There are many major studies that show a strong link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and heart risk factors including diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In fact, ED is a tip-off to heart disease and a higher risk of dying from complications of heart disease.
So what can you do to improve your diet and your health?
Several studies have been conducted on the Mediterranean diet and its effect on men’s sexual health. After two years the men on the Mediterranean diet scored higher on a standard rating scale of their erectile function than those on the regular diet. It appears that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains increases the nitric oxide levels in the penis which is crucial to having an erection.
Additional factors for ED include recreational drug use, which is also linked to ED in younger men as well. As you might expect, there’s a direct connection with smoking and ED, just as smokers have more of a risk for heart disease including heart attacks. Finally, men who don’t exercise regularly have a lot more problems with ED.
Another area where nutrition can play a key role is in prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men other than skin cancer. Leading researchers feel that being heart healthy equals good prostate health. Several studies have been conducted by the National Institutes of Health that show statins, aspirin and metformin (S.A.M.) are generic, low-cost heart healthy agents that come from natural sources and are linked to lowering the risk of prostate cancer. Speak with your health care provider to see if you would benefit from using these.
In closing, for good prostate health and overall health the common theme is to practice healthy habits. If you smoke, quit. If you need to lose weight, limit the excess calories in your diet and exercise – and exercise regularly. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean meats are key to a healthy diet. You’ll lose weight and develop new healthy eating habits for life.
To make an appointment with a Cooper Urologist, call 1.800.8.COOPER (1.800.826.6737).