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Adopting a Mediterranean diet — with its abundance of fish, chicken, fruits, vegetables, and legumes — can help maintain normal ED, according to several studies. Doctors at the Harvard University School of Public Health noted that improved blood vessel tone may be one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet appears to be them most protective against disease.
Freshly cooked fish (not deep fried) is especially good for blood vessels, and fish oil supplements may be as well. Bruce Holub, Ph.D., of McMaster University, Canada, has pointed out that eating fish — or taking fish oil capsules — relaxes blood vessels. Try to eat mostly small, oily fish rather than large ocean fish like swordfish and tuna. And choose wild over farmed whenever you possibly can.
Eating small amounts of healthy snacks appears to also help. Women with type 2 diabetes who ate 2 ounces of raw walnuts daily had significant improvements in their blood vessel tone, according to research reported in Diabetes Care (February 2010).
Finally, exercise can help those endothelial cells in your blood vessels as well. That shouldn't be a big surprise because physical activity lowers blood sugar, reduces the risk of heart disease, and improves most indicators of health. Remember, you don't have to join a fancy gym. You can increase your physical activity simply by walking, taking more stairs, dancing, and tackling some housework and yardwork you don't normally do.
Though scientific findings about diet and health keep changing, the best advice remains consistent: Eat whole, unprocessed foods, and at the very least, go for a brisk daily walk.
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I have a friend, M, who has diabetes and never, ever tests her bloodsugar before she gets behind the wheel. This has always worried me about her. On Wednesday, she had a bad accident after passing out behind the wheel. She hit another car head on. I thank the universe that no one was killed, but she and the driver of the other vehicle were both badly injured. She's got a long healing road ahead of her, as does the woman she hit. I was talking about the...