In the spirit of Men’s Health month, let’s explore the topic of erectile dysfunction and how a man’s health and nutrition habits could be helping or harming it.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) has been thought of as an “older man’s” problem, but that isn’t necessarily the case. 25% of men under age 40 also deal with ED. It may be challenging to acknowledge that you need support in this department, but the benefits outweigh the effects.
Common Reasons for Developing ED
The most common reasons men develop ED before they are 40 (men who are over 40, this article is for you too) is because of:
Performance anxiety during/before sex
Depression and other psychological disorder
Penile abnormalities, such as foreskin problems or curvature
Certain medications including antidepressants
Lack of exercise
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
Stress in any of the 5 pillars of functional nutrition
Nutrition & Lifestyle Choices That Help ED
Here’s the good news: you can do something about these things! Lifestyle interventions that can help ED include:
Drinking alcohol in moderation, not habitually, and following any type of alcoholic beverages with water to rehydrate.
Making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D (you’re probably not if you live in the Pacific NW), and eat foods like wild caught salmon, and eggs. Talk to a nutritionist about increasing your vitamin D.
Eating some nuts. Research shows that pistachios can improve erectile dysfunction, libido, and sexual satisfaction. They are also a great source of fat and can be a good snack alongside some fiber and protein.
Frequently eating flavonoid-rich foods, like blueberries, citrus fruits, and apples. A 10-year study of more than 25,000 men at Harvard University found that men younger than 70 who ate a diet rich in flavonoids (anthocyanins, flavanones, and flavones) had lower ED risk than those who didn't eat as much of them.
Going on a walk with your partner or by yourself. Getting at least 30 min of exercise or green space outside is beneficial to our health and can reduce stress.
Talk to a nutritionist about eating a whole foods diet. If you eat out a lot you’re likely on a diet high in processed foods, so you may be at risk for high blood pressure or heart disease (one of the most common causes of ED).
Please Note About Natural Supplements
Madison Muhlhauser is a Holistic Nutritionist from the National University of Natural Medicine. She helps people find a flow that works best for them and their family’s lifestyle so they feel good overall and are able to follow the cycle of good health. She believes when you make cooking, meal prepping and shopping enjoyable we can all begin to come back to the idea that food is supposed to bring us pleasure and nourishment, not something quick and forced.