Do Bananas Help Erectile Dysfunction?

If you look up erectile dysfunction in blogs, you will likely find information on bananas everywhere. 

There is no doubt that eating fruits and vegetables contribute to overall health. But is there anything unique in bananas that improves a recurrent case of erectile problems?

To find out, we will break down the nutritional value of bananas and what you’re consuming. 

Then, we’re highlighting a few components that may work positively on your erections. 

Finally, you will also read a few additional benefits of bananas.

Nutritional value of bananas

Bananas are not only delicious they are also healthy and contain many essential nutrients. There’s a slight variation between different types of bananas, but the most common is the Cavendish type. It looks green at first, and then the ripe banana will look yellow with black patches.

If you eat one medium-sized Cavendish banana, you will get near 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2.6 grams of fiber, and a small concentration of fatty acids and protein. 

You get 89 calories total for each medium banana along with other nutrients:

  • Up to 8% of your daily requirement of potassium

  • Around 8% of the daily recommendation of magnesium

  • 10% of your recommended intake of vitamin C

  • Up to 31% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin B6

Besides essential vitamins and minerals, it has a plethora of bioactive ingredients, especially flavonoids, which provide antioxidants and other healthy substances to the human body. 

Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan. This one is a precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the feel-good hormone. 

Moreover, bananas have their own enzymes, including maltase and amylase. They can help you digest several nutrients, especially when combined with oats and other complex carbs.

Do bananas help erectile dysfunction?

If you read about it elsewhere, regular blog articles will tell you that bananas contain bromelain. And then, that bromelain increases libido in men. But that’s a myth you will only find on the internet. There’s not a single piece of scientific evidence backing up this claim. 

Moreover, bananas are known to have cysteine protease inhibitors. They inhibit bromelain, papain, ficin, and other enzymes in the gut. So, the commonly stated fact that bananas contain bromelain is false and a myth.

Does that mean that bananas are useless against erectile dysfunction?

Not necessarily. As a part of healthy eating of fruits and vegetables, bananas can do a lot for you. As you have seen above, it contains antioxidants, flavonoids, tryptophan, potassium, and B vitamins.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress in the body, including the penis. They can protect your penis blood vessels from atherosclerosis. 

Antioxidants prevent a fat plaque from rapidly forming. Thus, your penile blood flow remains intact, and that’s one cause of erectile dysfunction we can cross out.

Flavonoid

One of the reasons why we recommend eating fruits and vegetables is due to their flavonoid content. Bananas are counted in. 

Studies show that the more flavonoids you consume, the lower your chance is of getting erectile issues.

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is a precursor of dopamine. This hormone is not just important to maintain a healthy mood. 

During the sexual function, it also mediates the erectile response. In other words, it helps your brain sending the signals to cause an erection. 

Thus, eating tryptophan-rich foods crosses out another potential cause of erectile dysfunction.

Potassium 

People usually eat bananas to increase their potassium intake because it has quite a lot. This mineral is essential to maintain your blood flow and regulate blood pressure. 

It keeps the water balance inside and outside the cells. During an erection, potassium is required in large quantities inside the corpus cavernosum. It is taken in by ion pumps that usually become compromised as we age.

B Vitamins

In some cases, erectile dysfunction does not even respond to Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors. That’s because patients have a metabolic problem interfering with erections. 

In such cases, folic acid and vitamin B6 can solve the problem and help them achieve an erection. These nutrients are both found in bananas.

For all of the above, we can’t say bananas will cure erection problems. But they could help, especially if you combine them with healthy nutrition and exercise.

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6 other benefits of bananas

Besides the benefits listed above, we can highlight many other benefits of bananas. For instance:

1) Banana enzymes and fiber improve gut health

There’s a relatively high fiber intake in every banana you eat. They also have digestive enzymes such as amylase and maltase. Altogether, these components can improve digestion and feed your healthy gut microbiota

If you eat unripe bananas, you will get more resistant starch, which reaches your intestines almost intact. Then, your beneficial bacteria take them as food and keep on increasing.

2) Potassium in bananas can be helpful for your cardiovascular system

As noted above, potassium levels are essential to modulate your blood pressure. A potassium-rich diet reduces hypertension and heart disease by up to 27%.

3) Antioxidants in bananas counter oxidative stress

It happens in the penis and elsewhere. The antioxidants taken in by eating bananas travel through the blood to every part of the body. They reduce the risk of heart disease and may also reduce the incidence of degenerative diseases. 

They contribute to heart health by slowing down the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Plus, they also protect other organs in the body from free radicals, including your pancreas and articulations.

4) The fiber in bananas contributes to satiety

It is a fact that people who eat bananas feel satiated for a longer time. However, you need to make sure you’re eating unripe bananas. 

As noted above, they have a more resistant starch content. This is a type of carbohydrate in a very complex formation. 

It is not easily absorbed and increases the bulk in the digestive tract. This makes you feel more satiated for a longer time. Such satiety may also help you achieve your weight loss goals.

5) Resistant starch in bananas may also improve insulin sensitivity

According to studies, eating resistant starch improves insulin function to control blood sugar levels. 15-30 grams a day of this type of carb may increase insulin sensitivity by up to 44%

As noted above, green banana is an excellent source of this type of starch instead of yellow banana.

6) Bananas are known to reduce the incidence of kidney disease

Studies show that fruits and vegetables, in general, reduce the incidence of renal cell carcinoma. 

One study, in particular, found that the strongest association between fruits and kidney cancer involved consuming bananas. 

In other words, bananas contribute more to kidney cancer than other fruits do.

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How to get bananas in your diet

Fresh bananas are probably the easiest fruit to incorporate into your diet. They are very healthy snacks, and you can start eating a banana right after taking out the skin. 

Even if you don’t like to eat bananas, there are many ways to get them. You can use them as an ingredient in your smoothies, cereals or eat them with yogurt.

You can even create a cake or banana bread based on mashed bananas or replace sugar with them for cooking and baking. They are easy to transport and eat, and all you need to do is peel them.

Conclusion

The recommendation to get fruits and vegetables in your diet includes bananas as a healthy food. But is banana nutrition useful for erectile dysfunction?

Bananas have antioxidants, flavonoids, tryptophan, potassium, and B vitamins. Each one of these components does its part by crossing out one cause of erectile problems after another. 

Bananas are not a cure for erectile problems, but their benefits can help in some cases. However, combine them with a healthy diet and exercise if you really want to feel the difference.

Bananas are beneficial due to a long list of nutrients and benefits. They contribute to digestion, making you feel satiated for a longer time and may improve insulin sensitivity. 

Studies show that bananas may reduce the incidence of kidney problems, and the antioxidants counter the harmful effects of free radicals in your body.

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Sources

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  2. Ross, I. A. (2001). Musa sapientum. In Medicinal Plants of the World (pp. 319-331). Humana Press, Totowa, NJ. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-59259-237-1_17
  3. Azadzoi, K. M., Schulman, R. N., Aviram, M., & Siroky, M. B. (2005). Oxidative stress in arteriogenic erectile dysfunction: prophylactic role of antioxidants. The Journal of urology, 174(1), 386-393. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15947695/
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  7. Lombardo, F., Tsamatropoulos, P., Piroli, E., Culasso, F., Jannini, E. A., Dondero, F., … & Gandini, L. (2010). Treatment of erectile dysfunction due to C677T mutation of the MTHFR gene with vitamin B6 and folic acid in patients non responders to PDE5i. The journal of sexual Medicine, 7(1), 216-223. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19694922/
  8. Topping, D. L., & Clifton, P. M. (2001). Short-chain fatty acids and human colonic function: roles of resistant starch and nonstarch polysaccharides. Physiological reviews. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11427691/
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  10. Zhang, P., Whistler, R. L., BeMiller, J. N., & Hamaker, B. R. (2005). Banana starch: production, physicochemical properties, and digestibility—a review. Carbohydrate polymers, 59(4), 443-458. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0144861704004023
  11. Robertson, M. D., Bickerton, A. S., Dennis, A. L., Vidal, H., & Frayn, K. N. (2005). Insulin-sensitizing effects of dietary resistant starch and effects on skeletal muscle and adipose tissue metabolism–. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 82(3), 559-567. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16155268/
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