news & trends

Does diet affect erectile function?

A man in a blue shirt sitting on a couch and talking to a health professional

It’s the question you may have always wondered, but were too shy to ask!

June is Men’s Health Month, so let’s take a look at some of the research on this topic.

A study published in the Journal of the American Association Network Open journal suggests that a healthy dietary pattern may play a role in maintaining erectile function in men. Researchers from the University of California and Harvard University looked at the food and nutrient data from over 21,000 healthy men aged 40 to 75 who had no previous diagnosis of erectile dysfunction or diabetes or heart disease. The men were part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The researchers found that men at all ages who followed a Mediterranean-style diet had the lowest risk of erectile dysfunction. A Mediterranean-style diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and fish.

Fruits and vegetables contain special plant nutrients called flavonoids.  Researchers in Greece found that eating fruits and vegetables lowered the risk for erectile dysfunction by 32% in men aged 18 to 40 years.

Another study from researchers in Spain looked at 83 healthy men aged 18-35. For 14 weeks, these men were asked to follow their usual diet and were divided into 2 groups – one group also ate 60 grams (about ½ cup) of nuts a day such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts; the other group of men did not eat nuts. The study found that a healthy diet supplemented with mixed nuts may help to improve erectile and sexual desire.

Bottom line: Fruits, vegetables and nuts are the foundation of an overall healthy diet that can benefit not only your heart health but also your sexual health.


Men’s health trending

Life expectancy of Canadians has hit an all-time high of 80.7 years, according to the most recent data released by Statistics Canada. However, men lag behind by almost 5 years nationwide with men living on average 78.5 years compared to 83.1 years for women.  Why is there such a difference and what can be done to close the gender gap? One key reason may be that men are less likely to take care of their health compared to women. Although annual medical checkups and timely screenings can find early warning signs of trouble, many men do not take advantage of these treatments that may save their lives. It’s time to encourage conversations about men’s health. The “Movember” campaign has done just that by committing to “changing the face of men’s health.”  Others are also taking a closer look at connecting with men, including the food and grocery industry. Research shows that long gone is the stereotype of a man as the basket-case in the grocery store and “man-style” shopping is gaining recognition. Studies suggest that men appear to do more than one-third of the family grocery shopping, a trend which is likely to continue.

Implications for your business: Look for increasing opportunities to speak to men about healthy food choices and help them connect the dots between what they eat or drink and what matters – taking care of their health and wellness.