Everyone knows that eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet is vital in maintaining your overall physical health. Healthy eating helps your body stay strong and boosts your immune system — but did you know that consuming certain foods can also improve brain function?
Certain foods, like leafy greens, berries, avocados, and more, contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for brain health. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best brainpower foods you can incorporate into your diet to keep your brain sharp and sustain healthy cognitive function.
1. Leafy greens
Vegetables offer so many benefits for the human body, providing us with various vitamins and minerals. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are among the most nutrient-dense and help us get our fill of vitamin K. Recent research indicates that vitamin K can improve memory and cognitive performance in older adults.
Nuts are an ideal source of healthy fats, vitamin E, and protein, all of which are staples of a nutritious diet. In particular, walnuts are often associated with increased memory function, as they contain omega-3 fatty acids. But all types of nuts are beneficial in this regard, according to a recent study from the University of South Australia. In that study, researchers found that people who ate at least two teaspoons of nuts per day exhibited better thinking, reasoning, and memory skills.
Similarly, some varieties of seeds (such as pumpkin seeds) contain high quantities of nutrients like zinc, iron, copper, and magnesium. If your diet doesn’t provide enough of these vital micronutrients, you could be at risk for a handful of neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease and depression.
Like walnuts, oily or fatty fish are another fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids (which are healthy unsaturated fats). Plus, eating fish is a great way to add protein into your diet. Get your fill of these omega-3s by consuming two servings of fish such as salmon, cod, mackerel or sardines per week.
Need a reason to feel a little less guilty about your avocado toast habit? Like many of the other foods on this list, avocados are a good source of healthful unsaturated fat, which can reduce blood pressure. In turn, lower blood pressure can lessen the risk of cognitive decline.
Eggs contain a number of beneficial nutrients, including vitamins B6 and B12. They also have high levels of choline, which performs several essential functions in the body — but most people don’t get enough of it in their diet. Choline is especially important for pregnant women, and women who are choline-deficient have given birth to babies with decreased cognitive function.
Different varieties of berries support brain health in a variety of ways. These tasty fruits are rich in antioxidants and have been proven to delay or prevent neurodegenerative diseases and enhance cognitive function. Strawberries, blackberries, mulberries and blueberries are some of the most effective berries to slow down memory decline.
In terms of nutrient-rich foods, legumes are among the best. Legumes include beans, chickpeas, peanuts, and lentils and boast high levels of vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and folate — all of which are beneficial to brain health.
9. Whole grains
Whole grains are full of vitamin B, which work to reduce inflammation in the brain and assist with memory and cognitive function. Vitamin B has several important functions, but it can’t be stored in the body, so you need to regularly consume foods that contain the vitamin. Examples of vitamin B-rich whole grains include barley, brown rice, quinoa and whole-grain pasta.
If you aren’t familiar with turmeric, it is a spice that is commonly used in curries and other dishes throughout Asia. Recent studies have shown that turmeric could be useful in treating Parkinson’s disease. Simultaneously, turmeric’s key active ingredient (called curcumin) has also had positive effects on people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
From nuts to fish to eggs, each of these 10 nutritious foods offers its own set of benefits for brain health, but eating a well-balanced diet involves more than just brain power foods. If you’re thinking about changing your diet, you should first consult with your doctor or a nutritionist to design a comprehensive food plan that’s right for you.
Establishing healthy eating habits is just one part of building a fulfiling life for yourself. In addition to your day-to-day diet, you should also prioritise other equally important aspects of your overall wellness, such as your mental health and sexual wellbeing.
If you’re having problems in the bedroom, it’s never been easier to seek treatment. Whether you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE), or testosterone deficiency (TD), you can access discreet and straightforward treatment from a reputable online medical clinic like Men’s Health Clinic.
At Men’s Health Clinic, we’re experts in men’s health issues. Our team of licenced Australian doctors are highly experienced and available to answer your most personal sexual health questions. As an online medical clinic, our goal is to make our patients feel comfortable discussing their sensitive health concerns, offering an empathetic and knowledgeable perspective.
When you make an appointment with a doctor at Men’s Health Clinic, you’ll fill out a quick questionnaire to answer some basic questions about what you’re experiencing. From there, our medical team will review your answers and get in touch to schedule a confidential discussion via phone or video chat to chat about your personalised treatment options.
Once you’ve received a diagnosis and agreed upon a treatment plan, we’ll send your medications directly to your door in discreet packaging. As you go through treatment, our medical team will arrange monthly check-ins to monitor your progress and adjust your prescriptions as needed. Plus, we offer 24/7 patient support so you’ll never be left in the dark.
To learn more about Men’s Health Clinic and the services we offer, call us today on 1300 707 998 or submit a contact form on our website.
Therefore it makes sense to work on your sexual fitness as well as your physical fitness.
Read on to see how erectile dysfunction exercises can help treat the symptoms of ED.
Best erectile dysfunction exercises
Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual disorder affecting men. It is characterized by an inability of men to achieve or maintain a hard erection during sexual intercourse.
Men who suffer from erectile difficulties can derive significant improvement in their sexual functions by performing certain exercises regularly.
Here is a detailed description of the most effective exercises for erectile dysfunction and the natural alternatives for the management of this condition.
The best erectile dysfunction exercises are as follows;
Erectile dysfunction exercises
Pelvic floor exercises
Exercises that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor region can be beneficial for men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
The pelvic floor muscles play a key role in allowing men to hold the erection for longer. The efficient contraction of these muscles can help to sustain the blood flow into the penis thus creating and maintaining a hard erection.
These muscles also work by exerting pressure on the penile veins such that the outflow of the blood from the penis is inhibited. As a result, the blood is trapped into the penis making the erection possible. Here are a few erectile dysfunction exercises that men can perform too strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve their erectile health.
Lie down on the floor with the knees bent and the feet touching the floor. The arms should be placed by the sides in a relaxed manner. Take a deep breath and then, exhale as you squeeze the pelvic floor muscles. Hold the contraction for a count of three to five and release. Repeat 10 times per rep. Perform two to three sessions of these exercises for activating pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel exercises help to improve the strength of the muscles in the pelvic floor including bulbocavernosus muscle and improve men’s control over erections and ejaculation.
Working out these muscles can allow them to maintain the engorgement of the penis with blood during intercourse and sustain the erection until climax.
The best method to practise Kegel exercises is to first locate the exact muscles by stopping the urine stream a few times during urination. The muscles clenched to do this are the pelvic floor muscles.
To perform one rep of Kegel exercises, men need to squeeze these muscles as if trying to hold urine. They should maintain the contraction of the muscles for five seconds and then, relax. Repeat these steps 10 to 20 times about twice every day.
It is advisable to practice Kegel exercises in a lying down position initially. Once men learn to perform the exercises in a proper way, they can try practising it in different positions such as lying down with their knees up, while sitting in a chair or standing.
Watch this video to learn how to perform an advanced version of Kegel exercises by combining the workout of pelvic floor muscles with planks.
Tips to derive better results with Kegel exercise
Men should avoid holding their breath or pushing with their stomach, thighs, or buttock muscles.
The step of relaxing after the count of five each time should not be avoided. Most men make a mistake of holding the contraction of the pelvic floor muscles for a much longer duration. However, this may not help them derive efficient results. It is the alternate contraction and relaxation of the muscles that makes these muscles stronger than just holding them in a state of contraction.
Men can also try squeezing the muscles of the anus as if holding bowel movements as an alternative form of Kegel exercises.
You may have heard your Crossfit friends praise kettlebells, and frankly, the hype is well deserved. Kettlebells provide a full range of motion and what is called functional strength. They are excellent for cardio as well as strengthening your posterior and pelvic regions. Kettleballs are one of the most effective erectile dysfunction exercises.
According to Harvard Medical School, a strong pelvic floor region ‘enhances rigidity during erection and helps stop blood from leaving the penis’.
Kettlebells are a terrific exercise for strengthening the pelvic floor in men.
So, what are the best kettlebell exercises that will strengthen the pelvic floor?
Below are the three essential kettlebell exercises we recommend that will strengthen your pelvic floor region and help you with overall strength, making you look better and feel more confident.
1.THE KETTLEBELL SWING
The kettlebell swing is an insanely effective motion and considered the most essential kettlebell movement for enhancing pelvic and overall strength. It’s a two-for-one erectile dysfunction exercise as it improves cardiovascular health as well as functional strength. It is an excellent training exercise for fat loss and full body power, as even just a few sessions a week will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Below is a great video showing the correct form of the Kettlebell swing from Australian personal trainer, Kris Cochrane.
2. THE TURKISH GET-UP
Not to be confused with a style of fashion sense in Turkey, the Turkish Get-Up is excellent for abdominal and core strength. You have to lie on the ground for this one, with one leg bent, one leg straight, one arm flat to the ground, and one arm holding up a kettlebell. Then, you lean over onto the elbow of your flat arm and upwards, thrusting the kettlebell straight upwards. At this point, you can either lie back down again or continue on into a full standing position. The continuation is what is considered a full Turkish get-up movement, however, both will add to your pelvic floor strength.
It’s quite a complex motion, so best to watch the video below which shows the correct form of movement in detail.
3. KETTLEBELL AB WORKOUT
In our Kettlebell swing movement above, we showed you how it’s a two-for-one exercise. Now with an ab workout, we are giving you six-exercises-for-one. An ab workout with kettlebells is going to rapidly strengthen your core and abs, which are supporting areas of your pelvic floor region. In almost every way, kettlebells are a full-body exercise, so strengthening your core will supporting you in almost everything you do.
Effective exercises for erectile dysfunction also include a cardiovascular element to get blood flowing through the body. Research studies have shown that aerobic exercises can be effective in restoring men’s sexual functions.
Men are advised to perform simple aerobic exercise for at least four to five times a week for best results. Aerobic exercises recommended for the management of ED include walking, jogging, cycling, skipping, rowing, and swimming.
Each session of these sessions should be of moderate to high intensity and last at least 40 minutes.
Aerobic exercises are specifically recommended for men who have developed erectile dysfunction due to sedentary habits and lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity.
HIIT or high-intensity interval training is a form of exercise that involves intense physical activities performed in a short duration.
HIIT exercises improve cardiac functions and increase the blood flow into all organs including the penis thereby promoting the ability of men to get a hard erection.
Any of these erectile dysfunction exercises can be modified into a mini circuit to include a HIIT component.
Yoga asanas such as Khandasana can offer a safe and effective way to restore sexual functions in men especially when the condition is linked to mental stress and depression. Men with cardiac disorders can also practice yoga safely to strengthen heart functions and restore erectile abilities.
To practice Khandasana, sit on the floor with the legs stretched out in the front. Then, bend the knees and widen thighs as you bring the feet closer to the chest. Make sure your heels are close to the perineum. Then, hold the right foot with your right palm and the left foot with your left palm.
Next, draw both the feet up towards the trunk using your hands and pull the thighs. Invert the ankles gently, and place the outer side of the feet against the navel. Then, come back to the original position. Repeat 5 times.
Performing this yoga asana once every day can help men manage erectile dysfunction.
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Erectile dysfunction exercises help to manage ED by treating the primary cause of the condition such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Nutritional deficiencies and obesity are commonly linked to a higher risk of erectile dysfunction. Hence, men are advised to follow healthy dietary habits as given below to improve their ability to get erections:
Improving the diet
Avoid high-fat, high-carb foods
Increase the intake of foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as fresh fruits and vegetables
Increase the intake of foods containing dietary fibres to promote faster weight loss
Consume foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as flax seeds to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides levels
Reduce salt intake to control hypertension
Consider more plant-based proteins and meals in your diet.
A poor sleep pattern can contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction. Research studies have provided evidence to prove the intricate relationship between the production of sex hormones such as low testosterone, erectile functions, and sleep.
It has been found that the production of testosterone in the body can increase when steps are taken to improve the quality and duration of sleep. It is believed to work by reducing mental stress through reduced production of a hormone called cortisol.
Men are advised to make sure they get a sound sleep of 8 hours every night to restore their natural erectile functions.
The effective ways to improve the quality of sleep include:
Setting up a routine
Practising stress-relieving methods such as meditation
Avoiding exposure to blue light from smartphone and laptops after evening hours
Blocking the entry of light into the bedroom with dark curtains or shades
Wearing eye masks while sleeping
Smoking can worsen the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Smoking affects the flow of blood into the penis thereby preventing the inadequate filling of the organ during intercourse. This can result in the failure to get an erection.
Hence, men with ED are advised to quit smoking, especially when the cause is linked to vascular insufficiency.
Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol can alter the level of hormones called neurotransmitters and affect the transmission of impulses from the brain to the penis. As a result, the penis and the muscles and blood vessels surrounding the organ do not receive the signals needed to perform specific functions during intercourse. This is why; an erection can fail to occur.
Increased alcohol intake can also reduce the production of nitric oxide in the nervous system. Nitric oxide helps in producing and maintaining erections by causing dilation of the blood vessels thereby ensuring the rapid filling of the penis during intercourse.
The lack of nitric oxide in adequate amounts can prevent this process due to which men experience an inability to get an erection. Hence, avoiding heavy alcohol consumption is recommended for effective management of erectile dysfunction.
Some other natural ways to manage erectile dysfunctions
Avoid the use of drugs known to affect erectile functions such as antihypertensive, antidepressant, diuretic, and corticosteroid medications
Use herbal remedies such as Ginseng, Nettle Root, Chaga Mushroom, and Rhodiola Rosea
To summarise, exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles in the pelvic floor such as Kegel exercises can offer an effective solution to the men suffering from ED. A combination of exercises and dietary and lifestyle modifications along with the use of herbal remedies can help men improve their sexual performance and allow them to get harder and longer-lasting erections.
To discuss other ways to reduce your erectile dysfunction click here.