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Are Blueberries A Good Natural Alternative To Viagra?

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Viagra has been studied for years now as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Yet for those who prefer a more natural alternative, it may not be the top choice. If you’re worried about the side effects from taking drugs like the famous blue pill, why not explore a more holistic approach to sexual health? Blueberries can improve the underlying conditions that are causing your erectile dysfunction in the first place. But are they good enough to replace Viagra?

If you’re battling an erectile dysfunction (ED), you may be surprised to know that it is a more common problem than you think. An estimated 30 million men in America have the problem in some form.1

With commercially available sexual enhancement drugs, including popular ones like Viagra, often coming under fire for worrying side effects from the sudden drop in blood pressure they cause, are you on the lookout for natural alternatives? Word has it that blueberries may be a good option – but can the little blueberry really take on the potent blue pill Viagra?

How Is ED Treated?

ED normally requires lifestyle changes, including increasing activity levels, weight loss, and cutting smoking.

If the condition has arisen due to diabetes or high blood pressure, that underlying ailment is treated as well.

If the problem is linked to depression, antidepressants may be prescribed. And as it turns out, blueberries can help alleviate many of the symptoms and underlying problems linked to ED, making them a precious addition to your diet.2

How Blueberries Work

Regulate Obesity

Being overweight and obese is linked to ED, with obese men having a significantly higher occurrence of ED than the normal population.3

Weight loss, therefore, becomes an important step in regaining sexual vitality.

One piece of research points to the benefits of flavonoids consumption for preventing weight gain. The anthocyanins in blueberries prevented weight gain in the subjects being studied over a 24-year window. By consuming half a cup of blueberries (or similar fruit) every day, you get 121 mg of anthocyanins into your body – an easy way to up your intake of these beneficial flavonoids.4

Blueberries also help prevent the accumulation of fats, reducing obesity linked to the intake of a high-fat or high-cholesterol diet.5

Lower Blood Pressure

ED can also be a result of high blood pressure, which doesn’t allow normal blood flow to the genital region, hampering a normal erection.6

Blueberries can improve endothelial dysfunction and help lower your blood pressure, as animal studies have shown.7 The anthocyanins in them can help make your blood vessels more elastic, thus lowering blood pressure.8

When you lose weight, by consuming antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and eating a healthy balanced diet, it also helps your vascular system. Losing as little as 5 to 10 kg of your body weight can also lower your blood pressure.9 And as we’ve already seen, blueberries can sure help with weight loss.

Offer Antioxidant Power

Studies have found that consuming more antioxidants in your diet can help with ED. They fight the oxidative stress experienced by your body as a result of conditions like hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, smoking, or hypertension.

The protective effect of blueberries can help you offset some of the harmful oxidative stress, easing ED caused by these problems. As one study explains, by reducing oxidative products, antioxidants help improve erectile activity, smooth muscle relaxation, and blood flow.10

Fight Depression/Anxiety

The berries can also help with easing psychological causes of ED like depression. Research confirms that the two are closely linked, with depressed men experiencing a higher incidence of ED, and those with ED developing depression as well.11

One study of older men found that those who consumed wild blueberry juice every single day experienced an improvement not just in their cognitive abilities but also in depressive symptoms. The researchers suggested that this is due to the action of anthocyanins, which cause a rise in the level of neuron signals in the brain, as well as the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of the berry.12 When Viagra arrived on the scene, it announced itself as a manna from heaven for older men with ED. If your own ED problem is linked to depression, blueberry intake may just offer a more sustainable, long-term solution.

But Can You Trade Viagra for A Blueberry?

If you’re looking for a quick-fix solution, blueberries are not the answer. Viagra offers an instant way to sustain an erection, without the effort of getting healthy first.

Blueberries, however, can be a good addition to a more holistic approach to fitness and good health – one that gets to the very root of the problem. It can help fix the issues or imbalances that caused you to reach for Viagra or a similar aid in the first place.  Thus, what you’ll have on hand is a more long-term and healthy remedy for an ED problem.

References   [ + ]

1. Erectile Dysfunction, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
2. Management of Erectile Dysfunction, American Academy of Family Physicians.
3. Skrypnik, D., P. Bogdański, and K. Musialik. “Obesity–significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men.” Polski merkuriusz lekarski: organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego 36, no. 212 (2014): 137-141.
4, 9. Bertoia, Monica L., Eric B. Rimm, Kenneth J. Mukamal, Frank B. Hu, Walter C. Willett, and Aedín Cassidy. “Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124 086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years.” bmj 352 (2016): i17.
5. Song, Yuno, Hyoung Joon Park, Suk Nam Kang, Sun-Hee Jang, Soo-Jung Lee, Yeoung-Gyu Ko, Gon-Sup Kim, and Jae-Hyeon Cho. “Blueberry peel extracts inhibit adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells and reduce high-fat diet-induced obesity.” PloS one 8, no. 7 (2013): e69925.
6. Erectile Dysfunction and High Blood Pressure, American Heart Association.
7. Rodriguez-Mateos, Ana, Akari Ishisaka, Kazuaki Mawatari, Alberto Vidal-Diez, Jeremy PE Spencer, and Junji Terao. “Blueberry intervention improves vascular reactivity and lowers blood pressure in high-fat-, high-cholesterol-fed rats.” British Journal of Nutrition 109, no. 10 (2013): 1746-1754.
8. Eat blueberries and strawberries three times per week, Harvard Health Publications.
10. Zhang, Q., Z. M. Radisavljevic, M. B. Siroky, and K. M. Azadzoi. “Dietary antioxidants improve arteriogenic erectile dysfunction.” International journal of andrology 34, no. 3 (2011): 225-235.
11. Seidman, Stuart N., Steven P. Roose, Matthew A. Menza, Ridwan Shabsigh, and Raymond C. Rosen. “Treatment of erectile dysfunction in men with depressive symptoms: results of a placebo-controlled trial with sildenafil citrate.” American Journal of Psychiatry 158, no. 10 (2001): 1623-1630.
12. Krikorian, Robert, Marcelle D. Shidler, Tiffany A. Nash, Wilhelmina Kalt, Melinda R. Vinqvist-Tymchuk, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, and James A. Joseph. “Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults†.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 58, no. 7 (2010): 3996-4000.