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4 Natural Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

December 08, 2023

If you're having trouble getting or keeping an erection, know that you're not alone. About 30 million men in the United States have erectile dysfunction (ED). Although there's a number of potential causes of ED, there is one common culprit - lack of blood flow. “Erectile dysfunction is often the first sign of vascular changes in a man and it may be possible to reverse or at least stabilize these changes with lifestyle measures,” says Jared Bieniek, MD, medical director of Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute Men’s Health. Here are four natural treatments that can help with erectile dysfunction.

1. Diet can play a big role.

The key to good blood flow is a healthy heart. “A healthy diet can improve cardiovascular function and, thus, erections,” says Dr. Bieniek. Dr. Bieniek recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Need more specifics? Try the "healthiest diet" according to U.S. News and World Report. “Diets such as the Mediterranean diet can improve heart health and have been shown to improve erectile function in studies,” he says. > Related: And the Healthiest Diet of 2023 Is….

2. Exercise is key.

Along with diet, exercise is another way to naturally treat ED. “Regular physical activity improves overall blood flow and can help manage conditions that cause ED, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity,” says Dr. Bieniek. The bonus is that exercise reduces stress and boosts testosterone, both of which can improve sexual function. > Want more health news? Text StartHere to 85209 to sign up for text alerts

3. Weight loss can have multiple benefits.

Obesity plays a role in ED, as with many other chronic conditions. “Being overweight or obese increases a man's risk of developing ED, mainly due to factors like high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes,” explains Dr. Bieniek. Losing weight can help to improve those conditions as well as testosterone levels, which in turn can help alleviate ED. [insert-cta-small id=52840]

4. When in doubt, try to live a healthy lifestyle.

While diet and weight loss have shown the greatest chance of improving ED, there are a number of other factors that have an impact including:
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Reducing stress
  • Getting a good night’s sleep

Need more help? Talk to an expert

If natural remedies aren't helping with your ED, the next step is to check in with an expert. Not only can they help with treatment, they can also help identify the root cause. “Persistent trouble attaining or maintaining an erection sufficient for intercourse could indicate an underlying health condition that needs treatment,” warns Dr. Bieniek.