One of the simplest and all-natural ways to to boost your sex drive is by carefully choosing the foods you eat. When you become aware of how food affects your state of being, you see how your choices either make you more, or less able to thrive, flourish and be at your best… especially when it comes to sex.
You have to admit, a large heavy meal will typically make you feel lethargic and unmotivated. When you eat a light meal, you are more likely to feel lighter and have more energy. Nothing says great sex like feeling light and energetic, right?
So when you want to increase your libido, eat lighter foods like fruits and vegetables and eat less than you normally would. Then go shopping! To the grocery store that is…
Onions, Garlic and Ginger— Oh, Yes!
Onions, garlic and ginger are considered a sexual trifecta in the herbal ayurvedic community. The renowned healing master Yogi Bahjan refers to the trifecta as “the trinity roots”, and hails them for their phenomenal powers. These three bulbous beauties have long been used to combat male impotence and in fact, monks and others who wish to remain celibate won’t even touch the titillating combination due to its powerful effects. I mean let’s face it, when you are on a quest for spiritual enlightenment the last thing you need is excitement down there!
Let’s get down to the details. Garlic and onions are highly noted for their L-Arginine content. A study published in the medical journal Circulation showed L-Arginine to be beneficial for boosting the blood flow in patients with heart failure who typically have a reduced flow even at rest [III]. If garlic and onions can increase the blood flow to the heart, they can increase blood flow to other areas no doubt.
Onions also benefit the endocrine glands, which produce the hormones that contribute to your alertness, stamina and sexual performance. A few more plugs for this bawdy bulb are its abilities to increase sexual secretions, sexual energy and libido.
Now, when you add ginger to the mix of garlic and onions, you are adding more than just a tangy flavor. Ginger can be very nourishing for the sexual organs, enough to even kill off prostate cancer cells, as a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition notes [II]. Additional benefits of the racy root include its ability to purge toxins from the body and reduce inflammation.
Worried about the bad breath thing from the onion, ginger and garlic combo? Have your partner eat it with you. You can also grab some fennel seeds to chew on after you eat as a natural breath freshener. Perhaps a dinner plan can be in the works for tonight? Try using the trifecta together in a stir-fry or you can tone down their intense flavors a bit in a light French Onion Soup. I say, the more the merrier! I think you will too.
Red Hot Chili Pepper for Red Hot Lovin’
Chili pepper can definitely perk up your love life, first with its ability to actually mimic your body’s reactions to the act of having sex. You get hot. You get sweaty. Your pulse races at the speed of light. Sounds kind of like your last hot date, no? Chili pepper also gives your body a big boost of endorphins, those sneaky little things that play a part in excitement and sexual pleasure.
One more perk for chili pepper is its ability to boost your blood circulation and therefore, your overall erection potential. And don’t think ladies are left out of the equation. Women have erections, too, according to Dr. Barbara Bartlik, sex therapist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical Center. She says female “erections” take place in the clitoris and the tissues around the vulva [IV]. So bring on the chili peppers!
Any food that is good for your circulation is great for your sex drive. Fruity choices include oranges and watermelon, with the former rich in bioflavonoids and vitamin C that fortify capillary walls for better blood flow. Watermelon helps keep those blood vessels clean with its high lycopene content.
Pumpkin seeds and nuts are the more savory circulation-boosting choices and are stocked with vitamin E and niacin. The vitamin E helps reduce the risk of blood clots by decreasing a blood cell’s stickiness. The niacin contributes to the overall health of your blood, which keeps it flowing freely.
Oysters already have a provocative reputation, thanks to their texture and sexually charged oyster-eating scenes from the movies. If that’s not enough to convince you of the sexy effects of eating oysters, you can also take a gander at the evidence. Oysters are high in zinc, a component hailed for improving reproductive function. As noted by a study published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, as little as 5 milligrams of zinc per day “improves sexual competence by increasing penile thrusting and prolonging ejaculatory latency without disturbing arousability and motivation of male rats” [I].
If it can do that for rats, just imagine what it can do for humans! Zinc is also a testosterone booster and is needed for the production of sperm. Sperm in itself is actually very rich source of zinc…I’ll let your imagination play with that one!
Crab, Lobster and… Burgers?
Other foods high in zinc are therefore also on the list of things to eat for feeling sweet. While oysters take the huge lead, with a 3-ounce portion providing 493% of the Daily Value recommended by the FDA, several others make the cut by providing at least 20% of the DV. The two expensive seafood items, crab and lobster are on the list, but you can also get a zinc hit at a local burger joint. Yep, a broiled beef patty is high in zinc, as is a beef chuck roast… preferably braised, with onions, garlic and ginger!
Nothing says sexy like a heaping plate of seaweed! Well, perhaps lingerie says it a little better, but seaweed can certainly help you feel sexy. The magic nutrient in seaweed and other ocean veggies is the iodine, which is an element your body needs to produce sex hormones. Depending on the exact type of seaweed, a single ounce of the stuff can provide you with 1,298% of your Daily Value of iodine. So take your lover to the sushi bar and make sure your orders include nori, kombu, wakame or kelp.
Fats for Fantastic Sex
No, you didn’t read the sub-heading wrong. Fats can certainly add a flirty little boost to your sex life since your body needs them to make hormones. They also give you energy and help your cells flourish. Your body will reward you best, however, if you stick to the good fats and avoid the bad.
The good fats are the unrefined expeller-pressed oils like olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil and flax seed oil as well as other healthy fats like nuts, butter, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna) and avocados. Good fats also come in the form of omega-3s; essential fatty acids that do all kinds of healthy things. In addition to contributing to hormone production, omega-3s can help reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases and play a role in your brain and behavioral functioning. Omega-3s are also known to boost dopamine and arginine levels in the brain, which increases the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an essential compound for erections as it dilates the blood vessels.
Just be sure to stay away from the trans fats like processed fried foods and rancid vegetable oils!
Last but not least, there are the aphrodisiacs which have long been rumored to increase your sex drive. Here’s where things get a little tricky. While there is no scientific evidence readily available for the sexual benefits of many aphrodisiacs, people have often claimed libido-boosting fame for a wide range of food-stuff. Examples range from truffles, to almond paste, to black beans and even zebra tongues! Even what we generally think of as sexier foods like strawberries, chocolate and champagne don’t necessarily contain any components that kick your intimacy into high gear… but that doesn’t mean that they don’t work! Champagne has helped more than one woman loosen up and get into the mood for certain.
Mind over matter and the power of the placebo have consistently been proven effective, and you can make the phenomenon work for your sex life too. Dr. John Mulhall says that the placebo effect plays a huge role in sexual function, accounting for an estimated 50% of the sexual improvements in women and 30% in men [IV].
So if you think strawberries, chocolate and champagne work wonders to increase your sex drive, by all means keep on driving! Precede your foreplay with a dinner of oysters and a side of stir-fried spicy, garlic veggies and you’ll be raring to go. But you may want to rethink the zebra tongue…
[I] Dissanayake DMAB, Wijesinghe PS, Ratnasooriya WD, and Wimalasena S. “Effects of zinc supplementation on sexual behavior of male rats”. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2009 Jul-Dec; 2(2): 57-61. Web. August. 2016.<http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2800928>.
[II] Karna P, Chagani S, Gundala SR, Rida PC, Asif G, Sharma V, Gupta MV, Aneja R. “Benefits of whole ginger extract in prostate cancer”. Br J Nutr. 2012 Feb;107(4): 473-84. Web. August, 2016. <.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21849094>.
[III] Rector TS, Bank AJ, Mullen KA, Tschumperlin LK, Sih R, Pillai K, Kubo SH. “Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of supplemental oral L-arginine in patients with heart failure”. Circulation. 1996 Jun 15;93(12): 2135-41. Wen. August. 2016. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8925582>.
[IV] “The Better Sex Diet”. Forbes, 5 Dec 2006. Web. August. 2016. <http://www.forbes.com/2006/12/05/leadership-health-sex-lead-innovation-cx_tw_1205sex.html>.