How Diet Can Help With ED

February 12, 2022

Sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation have more than a few causes behind them. While there is a stigma attached to sexual dysfunction, educating individuals on the various things that can positively or negatively affect their sexual health is important. From medications to psychosexual therapy, there are ways to help treat the symptoms of ED, PE, and other sexual disorders. However, many often forget that their lifestyle can bring about changes in their sexual health as well. One lifestyle modification that many take for granted is diet — a bad diet can cause many things from medical conditions such as hypertension to affecting erectile function.

Did you know that there is evidence [Sexual Medicine Reviews: Diet & Men's Sexual Health] that reveals an association between different diets and men’s sexual health? According to a study, ED symptoms were improved in men that consumed a Mediterranean diet — a diet that helps [Harvard The Nutrition Source: Diet Review, Mediterranean Diet] keep conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at bay). Furthermore, men with higher BMI’s that lost weight through healthy diets saw improved erectile function. So, how does diet help with ED, a common sexual disorder?

You may have heard (Read More: Is ED An Early Indicator For Heart Disease?] that ED could be an early indicator of heart disease. Blood flow is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting and maintaining an erection. Health concerns, some of which are closely associated with a bad diet, can increase the risk of developing or worsening ED symptoms. These health issues include being physically inactive, binge drinking, atherosclerosis, and most importantly, obesity. Diets that are high in fats, and carbohydrates, contribute to obesity, which further can lead to worsening ED symptoms. Do you see the connection?

There are foods that improve erectile function by aiding in improved blood flow, increased testosterone and nitric oxide production. You may be wondering, what are some foods that help with this and why do they help?

Nitrate containing foods

Nitrates are natural chemical compounds. They have the ability to cause vasodilation (that occurs with the relaxation of arteriolar and sinusoidal smooth muscle) that helps an erection. Furthermore, they also produce nitric oxide, which is beneficial for vascular health and blood flow. [Anesthesiology: Nitrate-Nitrite-Nitric Oxide Pathway: Implications For Anesthesiology & Intensive Care]
What are some nitrate-rich foods?
- Beetroot
- Celery
- Spinach
- Radish

Zinc containing foods

A study found that men who received 30 milligrams of this essential mineral per day showed increased levels of free testosterone in their bodies. Low levels of testosterone can affect erectile function. [ASEP: Effects Of Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation On Hormones & Strength]
What are some Zinc-rich foods?
- Oysters
- Beef
- Crab
- Beans
- Yoghurt

L-Arginine containing foods

This amino acid found in protein helps [Role Of L-Arginine in NO production in health & Hypertension] in the creation of nitric oxide, which further helps in smooth muscle relaxation that allows for an erection to be maintained. L-arginine is said to help as another research study [L-arginine & L-citrulline Levels in ED] discovered that men with ED commonly have low levels of the amino acid.
What are some L-Arginine-rich foods?
- Fish
- Red meat
- Poultry
- Whole grains
- Beans
- Dairy

Flavanoid containing foods

These are compounds naturally found in fruits and vegetables. There are rich in antioxidant activity and detoxification. An early study [Overview of Dietary Components With ED: SD In Young Men] revealed that men of ages 18–40 who had 50 mg of flavonoids per day, were 32% less likely to report with ED. Furthermore, more research data [Dietary Flavonoid Intake & Incidence Of ED] has suggested that flavanoid-rich foods are associated with a lower ED incidence. These compounds help in increasing blood flow and nitric oxide — the latter is needed for muscles in the penis to relax allowing for the chambers of the penis to fill with blood resulting in an erection.
What are some Flavonoid-rich foods?
- Cocoa
- Dark chocolate

Lycopene containing foods

This natural compound is found in foods that are commonly pink or red. This is because it contains a chemical called carotenoid, which has a natural red/pink pigment. Research [Lycopene & ED: Results with Diabetic Rats] has suggested that lycopene improved ED in rats, allowing researchers to explore the idea of the compound possibly becoming a treatment option. Another study [Lycopene Effects On Initial State Atherosclerosis] further revealed that the compound has benefits for cardiovascular health — which is a major aspect of ED.
What are some Lycopene-rich foods?
- Watermelon
- Tomatoes
- Red peppers
- Papaya

Study References:
[L-citrulline & Watermelon: Vascular Function & Exercise Performance]
[Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Pilot Study]

Taking care of your overall health and consuming a nutritious diet can help prevent or manage erectile dysfunction. However, before you make any changes in your diet, it’s advised that you consult with an andrologist, urologist, and/or a psychiatrist to understand the cause behind your ED symptoms. With the help of their prescribed treatment plan, you will be able to abide by their advice of adding or removing certain foods from your diet.

Sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personlised, discreet and judgement free treatment at your fingertips - book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading experts.

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Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. The condition can affect anyone at any age.


Remember - the blood flow (BF), the nerve supply, and the balance of sex hormones - a concern in any of these can lead to Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by a physical (a ‘hardware’ problem) or psychological (mental health effects) - mental health can play a huge part.

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be an indication of cardiovascular concerns? Chronic health conditions affecting blood flow can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.

Premature Ejaculation
Premature Ejaculation

If a man lasts less than 2 minutes after penetration (all or most of the time), and/or if it leads to frequent dissatisfaction for him or his partner, he may have Premature Ejaculation.


The causes of Premature Ejaculation include:
(1) Physical Factors: Medical conditions, chronic health conditions, or sexual disorders are some physical causes of Premature Ejaculation.
(2) Psychological Factors: Depression, Anxiety 

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be a cause of Premature Ejaculation?

Premature Ejaculation can lead to other sexual dysfunctions, but that is not a wide-known fact.


Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles in the vagina tighten up during penetration.


Vaginismus is commonly caused by psychological factors. Women don't have control over the tightening, and it can be uncomfortable. Due to the physical discomfort, the anxiety or fear response gets worse, and this can lead to a cycle of avoidance.

Fact Check

Did you know that there are four types of Vaginismus?

(1) Primary Vaginismus

(2) Secondary Vaginismus

(3) Situational Vaginismus

(4) Global Vaginismus

Low Sexual Desire
Low Sexual Desire

Low sexual desire, commonly referred to as low libido, is a decrease in sex drive.


Individuals that experience low sexual desire due to various causes are impacted physically, mentally, and emotionally by the symptoms the condition can cause.

Fact Check

Like other most common sexual disorders, low sexual desire can be influenced by many aspects, such as hormonal imbalance, increased age, side effects of medications, chronic illnesses, and addictive or compulsive behavior.

Couple Sex Problems
Couple Sex Problems

This would include concerns with infertility and/or conception. Sexual disorders such as Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, and Vaginismus can lead to challenges with pregnancy attempts.


There could be various causes of infertility, such as sexual dysfunctions, chronic illnesses, and mental health conditions leading to low sexual desire and a low sperm count. A sexual health professional should evaluate the causes of failed pregnancy attempts because there can be a variety of causes.

Fact Check
Porn Addiction
Porn Addiction

Porn addiction refers to a person becoming excessively dependent on pornography leading to a disruption in their everyday life. This could include their job, relationships and at times, their day-to-day lifestyle.


The causes behind porn addiction could be:

(1) Negative sexual experiences

(2) Incorrect understanding of porn and its uses

(3) Initially trying to learn about sexual experiences, resulted in dependency

(4) Experiencing mental health disorders such as OCD (an anxiety disorder) or depression

Fact Check

Watching porn isn’t a bad thing, nor should it be associated with any shame. However, compulsive porn watching can have negative effects on your sexual, physical and mental health.

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