close
Advertisement

6 Nutrition Strategies for a Stronger Sex Drive

Some people vouch for the effect of foods on their sex drive, but extravagant claims for aphrodisiacs are not borne out by scientific studies. While sexual function may be our physical response to a cascade of hormones, sexual drive is basically maintained by an active mind in a healthy body.

6 Nutrition Strategies for a Stronger Sex Drive
iStock
Advertisement

1. A healthy sex life depends on good nutrition

Good nerve function, healthy hormone levels, and an unobstructed blood flow to the pelvic area are essential to sexual performance. To keep these systems in working order, a diet should be based on legumes, grain products, and other complex carbohydrates, with plenty of fruits and vegetables and modest levels of protein; this diet provides plenty of vitamins and minerals. Particularly important are citrus fruits for vitamin C to strengthen blood vessel walls, and low-fat dairy products, enriched or fortified cereals, whole grains, and green vegetables for riboflavin to maintain the mucous membranes that line the female reproductive tract.

2. Vitamin E and sexual function

Although there are no confirming clinical studies, many experts believe that without a good supply of this vitamin from oils, margarine, nuts, seeds, green vegetables, and wheat germ, sexual function is likely to suffer.

3. Get going

Fatigue and depression are common culprits in sexual complaints. These conditions are often linked, and both may be helped by a program of regular exercise, which stimulates the production of endorphins (mood-elevating brain chemicals). In some cases, iron-deficiency anemia may be responsible for fatigue. A diet that includes meat, fish and shellfish, nuts and seeds, legumes, enriched or fortified grains and cereals, leafy greens, and dried fruits helps to replenish iron stores.

4. Get zealous over zinc

It is known that zinc is tied to sexual function, although its importance to the sex drive has yet to be explained. Without enough zinc, sexual development in children is delayed, and men, too, need zinc to make sperm. Zinc is found abundantly in foods of animal origin, including seafood (especially oysters), meat, poultry and liver, as well as eggs, milk, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

5. Curb alcohol, knock-out nicotine

Alcohol's effect on sexual function was neatly stated by William Shakespeare, who noted that wine 'provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.' Excessive alcohol lifts behavioral inhibitions, but this liberating effect may be canceled out by its depressant effect. Alcohol also has an action similar to the female hormone estrogen. This can have a devastating effect on masculinity, causing impotence and shrinking of the testes in men who drink heavily. Nicotine, on the other hand, is an enemy of the arteries. Nicotine not only promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaque in the penile blood vessels but also constricts them.

6. Minimise saturated fats

People readily accept the link between a high intake of saturated fats, elevated blood cholesterol levels, and a buildup of atherosclerotic fatty plaques on the blood vessels around the heart. It's less well understood, however, that similar plaques develop on the myriad tiny vessels in the penis. Without free-flowing circulation, the penis cannot physically respond to messages from the sex drive.



Advertisement
8 weight-loss challenges that only take 30 days

8 weight-loss challenges that only take 30 days

You've got this! These 30-day challenges will clean up your diet, build your confidence, and entice you to work out consistently so you can finally lose weight.
14 foods you think are dairy-free - but aren't

14 foods you think are dairy-free, but aren't

Whether you have a legit allergy, you’re vegan, or you just want to avoid it, you might be fooled by some of the foods that contain dairy.
12 things your stomach is trying to tell you

12 things your stomach is trying to tell you

Tummy not happy? Find out why and what you can do about it.
16 low-carb diet mistakes you should never make

16 low-carb diet mistakes you should never make

You’re on a low-carb diet but weight loss has stalled and you’re getting frustrated. These common mistakes might be sabotaging your health, energy, sleep – and weight-loss success.
37 fat-burning foods to help you lose weight

37 fat-burning foods to help you lose weight

There’s no magical way to lose weight instantly. But paired with exercise, these foods have the power to torch fat you just can’t seem to get rid of.
Advertisement