Around 30 million men have erectile dysfunction. You may think that with erectile dysfunction being so common, treatment would be in high demand, but you are wrong. Many men, whether too busy or too embarrassed to bother with a doctor visit, haven't taken steps to get help.
What's worse, most are severely misinformed about erectile dysfunction, especially where their diet is concerned.
So, Drs. Kiarash Michel and Mohamed Bidair of Atlas Men's Clinic are here to clear the air and give you straight-from-the-expert insight into how your diet and erectile function are related.
Despite what the commercials and influencers say, no magic meal plan can completely prevent or reverse erectile dysfunction, but that doesn't mean that your diet doesn't play a role.
A diet rich in the good stuff (think fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, and fish) usually equates to healthy erectile function and better overall health. Your sex life may also boost if you stay away from full-fat dairy and red and processed meat. Many call this type of diet the Mediterranean diet.
One long-term study found that men who followed the Mediterranean diet had a significantly lower risk of erectile dysfunction than those who didn't.
But it doesn't matter whether you stick to something like the Mediterranean diet or start being more mindful of what you eat — healthy eating (no matter what it looks like) goes a long way to boost your sexual function.
There may not be a guaranteed strategy to eat your way to optimal sexual health, but there is a chance that a poor diet could land you in a bit of trouble.
We're not saying that a hamburger or slice of cake here and there will lead to erectile dysfunction. If your diet features little else but saturated fats, processed foods, and other infamous junk foods, that's when your risk increases. Here's a closer look at why.
Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels. Higher cholesterol levels often lead to fatty deposits building up in your arteries, which hinders blood flow. Since erections rely heavily on efficient blood flow, high cholesterol can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Poor eating habits may also mean that you're overweight or obese — which means high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems usually aren't far behind. And where there's trouble with your heart and blood vessels, you can expect to have problems with erectile functioning as well.
In addition to affecting your cardiovascular system, being overweight or obese can impact your testosterone levels. Testosterone is the male sex hormone responsible for bone mass, fat distribution, red blood cell production, and sex drive. Normal testosterone levels help facilitate erections, and low levels often accompany erectile dysfunction.
While there's no way to prevent erectile dysfunction by eating or not eating a particular food every day, striving toward a healthier lifestyle can pay off. And that's why we usually start with your habits when treating erectile dysfunction.
We usually recommend a nutrient-dense diet coupled with lifestyle adjustments, such as:
Depending on your unique needs and the severity of your situation, we can also use Shockwave therapy, (aka PulseWave therapy), and/or a penis pump to restore your erectile function.
If you'd like more information about erectile dysfunction, or if you'd like to get started with a treatment plan, don't hesitate to request an appointment at our Los Angeles or San Diego office online or over the phone.