Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common complaint for men, particularly for men over the age of 40. Approximately half of all 40-70 year olds will experience some erectile dysfunction issues at some point during their lives. 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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Shellfish

Clams

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

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.

Shellfish

Salmon

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.

Cereal

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.

Cereal

Beef

Grass-fed beef is a very good source of vitamin B12. As Harvard University has reiterated, low levels of B12 has been linked to erectile dysfunction in many recent studies. It is 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 yogurt

Greek yogurt 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

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.

Pistachio

Fruits and berries

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.

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.