Ask any vegan, and they’ll probably tell you that their sex life has been soaring since giving up animal products. But die-hard meat eaters are likely to claim that things can’t get much better for them. So who can we trust, really?
Obviously, your sex life is linked to more than just the food you put in your body. Your own mental state, stress levels, your choice of partner and even finding the time to be alone can impact your sex life. Sexual happiness is a complex concept.
If we want to take a scientific approach to this, we have to look at what helps improve your sex life, and how your diet can influence this. If you change the fuel you put into your body, can this lead to a more adventurous sex life? And will you get more bang for your buck as a vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, flexitarian or an omnivore?
If you want to have a healthy sex life, you should focus on feeding two things: your heart and your brain. A good circulation system is essential for good sex. You need to make sure that blood can flow to all of the parts are your body responsible for arousal. This is why it can be harder to achieve and maintain an erection if you have poor heart health.
But as we mentioned above, it isn’t only your heart that needs a helping hand. Your brain plays a huge part in your sexuality and your sex drive. This is why conditions like depression are so closely linked to low sex drive.
We all know that a good diet consists of a varied mix of fruits and vegetables, protein and healthy fats. And it makes sense that those following a vegan diet might be more likely to adhere to healthy eating principles. But it isn’t always this way.
It’s very easy to be an unhealthy vegan. Plenty of junk food choices are unintentionally vegan. And if you’re filling your daily calorie allowance with chocolate, biscuits and chips, you’re unlikely to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Following a vegan lifestyle might be a step in the right direction, but only if you commit to replacing animal products with a wide range of fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts and seeds.
What you should really be focussing on is your health. If you want an active and healthy sex life, you need to make sure you are fueling your body with the right nutrients.
Just like in the bedroom, variety is best when it comes to getting the right diet. If you don’t fancy giving up meat altogether, you could make healthier choices by choosing organic meat, choosing leaner cuts, or just eating meat less often.
Energy is a key part of having a great sex life. If you frequently find yourself crawling into bed at the end of the day and can’t stay awake long enough to make it past the foreplay, you might need to address your diet.
Iron and B12 deficiency is quite common in vegans and vegetarians, most likely because meat is such a great source of both of these. If you find yourself getting tired easily, a trip to the doctors will help you to confirm if you have any deficiencies.
The good news is that there are plenty of vegan sources or iron, including chickpeas, tofu, kale and spinach. For a B12 boost, try nutritional yeast, or “nooch”.
It’s not just your energy levels you want to think about when trying to boost your sex drive. You also need to boost circulation. Spicy food such as cayenne pepper is known to help boost circulation and leave you feeling flush. Leafy greens will also do the job.
And finally, you also want to boost your serotonin levels. This is the feel-good “happy” hormone which helps us to feel more connected to people. It’s why a lot of people like to snuggle after sex. Women can achieve a serotonin hit from dark chocolate. For men, try hitting the gym a few nights a week to keep your happy hormone levels soaring.
So remember, it doesn’t matter that label you put on it. Eating a healthy diet is the single most important thing you can do to boost your sex drive. And if you’re looking for some aphrodisiac foods to get you in the mood, we can help with that, too.