Posts Tagged ‘nitric oxide’

As seen today on!

The rising barometer of sexual dysfunction impacts nearly forty percent of women and thirty percent of men. Translated, this works out to be nearly 70,000 million people who struggle with desire, arousal, and/or orgasm, according to researchers from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Sexual dysfunction is often associated with decreased life satisfaction and increased number of visits to the physician.

Prescriptions written for the sexual performance drugs Viagra and Cialis are now at record levels. But quick fix meds also run the risk of undesirable side effects, including: sudden vision loss, headaches, four-hour erections (sounds good until you have one; it can actually be quite painful), and increased risk of a heart attack.

The other problem with taking medication to enhance your sex drive is that a drug doesn’t address the root physical cause: diet and lifestyle. When you’re making poor food choices and/or not eating food to support your heart and other organs, blood vessels become backed up with plaque over time. The result: your blood has a harder time getting to where it needs to go. For men, this can translate to the big performance becoming a flop. And for women, the lessened blood flow impacts arousal, lubrication and energy levels.

Conditions that mess with blood flow and can damage sensitive nerve endings in your sex organs: uncontrolled blood sugar (when diabetes isn’t treated properly); chronic stress, depression, and obesity, which trigger inflammation and high blood pressure, both of which scar blood vessel linings.

Maybe just saying NO might work better to help get you in the mood. I’m not talking about an abstinence program here, but rather the acronym NO, which stands for nitric oxide. Nitric oxide naturally occurs in the body to help keep blood vessels dilated and functioning normally. In and of itself, it doesn’t peek arousal. Rather, NOs job is to blaze a path for blood to reach its intended target, whether it be the brain, heart or any other part (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). By incorporating more foods known to produce NO into your diet, over time, you may begin to experience the desired result:
• Coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts
• Oats, barley, wheat
• Soybeans, chickpeas
• Chicken, lean pork, beef
• Chocolate

Let’s also not forget about the foods that you might want to avoid, or at least consume in moderation, if you want the love machinery to work smoothly:
• Alcohol. It may make you brave in the sack at first, but alcohol is a depressant. Over time alcohol can also decrease testosterone; low testosterone can zap energy levels.
• Saturated fat. Otherwise known as “high triglycerides,” a fatty diet is directly linked to impotence.
• Excessive sugar. Too much sugar also raises your triglycerides.

Dear Guyatitian:

Thank you for your response about my husband’s health scare (boy, was it scary).  He is doing GREAT now and his liver enzyme numbers continue to trend in the right direction.  Wheat grass juice, lots of asparagus, avocado, spinach, broccoli, every kind of lettuce imaginable are very often on his plate (the wheat grass juice goes into a mug with green tea!).  I truly appreciate your very helpful response!

Now I’m writing about a friend’s daughter.  She was adopted from China as a baby and now, as a teen, is experiencing some rheumatological issues, one of which is Raynaud’s and the other could be Lupus.  Are there suggestions you might have for us this time, too??

Ohio Fan

Dear Ohio Fan:

I’m so thrilled that my advice helped your husband – sounds like you are on the right path!

I’m very sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter. Regarding what nutrition advice I can offer, I would suggest that your friend bring their daughter to see a registered dietitian who specializes in autoimmune and possibly connective tissue disorders. You can find a registered dietitian in their area by visiting With that being said, here are some dietary suggestions for considertaion as a launch point.

Raynaud’s is a disorder of small blood vessels that feed the skin. Quite often “attacks” can be triggered by cold exposure and stress. There are a variety of possible causes but to date, doctors are not fully aware of why Raynaud’s occurs. Raynaud’s is more common in woman than in men but the onset most often occurs later on in life –  in their 40’s or older.  But Raynaud’s can also arise as a secondary development to conditions such as scleroderma and/or lupus, for example. Medications are often prescribed that help dilate the blood vessels which improves circulation.

In my book, 101 Optimal Life Foods, I have a section on healing foods that may help promote circulation and improve cold feet and hands. These include foods that are rich in the amino acid arginine which helps produce nitric oxide – a vasodialator   – that promotes circulation. Those foods include:

  • Peanuts (unless allergic to them)
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Soybeans
  • Dairy products
  • Lean meat
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackeral
  • Chickpeas

I’m not sure what blood tests the teenager has had so far but I have found girls/women with iron deficiency often suffer from cold hands and feet. They may benefit from taking a good multi-vitamin with iron and concentrate on iron-rich foods such as:

  • Fortified cereals
  • Dried fruits
  • Red meat
  • Beans
  • Whole eggs
  • Dark leafy greens

Green tea, berries and chocolate contain plant nutrients called polyphenols that promote circulation, too. Lastly, an overall diet that is low in saturated and transfat also promotes blood flow and avoidng stress (rolls off the lips easily but not always easily done) and temperature extremes has been shown to keep Raynauds attacks at bay.

Good luck to your friend’s daughter – I wish her the best of health!

The Guyatitian