Your libido refers to your desire for sex. A change or decreased desire to be intimate can lead to frustration in a relationship and should be addressed. Depending on the root cause for your change in libido, lifestyle and dietary changes may be enough to improve your libido. Keep reading to learn about foods and nutrition tips to improve libido.
Libido is a desire to have sex. In relationships, it can be upsetting when libido unexpectedly declines.
Although no single food will cure your low sex drive, adopting general healthy habits can lead to positive changes.
Making the switch to a Mediterranean diet and seeking professional assistance for safe weight loss are two positive adjustments that may improve libido.
What is a libido?
Libido is a desire to have sex. There are some things that can lower your libido and make you less inclined to have physical intimacy.
Common factors that lead to decreased libido include increased stress levels, performance anxiety, and relationship problems that are being ignored. Understandably, it can be challenging to feel aroused when your stress is elevated and your mind is focused on other things.
Finding solutions to increase libido is important. You can take steps to help, including diet and lifestyle changes, learning stress management techniques, and resolving issues with your partner.
Identifying a low libido
Only your doctor can diagnose a low libido. Diagnostic tests may include blood tests, hormone tests, and imaging. Physical changes could also contribute to decreased libido, such as a mass or tumor, therefore a pelvic exam may be necessary as well.
There is evidence that certain medical conditions affect sex drive:
- Women who are pre- or post-menopause
- Anyone with heart disease or hypertension
- Anyone with cancer
- Anyone with unmanaged diabetes
- Certain medications can impair libido, such as anti-depressants
If you fall into any of these categories, you should consult your doctor for treatment options. There are plenty of medications and therapies that can help you enjoy a healthy sexual life again.
Diet tips to maintain a healthy libido
There is no food that can magically increase libido.
However, there are dietary changes you can make today to support your sexual life. These include following a dietary pattern that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. The vitamins and minerals from these foods are essential for your body to remain healthy and prepared for arousal.
Antioxidants are naturally occurring molecules that fight inflammation and reduce the chances of disease. Darkly colored fruits are rich in antioxidants and should be a staple in your diet. Choose berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries regularly (frozen options are great too).
Try the Mediterranean diet
Research showed that men who followed the Mediterranean diet experienced improved erectile dysfunction and female sexual health. This diet's key components include eating various fruits and vegetables and other plant-based foods. Snacks should include nuts and seeds. For protein, pick more seafood and fish with healthy fats, such as trout and salmon.
Follow a weight loss plan
People who live with obesity are at a higher risk of changes to their libido. This is brought on by a number of hormone imbalances associated with weight gain, and increasing your weight can increase your libido.
A good weight loss plan should help you lose one to two pounds per week and incorporate lifelong, sustainable habits. You can create a customized weight loss plan with the assistance of a registered dietitian.
Avoid taking “miracle” supplements
While many supplements claim to increase libido, very few have been validated by science. These products can be costly, and the absence of progress can increase frustration. Instead, discuss verified products that may be beneficial with your physician.
Ditch DHEA supplements
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone your body produces in the adrenal gland. Low levels of DHEA in the body have been linked to increased sexual challenges, including a lowered libido.
Unreliable sources suggest taking DHEA supplements to increase libido, but the evidence for these claims is unsatisfactory. In fact, scientists think that using this synthetic hormone may put you at higher risk of hormone-related issues, including various cancers.
Do aphrodisiacs help?
Certain foods are thought to naturally limit aphrodisiacs, which are substances that are supposed to heighten feelings of sexual arousal. Throughout history, people have claimed that oysters and chocolates naturally contain these properties, but scientists have debunked these claims.
However, if these foods help you feel more romantic you should continue to enjoy them! These dishes can help set the scene, so to speak, so that you are eager and aroused for physical intimacy.
Other steps you can take to set a romantic mood include putting phones away, lighting candles, and playing soothing music in order to reduce distractions.
It can be difficult and confusing to live with a diminished libido, particularly if you've never felt these symptoms.
The best method to address the underlying cause of this change is to collaborate with your healthcare provider.
Seek support if you find it difficult to manage your stress or anxiety, require a realistic weight loss plan or need additional dietary adjustments. You may also consider adding more physical activity to your plan or trying medications if your doctor thinks it would be helpful.
- Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Food with Influence in Sexual and Reproductive Health.
- Sex Medicine Reviews. Diet and Female Sexual Health.
- Sexual Medicine Reviews. Diet and Men's Sexual Health.