If you’re suffering from ED, you’ll probably try anything and everything to get your penis back in the game. But the most natural, effective solution is often overlooked… and it’s right in your own fridge. If you’re looking to boost your blood circulation, look no further than these 13 delicious foods for ED-healthy vasodilation.
What is a vasodilator?
There are three parts to having an erection. First, you get sexually aroused and your brain sends a signal to the penis that it’s time to get moving and grooving. Your body then has to release hormones to prepare you for sex. Then the muscles and blood vessels in the pelvic area have to relax, so blood can flow easily into the penis. An erection is literally when your penis enlarges with blood.
But if your blood vessels are tight or clogged, blood can’t flow through the body properly. The blood can’t find its way to the penis and an erection can’t occur.
This clogging of blood vessels is one of the key causes of erectile dysfunction. The blood vessels aren’t wide enough or healthy enough to push blood into the penis to create a hard erection.
Beyond just the penis, blood flow is important for overall health as well. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all of your organs, tissues, and cells. Poor blood flow leads to a buildup of toxicity, which can be incredibly dangerous for the functioning of your system.
Proper blood flow is vital to wellbeing, including sexual health.
A vasodilator is a substance that relaxes and widens the blood vessels. This helps unclog the arteries and allows blood to flow more easily. Thus, blood can reach your penis so you can get an erection.
What is nitric oxide?
Nitric oxide (NO) is a necessary vasodilator for all erections. NO relaxes the blood vessels around the penis, so there are no blockages or tightness when the body tries to send blood there.
Because nitric oxide is vital to erection blood flow, you’ll want to keep an eye out for NO production in your foods and supplements.
You’ll often find NO boosters in pre-workout supplements because it’s so effective at boosting blood flow. NO relaxes vessels and increases blood flow, which means the muscles have more blood and oxygen during the workout (so in turn the muscles can work harder and longer). You can sometimes even tell which guys are taking NO supplements at the gym because their blood vessels could be popping out from their biceps or neck because blood flow is so strong.
Why do you need natural vasodilators?
I am a firm believer that natural is almost always better than prescription. If you can cure your illnesses with organic, natural substances, you’ll be treating your body the way it deserves to be treated. Trying to solve a problem with medicines often ends up with even more additional problems. I always recommend my patients first try natural lifestyle choices before adding more chemicals to their daily regimen. (Although I do understand that sometimes medicines and surgeries are necessary to live a full and fruitful life… and I’m all for that.)
ED can be treated naturally for most men. Poor circulation, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease—which can all cause ED—are directly linked to stress, unhealthy diet, and lowered physical activity. Choosing to rectify these areas of your life with healthy lifestyle choices can help treat related blood circulation concerns. For example, lowering stress and working out are critical to treating erectile dysfunction.
But in this post, we’ll be focusing on the healthy diet. Below you’ll find the 13 foods that can naturally dilate your blood vessels, increase blood flow to the penis, and help cure your ED.
Pomegranates are my favorite antioxidant-rich food for treating ED. Not only do they have hypotensive properties (meaning they can lower blood pressure), but they’re also ergogenic vasodilators (meaning they enhance stamina and physical performance thanks to their ability to boost blood flow). Pomegranate extract can help reduce arterial plaque, so there are no blockages stopping blood flow. Pom has also been shown to boost nitric oxide and stimulate “sexy feelings.”
2. Cayenne pepper and chili
Cayenne pepper and chili contain capsaicin, which is what gives these spices their hot kick. Studies have been shown that capsaicin is able to improve circulation and promote healthy erections. One study found that capsaicin could induce penile erection when inserted into the urethra, and another concluded that it could help treat hypertension.
One study also found that capsaicin and spicy foods are associated with a lower body weight and higher metabolism because they help burn fat, suppress appetite, and improve physical endurance. Plus these spices have no calories!
Overweight men have a higher risk of ED, so losing weight and maintaining a healthy body fat is crucial to treating erectile dysfunction. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that losing even 5-10% of body weight in two months drastically improves erectile function and sexual libido. In this way, cayenne and chili could also help maintain a healthy body weight to combat ED.
So get spicy!
3. Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are filled with vitamin K. Vitamin K1 reduces oxidative stress and thins blood, which helps to improve overall blood vessel health and functioning. In fact, these leafy greens are so good at thinning your blood that many doctors will suggest you lay off them when taking a blood thinner like Warfarin or Aspirin.
Additionally, spinach is high in nitrates, which are known to boost nitric oxide levels. Remember nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels in the pelvis and pushes blood into the penis. Spinach also has high levels of iron, and iron is needed in order for blood molecules to transport oxygen throughout the body.
Kale also has circulation-boosting nitrates like coenzyme Q10, magnesium, and other antioxidants. Kale is a super-food that can help maintain weight, improve blood flow, boost brain function, and much more.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are filled with vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C can stimulate the body’s natural production of nitric oxide, thus improving vasodilation and minimizing hypertension. Plus, vitamin C is the anti-aging vitamin that helps keep your organs, skin, and cells young and vital!
Ginger has been used in Indian medicine for centuries in order to restore sexual vitality. Its antioxidant properties quickly boost nitric oxide, and it has been studied extensively as a treatment for cardiovascular disease. Ginger has been shown to open up the blood vessels so much, in fact, that you shouldn’t eat ginger before surgery because it could increase risk of bleeding post-surgery.
Ginger also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help with other inflammation-related diseases that can cause ED. It has been even bee n studied as an anti-diabetic treatment. This is important as men with diabetes are at a high risk of suffering ED symptoms.
6. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is filled with heart-healthy antioxidants and flavonoids. A meta-analysis of studies concluded that “flavonoid-rich cocoa consumption affects multiple cardiovascular risk factors.”
Another study found that cocoa has protective effects during acute hyperglycemia. This means that dark chocolate can help prevent blood sugar spikes and lows; these peaks and valleys of sugar can contribute to diabetes, weight gain, lowered testosterone, fatigue, and more.
Note that this is dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better the effects. Milk chocolate is more sugar than cocoa so you won’t see the same effects.
Watermelon is high in lycopene, which has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels and reduce blood pressure. It also has high levels of the antioxidant l-citrulline, which has been studied as a treatment for high blood pressure.
Walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and other nuts are rich in l-arginine, which boosts the production of nitric oxide. L-arginine also enhances blood flow by reducing oxidative stress, especially in young adults with type 1 diabetes.
Garlic is one of the healthiest (and most potent) ways to treat ED. Countless studies have proven the efficacy of garlic on vasodilation. One study found that garlic supplementation can increase tissue blood flow; another showed that it lowers blood pressure and increases nitric oxide equivalent to standard blood pressure medication, and a meta-analysis showed an inverse correlation between garlic consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Black and green tea are filled with antioxidants that are great for overall wellbeing and health. Black tea can improve dilation and protect from cardiovascular concerns and green tea boosts metabolism and weight loss.
Furthermore, tea is a known stress-reliever. As discussed, stress is highly linked to erectile dysfunction, because the stress hormone cortisol blocks the signals from the brain to the penis. Cortisol can also tighten and clog your blood vessels. If you want a better sex life, you have to take some time to chill out and drink some tea.
10. Raw honey
Raw honey (not processed) is high in nitrates that elevate nitric oxide levels. Add a little bit of raw honey to your tea for flavor and an extra boost of vasodilation!
Red wine has polyphenols and resveratrol, which both have benefits on the heart and blood vessels. Because of the polyphenols and tannic acid in red wine, it’s a potent vasodilator that can help clear the vessels from any buildup. One study even showed that red wine intake reduced plaque build up by 37%. Plus, red wine can decrease blood pressure, increase nitric oxide, and treat hypertension. Basically, “it has been concluded that red wine as a diet supplement might be beneficial for cardiovascular risk factors.”
Of course, wine is best in moderation. Too much alcohol can cause erectile dysfunction and other health problems. Stick to no more than 1-2 glasses of red wine per day to see cardiovascular benefits. If you’re not a regular wine drinker, consider resveratrol supplements to avoid taxing your system with alcohol.
Beetroot is filled with nitrates that boost NO production and improve stamina when working out and running. Beetroot juice has also been found to improve metabolism and reproductive performance.
Onions are high in vitamin C (which we discussed in #4 citrus) and quercetin. Quercetin boosts nitric oxide and improves cardiovascular health. A diet rich in onion has been shown to modulate vascular dysfunction and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The Bottom Line
Supplementing your diet with vasodilator foods can help treat your erectile dysfunction naturally and effectively. Your penis—and taste buds—will thank you!