Is your diet leading to a low libido? Both men and woman can become victim to a loss of libido at some point during their lives. Stress, medications, fluctuating hormones and dietary behaviours are key factors that can directly influence an individual’s sex drive. But how exactly is diet linked to an increase/decrease in libido? During this post we will explore the direct link between food and dietary behaviours and how they can have a positive and negative impact on our libido.
First things first, what we put into out body has a direct affect on how we feel physically and mentally. Ensuring that we are upholding a healthy balanced diet accompanied by an active lifestyle and including some time to focus on our mental health are all imperative to increasing your overall sense of wellbeing and creating a happier and healthier (sex) life.
A diet low in nutritious foods, lack of essential vitamins and minerals or simply following a very strict diet that’s not nourishing your body can cause low energy, a decrease in your sex hormones and a drop-in libido and subsequently drive. I’m sure you all know the saying “You’re not you when you’re hungry” Hungry or simply not eating enough to fuel your body with energy creates fluctuating hormones which can seriously affect your mental and physical health making you feel stressed, anxious, tired and even angry. So which foods could be contributing to your loss of drive? (Anaphrodisiacs)
Foods That Can Decrease Your Libido
Foods High in Saturated Fats
Highly processed and fried foods are culprits towards poor blood flow leading to erectile dysfunction in men. For both men and woman, too much saturated fat also affects our LDL cholesterol levels which in turn decreases libido.
How to reduce saturated fats from your diet:
- Eat leaner cuts of meat without the visible areas of fat
- Eat a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Swapping full fat for reduced fat/ fat free for dairy products such as milk and cheese
- Limit processed foods including processed deli meats
Eating too much salt is associated with high blood pressure and many other heart conditions. Yes, sodium is required and essential in our diets but too much sodium creates the body to retain water which decreases blood flow and in turn decreases your libido
How to reduce salt in your diet:
- Get to know your spices
- Read nutritional labels to get a better understanding of the sodium content
- Incorporate foods high in potassium, bananas, sweet potato, tomatoes and beans
Dairy & Soy
The added synthetic hormones in your dairy & soy products can sometimes cause your hormones to go a little crazy and in turn reduce your sex drive. Being intuitive about your dietary choices and finding alternative ways to get more calcium into your diet is definitely something to consider if you’re struggling with a lack of libido.
Foods containing Calcium:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fruits such as kiwi, oranges, berries, pineapple
- Fortified cereals, breads, plant/ nut milks
- Seeds & nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, chia, poppy seeds, sesame
Now that we have discussed some common culprits, it’s time to go over some foods to include into your diet to help boost your libido.
Foods that increase your libido (Aphrodisiacs)
Foods containing Magnesium
The mineral magnesium helps in the production of sex hormones- like Progesterone, Estrogen and Testosterone. In addition to increased libido, magnesium plays an important role for many bodily functions such as cortisol regulation to calm your nervous system, blood sugar regulation to combat insulin production and thyroid support.
Foods high in Magnesium:
- Fruits such as figs, avocado, bananas, berries
- Green leafy Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale
- Legumes & lentils such as black beans, chickpeas, split peas
- Nuts & seeds, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
Herbs & Spices:
There are a number of traditionally used herbs for boosting libido and stimulating hormone production and balance. Maca, Gingko, Tribulus terrestris and ginseng have been used for centuries as herbal aphrodisiacs to vitalize and improve sexual function. Some other options to add into your daily routines that you might have stored in your pantry are cinnamon, cayenne, garlic, fenugreek, rosemary and ginger.
Foods High in Zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral required for many vital functions, including regulation of hormones. Luckily there are many sources of foods containing high amounts of zinc, these include:
- Vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, mushrooms
- Shellfish including oysters, crab and mussels
- Meat & poultry, Choose nutritious lean cuts
- Nuts & seeds such as pistachios, pine nuts, sesame, sunflower seeds
- Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans
Omega 3 fatty acids
These healthy fats have the ability to increase dopamine and arginine, an amino acid that boosts the production of nitric oxide which increases circulation and production of hormones. Foods rich in Omega 3’s include:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel oysters
- Nuts and seeds such as flaxseed, chia, sunflower seeds and walnuts
- Plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean and canola oil
Libido varies among individuals and a temporary decrease can certainly be managed by upholding a good nutritious diet, getting enough sleep and managing stress by exercising, trying some yoga or meditation. These practices are definitely the way to go when libido starts to become an issue. Many people don’t realise that the role of diet comes into play with almost every bodily function, this conveys the key importance to ensuring you’re nourishing your body with good whole nutritious foods that will support you and your body.