Being mindful of good nutrition is one thing. But if you do a quick google search, you will find our nutrition choices do a lot more than just keep our bodies fueled to stay alive. Certain foods are said to be good for your eyesight, some have been credited with boosting your metabolism, and others seem to slow or even reverse aging. Yet how many of you know there are foods that increase libido and optimize your sex life? “Wait, did I read that correctly?” Yes, yes you did.
Just like optimizing body composition, overall health, and performance, your sexual health and performance are contingent on your entire body of “nutrition work.” In other words, what you choose to consume can have a tremendous impact on your hormones, which in turn play crucial roles in optimizing sexual behaviors and performance.
Much in the same way our hormones can affect our moods, stress management, and our sleep hygiene (to name but a few), hormones are also one of the factors that influence libido, sex drive, and motivation.
Editor’s Note: Eleven Foods for Amazing Sex
For those of you who remember the episode of the popular television sitcom Seinfeld where George Costanza discovered pastrami to be an aphrodisiac, I am not saying you should introduce food in the bedroom. I am simply stating that some foods are said to promote cardiovascular health and really get your blood flowing… if you know what I mean. 😉
3 Foods That Increase Libido
An aphrodisiac is a substance that can increase libido (libido being the energy that drives one to desire sexual intercourse). So, when we think of foods that increase libido, these traditionally fall into one of three categories.
1) Foods which potentially heighten the love senses (sight, smell, taste, and touch). One often cited example is dark chocolate, which may help set the mood in a number of ways, starting with its sensual taste and aroma. As you bite into chocolate, your body begins to release feel-good endorphins, the love hormone oxytocin, and key neurotransmitters that increase arousal.
2) Foods that get your blood flowing. Beets—and in particular, beetroot juice—are a good example. This is because beets are a rich source of naturally-occurring nitrates, compounds that can increase the body’s production of nitric oxide, which is a potent vasodilator. More simply put, nitrates help “open up” the diameter of blood vessels and increase blood flow.
3) Rare and exotic foods. Often times we associate luxurious with pleasurable, which may arouse passion. These are closely related as it includes foods that are reproductive organs and foods that resemble reproductive organs.
Along those lines, one of the first foods that increase libido that comes to mind is the oyster. Oysters are one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs and for good reason. They are a great source of zinc, which is essential for both male and female sex hormone production. Deficiencies in zinc can lead to delayed sexual development and lower sperm counts and testosterone in men. Oysters also contain two unique amino acids (including D-aspartic acid) that increase the production of sex hormones in both men and women. To get the benefit from oysters, it’s recommended to eat them raw, as cooking reduces the quantity of the amino acids responsible for boosting the sex chemicals.
Sex is complicated, and there are many factors that have the potential to influence sexual health, sexuality, sexual performance, and sexual desire. One of those factors, which also has an impact on many other areas, is your food choices. In addition to those mentioned above, several other foods are believed to increase libido, including eggs, certain seeds, and avocados.