Limp PumpkinIf you’re a man, have you ever been in an intimate setting with someone and when you are about to take it to the next level, the little engine that should be able to perform was unable to “get up” to speed? For the ladies/men, have you ever been on the opposite side of this situation, where you didn’t know how to react or you thought maybe it was because he just wasn’t that into you? Well whichever side you are on, this is not a situation that most people want to be in. It is one of those ultimate nightmare scenarios that can take a major mental and emotional toll on a man or a woman. It can result in a lot of insecurity on both sides of the bed, with the man feeling as though he is inadequate and the sexual partner feeling like they are not desired. Sex is not the place that you want to have trouble performing, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health impacts related to erectile dysfunction (ED).

As a man, there are very few things that can have as much impact on your confidence with women like a malfunctioning penis. According to the Cleveland Clinic, one in 10 adult males will suffer from ED on a long-term basis (Cleveland Clinic Study). What is more shocking than this is the fact that by age 40, approximately 40% of men are affected by ED, and by age 70, the rate jumps up to around 70%! 70% of men at age 70 suffer from erectile dysfunction (Cleveland Clinic Statistics)! That is no small percentage and is something that should be taken very seriously, especially because as we will discuss down below, there are other serious health implications that ED could be pointing to.

Hopefully by this point, your attention is piqued at least a little bit. So let’s jump into the main causes of ED and then we will address what control you have in preventing this from ever happening or how to get your (or your partner’s) little engine back on track.

In many cases, ED is caused by something physical. Here is a list of the common physical factors associated with an erectile dysfunction, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Heart Disease
  • Clogged Blood Vessels
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord

Anybody who has experienced extremely high levels of stress (most of us in this world) or suffers from depression probably understands how much power their mind has over certain things, including sexual response to external stimuli. With that being said, here is the list of psychological factors that can result in ED, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
  • Stress
  • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication or other concerns

So now let’s look at how lifestyle is going to impact erectile dysfunction and how we can maximize our choices to have the best outcome for our sex lives.

As far as the psychological issues go, it is important that we build certain activities into our schedule to help alleviate stress buildup and depression, such as yoga, meditation, walks in nature, or just finding time to enjoy a few minutes of silence throughout our hectic day. When we have a healthy outlet for relieving stress, it allows our mind and body to be more in sync and operate more effectively. If you suffer from serious depression, there is no shame in seeking professional help to get back to a happier life. It affects so many areas of your life that it is definitely something to seriously consider. As far as relationship problems go, communication is the starting point for fixing issues that you think could cause or have caused ED. It is hard to get aroused by someone you are angry at and don’t have a desire to be intimate with. Relationship problems can cause even deeper emotional issues and lead to addictions, so they are definitely worth tackling sooner rather than later.

Now the physical causes are where we really need to buckle up and dive in, because this just might challenge ideas that you have held onto as facts your entire life. Did you notice anything in particular from the list of physical causes that really stuck out to you? The majority of the physical causes relate to diet and what we are putting into our bodies. In particular, the first few items listed include heart disease and other heart disease related issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 610,000 people die from heart disease in the United States every year. That is about 1 in every 4 deaths!!! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States (CDC on Heart Disease). Literally nothing kills people in the United States more than heart disease. So if you thought erectile dysfunction was the biggest concern, it could be a symptom of something much more serious.

“about 610,000 people die from heart disease in the United States every year. That is about 1 in every 4 deaths!!!”

So you are probably asking yourself what possible good can come from reading this article? So far it just sounds like bad news after more bad news. There is a silver lining though, if you are willing to keep an open mindset. Now I am not going to force you to believe anything in here, so if you want to suffer from ED or end up dying from heart disease, that is 100% up to you. The following information could literally make the difference between life and death, or it might just result in a healthier way of living.

One of the major physical conditions causing erectile dysfunction is clogged arteries and lack of blood flow. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, arteries can literally open up again simply by adopting a low-fat, plant based diet ( What does this mean, exactly? The typical diet in developed nations includes a lot of meat and animal product heavy meals. What do animal products have that plant based foods don’t have? Cholesterol. That’s right, the cholesterol that clogs arteries and causes all kinds of physical problems in humans, including erectile dysfunction and heart disease is ONLY found in animal products, such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and eggs ( A plant based diet begins to clean your body without introducing anymore cholesterol and simultaneously offering you more fiber. When you are buying animal products, you are actually paying someone to shut down your body and ultimately kill you; and that is not even an exaggeration.

So the short answer to this whole article is that a plant based diet is one of the single best lifestyle choices you can make to eliminate erectile dysfunction and live a happier and healthier life. Whether you choose to do that or not is entirely up to you.