Natural Ways to Stop Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual performance. Also known as impotence, this condition affects up to 30 million men of all ages throughout the United States.

With so many men affected, itís no surprise an array of pharmaceutical and herbal drugs exist with the promise of an instant fix. It may be tempting to simply pop a pill and get back in the game, but most of the natural supplements are currently unproven and Viagra alone has over 100 listed side effects.

Also, erectile problems can be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition that may be overlooked if you take drugs to mask the problem. Instead, there are many small lifestyle changes you can make to naturally improve your erectile function and your health in general.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be caused by many things, such as kidney disease, medications, stress or hormonal problems. But research is revealing that the two most common causes may be heart disease and diabetes.

Both conditions can have a serious impact on your circulatory system. When you have inflamed, clogged or otherwise compromised arteries, blood canít flow properly throughout your entire body, including your penis.

Erectile dysfunction is shown to be an early symptom of heart disease, even if you donít have any other symptoms yet. In fact, having erection difficulties in your 40s increases your risk of a cardiac event, such as a heart attack, by a staggering 50 times.

Studies have also found a concerning link between diabetes and ED. A 2015 study determined that men with erectile dysfunction were twice as likely to have undiagnosed diabetes as those without the condition.

This highlights the importance of visiting your doctor if youíve been having any erection problems. They can check if you have a more serious underlying condition that requires treatment.

How You Can Fix Erectile Dysfunction

Combat Heart Disease

Taking steps to protect your heart, such as lowering your blood pressure and reducing your cholesterol intake, are also shown to help reduce ED. Most of the following tips in this section will also naturally boost heart health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess body fat promotes inflammation in your body and the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, both of which can contribute to ED. Many studies have shown that weight loss can turn this around. For example, one study followed 145 men with ED as they went through a weight-loss program. The menís erectile function improved significantly after only 6 months.

Stay Active

Not only does this help prevent heart disease and weight gain, regular exercise itself is shown to reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction. Research shows that men who exercise more in midlife cut their risk of erectile dysfunction by an impressive 70 percent compared to sedentary men.

So, how much exercise is enough? Harvard Medical School recommends including at least half an hour of physical activity on all or most days of the week to promote erectile health. This can be broken into three 10-minute segments if thatís easier to fit into your schedule.

Also, the activity doesnít have to be overly strenuous. Other studies have found that a daily 2-mile walk is beneficial for erectile function. Moving at a healthy pace, it should take you about 30 to 45 minutes to walk 2 miles.

Treat Gum Disease

Gum disease may seem unrelated to ED, but the two conditions are shown to be closely linked. One study found that 53 percent of men with ED had chronic periodontitis, compared to only 23 percent of men without ED. And men who treated their periodontal disease significantly improved their erectile function after three months.

Whatís behind this link is unknown, but youíll benefit from a trip to the dentist to check on your gum health and deal with any issues.

Reduce Your Stress

Stress and anxiety are well-recognized causes of ED. Itís hard to concentrate on whatís happening in the bedroom when youíre worried about work, finances or other stressors. Include some time each day to relax and unwind. Take a walk, do some daydreaming or indulge in a good book. Joining an erectile dysfunction therapy group has also been shown to help.

Stop Smoking

If you smoke, now is the time to quit. Men who smoke are twice as likely to have erection problems as men who donít.

Reframe the Situation

It may be worth asking yourself, is the ED really a problem in your life? If your answer is a clear ďyesĒ, of course you should look for solutions. But if your doctor has confirmed thereís nothing physically wrong, and itís not actually impacting your life, one option is to simply take a break from sex for a while.

If youíre in an intimate relationship, ask your partner how they feel about expressing intimacy in other ways. What would make both of you feel loved and connected without intercourse? ED may be a hidden opportunity for exploration you wouldnít normally consider.

Foods That Can Help Erectile Dysfunction

Certain foods can help in the short-term while youíre making longer-term changes to your health.

Watermelon

An Italian study found that supplementation with the amino acid L-citrulline is beneficial for erectile dysfunction. L-citrulline is known to play a role in getting an erection.

Watermelon is an excellent natural source of L-citrulline. To get the same amount as they used in the study, eat 3.5 servings of regular watermelon per day, or 1 serving of yellow watermelon, which has about 4 times the amount of L-citrulline as red watermelon. One generous slice of melon is about one serving.

Pistachio Nuts

In one study, menís erectile function significantly improved after only 3 weeks of consuming 100 grams per day of pistachios. As an added bonus, their cholesterol levels improved as well.

Fruit and Berries

According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, foods high in the plant compounds called flavonoids are beneficial for erectile function. Flavonoid-rich foods are all good, but the flavonoids known as anthocyanins, flavones and flavonones were shown to be especially beneficial.

Anthocyanins are present in red, blue and purple fruits, such as plums, raspberries, blueberries and black currants. Flavones and flavonones are present in white and yellow fruits, such as citrus fruits, apples and pears. And you donít have to eat a large amount. The study found that eating only a few servings a week provided benefits.

Healthy Carbohydrates

Itís hotly debated whether a low-carbohydrate diet is actually healthy or harmful. Whatever side of the debate you fall on, you may want to avoid a low-carb diet if youíre having erectile problems. Low-carbohydrate diets have been shown to increase your risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Make sure to include healthy carbohydrates in your diet, such as steamed brown rice, quinoa or millet, or whole-grain breads and pastas.

Avoid Bisphenol-A

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is known to be a potent endocrine disruptor linked to early puberty, certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, allergies and various other health effects. This petrochemical is found in many food and beverage containers, so you can easily be getting exposed without realizing it.

BPA is also shown to contribute to erectile dysfunction, which is one more excellent reason to avoid this chemical. Check out Thought Co.ís tips on how to reduce your exposure to BPA.

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89 comments

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Lesa T
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