In Spain, 2% of men under 40 years of age suffer from erectile dysfunction, increasing the percentage in men between 40 and 70 years of age (52%) and more than 85% in men over 80 years of age.
Faced with this problem, many wonder what they can do to reverse this situation, especially in a natural way. In this regard, Dr. Fernando Monreal, a renowned specialist in Urology and Andrology and an expert in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, reminds us that maintaining a healthy diet plays an important role in the prevention of this problem.
In a review of four clinical papers conducted in 2017 by Simona Di Francesco, from the University of Chieti-Pescara, in Italy, she found that following a Mediterranean diet also helped reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction, as well as improve sexual function in males.
What are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in the treatment of erectile dysfunction?
The Mediterranean diet is beneficial for erectile dysfunction because it protects cardiovascular health and is rich in antioxidants and other molecules that promote blood circulation. Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil, are important for the synthesis of sex hormones.
Also the high content of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, found in vegetables, fruits and greens help protect the body from oxidative stress and facilitate blood circulation; but it also improves the function of the vascular endothelium and thus controls blood pressure.
In addition to the Mediterranean diet, weight control, maintaining optimal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, avoiding high blood sugar levels and monitoring blood pressure are of utmost importance.
Foods and beverages rich in flavonoids reduce the probability of erectile dysfunction by 19%.
A 10-year prospective clinical study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition with 25,096 middle-aged men indicated that those who consumed the highest amount of flavonoids had a lower incidence of erectile dysfunction compared to those who ingested fewer flavonoids.
The authors observed that the likelihood of erectile dysfunction was reduced by up to 19% in those who consumed the following flavonoid-rich foods and beverages: strawberries, blueberries, red wine in moderate doses, apples, pears and citrus fruits. In addition, total fruit intake was associated with a 14% reduction in risk.
Among the foods included in the Mediterranean diet, cocoa deserves special mention, since it contains a high level of flavonoids; but also watermelon, as it is associated with better blood circulation, apparently due to its high content of citrulline, lycopene and carotenoids.
Although for a while nuts in particular were also discussed, recent clinical studies indicate that the consumption of nuts in general, and on a regular basis, improves erectile function. The doctor adds L-arginine, an amino acid obtained from protein-rich foods. The body uses it to produce nitric oxide, and this molecule dilates and relaxes blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow to the penis.
Some research suggests that L-arginine levels are lower in men with ED. Foods rich in L-arginine include poultry, red meat, fish, nuts and dairy products. I hope, dear reader, that these brief notes will be helpful to you.