Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is caused by the build-up of plaques in your arteries and increases your risk of aneurysm, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Smaller arteries get plugged up before larger arteries, so the penis will get blocked before the larger arteries that supply blood to the heart and other organs. When blood flow to the penis is blocked, erection is difficult, and the good news is that it could save your life!
Wouldn’t it make sense that something that can improve heart disease would also improve sexual dysfunction? According to Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. MD, a total whole, plant-based diet can completely stop and even reverse heart disease! Studies have shown that a diet full of antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory-rich, cholesterol-lowering whole plant-based foods can both improve sexual function and lower risk of heart disease.
Antioxidant-rich foods have a “Viagra-like” effect of boosting nitric oxide production, which improves blood flow. Pistachio nuts have arginine, an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide production. In a study by Aldemir and colleagues published in the International Journal of Impotence Research in 2011, men who consumed 100 grams of pistachio nuts daily for three weeks experienced lower cholesterol (cholesterol is an important indicator of sexual dysfunction) and improved erectile function with no side effects. The improved blood flow could be explained by increased nitric oxide production from the arginine in the pistachio nuts.
Drugs like Viagra inhibit phosphodiesterase-5, (an enzyme that reduces blood flow to the penis) and artificially boost nitric oxide production to increase blood flow, which only covers up symptoms of the underlying problem of unhealthy arteries. Phosphodiesterase-5 is also found in the retina, and a side effect of Viagra can be loss of vision. Why risk side effects at all when the problem can be completely stopped or even reversed? Eating whole plant-based foods like nuts actually helps attack the root cause of the unhealthy arteries: cholesterol, oxidation, and inflammation. Plus eating whole plant-based foods only has good side effects.