If you're one of the 30 million men with erectile dysfunction--almost 1/3 of men in their 50's & 1/2 of men in their 60's--you are going to want to read Leslie Alderman's article--if you haven't already. Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra aren't your only options.
As far as I'm concerned, these are the most important points:
- "In many of the cases, E.D. is the sign of an underlying disorder like diabetes or hypertension. In fact, in younger men, erection problems are often the first symptom of cardiovascular disease."
- “Erectile problems may show up about three years before a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke,” says Dr. Ira Sharlip, clinical professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco. That’s because plaque will start to clog the small arteries in the penis before the wider coronary arteries.
- “There is increasing evidence that we can reverse erectile dysfunction with lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Drogo K. Montague, director of the Center for Genitourinary Reconstruction in the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic.
- "Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. These drugs enhance the effects of nitric oxide, a chemical that helps to increase blood flow in the penis." (my comment) What are the non-pharmaceutical nitric oxide boosters? Leafy greens like kale, collards, swiss chard and spinach.
1. The basic understanding we all need to accept is that with every meal of oil, dairy or meat we eat, within minutes there is damage & injury to the "life jackets" of our vascular health--which is the single layer of endothelial cells that line all of our blood vessels. The endothelial cells produce the "magical gas" called nitric oxide which keeps our blood vessels relaxed, prevents our white blood cells & platelets from becoming sticky and prevents the growth of plaque--the dread "hardening of the arteries".
2. And what can you eat to insure that your endothelial cells will have the raw materials to produce this healing nitric oxide? Beans & leafy greens. Load up on kale, collard, chard, bok choy & beans and you will be well on your way to healing the lining of your blood vessels.
3. On the positive side--as soon as we stop eating these damaging foods--the endothelial cells have the capacity for restoration.
Here's my comment to the New York Times article:
"So glad that author makes prominent mention of the benefits of lifestyle changes on erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Calwell Esselstyn, the semi-retired Cleveland Clinic physician who has continual success preventing & reversing heart disease with a plant-based diet writes in his book:
“I have mentioned previously that several of my patients have also noted a distinct improvement in their sex lives. And recent research confirms a strong connection between impotence and cardiovascular disease.”
“Our own anecdotal evidence suggests the profound lifesyle change with plant-based nutrition offers the optimal opportunity to avoid heart disease–and to restore erectile capacity.”
And what’s one of the star ingredients of Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based program?
GREENS. Kale, Chard, Spinach, & Collards.
They’re the best source of plant protein & loaded with the phytochemicals that provide the building blocks for life-giving nitric oxide.
That’s the stuff that will relax & dilate your blood vessels- restore & heal the endothelial lining of the blood vessels-& prevent atherosclerosis. They’re also a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
Those greens are natural Viagra/Cialis. Save your money. It also happens to be the star ingredient in “Green Smoothies”.
One more tidbit:
“Israleli researchers found that more than 15% of men with moderate to severe ED had chronic gum disease, compared with 2% without ED Oral bacteria traveling through the blood stream was responsible for narrowing vessels in the penis.” One more reason to religiously brush & floss."
To read more about Esselstyn’s work:
— The Healthy Librarian