borscht is comfort food with numerous health benefits.

 

How to Incorporate Beets Into Your Diet

Beets can be prepared in any number of ways. You can roast them, steam, them, boil them, pickle them, or eat them raw. Some people incorporate beets into their diet by making beetroot juice. All you do is peel beetroot and then blend it with a combination of fresh orange juice, the juice of pineapples, apples, or lemon, and add a little zing with some fresh mint or ginger.

If you like coleslaw or salads, you can grate raw beets and add them directly to either of these dishes. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, you can roast beets and top them with goat cheese, for an antioxidant and calcium boost. Be aware that when you prepare beets, the dark color of the juice and flesh can stain your hands and cutting board. You can use lemon juice to get these stains out.

Help ED Medications Help You

Viagra and drugs like it have been nothing less than revolutionary for men with ED. They address a primary and common cause of ED and have a strong safety profile for men who don’t take nitrates for heart problems. There are many things you can do to help your ED medications work even better, though.

Quitting smoking, lowering your cholesterol levels, exercising regularly, and avoiding binge drinking all help your body’s circulatory process work better, and will help your ED medications work optimally as well. Many doctors specifically recommend positive lifestyle changes like these for men who experience ED. It won’t hurt, and could help, both with ED and with coronary health.

Conclusion

Beets may not seem to you like the most exciting food, but if you stopped eating them once you grew up and moved out on your own, perhaps it’s time to reconsider. Beets are versatile, and they’re crammed with nutrients, some of which may help men who have ED. As part of a balanced diet and a regular program of physical activity, beets can help improve cardiac health, which in turn can help with erection problems. Even in men who take prescription medications like Viagra for ED, a healthier diet and regular exercise can improve sexual performance further.

At eDrugstore.com, we have provided half a million customers with genuine name brand lifestyle medications like Viagra for over 15 years. Working with US-licensed pharmacists, eDrugstore.com offers exceptional customer service, fast shipping, and the most stringent protections for customer personal and financial data.

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+