Male impotence, or erectile dysfunction (ED) as its known in the medical field, occurs when insufficient blood flow reaches and remains in the penis. Could this be a sign that there are blockages in blood flow elsewhere in the body, something that could even indicate underlying heart disease?
ED affects nearly 20 million men in the United States, and the condition seems to be even more common after the age of 40. However, sustained ED is abnormal no matter a man’s age. Getting to the root of the problem can even be a matter of life or death.
ED vs. Heart Disease
Since reduced blood flow to the penis is one of the primary reasons erection is unattainable, the likely cure then would seem to be that blood flow needs to be stimulated and any blockages removed. This is essentially what happens with heart disease – blood flow to and from the heart is stagnated somehow, and the result is an eventual heart attack if untreated. Arterial blockages are usually the result of too much fat and bad cholesterol intake, but smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can also constrict the blood vessels leading to and from the heart.
So aside from other treatment methods – like prescription medications, exercise, topical creams, injection therapy, vacuum pumps and prosthetics – a man can work on getting rid of bad habits like smoking, drinking, and overindulging in fatty, high-cholesterol, high-sodium, high-sugar and junk food.
Every single one of these things can eventually lead to heart disease, stroke, erectile dysfunction and other illnesses. Heart attacks and strokes are closely related to impotence. According to Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, who specializes in male health, ED is often caused by the same problems that cause heart trouble and a quarter of men who get medical treatment for ED have a heart attack or stroke within five years of seeking treatment.
Dietary Plan of Action
To lower sodium (and blood pressure, consume more of the following):
Garlic and onions
Fiber-rich foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grain
Monounsaturated fat – olive oil
Omega-3 fatty acids – green, leafy vegetables, coldwater fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, etc.
Vitamin C – oranges, kiwi fruit, lemons, strawberries, cantaloupe, cabbage, red peppers, etc.
Calcium – milk and dairy products, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, salmon, mackerel
Potassium – beans, bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peaches, etc.
Magnesium – broccoli, nuts, whole wheat breads and cereals
To lower cholesterol (and eliminate arterial blockages), consume the following:
Garlic and onions
Fiber-rich foods – same as above
Antioxidant-rich foods – fruits and vegetables, particularly apples, tomatoes, cranberries, and tea
Unsaturated fat – walnuts, tuna, flaxseed, kale, spinach (and other green, leafy veggies)
Another important thing to remember is that ED is a common problem, so if you suffer from ED you’re not alone. Also, making small, but deliberate changes to your diet like those mentioned above will turn the tide and enable you to enjoy intimacy with your spouse once again. They may even save your life.