Healthy foods that aid common problem for men

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By Sarah Blais By Sarah Blais

PHOENIX -- The food you eat could be having an impact on your love life.

Erectile dysfunction affects about 18 million men in the United States, but urologist Dr. Mark Hong suggests healthy items you can add to your diet to improve your performance.

For example, oysters have been used for centuries to increase sexual desire. They contain zinc, which is a key ingredient in semen.

Foods that contain lycopene, such as tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon, are also good for increasing blood flow.

Red wine is the double-edged sword of the group. Hong says it's helpful if you keep it at one or two glasses, but the more you drink, the more erectile dysfunction could become a problem.

While a better diet can certainly help, Hong says sleep, emotional state, and general healthiness are still important factors. And sometimes, men really do need medication.

"Of course we'd like to be able to do it naturally," says Hong. "The truth is, 40 percent of men by the age of 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction. Even if you do all the right things, you may still end up developing it. In those situations, those medications can help."