For millennia, people have looked for ways to enrich or improve their sexual life and have never shied away from spending money to get a happy ending in the bedroom. For instance, the ancient Romans preferred exotic aphrodisiacs such as hyena eyeballs and hippo snouts (Yup, you read that right). Traditional Chinese medicine encouraged the use of exotic delicacies such as rhino horn.
We modern men are no less extravagant though if you really think about it. Did you know that Americans spend millions of dollars on treating erectile dysfunction disorders alone? In 2019, for instance, according to research by Statista, Pfizer's well-known erectile dysfunction product Viagra generated around 500 million U.S. dollars in revenue.
Other drugs and supplements for erectile dysfunction (ED) continue crawling into our bedside tables and back pockets (we just can't help it). However, we still search for healthier and safer ways to reverse or treat ED. Don't get me wrong, drugs play their role (short term), but for long-term results, you benefit more by establishing a mentality that supports a thriving life and reduces the risk for future health issues. And that leads us to our everyday lifestyles… diet, exercise, and everyday choices.
Let's take a closer look at their role (diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes) in treating erectile dysfunction.
Quick: think about what you ate in the last 72 hours. A burger, maybe? A few wings and beer with the guys. How about home-cooked pasta, bread, and salad (drenched in dressing?) with your partner? Or perhaps some sushi takeout and vodka because you didn’t feel like cooking?
The old saying "you are what you eat" couldn't be more accurate.
And, sadly, that extends to the bedroom and if ED is catching up with you, things only get worse.
Foods play a huge role in your erection health. For example, some that have high levels of cholesterol and sugar can result in erectile dysfunction or escalate the problem. Surprised? Most people are, here's how:
High cholesterol in the blood causes arterial plaque, which leads to irregular blood flow throughout the body, including the penis, and in turn, there is an effect on erections.
High blood sugar can also affect your erections. Sugar provides a quick boost of energy but also quickly wears you out. This will affect your libido in addition to making you weary. Your testosterone levels may also drop as a result, which obviously will negatively impact your sex drive.
If you believe that sex starts in the bedroom, you got it all wrong because it starts in your kitchen, and the food you consume is responsible for your sex drive.
Remember, ED problems are mostly caused by poor blood flow to the penis. So why not change your diet to incorporate foods that support blood flow and sexual desire?
According to a review published in 2018, a diet that regularly prioritizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, and seafood while largely avoiding full-fat dairy products, red meats, and processed meats may support healthy erectile function.
Often known as a "Mediterranean diet," this style offers considerable health benefits. Let's break it down for you:
Leafy vegetables, such as spinach and celery, may improve circulation because of their high levels of nitrates. Since nitrates are vasodilators, they open up blood vessels and boost blood flow.
Nuts like pistachio help blood vessels relax and, as a result, improve ED, sexual desire, and overall sexual satisfaction.
Fruits like watermelon and berries contain antioxidants that help in relaxing blood vessels. According to some research, watermelon may have similar effects on erectile dysfunction as the ED medication Viagra and may also heighten sexual desire. Flavonoid-rich fruits, such as blueberries, strawberries, and cherries, are even better.
Seafood such as oysters possesses high concentrations of zinc, a mineral essential to testosterone production in men. (Remember, low testosterone levels may contribute to erectile dysfunction.)
Eating junk food can lead to more issues that can cause ED. Think about it, diabetes, cholesterol, hydration, blood pressure, and sugar. These all have one thing in common… They have a huge effect on your blood flow… which can either cause ED or make treating it very hard (pun intended there).
Besides eatting a healthier diet, exercise is the ticket to a more active sex life, but hey, we're not talking about targeted " bedroom exercises."
We're talking about:
Kegel exercises- Kegel exercises for men target and strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle. This muscle enables the penis to swell during an erection, pump during ejaculation, and empty the urethra after urination. You should experience more pleasant, long-lasting erections if you focus on this muscle.
Pilates exercises- activate the right set of muscles and challenge you to maintain pelvic floor strength while moving. They include knee fallouts, supine foot raises, and pelvic curls.
Aerobic exercises- Aerobic exercises counteract the symptoms of ED when performed at least four times per week, according to a 2018 study. You may want to try some aerobic activities: boxing, cycling, running, and rowing.
The simplest way of keeping erectile dysfunction at bay is by adopting a healthy workout routine. From jogging to yoga, you are open to choosing your vice. You can even enroll in fun outdoor activities with your partner and have a gala together.
It all goes beyond just eating healthy and exercising though. For millions of men trying to diagnose and treat erectile dysfunction, deciding between choices as diverse as prescription drugs, sex therapy, and using shockwave treatment such as The phoenix, and others, can be a lot. But a few simple lifestyle changes, experts say, may give you the jump-start you need. AND at the very least, should be used alongside whatever treatment you decide to go through.
There are several lifestyle changes that you can adopt that clinical studies find beneficial in addressing ED. While some can only lower the chance of developing erectile dysfunction, others can actually help treat it.
How about you try the following lifestyle changes to prevent, help treat and reverse ED?
Quit smoking - If you love smoking, think twice. While quitting smoking can improve your overall health, it also enhances blood flow. The increase in blood to your genitals will not only help overcome erectile dysfunction naturally but also improve your sexual life as well.
Reduce alcohol consumption - Besides quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption is another good step towards a healthy lifestyle. A glass or two may be good to get you into the mood for some action, but excess consumption of alcohol could just spoil all the fun. Alcohol is also known to damage the liver, which produces estrogen in men. So make sure you learn the art of limiting your alcohol intake for multiple reasons.
Manage your weight - Extra weight increases inflammation in your body, increasing (ROS) reactive oxygen species. ROS fights nitric oxide (in charge of promoting penile vasodilation and blood flow) in your body. Now, inflammation decreases when you lose weight, which decreases ROS. And that's a win for nitric oxide.
Avoid stress - We get it, life and work are stressful. However, you should do everything in your power to lower it as much as possible. Stress constricts blood vessels affecting your blood flow, including that of erections. Managing stress may help improve your ED.
Sleep - Most people compromise their sleep due to lifestyle choices or work, but we're here to remind you that it's not an option. Testes produce testosterone (a hormone responsible for your desire for sex and control over erections). So try to make sure you get enough sleep every night.
A healthy diet combined with exercise and lifestyle changes can significantly benefit your overall health and reverse ED or reduce its risk factors.
Put simply, taking just a pill to “treat” your ED is not going to do it. In addition to things such as sex therapy (For psychological ED), at-home shockwave therapy devices (Such as The Phoenix), doctor prescribed pills, and any other treatment, you want to incorporate lifestyle changes. They have a huge effect on your erection health, so if you want to treat it, start making the right choices every day!