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Chocolate-covered strawberries are better for your sex life than you know.
No, I’m not talking about romance here. I’m talking about flavonoids. Newresearch has shown that consuming flavonoids, which are found in plant-based foods such as strawberries, can actually help you keep an erection.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to get or maintain an erection that is sufficient for sexual intercourse, affects a huge proportion of men middle-aged and older. Some estimates show that up half of this population experiences some form of ED. Certain habits, such as a healthy diet, minimal alcohol consumption and an active lifestyle have long been shown to stave off ED.
However, this new study, in which more than 25,000 men participated, shows that an apple a day may really be able to keep the doctor – and the performance issues – away.
Apples contain anthocyanin, which is one of three flavonoids (anthocyanin, flavones and flavanones) the researchers found to be the most beneficial. So do strawberries. Other foods that can help are blueberries, cherries, citrus fruits and even a nice glass of red wine.
Eat just a few portions a week, and your risk of ED drops 10 percent. Fill your diet with even more fruits, and it drops 14 percent.
Order the pinot noir instead of the beer; pop some blueberries into your mouth while you’re watching the football game. According to this study, that’s just as good as two to five hours of brisk walking each week.
Of course, if you eat lots of fruit while sitting on your couch all day, you may not see the results that you’re looking for. Nothing is a substitute for regular exercise, and the researchers found that men who ate flavonoid-rich fruits and worked out regularly minimized their chances of experiencing ED the most, with a 21 percent drop in risk.
Even if you don’t suffer from erectile dysfunction, you should eat fruit and exercise. It’s just good life advice, and it can help to keep you fully functioning in the years to come.
My number one recommendation for men who experience ED is to talk to your physician. It will never hurt you to eat more fruit, but it can hurt you to avoid your doctor. Erectile dysfunction is often a sign of something much more serious, like heart disease. So schedule an appointment – and in the meantime, drink a big glass of red wine.
By Dr. Christopher Asandra
This story originally appeared on AskMen.