You likely haven't paid much attention to flavonoids. If you studied a lot of botany, you might recall that they have something to do with pigment and coloration in plants. But a new study, just published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, sheds some light on another function of the compounds: flavonoids significantly reduce your risk of erectile disorder.
So do they have your attention now?
The researchers collected data from more than 50,000 middle-aged men, interviewing them about their ability to achieve and maintain erections; and tracked their diet, exercise and smoking habits. They learned that men who regularly consumed flavonoid-rich foods —especially those with anthocyanins, flavones, and flavanones —experienced a 10 to 14 percent reduction in erectile dysfunction.
What's the science? Eric Rimm, Sc.D, senior author of the study, explains: “We know from clinical trials that some flavonoids can improve blood pressure, make our arteries more flexible, and help open blood vessels, so eating more of them can reduce ED by improving blood flow.”
Get a pencil and your grocery list, here are the big players in the flavonoid league:
Citrus fruits: They are also high in fiber and known to promote weight loss. Grapefruits, especially are high in flavanoids, and even had a diet based around them once upon a time.
Green Tea: Is there anything this super-food cannot do? It also contains catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant. Pro Tip: The longer you steep your tea, the more flavonoids you'll get in your brew.
Berries: It turns out that Nature's candies are also Nature's mojo-enhancers. And how's this for an added bonus: the vitamins found in red berries can increase sperm count!
Pears: These fruits are chock full of fiber and antioxidants as well as flavonoids, as well as being low in calories. In fact, all fruit scored high on the flavonoid attendance list, edging the ED reduction closer to 14 percent across the board.
Kale: It's always been the king of greens when it comes to nutrients and fiber, and it leads your salad choices in flavonoids as well.
You may not be a kale kind of guy, but how do you feel about dark chocolate and red wine? Both are rich in flavonoids and both have the added benefit of putting you “in the mood.” Dark chocolate does this by amping up the dopamine levels released into your bloodstream, and red wine contains nitric oxide which helps relax the arteries and increase blood flow in your genitals.