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Best Foods for Erectile Dysfunction: Can a Healthy Diet Help?

Maintaining a healthy diet can absolutely help with erectile dysfunction. A man’s ability to get an erection involves various internal systems, including hormones, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and, of course, the brain. If any of these systems are slightly off, a man may experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction. A healthy diet, consisting of whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods —  like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats — will help maintain optimal function throughout the body. Ultra-processed, high-sugar foods and refined grains should be restricted. In fact, vascular disease, one of the primary causes of erectile dysfunction, is commonly addressed through diet alongside other tools and treatment options. 

Eating a healthy diet, rich in whole foods is one of the natural ways to support overcoming erectile dysfunction and help you maintain optimal sexual health.

What are the best foods for erectile dysfunction?

The best foods for erectile dysfunction contain certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for vascular health, brain health, and sperm count. Below are some of the main nutrients and best foods recommended for alleviating the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

Omega 3- Fatty Acids:  Addressing vascular health and erectile dysfunction

Omega 3 rich foods that may help with erectile dysfunction

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential for improving blood flow to the penis. They are used in the formation of cell membranes, assist in circulation and oxygen uptake, and decrease inflammation. All of these functions address vascular health, one of the primary causes of erectile dysfunction.  Foods rich in Omega-3’s include: 

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds

Thiamin (B1): Addressing brain health and erectile dysfunction

Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, helps improve nerve function and signaling between the brain and sexual organs, including the penis. These signals are incredibly important for arousal and maintaining erections. Some of the best foods for erectile dysfunction that are rich in Thiamin include:

  • Pork
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lima beans
  • Red beans

Zinc: Addressing hormone regulation and blood flow in erectile dysfunction

Zinc rich foods that may help with erectile dysfunction

Zinc helps to regulate testosterone, improve blood flow to the sex organs, balance hormones, and fight oxidative stress.  Zinc and erectile dysfunction are linked because all of these functions play a major role in the ability to get and maintain an erection. Foods rich in Zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Ginger root
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Mushrooms 
  • Spinach

Quercetin: Addressing vascular health and improved sperm count 

Quercetin helps to improve circulation, increase sperm count, lower blood pressure, and decrease inflammation in the body. All of these factors have a direct impact on erectile dysfunction. Foods rich in Quercetin include:

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Chilies
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Capers
  • Red Onion
  • Kale
  • Leafy vegetables

Nitric Oxide: Addressing blood vessel dilation to treat erectile dysfunction

Nitric Oxide plays a critical role in blood vessel dilation and the overall health of the vascular system. As noted above, an issue within our vascular system is one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction. Nitric Oxide rich foods include:

  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Spinach 
  • Bok Choy
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Mustard Greens
  • Rhubarb
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Citrus Fruit (oranges, grapefruit, etc.)

Herbs: Addressing blood circulation 

While there are not a lot of conclusive studies on herbs for erectile dysfunction, we do know that different types of herbs can help with blood circulation in the body, and, as it pertains to sexual health, blood circulation to the penis. Herbs known to increase blood flow include:

  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary

As a reminder, some of the worst foods for erectile dysfunction include processed, fried, and refined foods high in sugar and fat. Avoiding these foods is essential to maintaining properly functioning organs and a healthier sex life.

Along with the tools we have specifically aimed at the treatment of ED, including GAINSwave and the P-Shot, we encourage all our patients to establish a healthy eating pattern, specifically addressing their erectile dysfunction. Our Registered Dietitian specializing in functional nutrition,  helps many of our patients transform their eating patterns to address their specific needs, such as erectile dysfunction, and promote a healthier sex life. 

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