Erectile dysfunction (ED) is becoming increasingly common, and some studies show that over 50% of all men can experience it in some form. This condition can have a negative impact on your life. It can seriously disrupt your sex life along with your well-being. But how can you prevent it and protect your erection? Here are some tips to prevent erectile dysfunction!
Watch What You Eat
The first tip for maintaining a healthy boner is to pay attention to your diet. If you stick to a heart-healthy diet, you will also improve the quality of your erections.
Studies have found that restricted blood flow within the penis is directly caused by blocked coronary arteries. The same eating habits that cause heart attack can restrict the blood flow to your penis. Therefore, you should avoid processed, fatty, and fried foods with high cholesterol. What’s more, research has proven that men who stick to healthy Mediterranean diets are significantly less prone to penile dysfunction. Those diets avoid trans fats, saturated fats, and excess salts. They also exclude full-fat products (dairy), processed sugars, and red meats.
Instead, Mediterranean diets focus on nutrient-rich foods. That includes healthy fats (i.e., fish, nuts, etc.), along with plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, you should consume foods with a high flavonoid content. According to a 2018 study, flavonoids from foods like cocoa, tea, and dark chocolate, decrease the chances of ED by over 30%.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Research has also shown that erectile dysfunction problems decrease with weight loss. If you are overweight, you will put yourself at risk of type 2 diabetes. Men who suffer from type 2 diabetes have a 50% risk of developing ED. This condition leads to high blood sugar, which can damage the pudendal and cavernous nerves. Those nerves, along with numerous blood vessels, extend to the penis. If they are damaged, they will directly impact your erectile function.
Additionally, if you are obese, your chances of experiencing ED increase by a whopping 250%. The only way to prevent ED and stay healthy is to lose excess weight. So stick to a healthy diet plan or talk to your doctor.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation or Not at All
A University of California study has found no links between mild alcohol consumption and ED. Also, numerous other studies have reached conflicting conclusions. Some experts believe that ED patients who follow the Mediterranean diet should drink red wine in moderation for its natural antioxidants. Others claim that combining drinks with tobacco and consuming over three drinks per week can lead to ED.
Furthermore, you should avoid heavy drinking for obvious reasons. It can result in nerve and liver damage, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. Moreover, heavy drinking can significantly disrupt your hormone levels, and hormonal abnormalities can also increase the risk of ED.
Apart from a healthy diet that keeps your weight in check, you should also try to get regular exercise. Sedentary lifestyles are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to ED. However, don’t hop on an exercise bike or a rowing machine just yet!
Exercises that exert pressure on your perineum (the pelvic region between the anus and the scrotum) can impact your blood vessels. They can also cause genital numbness. Avoid all types of exercises that could strain your perineum and block the blood supply to the penis. Instead, opt for aerobic activities such as swimming or running. The best tip here is to exercise around three times per week for approximately 30 minutes.
Don’t Rely on Kegels
Some ED prevention experts could recommend Kegel exercises as a first-line treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, science has found no links between Kegels and ED prevention. Experts are unable to prove if Kegels can help all men with ED.
While those exercises can help with incontinence, their impact on erectile dysfunction is questionable. Kegel exercises require you to repeatedly contract and relax the pelvic muscles. They can train the bulbocavernosus and ischiocavernosus muscles that are responsible for keeping your member up. While Kegels can help you to increase the duration of your erections and prolong climax, you shouldn’t rely on them as a solution for ED.
Keep Tabs on Testosterone
If you experience low stamina or low libido, you could be suffering from a testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone levels also impact your ability to make decisions. It can cause hair loss, muscle mass loss and can even lead to fatigue or depression. Moreover, low testosterone causes poor erections.
Even if you are healthy, your testosterone can drop after the age of 40. And while low T levels will not directly cause ED, they can have a negative effect on various penile components. That includes nerve fibers, blood vessels, and erectile tissue. Aside from a healthy diet and regular exercise, you could visit a doctor to check your T levels.
Avoid Anabolic Steroids
Abusing anabolic steroids can increase the likelihood of serious health issues. Yet, many young and middle-aged men still use them as a treatment for ED. Anabolic steroids can often cause dependency in athletes who abuse them.
What’s more, they can seriously harm your pituitary gland functions and your hormone system. One of the biggest risks of using anabolic steroids for ED is testicular shrinkage. These steroids can impact your body’s ability to produce testosterone. They can have a serious impact on your fertility and make your erectile dysfunction even worse.
Smoking increases the chances of ED by damaging the vascular system. This can directly affect the blood supply to the genitals. Plus, it’s a common fact that smoking can cause numerous other health problems in just about any part of the body.
Furthermore, studies have shown that smokers have a 50% higher chance of developing erectile dysfunction. The biggest culprits are the harmful chemicals found in tobacco. They can damage the lining of the blood vessels in the penis. And while quitting smoking can be incredibly challenging, ED patients who do so can see improvements within 2 to 12 weeks.
Hopefully, our tips will allow you to avoid ED, prevent it over time, and protect your erection for many years to come. Good luck!