Good health = good sex life

Dear Dr. Milrod:

As we males get older, we sometimes can’t get an erection at will. I remember when I was younger, an old timer told me that the secret to a long sex life was to stay in good shape and have a good diet. How true it is that Viagra is a good thing if you need it, but take care of yourself and your penis will take care of you?

Old Nut

Dear Old Nut:

I am always a proponent for good nutrition and good health in general! There are two things I believe are outright detrimental to erections – smoking and alcohol. Both restrict blood flow to the brain and to the penis. As to foods, I’m not a big fan of big, greasy meals or loads of sugar either. It seems to me that the Mediterranean diet is a good one: lots of tomatoes, moderate amounts of animal products, easy on dairy, an absence of deep-fried foods, and many antioxidants in fruits, legumes and complex grains. Taking a swig off the virgin olive oil bottle once a day is a good one! The monounsaturated fats in olive oil will keep the ticker from going bad, or from bad to worse, as it may be.

I believe the most important substance for anyone these days – since it’s clearly lacking in our processed diet – is omega-3 fatty acid. Yes, you can get it from fatty fish, but another very good source is actually ground flax seeds. You can buy it in oil form, but not everyone is fond of the taste. Capsules are OK, but you need to take lots of them daily to feel an effect. Fish oil has high amounts of omega-3, but again, you need to be concerned with purity. So I say, buy some ground flax seed and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons on your cereal! Omega-3 is not just for the heart; it’s truly for general health. Another tip is to keep up your vitamin D intake, as you get older. Vitamin D is a great regulator of sex hormones. And don’t forget to give some to your partner as well! S/he could probably use it to balance hormones to keep up with you!

Christine Milrod, Ph.D.

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