Whilst we'd all like to think we have an internal inferno of passion, ready to go at any time...
...as many as 1 in 5 of Brits experience reduced libido at some stage in their lives. Many have absolutely no idea why their sex drive waxes and wanes, or what they can do about it; and the more that we focus on it negatively, the worse it can get.
In fact, there can be many reasons why our sex drive diminishes - age, stress, fatigue, hormonal fluctuations, and emotional concerns in both men and women have a part to play, and for many the issue can come and go.
The good news is that there is much that can be done to help you get back into your stride and though some of this might be lifestyle and stress-related, diet can also play a part. Indeed certain foods have long been heralded as libido boosters and fertility supports so even if you don’t have a problem but want to ramp things up, this article is for you.
Here are our top libido-boosting foods:
Dark ChocolateBefore you reach for the Milky Bar, remember we are talking about good quality dark chocolate here, preferably above 70% or even better, go for raw cacao. cacao has long been considered an aphrodisiac, indeed the Aztecs in 1400-1500s considered it to be the food of the gods for this reason. So much so, that King Montezuma banned women from consuming cacao drinks (ha, good luck with that one pal).
Raw cacao is naturally high in a number of compounds that are very supportive of body and mind. Magnesium helps to relax muscles and ease tension in the mind, as well as supporting the production of serotonin, the body’s happy neurotransmitter. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine – a compound that we have been shown to produce when we are in love.
Given that low mood and stress can be strongly linked with lower sex drive, a few squares of dark chocolate daily (or perhaps even melted..?) is a good way to pump up the passion!
Bright red beetroot is another good bedroom booster, particularly for males who are struggling with lift-off, or maintaining stamina. This is because beetroot is one of the best sources of a compound called nitric oxide. This can help to naturally increase blood flow by causing blood vessels to dilate, which may help with sexual performance and help your man go that extra mile.
WatermelonAnother sexy food, wet-and-wild watermelon is rich in a whole host of nutrients whilst also boasting a high level of an amino acid called citrulline which has been shown to help aid sex drive by increasing blood flow to our nether regions. Try to get the rind and even some of the seeds if possible as a lot of goodness is found here. Blend into a smoothie if you don’t mind the crunch, or use a juicer if you have one.
This Peruvian food is dubbed natures Viagra. This might be overstating it somewhat, but it has been used for hundreds of years as a fertility support and libido booster in Peruvian culture. Some research has shown its ability to increase strength, stamina, energy, fertility and libido, but more is needed to confirm these findings. That being said, there is no harm in adding this in to see if it might help you whether male or female. Try adding 1 tsp to a morning smoothie, yoghurt, cereals or even to cake recipes.
Though they don’t look like a sexy food, from a nutritional perspective pumpkins seeds are a hive of goodness and a great one to eat more of if you want to support hormones and libido. They are one of the best sources of plant-based zinc, which is totally essential for mood, mind and hormone balance as well as sperm health.
They are also loaded with libido supporting vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, E, C, D, K and minerals including calcium, potassium, niacin and phosphorous. As if this weren’t enough, they are a great source of arginine which research continually shows is essential for sex drive.
A Plant-Based Diet
Recently, the pro-vegan Netflix documentary ‘Game Changers’ (produced by big names Pamela Anderson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron, Jackie Chan and Louis Hamilton) supported the idea of a plant-based diet for promoting male sex drive. A small experiment was done on the show in which 3 professional American footballers demonstrated having 500% more erections during the night after eating a plant-based dinner, vs, an animal dinner.. this unsurprisingly sparked a lot of interest! The researchers suggest that this was because it increases blood flow around the body. Though we need more research to understand this (a lot of the other experiments in this documentary compared a healthy plant-based diet to junk food diets in America – not really the best comparison!) there is no doubt that a predominantly wholefood, plant-based diet is a good idea.
We would however urge caution in those going 100% vegan long term, as if you don’t pay special attention then it is possible for this diet to naturally be lower in B12 (this will require supplementation), iron, zinc, omega 3 and iodine, all of which are important for hormones and libido.
How long might it take to see results?
This is hard to answer, as everyone is so different and reasons for reduced sex drive are so varied, however if you make a solid change to your diet, and include more of these foods, it should start to have a positive impact on energy, vitality and overall wellbeing within a month, and for some, even sooner! This may translate to better libido at the same time, but if it’s taking longer then don’t be too disheartened and stick with it for a bit longer. Do also ensure you give proper attention to the emotional side of things, and manage your stress as well as you can.
More on easy stress hacks in this article here!
A note on supplements for sex drive
As we've outlined above, there are some really important vitamins and minerals involved with the processes in the body that can help promote a healthy libido. Omega 3, B vitamins, zinc, iodine, selenium and magnesium are among the most important, and alongside diet, supplements can be a great way to help ensure you get enough of these. Original Formula is an amazing source of all of these key nutrients but is also extra supportive of libido owing to the addition of Siberian Ginseng, which has been shown in some research to aid hormone balance and sex drive. It also contains amazing medicinal mushroom cordyceps which has been shown to be great for stress and energy, all of which can be a fantastic boost and get that internal fire blazing ;)
Have any tips of your own that you’d recommend? We would love to hear from you! Drop us a line, or check out our Instagram or Facebook to see what we are up to and hear about exclusive offers.
Disclaimer: Certain supplements are used for different reasons and a one-size-fits-all approach shouldn’t be adopted. In addition, pregnant women and anyone on medication should always consult a doctor before embarking on a supplements programme. As with all articles on www.equilondon.com, this is no substitution for individual medical or nutritional advice.