Foods That Increase Libido
Loss of Libido
Loss of libido is far from uncommon. 32% of women report it, and 15% of men say they have a lack of sexual desire. It’s thus fair to say that both men and women can encounter this problem, and they encounter if with increasing frequency as they reach middle age or older.
Loss of libido can result from all sorts of causes including the following:
- Low testosterone
- Problems in the relationship
- Lack of exercise
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Chronic illnesses like diabetes
- Prescription medications
Prescription medications can alter levels of dopamine and prolactin, both chemicals heavily involved in the regulation of sexual desire and performance. Dopamine increases libido and prolactin decreases it. In men, high prolactin is also associated with other sexual and psychological health issues including reduced activity, higher blood glucose, and a higher body-mass index (BMI.) The man is apt to feel unhealthy in general.
The causes listed above can affect both men and women. But there are some specific gender differences with regard to sex drive and loss of libido as well.
Loss of Libido in Men
In addition to the causes listed above, men can suffer a decline in sex drive or sexual performance due to sleep apnea.
When low testosterone is responsible for a man’s loss of libido, a condition called erective dysfunction (or ED) can manifest. This means the man has trouble getting or sustaining an erection.
ED isn’t always related to a loss of sexual desire. A man can feel strong desire but still experience the problem.
Loss of Libido in Women
Women’s sexuality is more complex than that of men, a fact that, sadly, has contributed to the fact that women’s sexual dysfunction can be more difficult to treat successfully. In addition to the causes likely to affect both sexes, a woman’s low libido can result from problematic images of sexuality in the media and medical conditions like thyroid problems, endometriosis, and fibroids.
It can be surprising that low testosterone levels can produce loss of libido in women the same as in men. We tend to think of testosterone as a male hormone. But women have it too, albeit at a lower level. In both sexes, it helps to develop lean muscle mass and bone strength, contributes to energy and a sense of wellness, and regulates libido. In women, testosterone levels decline with menopause and after.
But female loss of libido can occur at any age, possibly due to taking birth control pills or another form of hormonal pregnancy prevention.
But just because loss of libido is common and explainable, that doesn’t make it pleasant. Most of us would like to maintain our sex drive and ability to perform sexually if at all feasible. Fortunately, this may prove to be easier than you think.
Loss of Libido and Nutrition
What you eat can have play a big role in the degree to which you feel sexual desire and your ability to perform sexually. There are certain foods that will act as safe, natural aphrodisiacs to rev your sex drive and others to avoid lest they have the opposite effect.
Foods that Combat Lack of Libido
- Foods with vitamin C. Vitamin C improves blood circulation, and you can get it in foods like oranges, guava, red peppers, and broccoli. Vitamin C is particularly important for maintaining a woman’s sexual health.
- Iron-rich foods. Low iron has a negative effect on sexual health. Fortunately, iron is readily available in dark leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and beef from grass-fed cattle. Like vitamin C, iron plays an especially important role in female sexual health.
- Foods with collagen.Our bodies’ ability to produce collagen declines as we age. Low collagen levels can make it more difficult for men to get erections and degrade the firmness of women’s vaginal walls. Vitamin C, bone broth, and a collagen supplement powder can all help you restore or maintain an appropriate collagen level.
- Watermelon. Watermelon contains phytonutrients like citrulline, beta-carotene, and lycopene. By relaxing blood vessels, all of these make it easier for men to get and keep erections. As an added benefit, watermelon doesn’t have the potential side effects of Viagra or a similar medication.
- Sweet potatoes and yams.Sweet potatoes and yams have vitamin A and potassium. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and thus combats ED.
- Almonds and Brazil nuts.These are rich in the selenium that promotes healthy testosterone levels. They also have vitamin E, zinc, and healthy fats, all of which are linked to healthy libido and sexual functioning.
- Nutmeg and clove.These spices contain antioxidants that are good for your libido and your health in general. Clove also fights halitosis.
- Fruits like figs, bananas, and avocados.These promote blood flow and act as natural aphrodisiacs because some of that blood flow is to the genitals.
- Dark chocolate.Chocolate promotes the release of serotonin and phenyl ethylamine. That produces an aphrodisiac effect and can enhance a person’s mood in general. For best results, eat the dark chocolate in moderation and choose a low-sugar, high-quality variety.
- Water. Dehydration is associated with low libido in both sexes, so avoid it by drinking plenty of water. This will also help you avoid headaches and fatigue and, if you’re female, vaginal dryness.
Foods hat Can Make Lack of Libido Worse
- Conventional dairy. Not all dairy is a problem. But some of it contains synthetic hormones that can affect the body’s level of testosterone or estrogen.
- Sugar. Processed sugar affects the body’s sex hormones. It depresses testosterone levels in men even if they’re not diabetic and even if they consumed the processed sugar several hours before.
- Alcohol. It’s a popular belief that alcohol enhances libido, but too much can have the opposite effect. In this case, too much means more than one glass. If you want to drink before sex, red wine is the best choice because it contains antioxidants that widen blood vessels and promote blood flow to erogenous zones.
- Trans fats and fried foods.These are associated with abnormal sperm production in men and impaired gestation in women.
- Poor quality protein. Meat from factory farms is sometimes full of artificially added antibiotics and hormones that can cause a hormonal imbalance in you.
- Food high in sodium.The salt contributes to high blood pressure, and that in turns interferes with the flow of blood, including blood to the genitals.
- Processed food. Processed food is also likely to contain chemicals that adversely affect libido.
Finally, if it turns out changing your diet and getting some exercise aren’t enough to restore your libido, don’t despair. Further remedies are available. One of these is the form of regenerative medicine known as stem cell therapy.