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15 Foods That Kill Erectile Dysfunction

Kristin Hall, FNP

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 06/20/2023

Updated 02/20/2023

Are there foods that kill erectile dysfunction (ED)? Maybe. Here’s what you should know.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a magic pill for anything that ails you? Sinus infection? Poof, gone. Herpes? Gulp, see you later. ED? Sip, swallow and stiffen. 

Unfortunately, what we put into our bodies doesn’t change our health that rapidly (except maybe the erection thing — more on that later).

Supplements don’t instantly reverse diseases like you’re in an episode of Star Trek, and you can’t just hit “undo” on carbs or years of behavior that led to high blood pressure. 

But if it took years to develop ED with bad eating habits, the good news is that there might be a path to kill it by reversing course. 

So, what foods kill erectile dysfunction?

Below, we’ll explain how certain foods can combat ED and how 15 foods, in particular, contribute to higher energy levels, healthy levels of testosterone and better sexual intercourse for everyone involved.

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Can Certain Foods Help Combat Erectile Dysfunction?

While certain foods may have indirect benefits for erectile function by promoting overall cardiovascular health, it’s important to understand that diet alone may not be a comprehensive solution for treating erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is a complex condition with various potential underlying causes, including medical conditions, lifestyle factors, psychological factors and medications.

That said, maintaining a healthy diet that supports cardiovascular health can positively impact erectile function. A heart-healthy diet typically includes:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Whole grains 

  • Lean proteins

  • Healthy fats

  • Limited saturated and trans fats

  • Limited salt intake

  • Moderation with alcohol and caffeine

Consult with a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction. They can assess your specific situation, consider potential causes and provide guidance and treatment options tailored to your needs.

As for the foods that may help, let’s take a look at them.

15 Best Foods to Help Reduce ED

We should note that there’s limited scientific evidence specifically linking these foods to improved erectile health — let alone stating that there are actually foods that kill erectile dysfunction.

However, a healthy diet and lifestyle can have positive effects on your overall cardiovascular health, which, in turn, may indirectly benefit erectile function. 

Specific foods worth noting include:

Find an overview of the potential benefits of each food below.

Leafy Greens 

Leafy greens like spinach and (less delicious) kale are rich in nitrates, which can be converted in the body to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps relax blood vessels, including those in the penis, allowing for improved blood flow and potentially supporting erectile function.

Leafy greens are also a good source of nitrates and nutrients associated with reduced cancer risk and increased cardiovascular health.

Avocado

Generally speaking, avocados are great for your health. They’re a good source of healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated fats, which promote cardiovascular health and help reduce LDL levels (cholesterol). A healthy cardiovascular system is vital for maintaining proper blood flow, which is crucial for erectile function.

Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is another food rich in nitrates, which, as mentioned earlier, can enhance nitric oxide production and improve blood flow. Increased blood flow to the genital area can potentially support erectile health.

Coffee

Coffee contains caffeine, which can stimulate blood flow and improve circulation. Some studies have suggested that moderate caffeine consumption may benefit erectile function, although more research is needed to clarify the link.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids — antioxidants that may support cardiovascular health. Improved cardiovascular function can positively affect blood flow, potentially benefiting erectile function.

Peppers

Peppers like chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which may improve blood flow and promote the release of endorphins. While limited research connects capsaicin to erectile health, improved blood circulation can indirectly contribute to erectile function.

Some research suggests spicy foods may also increase testosterone production, which is essential for sexual health.

Salmon

Salmon is a fatty fish rich in something called omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help promote cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation and enhance blood flow, all of which can indirectly support erectile function.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is a source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Similar to salmon, flaxseed oil’s potential benefits for erectile health are related to its positive impact on cardiovascular health and blood flow.

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Walnuts

Walnuts are another food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants and arginine. Arginine is an amino acid that can be converted to nitric oxide, supporting blood vessel dilation and potentially aiding erectile function.

Eggs

Eggs are a good source of various nutrients, including vitamins B6 and B12, which play a role in hormone production and cardiovascular health. Maintaining hormonal balance and cardiovascular well-being can indirectly contribute to better erectile health.

Tuna

If you replace red meat with tuna once a week, you might start to see why this fish is one of our top foods for killing ED. Tuna is a lean fish high in protein and contains omega-3 fatty acids.

Similar to salmon, its potential benefits for erectile health are related to its positive impact on cardiovascular health and blood flow while being low in things like saturated fat and cholesterol.

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Fruits and Vegetables

As a group, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which support overall health, including cardiovascular health. A diet with lots of fruits and veggies can contribute to a healthy vascular system and indirectly promote erectile function.

Legumes

Legumes like beans and lentils are a good source of protein and fiber, and they have a low glycemic index. Consuming legumes as part of a balanced diet can help you regulate your blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight, both of which are important factors for overall cardiovascular health.

Though a healthy diet is essential for overall well-being, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding specific health concerns.

The Mediterranean Diet

While it’s not a single food, the foods of the Mediterranean diet are collectively known for their beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, as well as the benefits they bring to erectile function. In fact, it’s been called one of the best diets for erectile health by at least one scientific review.

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Managing Your Erectile Dysfunction With Food: The Bottom Line

Your sex life could be suffering for any number of reasons. Blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and similar health conditions are associated with everything from a reduced sex drive and poor sexual function to low sperm count and more serious issues like early death. 

In other words, your diet may not be the center of activity — and your causes of erectile dysfunction might make erectile dysfunction treatment no longer your number one priority. 

That said, regardless of what’s going on, a healthy diet will always be a net benefit. Here’s what to remember:

  • Foods that are good for your heart, testosterone and nutrition levels are also good for your penis.

  • While foods alone won’t fix or treat ED, they can be part of a larger plan for dealing with ED by changing your lifestyle. Exercise and healthy sleep can also improve your sexual health.

  • Additionally, other treatments like therapy and medications for ED can help you get back to your full erectile potential. 

If you’re ready to make changes today to help improve or maintain your erections, order a salad or a fruit bowl, get active and get in touch about treatment.

9 Sources

  1. Esposito, K., Giugliano, F., Maiorino, M. I., & Giugliano, D. (2010). Dietary factors, Mediterranean diet and erectile dysfunction. The journal of sexual medicine, 7(7), 2338–2345. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20487239/.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Choose heart-healthy foods. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart-healthy-living/healthy-foods.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Office of dietary supplements - omega-3 fatty acids. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/.
  4. Lopez, D. S., Liu, L., Rimm, E. B., Tsilidis, K. K., de Oliveira Otto, M., Wang, R., Canfield, S., & Giovannucci, E. (2018). Coffee Intake and Incidence of Erectile Dysfunction. American journal of epidemiology, 187(5), 951–959. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928455/. X
  5. Bègue, L., Bricout, V., Boudesseul, J., Shankland, R., & Duke, A. A. (2015). Some like it hot: testosterone predicts laboratory eating behavior of spicy food. Physiology & behavior, 139, 375–377. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25462592/.
  6. Montagna, M. T., Diella, G., Triggiano, F., Caponio, G. R., De Giglio, O., Caggiano, G., Di Ciaula, A., & Portincasa, P. (2019). Chocolate, "Food of the Gods": History, Science, and Human Health. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(24), 4960. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950163/.
  7. Lidder, S., & Webb, A. J. (2013). Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate‐nitrite‐nitric oxide pathway. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 677-696. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04420.xhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3575935/.
  8. Dreher, M. L., Cheng, F. W., & Ford, N. A. (2021). A Comprehensive Review of Hass Avocado Clinical Trials, Observational Studies, and Biological Mechanisms. Nutrients, 13(12), 4376. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8705026/.
  9. Kroll, J. L., Werchan, C. A., Rosenfield, D., & Ritz, T. (2018). Acute ingestion of beetroot juice increases exhaled nitric oxide in healthy individuals. PloS one, 13(1), e0191030. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5784918/.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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