Eating an unhealthy diet can cause many health issues and concerns, but did you know that it can also negatively affect your sex drive? Nutritional deficiencies -- and eating too much of the "bad" stuff -- can wreak havoc with your hormones and vital organs. Here are six foods that will help you to increase your libido, along with three that might leave you without any.
Why? Blackberries and their seeds contain phytochemicals that enhance sexual endurance. Berries are loaded with vitamins C and E which can help to put your sex drive into gear and leave your skin feeling supple.
How? You can snack on them fresh, or throw fresh or frozen berries into your smoothie. Or, put them on your salad, or bake a blackberry crumble (remember to limit the sugar!)
Why? Figs give your sex drive a nutritional one-two punch: They contain magnesium, a mineral needed to produce sex hormones that have some control over your libido; as well as an amino acid that increases the production of nitric oxide, important for expanding blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
How? Figs are best enjoyed fresh and on their own! As they are a fruit, they can be used in many baking applications, and also make a great side dish for savoury meals.
Why? This warming spice increases blood flow and body temperature. Cloves also increase energy and ingesting them leaves you ever so slightly sweetly scented. Cloves are high in omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, and vitamin K.
How? To eat whole cloves, soften them first by soaking them in water. Use this water, plus the softened cloves, to your next smoothie, or try adding whole cloves to any soup or stew. Dried ground cloves can also be added to baking.
Why? Dark chocolate contains substances that affect our moods, energy, and sexual function. Dark chocolate also has fantastic health benefits for the heart. It increases blood flow, stimulates a positive mood, and is an energy booster.
How? Enjoy a small amount of dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or higher) on its own, or use dark chocolate or cocoa in your baking. Make a chocolate fondue as a conduit for fresh fruit! Another great way to eat chocolate is to try my Flourless Chocolate Cake-- no flour and NO sugar!
Why? While watermelon is more than 90% water, the rest contains the phytonutrient citrulline, which converts to arginine, an amino acid that relaxes blood vessels. Watermelon may help improve blood flow to erectile tissue (in both men and women), increasing arousal.
How? Watermelon is perfect on its own by the slice, or you can make it into a slushie, or add it to a fruit salad!
Why? Researchers are looking at how maca may help men and women with low libido. Some studies suggest it may improve semen quality, relieve symptoms of menopause, and reduce enlarged prostates. Preliminary research suggests maca can protect the brain, improve bone health, and improve cognitive ability.
How? Maca can be cooked and mashed; mixed with water or milk; and dried, ground, and powdered into something that resembles flour that is used in breads, cakes, and cookies. A small amount can also be added to smoothies. You can also make a health hot chocolate using this recipe.
Steer clear of these three foods to keep the juices flowing.
Bread: Any refined carbohydrates, like those found in bleached white flour, are problematic for your sex drive. This includes many pastas, cereals, breads, and snack foods like crackers, cookies, and chips. Large amounts of refined carbs will cause testosterone levels to decrease.
Alcohol: Alcohol may reduce inhibitions around sex, but it can also damage your ability to perform. Alcoholic beverages can do a double whammy on your sex life by lowering testosterone levels, and sexual functioning.
Cheese: If derived from cow's milk, it could potentially affect your body's natural production of hormones, including estrogen and testosterone.
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