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Home / Erectile Dysfunction / Foods That Can Help Tackle ED

Foods That Can Help Tackle ED

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If you're currently dealing with erectile dysfunction, don't feel you are alone. There are various treatments available to help if you are struggling to get or maintain an erection. There are many known causes of ED, including psychological factors, obesity and diabetes, but Harvard University have also discovered that a deficiency in vitamin B12 can stop your penis performing.

B vitamins are used in cell metabolism and in the production of blood. This can significantly improve blood flow, which is necessary when maintaining an erection during sex. Here are some foods that may help you recover from erectile dysfunction.

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Why do certain foods help erectile dysfunction?

According to the Sexual Dysfunction Association, erectile dysfunction affects around 2.3 million UK men. The condition is often linked with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among other health problems.

The good news is that making a few changes to what you eat can promote cardiovascular health, and healthy blood flow may improve your performance in the bedroom as well. Read on to find out about circulation-boosting foods that you may like to incorporate into your diet.

Because food and drink can have a big effect on erectile dysfunction, improving your diet can improve your sexual performance.

Researchers say that the Mediterranean diet is best for erections. It contains plenty of healthy fats like nuts and olive oil plus lots of fish, vegetables, and fruit. This keeps obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease at bay, which are the main dietary reasons for erectile dysfunction. The 'med diet' may also boost nitrate oxide - a blood compound that helps to dilate blood vessels. Here's a list of other foods that can help boost erections.

Shellfish and Fish


Pretty much all seafood is high in B vitamins can help to tackle ED, but clams in particular are high in B12. They're also high in L-arginine and amino acids that aid blood vessel relaxation and promotes blood flow. L-arginine is found in many over-the-counter erection remedies.


Oysters in particular have always garnered a reputation as an aphrodisiac. A primary reason for this association may be oysters contain high levels of zinc, which is a mineral. Zinc is involved in the production of the male hormone, testosterone. Low levels of this hormone can be a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction.



Salmon is full of B12 as well as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and masses of protein, all good food for maintaining your health. If possible, choose wild salmon, as farmed fish is full of chemicals. Plus, it's more environmentally sound. The omega-3 nutrient raises dopamine levels in the brain, which in turn improves blood flow and circulation. This lowers the risk of erectile dysfunction and improves arousal.


Garlic is great for boosting testosterone, the hormone that triggers erections. Studies have shown that garlic can lower blood pressure in humans more effectively than drugs and has been shown to increase blood flow in the calf muscles by more than 15%.


Spinach is full of natural nitrates and these convert into nitric oxide, widening the arteries and acting as natural steroids to boost testosterone in the body. It is also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, essential for testosterone production.

Cereals and Oats

Fortified cereal is a food group that everyone should eat, but this isn't the case for all cereals. In particular All Bran or Bran Flakes can be highly beneficial, unlike cereal high in sugar, such as Coco Pops. Cereal also contains whole grains if you choose right, which lower high cholesterol, another known cause of ED. Blocked-up cholesterol-packed arteries can cause a lack of blood flow to the penis, causing erectile dysfunction.

The right cereals also contain wholegrain which lowers cholesterol another known cause of ED. Cholesterol-packed arteries can cause a lack of blood flow to the penis and cause erectile dysfunction.

Oats are excellent for keeping blood sugar stable throughout the day and maintaining cholesterol levels. Oat porridge is a good breakfast choice for people with type 2 diabetes or anyone who wants to maintain healthy blood sugar.



Grass-fed beef is a very good source of vitamin B12 and iron. As Harvard University has reiterated, low levels of B12 has been linked to erectile dysfunction in many recent studies. It also has the ability to protect the heart, burn fat and build muscles. Grass-fed beef, therefore, offers a number of benefits alongside the fact that it can help to avoid erectile dysfunction.

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is a great diet aid because it contains protein and can be fat-free if you select the specifically low-fat Greek yoghurt. It keeps your weight down, and it's got 20% of your B12 within each tub. Greek yogurt also contains potassium too, which can help to improve sexual performance because it aids circulation and keeps the heart healthy.

Pistachios and Nuts

Nuts including peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts contain L-arginine, a naturally rich source of amino acids that can help increase sexual stamina and lower blood pressure. L-arginine has also been found to boost blood flow to the penis.

A recent study has discovered that men who are dealing with erectile dysfunction saw an improvement in their ED and sexual desire when they ate pistachio nuts every day for a total of three weeks. This is most likely due to protein found in pistachios called arginine, which has the ability to relax blood vessels.


Fruits and Berries

Berries such as cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and blackcurrants are excellent for improving circulation as they're loaded with soluble fibre, which pushes cholesterol through the digestive system meaning it can be more easily broken down and absorbed rather than building up in the arteries. Berries are also high in antioxidants, flavonoids and various compounds that can help to relax blood vessels and this ultimately improves circulation to every part of the body.

A recent study from the University of East Anglia and Harvard studied 50,000 eating and erection habits over 30 years. They found that a diet rich in flavonoids led to fewer erection problems.

The top foods, which contained anthocyanins compounds, were:

  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Radishes
  • Citrus fruits


Watermelon in particular can influence in the same way as some ED treatments, including Viagra. Watermelon contains phytonutrients, which are known to relax blood vessels that are required to provide an erection. According to various studies, this fruit may also be able to increase sexual desire.

As with all aspects of health, certain lifestyle factors such as regular exercise, not smoking and a healthy diet are also associated with a decreased risk of ED. This is supported by the study's findings that a high fruit intake of any kind was linked to a 14% lower ED risk. The risk fell by 21% for those men who both exercised regularly and consumed flavonoid-rich foods.


Bananas are a great source of B vitamins, potassium and also contain an enzyme known as bromelain, which can increase libido and energy levels during sexual activity.


Pomegranates have many healing and therapeutic effects on the body. They can increase nitric oxide production dramatically and have been shown to boost testosterone levels. An Israeli study into the effects of long-term consumption suggested that regularly eating the fruit can drop blood pressure and boost a man's ability to get an erection.

Red wine

A recent study has found that men who enjoy a diet rich in citrus fruits and red wine have a reduced risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia conducted this 40-year study in collaboration with Harvard University. They looked at data from over 50,000 men, asking each participant three times with a four-year gap between, whether they had experienced any issues with sexual dysfunction. The men also submitted reports on their diet every four years.

The researchers analysed the data and found that more than a third of the participants had experienced erectile dysfunction at some point in their life. Interestingly, they also discovered that the other two-thirds, who were seen as being at a lower risk for experiencing ED, enjoyed diets rich in foods containing flavonoids.

Flavonoids are present in many plant-based foods and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and tea. The researchers found that three types - anthocyanins, flavanones and flavones – produced the greatest benefit.

Red wine

Dark chocolate

Chocolate also contains flavonoids, but eating this was found to have less of an impact, although previous studies have suggest dark chocolate may provide health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease. Recent studies have discovered that dark chocolate can improve circulation, which can be beneficial when attempting to tackle erectile dysfunction. As with other foods containing flavonoids, dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and decrease cholesterol levels, both of which are factors that contribute towards erectile dysfunction.

As helpful as the above foods are when tackling ED, medical professionals are in agreement that they are most helpful when used alongside other methods, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Clinically proven ED medication is also extremely effective when attempting to successfully treat and manage erectile dysfunction. This can include treatments such as Viagra, Sildenafil and Cialis, all of which can be ordered online from HealthExpress.

Foods to avoid

  • Sugar - Eating sugary foods and drinking sugary soda can lead to obesity, diabetes and erectile dysfunction. Diabetes causes erectile dysfunction because of the poor circulation of blood around the body. Diabetes also damages nerves and blood vessels so cutting down on sugar is a good way to combat erectile dysfunction. You can do this by avoiding sugar in your tea or coffee and limiting foods such as chocolate, biscuits and pastries. It's also worth checking the ingredients on processed foods. It's surprising how much sugar a jar of pasta sauce can contain.
  • Fatty Foods - Junk foods and processed meals contain lots of fat that sticks to your arteries causing heart disease and high blood pressure. It also creates body fat that puts a strain on your heart. When your heart and arteries are not working well it leads to poor circulation and erectile dysfunction. A fatty diet is also associated with infertility. A study found that men who ate a diet of red meat and pizza had less fertility and lower sperm mobility that those men eating a diet of vegetables, chicken, fish and wholegrain.
  • Soy - There is a lot of debate around soy products because they have levels of oestrogen some experts think may lower fertility. Whilst there's no evidence that soy causes erectile dysfunction or infertility it's worth bearing in mind.
  • Salt - Salt raises blood pressure by increasing the volume of fluid in your arteries and we already know that high blood pressure leads to poor circulation and therefore erectile dysfunction. Salt also damages the kidneys leading to poor overall health. Avoid adding salt to your diet by cutting down on cheese, crisps, bacon, cured meats and processed foods. Check the salt levels in food you choose to eat and go for the lowest salt content for better health.
  • Cut out alcohol - Too much alcohol can lead to temporary impotence but frequent drinking can lead to long term ED. This can be due to a mix of ill health, some research that suggests more than two drinks a day can lower testosterone levels, or the simple thought that you might not get an erection again.
  • Stick to low-risk limits - Men are recommended to curb their amount of alcohol to no more than 14 units a week.

Other Erectile Dysfunction Tips

Men who exercise have better health and better blood flow and blood flow is what you need to beat impotence. A study from the Boston School of Medicine found that burning 200 calories a day significantly reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Eating junk food and frequently drinking alcohol can lead to poor health and a devastating effect on your ability to gain and maintain an erection. Impotence is very common so speak to your doctor if you're having problems and a diet overhaul doesn't improve matters.

It doesn't matter if you experience ED once a week or every time you try to have sex - there are ways to support you including medications, penis pumps, and counseling.