Erectile dysfunction (ED) is today an ever-increasing global problem. The inability to have an erection and perform sexual intercourse can be quite daunting and weighs very heavily on the man’s mind.
It increases his mental stress and anxiety, which again only worsens the unfortunate condition. This intense anxiety about not being able to perform should be addressed and can improve the outcome.
ED is treatable and the condition can be cured. There are various causes that lead to ED and in most cases, treating the cause can significantly improve the condition and cure you of the condition.
However, besides the treatment that the ED specialist (a urologist and/or the endocrinologist), offers you, there are certain self-help measures you should adopt.
These will play a positive role in improving your sexual performance and will act as effective support to your treatment. There is research to sustain this, which suggests that you might be able to reverse sexual dysfunction without medication.
A study published in 2014 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that some men could reverse their erectile problem simply by adopting healthy lifestyle changes such as regular physical exercise, losing extra weight, a healthy diet, and getting good sleep.
These lifestyle changes also enhanced the effect of ED medication if it was prescribed.
Self-care natural cure options
According to the British Journal of Urology, a study was conducted on 55 men aged 20 years or more suffering from erectile dysfunction for 6 months or more.
There was a marked improvement in the condition of most of these men after they were treated with pelvic floor exercises under the guidance of the physiotherapist.
After 6 months, 40% of men had regained normal erectile function and 35.5% had shown significant improvement.
Pelvic floor exercises should be considered as a first‐line of treatment for long‐term resolution of erectile dysfunction.
Among the pelvic floor exercises, there are specifically Kegel exercises, that can strengthen the core and pelvic area of the body.
Strengthening the muscles that surround and support the genital area can assist the penis in obtaining and maintaining an erection and address issues that cause premature ejaculation.
Additionally, aerobic exercises should also form part of the exercise plan because they improve your cardiovascular function and blood circulation.
A better blood circulation means better blood flow throughout the body including the penis. This ensures a better penile erection.
Furthermore, weight-bearing exercises increase the production of testosterone in the body, which again boosts your erectile strength.
Improve your lifestyle
Lifestyle factors are the habits and ways of life that you enjoy and which have a significant impact on your health in general including your sexual health.
Lifestyle habits such as cigarette smoking, use of an illicit drug, too much alcohol and caffeine consumption, lack of sleep can negatively influence your ability to enjoy sex.
Research has made it abundantly clear that lifestyle factors have a significant impact on your erection and fertility.
Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle with lack of physical activity, wrong diets, obesity, metabolic syndrome, excessive alcohol consumption are metabolic conditions that are strongly associated with inflammation in the body.
The inflammatory state causes endothelial dysfunction and thereby reduces nitric acid availability. This results in reduced genital blood flow and erection failure.
Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, increased physical activity, healthy diet, proper caloric intake, smoking cessation, limiting alcohol intake, and getting proper sleep have been associated with the improvement of erectile function in the male population.
One review published in the journal Brain Research stressed the deep relationship between testosterone levels, sexual function, and sleep.
Getting proper sleep improved testosterone levels, which are associated with improved sexual function. Regularly getting good sleep is a natural remedy for a good sexual function and erection.
Foods that improve erectile dysfunction
Treatment options for erectile dysfunction work and it can be reversed. Pills, devices, and surgeries along with improved lifestyle form the mainstay of cure.
However, incorporating certain foods into your daily diet will significantly have a positive effect and improve your symptoms. Overall, it is seen that men who suffer from male erectile dysfunction usually have a poor diet and so find it difficult to satisfy their partner sexually.
We have compiled a list of foods that form a better sex diet, which you should follow to improve your erectile dysfunction or even prevent it. A regular healthy diet will go a long way to keep you and your sex life healthy and robust.
Brightly colored vegetables are a rich source of anti-oxidants. They include spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes. Anti-oxidants are known for their potential to prevent various diseases including heart attack and cancer.
In sexual dysfunction, a diet rich in antioxidants increases the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric acid has a vasodilator effect on the blood vessels, which allows for more blood flow throughout the body including the penis.
You should know that erection is the result of blood flowing into the penis. More the blood firmer is the erection.
Fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes are abundant in their antioxidants content. This again allows for more nitric acid production and better dilatation and blood flow through the blood vessels of the penis.
Here a special mention should be made of watermelon, which contains a good amount of the amino acid citrulline. This amino acid relaxes and dilates blood vessels to improve blood flow.
Research indicates that men who incorporated whole grain foods in their diet and no refined grain had a lower incidence of erectile dysfunction.
Whole grains are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Reﬁning a grain removes about one-fourth of the protein in grain, and about two-thirds of its nutrients, leaving behind a grain that is almost without nutrition.
Nutrition experts agree that eating refined grains increased the risk of many diseases, including obesity, inflammation, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, all causative factors of ED.
Always, therefore, look for 100 percent whole-grain foods such as bread, cereals, and crackers.
Anything that is linked to improving heart health is good for erectile dysfunction because a good heart means good circulation and good circulation to the penis means a better erection.
Numerous studies have shown that eating nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios regularly is good for heart function.
Due to its rich content of Omega 6 fatty acids and arginine, walnuts help in the production of nitric oxide. This relaxes the arteries and arterioles and increases blood flow.
One study showed that eating 100 gm of pistachio nuts for three weeks improved penile blood flow (seen on ultrasound) and erectile dysfunction.
Almonds contain essential fatty acids that increase the levels of testosterone. This positively influences the hardness of the erections.
Almonds and pistachios are a good source of energy, proteins, and minerals like zinc, manganese, and copper, which help in maintaining the hardness of the penile erection.
Common legumes include kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, soybeans, cannellini beans and lentils increase the production of nitric acid. This improves the blood flow throughout the body.
Wild salmon, herring, and mackerel are among the best fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids are known to prevent heart disease and stroke and improve cognitive function.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body, improve cardiac function and increase endothelial nitric oxide production. This makes them very valuable for men suffering from ED.
Dark chocolate contains a good amount of flavonoids. These antioxidants improve blood flow in the body by increasing the concentration of nitric oxide in the blood. Flavonoids also improve heart health, which again makes for better circulation.
Avoid milk chocolate because it contains higher amounts of sugar and fat.
Chili peppers or cayenne pepper
Chili peppers have a vasodilatation effect, meaning they relax or widen the arteries, thereby increasing blood flow to all parts of the body including the heart and the penis.
Capsaicin is a chemical compound present in chili peppers. It is a natural blood thinner, which also expands the blood vessels in the entire body.
Chilis help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and prevent blood clot formation. All these actions help to make the penis more vascular adding to its firmness when erect.
Vitamins that boost your erection power
Vitamins along with minerals are considered essential nutrients (micronutrients actually), meaning they are essential for our body. We just cannot do without them.
Though essential, they are not produced in the body so you have to acquire them through your diet.
Deficiency of vitamins causes health problems, each typical to a particular vitamin. Erectile dysfunction is linked to the deficiency of three vitamins.
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)
- VitaminB3 ( Niacin)
If you are found deficient in these vitamins, you need to take their supplements and eat more of foods that are rich in them.
According to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a large percentage of men with erectile dysfunction had low levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D primarily improves bone health and its role in calcium-phosphorus homeostasis is well known. However, a new study found that it also has a potentially beneficial role in improving ED symptoms.
According to research, men who took vitamin D supplements showed an increase in their total and free testosterone levels and improved erectile function. You should know that low levels of testosterone do contribute to erectile problems.
Another possible reason for this beneficial effect could be that activation of vitamin D by the antioxidant pathway may stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which promotes penile vascular dilation and erection.
A 2014 study links folate (as referred to the naturally occurring B9 in foods) deficiency to ED. Many ED patients in the study were found to be deficient in this vitamin.
Supplementation with this vitamin produced a good improvement in the ED symptoms.
You could also supplement yourself by adding the following foods to your diet. They contain a good amount of folate.
- Green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, and broccoli
- citrus fruits
- beans, peas, lentils, and other legumes
A 2011 study says that administrating vitamin B9 or niacin alone produced significant improvement in men suffering from moderate to severe erectile dysfunction and elevated cholesterol. Their ability to maintain an erection improved.
Foods that will give Vitamin B3:
- meat, such as chicken, turkey, pork, and beef
- brown rice
- legume, nuts, and seeds