Is the Mediterranean Diet Good for Male Sexual Health?

Is there anything sexy about beans and legumes? There can be, if you plan your meals right. If you choose protein-rich beans and legumes instead of red meat and processed meats, you will be doing your body, and especially your blood vessels, a favor. Men who follow the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on whole foods such as beans, fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains, are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction, according to a meta-analysis appearing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Related: 10 Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

Beans are rich in fiber, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and also help control body weight, factors that are important in heart disease and diabetes, which are significant causes of erectile dysfunction. Beans and other legumes all provide good to excellent amounts of protein and other nutrients, although they do differ with regards to specific vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Make sure you avoid green beans in cans which have been shown to have one of the highest levels of BPA (bisphenol-A), a significant risk factor for prostate cancer.

Related: What are the Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?

A subsequent review of all full-length papers that addressed the Mediterranean diet and erectile dysfunction from January 1, 2010 to 2016 was published in June 2017. In that review, the authors noted that following the dietary plan contributes to the prevention of erectile dsyfunction through a variety of features, including an improvement in glucose metabolism and lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) levels, increased antioxidant potency, and higher arginine levels, which in turn could boost nitric oxide activity and thus improve erectile function. What is needed now is more encouragement for men to adopt a Mediterranean way of eating, especially if the want to help beat ED.

Read more in our Erectile Dysfunction Health Center.


Di Francesco S, Tenaglia RL. Mediterranean diet and erectile dysfunction: a current perspective. Central European Journal of Urology 2017 Jun 30; 70(2): 185-87

Esposito K et al. Dietary factors, Mediterranean diet and erectile dysfunction. Journal of Sexual Medicine 2010 Jul; 7(7): 2338-45