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Red Wine Is Good for Your Boner

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Given all the health benefits already associated with red wine, there's a good chance you don't need another reason to enjoy a glass or two from time to time (every night), right? Well, thanks to new research published this week, science has delivered yet another excuse to raise a glass of the tasty red: it could improve your sex life by reducing your risk of erectile dysfunction. That's great news for both guys and their partners.

A new study published Wednesday in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that regularly drinking red wine and eating foods rich in certain flavonoids -- blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and others -- can lead to a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction, especially in men under 70. While previous research indicates that an uptick in exercise can reduce ED, researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Harvard University found that such a flavonoids-rich diet provides the same benefits as "briskly walking for up to five hours a week," according to a press release.

“Flavonoids are present in many plant-based foods and drinks including fruits, vegetables, tea, herbs and wine," Aedin Cassidy, a professor at UEA and lead researcher of the study, said in the release. "We examined six main types of commonly consumed flavonoids and found that three in particular -- anthocyanins, flavanones and flavones -- are beneficial. Men who regularly consumed foods high in these flavonoids were 10 per cent less likely to suffer erectile dysfunction. In terms of quantities, we’re talking just a few portions a week.”

According to the researchers, Americans get most of these beneficial flavonoids from from things like red wine, strawberries, apples, pears, blueberries, and citrus products. Ultimately, a combination of maintaining a flavonoid-rich diet and exercise can reduce the risk of developing ED by 21%, per the release. The study includes data from more than 50,000 middle aged men, who were asked about their ability to keep it up enough for sex and their diets since 1986. 

Of course, drinking too much alcohol could hamper your ability to get it up (and keep it up), but it's a great day when drinking a little red wine can help make sure you're ready to, uh, corkscrew. Cheers!

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and, to be clear, his editor came up with the headline for this story. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.