Blueberries and red wine can boost sex life

blueberriesBlueberries may only be a tiny fruit, but having a handful of this sweet and nutritious ‘superfood’ each day has long been known to potentially have huge benefits for the body, working to neutralise free radicals linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other age-related conditions.

Blueberries are actually believed to be comprised of the largest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables, and if new research is anything to go off, washing them down with a glass of red wine could be nearly as effective for treating erectile dysfunction as the little blue pill Viagra!

The new study by researchers at the University of East Anglia and Harvard University claims that snacking on fruit can improve sexual function as much taking brisk walks for 5 hours per week, in particularly due to the natural compounds called flavonoids and anthycyanins. Combining both walking and a flavonoid rich diet is even better, reducing erectile dysfunction by 21%.

The compounds can be found in blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries cherries, radishes and citrus fruits contain chemicals called flavanones and flavones, which have a similar benefit. According the the findings of the study, the flavonoids contained in these fruits can help to ease male impotence by as much as 14%.

Lead researcher Professor Aedin Cassidy, from the University of East Anglia, said: “We already knew that intake of certain foods high in flavonoids may reduce the risk of conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“This is the first study to look at the association between flavonoids and erectile dysfunction, which affects up to half of all middle-aged and older men.

“Flavonoids are present in many plant-based foods and drinks including fruits, vegetables, tea, herbs and wine.”

The findings were published on Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and involved monitoring the health of over 50,000 middle-aged men from 1986 onwards. Data on their dietary intake was taken after every 4 year period.

Factors were taken into account, such as weight, the amount of exercise participants engaged in, how much caffeine each person consumed, and if they were smokers. Only men who were otherwise in generally good health were actually tracked for the study.

Over a third of the men stated they had suffered erectile dysfunction, but it was discovered that people with a diet rich in anthocyanins, flavones and flavanones were less at risk of experiencing impotence.

Professor Cassidy said: “The top sources of anthocyanins, flavones and flavanones consumed in the U.S. are strawberries, blueberries, red wine, apples, pears, and citrus products. We also found that the benefits were strongest among younger men.”

Dr Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, added: “As well as improving sexual health for middle-aged men, there is another important benefit linked to heart health.

“Erectile dysfunction is often an early barometer of poor vascular function and offers a critical opportunity to intervene and prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attack and even death.

“Men with erectile dysfunction are likely to be highly motivated to make healthier lifestyle choices, such as exercising more and eating the right foods – which would greatly benefit their long-term cardiovascular health as well.”

Overall, Citrus fruits, blueberries and red wine are all believed to have significant benefit to men under the age of 70.

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