50 Shades of Greens

50 Shades of Greens
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Since both coronary heart disease and impotence can be reversed with a healthy diet, sexual dysfunction can be used as a motivator to change poor lifestyle habits.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Motivating patients to change…poor lifestyle habits can be extremely difficult. Preventing cardiovascular [events], such as [heart attacks] or stroke[s], are relatively distant benefits, whereas barbecued ribs, [and] cheesecake [or sitting on your butt], promises almost instant gratification.” So, public health experts are hoping that “prevention or improvement” of erectile dysfunction could be “a more immediate motivator that physicians can use to improve their patients’ lifestyle, and in turn their overall cardiovascular health.” That’s how doctors can “save a life during a clinic visit for erectile dysfunction.”

We used to think of erectile dysfunction in young men, in their 20s and 30s, as “psychogenic in origin”—meaning it’s all in their heads. But now, we’re realizing it’s more likely the early signs of vascular disease.

But even “[w]hen the penis heads in the wrong direction, the heart need not follow.” Atherosclerosis in both organs can be reversed with lifestyle changes. We know that “[A] substantial body of knowledge demonstrates that the abundant consumption of vegetables, fruit, and whole grain, and the dietary patterns rich in these foods, convey a markedly lower risk of coronary disease.”

So, they tried putting impotent men on a Mediterranean diet, the main characteristics of which include an abundance of plant food. 37% of the men on the Mediterranean diet for two years “regained…normal sexual function.” What about the diet appeared to do it? Improvements in erectile function were tied to five things: increased intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and, essentially, the ratio of plant to animal fats.

Similar benefits were found for women. The same kind of diet “significantly improved sexual function[s], together with a significant reduction of systemic…inflammation. As a whole, these findings suggest that a Mediterranean-style diet may be a safe strategy for amelioration of sexual function in women” with prediabetes or diabetes—significant improvement in sexual satisfaction on the healthier diet.

Why, though? Well, “[a]s dietary fiber may have anti-inflammatory roles, it may be due to the fiber content of [all those plants in] the Mediterranean diet,” magnified by all the antioxidants. This is the current thinking, given the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of a plant-based diet.

But, does it really matter why? “From a public health perspective, it may be unnecessary to elucidate every mechanism” of single components: let’s just recommend people to eat healthy—such as “decreasing fat and increasing whole grains and greens.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Thanks to Ellen Reid, Maxim Fetissenko, PhD, and Laurie-Marie Pisciotta for their Keynote help.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Motivating patients to change…poor lifestyle habits can be extremely difficult. Preventing cardiovascular [events], such as [heart attacks] or stroke[s], are relatively distant benefits, whereas barbecued ribs, [and] cheesecake [or sitting on your butt], promises almost instant gratification.” So, public health experts are hoping that “prevention or improvement” of erectile dysfunction could be “a more immediate motivator that physicians can use to improve their patients’ lifestyle, and in turn their overall cardiovascular health.” That’s how doctors can “save a life during a clinic visit for erectile dysfunction.”

We used to think of erectile dysfunction in young men, in their 20s and 30s, as “psychogenic in origin”—meaning it’s all in their heads. But now, we’re realizing it’s more likely the early signs of vascular disease.

But even “[w]hen the penis heads in the wrong direction, the heart need not follow.” Atherosclerosis in both organs can be reversed with lifestyle changes. We know that “[A] substantial body of knowledge demonstrates that the abundant consumption of vegetables, fruit, and whole grain, and the dietary patterns rich in these foods, convey a markedly lower risk of coronary disease.”

So, they tried putting impotent men on a Mediterranean diet, the main characteristics of which include an abundance of plant food. 37% of the men on the Mediterranean diet for two years “regained…normal sexual function.” What about the diet appeared to do it? Improvements in erectile function were tied to five things: increased intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and, essentially, the ratio of plant to animal fats.

Similar benefits were found for women. The same kind of diet “significantly improved sexual function[s], together with a significant reduction of systemic…inflammation. As a whole, these findings suggest that a Mediterranean-style diet may be a safe strategy for amelioration of sexual function in women” with prediabetes or diabetes—significant improvement in sexual satisfaction on the healthier diet.

Why, though? Well, “[a]s dietary fiber may have anti-inflammatory roles, it may be due to the fiber content of [all those plants in] the Mediterranean diet,” magnified by all the antioxidants. This is the current thinking, given the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of a plant-based diet.

But, does it really matter why? “From a public health perspective, it may be unnecessary to elucidate every mechanism” of single components: let’s just recommend people to eat healthy—such as “decreasing fat and increasing whole grains and greens.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Thanks to Ellen Reid, Maxim Fetissenko, PhD, and Laurie-Marie Pisciotta for their Keynote help.

Nota del Doctor

This is the second video of my three-part series on sexual health. If you missed it, check out the first video, Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction & Death, and the finale, Pistachio Nuts for Erectile Dysfunction.

For more on preventing sexual dysfunction in women in the first place, see Cholesterol & Female Sexual Dysfunction.

2018 Update: Check out my more recent videos on the subject – Viagra & CancerSaffron for Erectile Dysfunction, and Are Apples the Best Food for a Better Sex Life in Women?  

A similar Mediterranean diet failed to help fibromyalgia in the short term (see Fibromyalgia vs. Mostly Raw & Mostly Vegetarian Diets), but diets that were even more plant-based were found to be beneficial (see Fibromyalgia vs. Vegetarian & Raw Vegan Diets).

Other benefits of fiber may include improved bowel function (see Bristol Stool Scale) and frequency (see Prunes vs. Metamucil vs. Vegan Diet), lower colorectal cancer risk (see Stool Size Matters), lower breast cancer risk (see Relieving Yourself of Excess Estrogen and Fiber vs. Breast Cancer), lower blood pressure (see Whole Grains May Work as Well as Drugs), lower blood cholesterol (see How Fiber Lowers Cholesterol), weight loss (see Beans & the Second Meal Effect) and a longer lifespan (see What Women Should Eat to Live Longer).

For additional context, check out my associated blog posts: Top 10 Most Popular Videos of 2013, Foods for a Long Life & Love Life, Pills vs. Diet for Erectile Dysfunction, and Pistachios May Help Erectile Dysfunction.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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