Your diet and lifestyle affect how you experience life. Lack of sleep can bring on moodiness and low patience. Extra weight can impact your physical body along with your self-esteem. Poor nutrition often means poor energy. But, do you know what else sleep, mood, weight and diet affect? Your libido (sex drive).
Low testosterone, depression, stress, relationship issues, sexual dysfunction, too little or too much exercise along with a variety of medical conditions can affect your libido, too. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, menopause, and cardiovascular disease can lower sexual desire. Our desire naturally decreases as we age and psychiatric medications (antidepressants) can also impact our sexual health.
All things considered, there are too many things that can contribute to a low libido. If you have little to no sex drive, just know that you’re not alone. In fact, the National Health and Social Life Survey found that 32 percent of women and 15 percent of men lacked sexual interest for several months within the last year.
What can you do?
Here’s some great news. By making some lifestyle and diet changes, you can naturally increase your libido. If a higher sex drive is your goal, start by decreasing your stress levels, improving your sleep, adding some specific foods to your diet and exercising in the right amounts.
Let’s have a look at how you can improve your sex life through your diet. We’ve selected 5 Top Foods to Boost your Libido.
1 – Water
We know, it’s not a food. But water does so much good for your body that we have to include it in the list. Actually dehydration can cause a number of negative side effects that can easily dull your desires. If you want to avoid fatigue, headaches and vaginal dryness, aim to drink a minimum of 2L of water daily.
2 – Watermelon
Water and now, watermelon! Yes, watermelon is, in fact, 92% water but the remaining 8% is packed with nutrients that can boost your sexual health. A 2008 study showed that watermelon may have a “viagra-like” effect. The phytonutrients known as lycopene, beta-carotene and citrulline found in watermelon help relax blood vessels. While watermelon might not be as organ-specific as erectile dysfunction drugs, it can be helpful in the bedroom without any negative side effects when you naturally want to improve libido.
3 – Dark Leafy Greens
If you’re iron-deficient, you know how hard it is to keep your eyes open. The last thing you want is to be falling asleep when you’re about to make some magic in bed. For women particularly, low iron levels can have a negative effect on sexual desire, arousal, lubrication and the ability to have an orgasm. Great sources of iron include dark leafy greens like kale, arugula and spinach. Research also reveals that the trace minerals and antioxidants packed into dark, leafy greens are essential for our sexual health because they help block absorption of some of the environmental contaminants thought to negatively impact our libido.
4 – Asparagus
Asparagus gives you so much more than a funky pee smell. Rich in folate, asparagus regulates the production of histamine, a chemical released during orgasm.
5 – Garlic
You might think twice about having garlic before a date but the compounds in this food can help contribute to an amorous evening. Allicin, a property found in garlic, is a natural blood thinner often used to prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. The anticoagulant properties help ensure plenty of blood flow to your nether regions along with encouraging a good dose of stamina.
These are just five of the many foods that can balance your hormones and get you feeling frisky. In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow can even attest that clean-eating has made her marriage better!
But what if you don’t like asparagus and garlic?
Well, you can always stop eating the things that block your libido.
1 – Avoid processed foods – Since obesity is so closely tied with low libido, nix as much of the processed foods as you can from your diet and replace them with whole, less processed options.
2 – Avoid factory-farmed meats and dairy – Factory-farmed meats and conventional dairy can have synthetic hormones which have a negative effect on estrogen and testosterone levels.
3 – Avoid high sodium foods – Foods that are very high in sodium, like canned foods and processed foods, can contribute to high blood pressure, which may decrease the flow of blood to the sex organs.
4 – Avoid sugar – Studies have shown specific and concerning impacts of sugar on testosterone levels. In a 2013 study, the consumption of glucose decreased blood levels of testosterone by an average of 25 percent. Testosterone levels also remained low hours after glucose consumption.
5 – Avoid microwave popcorn – The chemicals found in the lining of microwave popcorn bags (as well as nonstick pots and pans) have been linked to a lower sex drive for men. According to a 2009 study, these types of popcorn bags contain chemicals known to significantly lower sperm counts.
As always, we encourage you to eat real, natural and whole foods. If you’re feeling low in energy and tired, with a low libido, there are small changes you can make to start feeling vibrant again.