With the arrival of Lent, you might be thinking about giving up certain things in your life. Chocolate, meat and dairy are all common vices that people choose to abstain from for the duration of Lent. But what will this do to your sex life?
You might think it odd to relate the two, but there is a clear link between our diets and moods. And this includes your sex drive. We’ve written before about the most popular aphrodisiacs and how to spark desire through the senses such as sight, taste and smell. So what happens when you cut things out of your diet? And what are the foods we definitely shouldn’t be avoiding if we want to boost our sex drive?
Which foods impact sex drive?
There are certain foods that will completely murder your sex drive. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re not in the mood after eating a giant, greasy pepperoni pizza, it’s not just the bloat that puts you off being intimate. Processed foods are one of the leading causes of problems in the bedroom. It isn’t just a case of the short-term impact of feeling bloated and dehydrated. Processed foods can have a long term impact on your sex drive.
A prime example of this can be found in the most famous processed food, white bread. In the refinement process, white bread is stripped of its zinc, which is essential for sexual health. Zinc helps with testosterone production in both men and women, and testosterone is essential for boosting your sex drive.
The long-term effects of processed foods on your sex life can also be seen in the increased risk of insulin resistance which can lead to heart disease and erectile dysfunction. Simply put, eating too much processed food can be the final nail in the coffin for your libido.
Another popular takeaway that can kill your sex drive is Asian food which uses a lot of soy products. This includes things like soy sauce, tofu and even the seemingly healthy edamame. Soy leads to increased levels of estrogen in the body, which dampers your sex drive significantly.
And finally, if you take your Netflix and chill time seriously, make sure you don’t reach for microwave popcorn. If you have to have movie snacks, make sure that you make your own popcorn in a pan. The microwave variety has a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid in the lining of the bag. This has been proven to kill your sex drive in the short term and can cause long-term prostate problems.
What foods can I eat?
At the end of Lent, most of us reach for sugar-rich chocolate eggs as a sweet reward. One small change to your Easter eating habits can actually help to boost your libido. Instead of grabbing the milky variety of chocolate, look for flavonoid-rich dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa content, the better. Flavonoids increase the production of nitric oxide in the body, which encourage the blood vessels to open wider. This helps to increase blood flow and can increase sensitivity in your most intimate regions.
Small changes to your regular diet can also help to boost your sex drive. For example, changing carb-rich and nutritionally poor white potatoes for the sweet variety can help you out in the bedroom. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A and this is suspected to help with male fertility and virility.
What can I drink?
When it comes to your drinks, steer clear of beer. While alcohol might help you loosen up, excessive drinking can have the opposite effect, making you sleepy and dousing your mood. Instead, reach for a glass or two of red wine. In a study of women’s sexual health, those who drank one or two glasses of red wine per day were said to have increased arousal and sexual pleasure as opposed to those who drank nothing or who drank in excess of this amount.
And if you don’t drink but fancy a pick-me-up, a shot of espresso could be just the thing you need. Coffee is a stimulant, so if you find yourself lagging in the evening and regularly skip sex because you’ve had a long day, try sipping on a coffee after dinner.