By Elvince Joshua
Omena, groundnuts, fish, arrowroots and cassava are some of the readily available natural foods that help men amass enough stamina in bed, Science and multiple interviews with experts reveal.
The International Journal of Impotence Research projects that by 2025, 322 million men in the world would be suffering erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to an inability to either produce or maintain an erection that is firm enough to have sexual intercourse.
Partners of men with erectile dysfunction experience lower sexual satisfaction, correlated to the degree of ED in their partner.
The principal risk factor associated with ED is age, and the increasing prevalence of ED is linked to the global ageing population.
Other risk factors independently associated with ED include diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), depression, obesity and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH, also called prostate gland enlargement, is a common condition as men get older. An enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder. It can also cause bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems.
Other studies indicate that prolonged use of hard drugs, cigarettes and alcohol may cause ED.
Nutritionists advise that, besides leading a drugs-free lifestyle, a good diet too can help a man achieve optimum sexual performance.
Yvonne Okello, a nutrition and dietetics lecturer at Ol’lessos Technical Training Institute in Kapsaret, says vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and fish “help significantly in lowering ED risks among men”.
“A healthy meal plan, for instance, would entail: oranges, sweet potatoes, a boiled egg and tea for breakfast. In between breakfast and lunch, have a snack comprising bananas and groundnuts. For lunch, take a meal made up of githeri, cabbages, and avocado. Shortly after lunch, have watermelon for a snack. For dinner, you can take fish, ugali and traditional vegetables,” said Okello.
“Diets high in red meat, alcohol, dairy products and poultry have been shown to cause clogging of arteries and penile tissues,” she said.
A handful of fried omena contains 190mg of calories, 350mg of calcium and 465mg of sodium. Proper calcium intake lowers your risk of suffering high blood pressure, resulting in good cardiovascular health.
Remember, cardiovascular disease is a major contributor to ED.
A healthy heart results in sufficient oxygen supply in the body, which in turn enables a strong erection, an international medical journal reports.
The other benefits of omena, which by extension impact your sexual health, include reduction of inflammation and improved cognitive function.
Groundnuts are major sources of Vitamin E, magnesium, arginine, folate and copper.
The body requires magnesium for energy production, protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function and control of glucose level in the blood.
Nutritionists say groundnuts, being protein-rich, play an important role in weight-loss efforts and strengthening of muscles, factors that are crucial in sexual stamina, especially among men.
Commonly known in Kenya as Nduma, the food plays an important role in regulating one’s weight.
Remember, obesity is one of the major causes of ED in men.
Healthline.com, a leading health information website in the US, says arrowroot has at least 30 per cent resistant-starch. This refers to starch that your body cannot easily digest.
Foods high in fibre and resistant-starch slow your rate of digestion, giving you a prolonged feeling of fullness in the stomach. This, in turn, regulates your appetite and consequently contributes to weight balance.
Arrowroots offer significant amounts of phosphorous, iron and potassium. Potassium, for instance, helps in the nerve functioning, contraction of muscles, regulation of heartbeat and the moving of nutrients into body cells and the expulsion of waste products from the cells.
Iron, which arrowroot is rich in, helps in blood production. Remember, sufficient blood is needed to sustain an erection.
The carbohydrate level in Cassava is so high, that it ranks only behind rice and corn.
Cassava is also rich in Vitamin C, riboflavin and Vitamin B3, which is essential in regulating or lowering cholesterol levels, ease arthritis and boost the brain function.
It is recommended that you boil the cassava to retain most of its key ingredients such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and starch, which are often lost when the food is overcooked.
Nutritionists advise men to incorporate cassava in their menus at least once a week.
A meal with octopus ingredients is not readily available. Nutritionists say octopus contains high levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Other foods recommended include fruits rich in fibre such as avocados, nuts, asparagus.
Other foods, that nutritionist Yvonne Okello recommends, are Maca powder, Gingko biloba, Ginseng and mkombero.