Erectile dysfunction is something that, at some point of their lives, we will have to contend with. Even outside of erectile dysfunction, a man should also consider the overall health of his penis and the quality of the erections that it can achieve.
The issue can be considered erectile dysfunction if you are either not able to achieve an erection at all, ever, or when you are unable to achieve an erection only during certain occasions but not for sex. The third sign of erectile dysfunction is when you can achieve erection, but it is not firm enough or doesn’t stay hard long enough to be able to have sex.
Of course, there are medications that can be taken in order to help one achieve an erection, however these are a balm that do not address your penis’s erection health. There are lifestyle changes that one can undertake in order to keep their penis and, more generally, their circulatory systems in good shape to be able to enjoy healthier, firmer erections.
Yes, vitamin D is good for your D! Based on studies, your testicles have more receptors for vitamin D than anywhere else in your body, which indicates that the vitamin is essential for proper functioning. Not only this, but in men studied with low vitamin D levels–a vitamin D deficiency–more than 30% of them were more likely to have difficulty with their erections than men who had sufficient levels of vitamin D in their systems.
Turns out that being deficient in vitamin D is actually quite common. In fact, a study from the early 2000s revealed that one third of people in the United States weren’t getting enough of it. If you’re not getting enough (a simple blood test will let you know–speak to your medical provider for one), you can bolster your levels of vitamin D by eating things like salmon or tuna, or by opting for dairy products fortified with vitamin D.
Not only is vitamin C useful for keeping away ailments like scurvy, it’s also important for your blood vessels–the same blood vessels that flood your penis to make it hard. You see, Vitamin C is very rich in antioxidants, and antioxidants boost your body’s production of chemicals like nitric oxide and prevent it from breaking down. Nitric oxide opens up your blood vessels and promotes blood flow, in a similar way to how Viagra does what it does.
So, while vitamin C won’t get you hard (don’t expect a hard-on to suddenly appear at the breakfast table as you drink your OJ), it assists your body’s natural functions to do so. Luckily, vitamin C is in so many foods that you probably already enjoy, but if you want to bolster your levels, make sure to treat yourself to a couple glugs of orange juice in the morning, or have a berry smoothie, or a kale salad to guarantee your daily dose.
When you drink a glass of milk or orange juice, or throw a handful of spinach leaves into a salad or pasta, you’re re-upping your body’s supply of vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 is rich in folate, which stimulates the production of new blood cells, not to mention the production of sperm. In a small 2014 study–one of the only real studies linking a vitamin directly to the topic we’re discussing–a correlation was found between erectile dysfunction and folate deficiency.
Supplements of Note
To cover more bases, here is a list of supplements to consider for erection health. It’s suggested that before committing to a supplement regimen that you speak to a healthcare professional or have blood work done to identify any possible, actual deficiencies you may have before trying to remedy them, as having too much of a vitamin in your system can be just as bad as having too little.
Red Ginseng was shown in a meta-analysis of studies conducted among more than 2,000 men to “significantly improve erectile function” and “may be an effective herbal treatment for ED.”
Arginine isn’t shown to be a factor in ED in those with a deficiency of it, however it is an amino acid that is shown to improve blood flow. However, rather than seeking out a supplement for arginine (or L-arginine, or citrulline, as it is also known), you can try eating a bit of watermelon, which is rich in it–and who doesn’t love a bit of watermelon?