Recommended Nutrition to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition defined by the consistent inability to maintain a firm erection long enough to have sex.

Erections generally occur during sexual arousal when the release of chemicals signals the body to increase blood flow to the penis. This increased blood flow then fills up soft muscle tissue in the penis like a sponge, raising blood pressure until the muscles firm and harden. Usually, this hardening lasts until either a lack of sexual arousal or an orgasm sends nerve signals that tell the body to relax, releasing the stored blood to restore normal circulation.

Men with ED experience disruptions at one or more stage of this process. While any man may occasionally struggle to get or stay hard, people suffering from ED encounter this problem on an ongoing basis, whether it means they are only able to manage an erection some of the time or not at all.

What Causes ED?

elderly athlete

While it can be difficult to accurately estimate the prevalence of erectile dysfunction given the reluctance of many men to discuss it, various studies estimate that some 30 million men in the United States have experienced ED and that it affects somewhere around a third to over half of all men globally.

Erectile dysfunction can happen for a number of reasons. Some of these are psychological, such as an excessive amount of stress, depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. However, ED can also occur as a side effect of certain drugs such as blood pressure medication or sedatives, a result of lifestyle choices like smoking or lack of physical activity, or as part of a more serious underlying health condition such as diabetes or heart disease. Any number of factors affecting your vascular system, nervous system, or endocrine system may be to blame.

It is thus important to remember that ED constitutes a serious health condition and do what you can to seek treatment. While that should involve speaking with your doctor and pursuing any necessary medication, certain foods or diets may also help to alleviate your symptoms.

How Can Diet Help with ED?

Maintaining a healthier lifestyle has been linked to healthier erectile function. For example, reducing smoking and alcohol consumption or increasing exercise may help manage ED or even eliminate symptoms altogether.

Similarly, while watching what you eat is far from a guaranteed solution, it can nevertheless reduce the impact of ED on your life. Part of this is a result of general health benefits. Eating better reduces your risk of developing serious health issues like diabetes or heart disease that can lead to ED. It also helps your body maintain the proper blood circulation required to sustain an erection.

Studies suggest a so-called “Mediterranean diet” may offer the best results for a healthy lifestyle in general and erectile dysfunction in particular. Such diets are characterized by a consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish while cutting back on processed foods and other types of meat.

Other studies point to the presence of flavonoids in certain foods aiding with ED. Flavonoids are a naturally occurring substance commonly found in a variety of different plants and foods, including tea, wine, grains, fruits, and vegetables. They’ve been linked to numerous health benefits, making them a popular ingredient for many medicines.

There are six main types of flavonoids found in different foods. While each contributes to overall health such as by keeping your body running efficiently, fighting off harmful toxins, and reducing inflammation, three of these are particularly beneficial for ED: anthocyanins, flavanones, and flavones.

Anthocyanins are natural pigments found in flowers and berries that color them blue, purple, or red. Common sources of anthocyanins include blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, red and purple grapes, and red wine.

Flavanones reduce inflammation while also helping you manage your weight and cholesterol intake. Common sources of flavanones include many citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges.

Finally, flavones occur in blue and white plants, serving as the pigments in their flowers. Consuming them helps reduce inflammation. Common sources of flavones include celery, chamomile, parsley, peppermint, and red peppers. Read about the effects of soy here.

Other foods may also be beneficial for managing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, either because they contain other helpful flavonoids or because they generally improve your physical or mental health, particularly with regards to your vascular, nervous, or endocrine systems.

What is the Impact of Specific Foods on ED?

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When catering your diet to treat ED, consider whether or not the chosen food includes flavonoids, the type of flavonoid present if so, and any other notable health benefits. Here is an overview of several common foods and what you might expect from each:


In addition to generally improving health, fruits are one of the best sources of flavonoids. Blackberries, for example, contain six types of flavonoids, including those most linked to better erectile function. Apples, bananas, blueberries, citrus fruits, and pears are all also rich in flavonoids, while watermelon may help stimulate blood flow as well as increase heart health thanks to its lycopene.

If fresh fruit isn’t your thing, you can also find flavonoids in fruit products such as red wine and dark chocolate. Other fruit products help in different ways. Coffee reduces ED thanks to its high quantities of caffeine that relax penis muscles to increase blood flow, while pistachios accomplish much the same thanks to their arginine. Other nuts similarly aid with ED by reducing bad cholesterol to improve circulation throughout the body.


Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain high levels of folic acid, which some studies have linked to reduced ED. Red peppers can also provide a good counter to ED thanks to their flavones, while the heat from chili peppers helps increase blood flow and reduce cholesterol. Similar to fruits, such vegetables have the added benefit of containing a variety of useful vitamins and minerals to generally enhance your overall health.


In general, consuming meat—especially red meat such as beef, pork, or lamb—increases your risk of erectile dysfunction. However, some protein may be beneficial thanks to the presence of arginine to increase blood flow. For best results, you should probably try to avoid red meat in favor of healthier sources of protein such as poultry, fish, nuts, or dairy products.


Fish is one of the healthiest types of meat you can eat, both for overall wellbeing and to combat ED. Salmon is an especially good choice given its extensive omega-3 fatty acids. These help reduce blood pressure and increase heart health, aiding blood flow to the penis.


Little concrete evidence currently exists on the positive or negative side effects of grains as part of your diet in relation to erectile dysfunction. However, oatmeal has been shown to improve hearth health thanks to the presence of arginine, and initial research suggests that eating healthy whole grains may benefit people with ED as part of a balanced Mediterranean diet.

What Medications Can Treat ED?

Diet alone is often not enough to combat erectile dysfunction depending on the severity of the issue and any underlying health conditions causing it. Here are eight drugs you should consider:

Sildenafil (Viagra)
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Viagra Sildenafil

Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra, one of the most common drugs used to treat ED. It works by relaxing blood vessels in the penis, increasing blood flow so that it is easier to gain and keep an erection. Effects typically last for several hours and take around thirty minutes to an hour to kick in.

Tadalafil (Cialis)
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Tadacip Tadalafil

Tadalafil is the active ingredient in Cialis, as well as its more affordable alternative Tadacip by Cipla. It works by enhancing a chemical given off during sexual arousal in order to increase blood flow to the penis. Effects only take about thirty minutes to begin and may last for as long as thirty-six hours, though it’s important to note that tadalafil on its own won’t cause an erection, merely strengthen it. Avoid taking tadalafil if you are also on any nitrates since that may dangerously lower blood pressure.

Vardenafil (Levitra)
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Levitra Vardenafil

Vardenafil is the active ingredient in Levitra. Like sildenafil, it is a PDE-5 inhibitor that helps with ED by relaxing muscles around the penis in order to increase blood flow. It starts working only thirty minutes after you take it and usually lasts from four to six hours. Studies show it is particularly effective in men suffering from diabetes or over the age of 65.

Kamagra Oral Jelly
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Kamagra Oral Jelly

Kamagra Oral Jelly utilizes sildenafil, the same active ingredient as Viagra. It works by relaxing blood vessels and enhancing blood flow to the penis, making it easier to achieve a lasting erection. However, rather than taking a pill, Kamagra Oral Jelly can be squeezed into your mouth or a spoon and easily swallowed. It takes between twenty and sixty minutes to kick in and lasts for around four to six hours. Avoid eating large meals or drinking alcohol when using this medication.

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Priligy Dapoxetine

Dapoxetine is the active ingredient in Priligy. It is an SSRI that increases a man’s control over when they ejaculate, allowing them to last longer during sex and counteracting premature ejaculation. Priligy should be taken two times every day since the effects will wear off without constant use. Side effects are uncommon but include mild nausea, vertigo, and headaches.

Vidalista, crossroadspharm, image

Like other common ED drugs, Vidalista contains the active ingredient tadalafil, which enhances blood flow to the penis during sexual arousal. It comes as regular tablets, as well as sublingual or chewable tablets that start working faster. Vidalista is also available in a wide variety of doses, including stronger forms intended to treat more severe ED.

aurogra, crossroadspharm, image

Aurogra offers a more affordable alternative to Viagra. It uses the same active ingredient, sildenafil, in order to enhance erections via increased blood flow to the penis. Given its similarities to Viagra, it also operates much the same way, persisting for several hours after an initial waiting period of about thirty minutes to one hour.

Fildena, crossroadspharm, image

Fildena is yet another cheaper alternative to more expensive medications like Viagra that utilize sildenafil to improve blood flow to the penis. It is available in multiple doses depending on the severity of ED, and also comes in chewable and soft gel capsules. Side effects include those common to Viagra such as mild headache or nausea but may also rarely involve more serious issues such as chest pain, seizures, or trouble breathing that demand immediate medical assistance.

When Should You Consult a Doctor?

As mentioned above, erectile dysfunction is a serious medical issue and may be the result of other underlying conditions. Should your ED persist or become severe, or if you experience any other ailments, make sure to seek medical aid.

You should also consult your doctor prior to taking any drugs for ED. They can better advise you on which dosages or medicines are best suited for your particular case and won’t interfere with any existing treatments or conditions.

Should you experience issues or side effects with any drug you’ve been prescribed, make sure to let your doctor know at once so that they can help you determine how best to proceed.

What is Crossroads Pharmacy?


Since opening in 2006, Crossroads Pharmacy has offered quick, convenient, and reliable access to a broad range of products. We carry over 500 different brand-name and generic medications, with countless more available for delivery to your home or for pickup at the pharmacy. This includes drugs to treat common ailments such as high-blood pressure and erectile dysfunction, as well as products to help you maintain a healthier lifestyle such as by losing weight or quitting smoking.

No matter what you need, we strive to always provide excellent customer service to every patient both in-store and online. We also collaborate with healthcare institutions at the local and national level to ensure all community members receive the health and wellness management options they deserve.

With over a hundred unique visitors a day, a range of qualified pharmacists to answer your healthcare questions, and a constantly updated website full of reliable information, Crossroads Pharmacy is proud to continue serving you!


Many men suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction (ED) during their lives. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including mental health, lifestyle choices, or underlying health issues.

One of the ways to alleviate symptoms of ED is to improve what you eat. Studies suggest that a healthy diet can reduce the severity of ED or even eliminate it entirely. This can be a great supplement to medication or an alternative for situations where you are unable or unwilling to use common ED drugs. Foods with high quantities of flavonoids, such as many fruits and vegetables, have been linked to improved erectile function, as have other foods that increase heart health or improve blood flow.

However, healthy eating alone is often not enough. If you suffer from ED, make sure to seek medical advice from your doctor. They can inform you which available ED drugs might work best and also help you identify any coexisting medical issues contributing to your ED. Avoid making any changes to your eating habits or seeking treatment without first consulting your doctor.

author: Dr. Marian Davis

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