1. Watch what you eat.
A diet that’s bad for a man’s heart is also not good for his ability to have erections.
Research has shown that the same eating patterns that can cause heart attacksdue to restricted blood flow in the coronary arteries can also impede blood flow to and within the penis. The blood flow is needed for the penis to become erect. Diets that include very few fruits and vegetables along with lots of fatty, fried, and processed foods can contribute to decreased blood circulation throughout the body.
Anything that is bad for a man’s heart is also bad for his penis, says Andrew McCullough, MD, associate professor of clinical urology and director of the malesexual health program at New York University Langone Medical Center.
Recent studies show that ED is relatively uncommon among men who eat a traditional Mediterranean diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, heart-healthy fats including nuts and olive oil, fish, and wine, particularly red.
2. Maintain a healthy weight.
3. Avoid high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Make sure your doctor checks your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. You might also want to check your blood pressure between doctor visits. Some stores and fire stations offer free screenings. Blood pressure monitors are also sold for home use.
If your cholesterol or blood pressure is out of whack, get it treated.
Blood pressure drugs can make it hard to get an erection. But doctors say many cases of ED that get blamed on these drugs are actually caused by arterial damage resulting from high blood pressure (also called hypertension).
4.Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all.
There is no evidence that mild or even moderate alcohol consumption is bad for erectile function, Sharlip says. But chronic heavy drinking can cause liver damage, nerve damage, and other conditions — such as interfering with the normal balance of male sex hormone levels — that can lead to ED.
5. Exercise regularly.
6. Curb stress.
Psychological stress boosts levels of the hormone adrenaline, which makes blood vessels contract. That can be bad news for an erection. Anything a man can do to ease tension and feel better emotionally is likely to give his sex life a big boost.
7. If you smoke, stop.
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