The Mediterranean diet: why it could lead to a more satisfying sex life | Diets and dieting

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Name: The Mediterranean diet.

Age: Coming up for 60 years old.

Effect: Positively tumescent.

Oh no, am I going to need a sick bucket for this? Not at all. The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been well known for decades. The combination of olive oil, legumes, fruit and vegetables, and comparatively low amounts of red meat is incredibly good for the human body.

Why am I so nervous? Don’t be nervous. Observational studies have shown that this diet has any number of benefits. It has been claimed to lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and dementia.

Right. Plus it could help with erectile dysfunction.

OK, see, there it is. I knew you couldn’t keep this wholesome. There is nothing wrong with a better sex life. Erectile dysfunction is thought to affect around a third of men at some point. It’s a serious condition.

And olive oil helps? It can, yes. According to research presented at this year’s European Society of Cardiology congress, men with high blood pressure are twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction than their peers with normal blood pressure. And the Mediterranean diet is fantastic for lowering blood pressure.

Which can get things working downstairs again? Yes. The researchers found that men who stuck closely to the Mediterranean diet had higher coronary flow reserve (which means they were better able to increase blood flow when needed), and better erectile performance.

Wow! We should all be eating the Mediterranean diet. No, really, we should. Especially the part about red meat. The Mediterranean Diet Foundation states that you should try to eat no more than two servings of red meat a week. Not only is that better for your health, but it is also very good for the environment.

This is all well and good, but I don’t enjoy sex and therefore cannot see the benefit of the Mediterranean diet. I’m glad you brought this up. What if I told you that the diet had another benefit?

I’m listening. Well, in 2014, Spanish researcher Fernando Azpiroz examined the Mediterranean diet for other benefits, and found that it can also reduce the incidence of farting by 28%.

Astonishing. It isn’t the best fart-decreaser, though. For that you have to adopt a much more regulated anti-fart diet. But nobody is going to knock 28%.

So you’re saying that people who eat the Mediterranean diet are healthier, less prone to disease, have better sex and fart almost a third less than their peers? That’s right. Out of interest, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Three Mars bars and a steak. Well, at least that explains the smell.

Do say: “I’ll have Greek salad, please.”

Don’t say: “And a cold shower, just in case.”

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