Is fruit about to become sexy? Could be. Men who eat more fruit are 14% less likely to experience erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a new British study.
Studies have been suggesting the connection between diet and sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction for years. Some suggest that men who eat more vegetables or diets high in fruit and grains have better quality sperm. Still other studies point to the improvement in sexual performance gained from eating walnuts, switching to a Mediterranean diet or simply losing weight.
Taken together, the research findings leave little doubt that diet affects sexual performance and fertility.
The protective effect was strongest on younger men.
According to a statement by lead author Aedin Cassidy, “The top sources of anthocyanins, flavones and flavanones consumed in the US are strawberries, blueberries, red wine, apples, pears, and citrus products.”
The effect of eating flavonoid-rich food was even stronger when men also reported being physically active. Men who reported they were both active and had a diet high in flavonoids had a 21% lower risk of ED.
It was already known that increased exercise can improve erectile function, but this study found that eating a flavonoid-rich diet was as good for erectile function as briskly walking for up to five hours a week, though the combination of both worked better.
More than 50,000 middle aged men were included in the study and followed for over 10 years on average, and more than one-third of the men reported experiencing erectile dysfunction during the course of the study.
The protective effect was strongest on younger men. Maybe some fruit can help put the zing back in your bedroom. With Valentine's Day coming up, a gift of strawberries might go well with the traditional chocolate or flowers.
The study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and is freely available.