Exercise, diet changes may help reverse ED
If erectile dysfunction has you down, and you don’t want to relyon drugs, these five natural solutions, as found in theHarvard Special Health ReportErectile Dysfunction: How medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can help you conquer this vexing problem, may reverse your ED and improve your sex life. They are easy to adopt and enrich your health in other ways, too.
1. Begin walking. Just 30 minutes of walking a day was linked with a 41% drop in risk for ED, according to one Harvard study, while a separate trial reported that moderate exercisecan help restore sexual performance in obese, middle-aged men with ED.
2. Eat right. Go bullish on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fish—a diet that lessened the likelihood of ED in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study—while downplaying red and processed meat and refined grains.
Another tip: chronic deficiencies in vitamin B12—found in clams, salmon, trout, beef, fortified cereals, and yogurt—may harm the spinal cord, potentially short-circuiting nerves responsible for sensation as well as for relaying messages to arteries in the penis.
Vitamins and fortified foods are the best bets for those who absorb B12 poorly, including many older adults and anyone with atrophic gastritis, a condition that may affect nearly one in three people ages 50 and older.
Also, make sure you get enough vitamin D, which is found in fortified milk or yogurt, eggs, cheese, and canned tuna. A 2016 study in the journal Atherosclerosis found that men with vitamin D deficiency have a 30% greater risk for ED.
3. Slim down. Obesity raises risks for vascular disease and diabetes, two major causes of ED. And excess fat tinkers with several hormones that may feed into the problem, too. The smaller your waist, the better—a man with a 42-inch waist is 50% more likely to have ED than one with a 32-inch waist.
4. Check your vascular health. Signs that put you on the road topoor vascular health include soaring blood pressure, blood sugar, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides; and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Check with your doctor to find out whether your vascular system—and thus your heart, brain, and penis—is in good shape or needs a tune-up through lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medications.
5. See your dentist. A 2013 study inThe Journal of Sexual Medicine found an association between gum disease and risk for ED. Gum disease causes chronic inflammation, which is believed to damage the endothelial cells that line blood vessels, including those in your penis.
Create A Meditation Spot
Meditation relieves anxiety, pain, and depression by reducing the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your bloodstream. Add meditation into your day by setting aside a time and place devoted to deep breathing and focus. Meditating a few minutes a day for a week or two can improve mood and stress levels.