Erectile dysfunction is a condition that presents with difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. This may indicate a range of problems, including stress, clogged arteries, or nerve damage. Your physician may recommend pharmaceuticals or surgery to repair the problem, but there are also a number of foods to consider avoiding to improve your condition.
High amounts of processed foods in your diet may lead to erectile dysfunction, according to Health Communities. Processed foods, or foods that are not in their original form, generally have fat, salt and sugar added, as well as artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and other chemical additives that can damage your health. These foods can include frozen foods, pasteurized milk, canned foods, packaged snack foods and processed meats. A study published in the November 2009 issue of the "British Journal of Psychiatry" correlates eating processed foods to depression, something the Cleveland Clinic notes can cause erectile dysfunction.
Fried foods like french fries, doughnuts, fried chicken and fried fish can result in clogged, hardened arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction may be directly related, according to a report in the 2011 issue of "Circulation." The arteries that supply the penis with blood are relatively small, and when these arteries narrow or harden due to clogging, blood flow to the penis is limited, preventing an erection from occurring. Consider replacing fried foods in your diet with alternatives that are baked to avoid the fat present from frying.
Fast foods, primarily quick-cooked convenience foods, are high in fat and calories. In addition to clogging your arteries, which can lead to erectile dysfunction, eating too much fast food may cause you to overeat calories and gain weight. Obesity, a condition characterized as being severely overweight for your height, may contribute to problems achieving and sustaining erection. Obesity may result in a range of health problems, including depression and artherosclerosis, but it may also signify low levels of hormones like testosterone, according to research published in the 2008 issue of "The Journal of Sexual Medicine." These low hormone levels may play a critical role in erectile dysfunction.
- MedlinePlus: Erectile Dysfunction
- U.S. News & World Report: Wean Yourself Off Processed Foods in 7 Steps
- Circulation: Cardiovascular Implications of Erectile Dysfunction
- Cleveland Clinic: Sexual Dysfunction and Disease
- British Journal of Psychiatry: Dietary Pattern and Depressive Symptoms in Middle Age
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Defining Overweight and Obesity
- Journal of Sexual Medicine: Low Levels of Androgens in Men with Erectile Dysfunction and Obesity