Erectile Dysfunction: 5 of the Best Ways to Boost Blood Flow!
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nicole Avena
Healthy blood flow is crucial to your brain…and your entire body.
Blood Flow Basics
Your body’s vast network of blood vessels move blood throughout your body, transporting nutrients and oxygen to every cell in your body.
Keeping the blood coursing through your vessels is a key to good health. Blood flow and blood circulation are linked to blood pressure, which is a measure of the force that blood exerts against the vessel walls as it moves through the vessels.
When blood pressure is high, blood flow can become constricted. When blood pressure is in a normal range, blood flow is also typically healthy. The ability of blood vessels to dilate and constrict in response to blood flow allows your blood pressure to remain within a healthy range.
Blood flow is particularly important to optimal brain function. Though your brain weighs about 3 pounds, it requires roughly 20% of your body’s blood flow and oxygen.
Since your brain is the executive control center of the body, proper blood flow to the brain is essential to overall health. That’s why it’s so vital to avoid the things that can reduce blood flow to your brain and body.
One way to stay healthy and energized is to keep an eye on these everyday blood flow disruptors…
Beware These 7 Common Blood Flow Disruptors
- Caffeine Consumption
Drinking more than 2 cups of caffeinated beverages a day may tax your liver and create issues with other organs and bodily systems. Also, excessive caffeine consumption every day can constrict blood flow to your brain.
- Excessive Alcohol
- Smoking and Vaping
Among its many other negative effects on the body, smoking and vaping caffeine can constrict blood flow, which can have detrimental effects on the brain and body.
- High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can negatively impact blood flow to the brain. This can cause a vicious circle where poor blood flow leads to high blood pressure.
- Sedentary Lifestyle
Some have said that sitting is the new smoking. Maintaining a sedentary lifestyle, or exercising less than twice a week, can lead to poor bodily blood flow.
- High LDL Cholesterol
High levels of LDL cholesterol, particularly having a high content of small LDL particles, can be a sign that blood flow isn’t optimal.
- Sleep Issues
Getting quality sleep each night can help your brain function at optimal levels, as well as support your overall immunity and wellness. Sleep issues are common and may reduce overall blood flow to the brain. Adults should try to get an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Other potential signs of poor blood flow are persistent pain, muscle cramps, numbness, digestive issues, and coldness in the hands or feet. If you have heart health issues, interrupted sleep, low libido, elevated blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, or are overweight, you likely have blood flow issues.
Another sign of low blood flow that affects millions of men is erectile dysfunction.
Possible Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) may be an issue if you have trouble getting/keeping an erection and if you have reduced sexual desire.
Occasional erectile issues may not be a serious problem. However, if such issues persist, it may be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Here are some of the common factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Alcohol: Consuming large quantities of alcohol may decrease sexual desire. Heavy drinking also can make it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection.
Low Testosterone: Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for libido in men. Those who experience a decline in testosterone may experience emotional and physical changes, and problems with sexual function.
Medications and Drugs: Several drugs can contribute to ED, including antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, painkillers, and recreational drugs.
Poor Sleep: There may be a link between poor sleep and testosterone levels. Also, according to sleep specialist Dr. Shane Creado, “When a man has issues with erectile dysfunction, one of the first things clinicians need to look into is optimizing the quantity and quality of his sleep.”
Weight Struggles: Having excess fat tissue can decrease testosterone levels, which can worsen the effects of ED.
In addition to these issues, ED also may be exacerbated by psychological challenges including stress, mood issues, and relationship issues.
Here are a few of the top ways to increase blood flow to the brain and body.
5 of the Best Natural Ways to Improve Blood Flow
One study showed that individuals who practice meditation daily have lower blood levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Also, both prayer and meditation have been shown to improve blood flow to the brain.
- Energizing Foods
One way to make a positive impact on your blood flow and blood pressure is to incorporate these energizing foods into your diet:
- Citrus Fruit
- Fatty Fish
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Spices (cayenne pepper, cinnamon, turmeric)
Since there appears to be a link between blood flow and blood pressure, foods that are good for healthy blood circulation are often good for healthy blood pressure too.
- Consistent Exercise
In addition to its physical benefits, exercise increases blood flow which helps deliver oxygen and other needed nutrients to the brain. Regular exercise also can raise the levels of energy-promoting and mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the brain.
- Supporting Supplements
Some supplements that help maintain healthy blood pressure and increase blood flow include ginkgo biloba, cocoa flavanols, green tea catechins, and resveratrol. Also, it’s recommended that you take a good multivitamin/mineral, vitamin D, magnesium, and an omega-3 EPA/DHA supplement daily.
- Oxygen Therapy
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a simple, non-invasive, painless treatment with minimal side effects that uses the power of oxygen to enhance the healing process in the body. Before-and-after brain scans of people who’ve tried HBOT therapy have reported remarkable improvement in blood flow.
Boost Your Blood Flow
In addition to the tips listed above, there are many ways to improve your blood flow, including treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol issues, and avoiding cigarettes and excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, which may constrict blood flow to the brain. Reducing stress and supporting mood also can help alleviate erectile dysfunction issues.
If you’re dealing with ED, or any of the other blood flow problems listed above, it’s recommended that you seek out the guidance of a healthcare professional to provide you with a customized strategy to improve your blood flow and overall health.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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