Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection. It can be a stressful situation for the person and his partner. In this article, we will discuss foods to include or exclude from your diet to help control this condition. We will also share a diet plan containing easily available Indian foods, which can be easily followed by ED patients.

(Read more: Ayurvedic treatment of erectile dysfunction)

  1. Essential nutrients for erectile dysfunction patients
  2. Foods for erectile dysfunction
  3. Fruits for erectile dysfunction
  4. Nuts for erectile dysfunction
  5. Vegetables for erectile dysfunction
  6. Foods to avoid in erectile dysfunction
  7. Other diet tips for erectile dysfunction
  8. Erectile dysfunction diet plan
Doctors for Erectile dysfunction diet

Research has shown that some nutrients can be helpful in improving the condition of erectile dysfunction patients. Thankfully, these are also very easy to include in your diet:

  • Flavonoids: foods that are high in flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, may help reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. To increase the amount of flavonoids in your diet, take cocoa powder, dark chocolate (more than 75% cocoa), green tea, red cabbage, and onion. Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are also rich in flavonoids such as strawberries, plums, cherries, oranges, apples, and spinach.
  • L-arginine: It is an amino acid present in protein-rich foods. The body uses it to make nitric oxide, which is a molecule that widens and relaxes blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the penis. L-arginine levels are lower in men who have erectile dysfunction. Foods that are good sources of L-arginine include:

(Read more: Homeopathic treatment of erectile dysfunction)

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A study published by the Central European Journal of Urology in 2017 suggests that mediterranean diet could be an effective dietary intervention to prevent erectile dysfunction and preserve sexual function. This diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil, almond, and pumpkin seeds. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods. Mediterranean diet is also linked with good overall health, including a healthier heart.

(Read more: Premature ejaculation diet)

Certain fruits can be helpful in erectile dysfunction. Here's the what and why:

  • Citrus fruits and berries: There is evidence that suggests flavonoids improve endothelial function and blood pressure, which may protect erectile function. Citrus fruits and berries such as blueberries, raspberries, lemon, orange, and pink grapefruit are a rich source of flavonoids. Adding these fruits to your diet can help in ED. 
  • Watermelon: Some recent studies have found that watermelon is effective in controlling this condition. Watermelon is a rich source of an amino acid called citrulline, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like viagra does. Perhaps that's why watermelon is known as a "natural viagra"!

Nuts like almonds, walnut, pistachio, and cashews have a good amount of arginine, vitamin E, zinc, folic acid, and fibre, all of which help in erectile dysfunction in different ways. But as these nuts are high in calories, don’t add more than a handful to your daily diet. You can add them to your fruit salad, or have them as a snack with your tea.

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Few vegetables are helpful to improve the condition of this disease, such as:

  • Green leafy vegetables: All green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, mustard greens, fenugreek leaves, beetroot greens, broccoli) are rich sources of folic acid. There is research that says that folic acid deficiency might be linked to the severity of erectile dysfunction. So to maintain a healthy level of this nutrient, add green leafy vegetables to your diet.
  • Ginger: Eating ginger increases blood circulation in the body and specifically, blood flow to penile muscles. Ginger is helpful in maintaining the erection as it heats up the body, causing faster blood flow. The best way to have ginger is to mix half a teaspoon of ginger juice with honey. Alternatively, you can add it to your chutney, pickle, or curry.
  • Carrot: Carrots contain a good amount of beta-carotene and antioxidants, which improve blood flow in the penial area during sexual intercourse. Therefore, it can be a helpful food to add to an ED patient's diet. You can add this food to your salad, soup, curry, pie, or use it to make a homemade dessert.
  • Garlic: Garlic is not only good for health but also improves your sex drive. This is due to the presence of allicin in garlic, a compound, which increases the blood flow to the sexual organs in both men and women. But it doesn't work overnight. You will have to take garlic regularly. You can chew up to two garlic cloves daily or fry them in ghee and then eat them every morning, on an empty stomach.

You should avoid food full of refined carbohydrates (chocolate, fruit juices, cake, sugar, carbonated drinks), processed and food that is high in preservatives (packaged snacks, ready to eat food, salami, ham, sauces, jam, etc) to control the erectile dysfunction. Instead, your diet should be rich in all the essential nutrients. For that, try to add all the food groups in your diet such as whole grains, lentils, milk products, poultry, lean meat, nuts, etc for better control and strength.

In addition to the above pointers, there are some other dietary factors that you need to keep in mind:

  • As alcohol can negatively affect your sexual health, stop it as soon as possible.
  • Diabetes and vascular disease are common causes of this disease. If you are suffering either, consult your nutritionist with blood sugar reading and other reports for a customized meal plan. (Read more: Diabetes diet)
  • High blood pressure can also worsen ED. Check your BP regularly, watch your salt/sodium intake and exercise regularly.

Here are some more helpful tips:

Food to manage your weight in ED

Maintaining a healthy weight can help fight erectile dysfunction. So being fit and staying there is another good strategy for preventing or controlling erectile dysfunction. Obesity raises risks for vascular disease and diabetes, which are two major causes of ED. Excess fat interferes with several hormones that may be part of the problem as well. So watch your calorie and total macros (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) intake and try to add a lot of colourful fruits and vegetables to your diet to control your weight.

(Read more: Diet plan for weight loss)

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Food to increase testosterone level in ED

Testosterone replacement therapy is a commonly used therapy to treat this disease. It can be helpful if your diet contains foods that can increase the testosterone level in the body. There is evidence that supports the fact that zinc regulates the production of testosterone - it stimulates the libido and improves the quality of erections. Foods rich in zinc include oysters, beef, shrimp, spinach, beans, seeds, watermelon, garlic, nuts, and mushrooms. Take them in your diet regularly to maintain a good testosterone level in your body.

Here is a sample diet plan for erectile dysfunction patients that combines all the advice given above. You can follow this routine or create a customized diet plan with your nutritionist:

  • Early morning: fenugreek seeds tea (1 cup) + almond (6-7) + walnut (2-3)
  • Breakfast: millet upma (1 bowl) + cocoa milk (1 glass)
  • Mid meal: orange (1)
  • Lunch: mixed-veg pulao (1 bowl) + palak paneer (1 bowl) + beetroot raita (1 bowl)
  • Evening tea: herbal tea (1 cup) + roasted makhana ( 1bowl)
  • Dinner: millet chapati (2) + soya curry (1 bowl)
  • Bedtime: turmeric milk (1 glass)
Dr. Dhanamjaya D

Dr. Dhanamjaya D

15 Years of Experience

Dt. Surbhi Upadhyay

Dt. Surbhi Upadhyay

3 Years of Experience

Dt. Manjari Purwar

Dt. Manjari Purwar

11 Years of Experience

Dt. Akanksha Mishra

Dt. Akanksha Mishra

8 Years of Experience


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  3. Omu A E, et al. Magnesium in human semen: possible role in premature ejaculation. Arch Androl. Jan-Feb 2001; 46(1): 59-66. PMID: 11204619
  4. Luigi Cormio, et al. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Urology. 2011 Jan; 77(1): 119-22.
  5. Goswami Sumanta Kumar, et al. Efficacy of Cinnamomum cassia Blume. in age induced sexual dysfunction of rats. J Young Pharm. 2013 Dec; 5(4):148–153. PMID: 24563594
  6. Brilla L R, et al. Effects of a Novel Zinc-Magnesium Formulation on Hormones and Strength. Journal of exercise and physiology. 2000 October; 3(4): 26-36
  7. Tajuddin, et al. An experimental study of sexual function improving effect of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg). BMC Complement Altern Med. 2005 July; 5:16. PMID: 16033651
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