Men's Health Tuesday May 17, 2016

Which Foods and Drinks can Cause or Provoke Erectile Dysfunction

Diet is an important part of your lifestyle. If you don't put the good stuff in, you won't get the good stuff out. It's a bit like filling your car with mud and expecting it to run forever, or failing to fill your head with facts before an exam. The same goes for penises I'm afraid because he can start working if you fuel up with the wrong food and drink.

Erectile Dysfunction - What's that?

It might sound like a bad nightclub but it's simply when a man can't get an erection, or if he can get one, it won't stay put (just do what you're darn told!). It's also called impotence and it's common, very common.

One in five men will suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, and although it usually affects older men, it can cause problems for younger ones too. The reasons are numerous. Physical ones include heart disease, diabetes, nerve damage and the psychological ones include stress, anxiety, previous trauma or simply a lack of attraction and boredom in the bedroom.

Here are the foods and drinks to avoid if you're trying to correct or avoid erectile dysfunction.


The white death is bad for literally every part of your body from your teeth to your penis.

Eating sugary foods and drinking sugary soda leads to obesity and potentially diabetes. The government are even launching a sugar tax in many foods, it's that bad for you.

Diabetes causes erectile dysfunction because of the poor circulation of blood around the body. Diabetes also damages nerves and blood vessels. Cutting down on sugar is a good way to ensure your body is in tip top shape - including your penis. Cut out sugar in your tea and coffee and limit foods such as chocolate, biscuits and pastries. It's also worth check the ingredients on processed foods. It's surprising how much sugar a jar of pasta sauce can contain.

Fatty Foods

Fatty foods such as junk foods and processed meals contain loads 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 whole grains.


There is a lot of debate around soy products, such as soya milk, because it has levels of oestrogen that may lower fertility. Whilst there's no evidence that soy causes erectile dysfunction or infertility it's worth bearing in mind.


Put down those crisps and throw away the salt shaker. Salt is the other white death - it's the evil twin of sugar when it comes to your health.

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 along with too much 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 to protect your penis.

Cut out the booze

Alcohol is fine in moderation, but when levels rise, your penis won't. Too much can lead to a disappointing night, but drink frequently and you might find your penis won't play ball in the long-term. This can be due to a mix of physical ill health - some research suggests that more than two drinks a day can lower testosterone levels, or the simple thought that you might not get hard. Stick to safe limits - men are recommended to curb their amount of alcohol to no more than 14 units a week.

ED Food and Drink

So what should you eat?

Improving your diet is a good way to improve your sexual performance.

Researchers say that the Mediterranean diet is best for erections. It contains plenty of healthy fats like nuts (BOOM!) 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.

Anything Else?

Yes, you should exercise for the sake of your sex life. People who exercise have better health and better blood flow. 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 for erectile dysfunction.

Eating junk food and frequent boozing can lead to poor health and a devastating effect on your ability to gain and maintain an erection - it's time to clean up your act. Eat like a Greek, exercise and your penis may respond.

Speak up if you're having problems. It doesn't matter if it's once a week or every time you try to have sex because there are ways to support you. Speak to your doctor and get yourself back on the sex train if upping your diet game doesn't help.

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