Why daily pistachios could mean better nights
Be better in the bedroom at any age – without drugs
One out of every four men who sees a doctor about erectile dysfunction (ED) is under the age of 40, a recent Italian study discovered. Fortunately, no matter how young you are, drugs and medical treatments aren’t your only option. Natural solutions like these have amazing results.
Why daily pistachios could mean better nights
A small study of men with erectile dysfunction found that eating 3 ½ ounces of pistachio nuts daily for three weeks improved scores on the International Index of Erectile Function Scale by 50 percent. The scientists also took scans that help measure whether a man has enough unrestricted blood flow to achieve an erection ˆand one of those measures increased by more than 20 percent in just three weeks.
Eating pistachios also lowered total and “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising the “good” HDL cholesterol. That’s important because problems like clogged arteries, heart disease, and high blood pressure account for over 70 percent of ED cases – and cholesterol contributes to these problems. Researchers suggest that eating pistachios may help in several ways.
- Pistachios are a good source of the amino acid arginine, which can help prevent or limit the restricted blood flow caused by hardening or narrowing of the arteries. Arginine not only helps keep arteries flexible on its own, but also boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessel walls.
- The dangerous molecules known as free radicals cause oxidative stress, which contributes to clogged arteries and decreases the nitric oxide that helps keep arteries flexible. Fortunately, pistachios are packed with antioxidants, which are proven to fight oxidative stress.
If you’d like to try this, keep in mind that the study participants ate 570 calories worth of nuts at lunch every day. Eat your pistachios in place of meat, cheese, or another high-calorie lunch ingredient so you won’t gain weight and make ED worse.
"Berry" the problem with artery-opening strawberries
These delicious berries are rich in vitamin C, which helps promote good blood flow. Don't worry if it isn't strawberry season where you live. Frozen strawberries keep longer than fresh, and they're available year-round.
Other great sources of Vitamin C include kiwifruit, sweet peppers, vegetable juice cocktail, and of course, oranges and orange juice.
Enjoy a second cup of "relaxing" coffee
If you love your morning cup of joe, you're about to love it even more. That's because caffeine may help prevent ED.
Researchers from the University of Texas found that men who drank between 85 and 303 milligrams (mg) of caffeine daily – the equivalent of two or three cups of coffee – were less likely to have erectile dysfunction. The researchers suspect caffeine helps blood vessels relax, promoting the good blood flow needed to prevent ED.
Just be careful to avoid drunks that are high in sugar or calories, because gaining weight can raise your odds of ED symptoms.
How to fight ED caused by prostate problems
If you have an enlarged prostate or other prostate conditions, they may interfere with the blood flow needed for an erection. If prostate problems are contributing to your ED symptoms, consider trying a natural supplement like pygeum or saw palmetto.
Studies suggest taking 75- to 200-mg capsules of standardized pygeum extract may ease BPH symptoms if taken for at least one month. You can also try saw palmetto. Studies of supplements have had mixed results, but they may still help some men. Just be aware that saw palmetto can interact with certain medications and it may not be right for everyone.
Check with your doctor before trying either of these supplements or to make sure you can take them safely.
Can your prescription cause ED?
The same over-the-counter medicine you use for seasonal allergies could be the reason you have erectile dysfunction (ED). Both Allegra (fexofenadine) and Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can cause this problem. Even worse, diphenhydramine is an ingredient in many combination cold or allergy medicines, so you may not even realize you're taking it.
Many other medicines can cause ED, including prescription heartburn drugs like cimetidine (Tagamet), some types of high blood pressure medicines like clonidine (Catapres), stimulants with mixed amphetamines (Adderall), heart drugs like digoxin (Lanoxin), opiate painkillers like codeine and oxycodone, sleep aids like zolpidem (Ambien), antidepressants like paroxetine (Paxil), and various other medications you might not suspect.
Don't stop taking a prescription drug without talking to your doctor first, because that could be dangerous or even life threatening. Instead, ask your doctor which of your medications may cause ED. You may be able to switch to another one.
- FC&A Staff Writer