Besides the important job of procreation, sex brings pleasure and can deepen feelings of intimacy with your partner. Lack of desire, impotence, and other sexual problems can turn a sizzling hot sex life into a low-burning flame quickly. If your love life can stand a gentle nudge (or a substantial kickstart), look to your diet for help. These seven foods are packed with nutrients that can perk up your libido and may improve your overall health too.
Nuts and seeds
Plying your beloved with chocolates is a romantic gesture, but won't necessarily take them to soaring new heights in the bedroom. Instead of candy, snack on a handful of nuts and seeds. Cashews and almonds are chock-full of zinc, while a host of healthy snacks boast L-arginine to get your blood flowing: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts
Include a variety of meats in your diet to help improve your sex life. Beef, chicken, and pork contain carnitine, L-arginine, and zinc. Carnitine and L-arginine are amino acids that improve blood flow. Uninterrupted blood flow is crucial to the engorgement of tissues for sexual response in men and women. According to NYU Langone Medical Center, these two nutrients may effectively treat erectile dysfunction in some men. Zinc is an essential mineral known to improve immunity, but also plays a role in sexual function. Zinc deficiency can lead to impotence and low hormone levels in men. Serve up some animal-based protein (in moderation, to avoid adding to your risk of heart disease) to help keep all systems running smoothly in the bedroom. Vegetarian lovers can opt for whole grains, nuts, and dairy products.
The aphrodisiacal properties of oysters have been touted for years. What you may have believed to be a myth may actually have validity. Research shared at a 2005 conference of the American Chemical Society shows that oysters, clams, and scallops contain compounds that raise testosterone and estrogen levels. A boost in hormone production translates into heightened sexual desire in many cases. Oysters are also an excellent source of zinc, which aids blood flow to the genitals in both genders. Don't care for mollusks? Feast on lobster or crab instead. Both types of shellfish are loaded with zinc.
Salmon is a popular poster child for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The pink-fleshed fish, as well as tuna and halibut, might be the key to enhancing your sex life too. Omega-3 may help prevent the buildup of plague in your arteries, thus improving blood flow throughout your body. A fatty fish diet may not be the love potion for guys who are at risk for high-grade prostate cancer, however. Studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggest that omega-3 fatty acids could increase your risk for developing an aggressive form of the disease. Low-grade, slow-moving prostate cancer is not affected by eating foods rich in omega-3.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and could also improve your love life. Apples, along with berries, cherries, onions and dark-colored grapes, are rich in quercetin. This antioxidant, called a flavonoid, may offer a number of medicinal effects. As far as sex goes, quercetin plays a role in controlling symptoms of prostatitis and interstitial cystitis (IC), and promotes circulation. Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland, sometimes causing testiclular discomfort and pain with ejaculation. IC, or painful bladder syndrome, may also make sex difficult for men and women. Sexual-related symptoms of IC can include genital pain, erectile dysfunction, painful intercourse, and low desire.
Your mother might have warned you never to eat garlic before a date. This is one piece of advice you can ignore. This pungent herb is a natural blood thinner often used to prevent hypertension, high cholesterol, and heart disease. The anticoagulant properties help ensure plenty of blood flow to your nether regions. You and your partner can both benefit from a healthy dose of garlic before an amorous evening. If you're both eating it, nobody will mind the strong breath.
A glass of red wine may help ladies get in the mood. Research presented in a 2009 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine shows that one to two glasses of red wine a day increased sexual desire and lubrication in women. Red wine contains quercetin, which might account for the positive response. Researchers noted that drinking more than two glasses of red wine daily or indulging in other types of alcoholic beverages did not produce the same results.