“Keep the Sparks Alive” Series
Sometimes a change or dip in libido has more to do with hormone or energy levels that have changed. Other times, it’s a matter of exhaustion or being overscheduled. Experts say particularly for women, scheduling time for date nights and intimacy is key to maintaining a strong connection.
For an increasing number of couples, ubiquitous technology and inability to unplug is making it difficult to physically connect and interact with others in a human way. (Achieve True Connectivity.) Share at least an hour of your day with your loved ones while you are disconnected from technology, including TV, cell phone or computer. (Read Is the Cell Phone Impeding Your Relationship?)
If you’re getting enough rest, and giving each other dedicated time, you might find certain foods affect your level of desire. It’s certainly worth supplementing diet before looking to modern medicine. Some foods have smells or shapes that affect us, and others can alter our body chemistry. Quite a lot of foods can have a substantial affect on our sex drive. Experiment with how certain foods make you feel.
Let’s start with my favorite. Chocolate has long been considered a love drug, because the ingredients phenylethylamine, tryptophan and anadamine make us feel good. In addition, the caffeine in chocolate may boost female libido. Dark chocolate is the most effective. A 2006 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who ate chocolate on a daily basis had higher sexual function than those who didn’t. In addition to the ingredients above, it contains serotonin to boost your mood. Husbands, you have a very good reason to keep your mates supplied with dark chocolate. Wives, a small amount is ideal.
A great summer treat, watermelon helps improve blood flow to the heart and genitalia because it is rich in citruline, which helps relax blood vessels.
A yummie vegetable that helps increase sex drive in men and women is asparagus, which is rich in folate. Folate helps increase production of histamine, which is essential to maintaining libido. Avocados also increase libidos in men and women due to their B6, folic acid and potassium levels.
Researchers believe figs, which are high in amino acids, can increase libido and increase sexual stamina.
Oysters are said to increase libido in both genders, but those who (like me) dislike them can take a zinc supplement—or they could try pumpkin seeds, also rich in zinc (and without the sliminess).
Sauerkraut is another proven libido booster, at least for men. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that 90 percent of men felt a noticeable libido boost after eating sauerkraut.
Eggs, nuts, chilies, nutmeg, turkey, brown rice, garlic and fish (especially salmon) all contribute to healthy sex lives for both partners.
Foods high in zinc boost sperm production. And naturally enhancing your diet can help maintain testosterone levels. Ideal foods include broccoli, steak, beans, bananas, pine nuts, and celery.
Libido-enhancing foods help us maintain estrogen levels. Soy has been shown to boost women’s sex drive. Please note: Women with a history of breast cancer should not eat large amounts of soy due to increase recurrence rates. Basil is said to stimulate female fertility and boost libido. Foods that help maintain testosterone levels can also help.
The following SCENTS are helpful because they increase penile blood flow: lemons, doughnuts, and licorice. (However, eating the doughnuts has the opposite effect.) For women, smelling licorice and cucumbers or baby powder provides powerful pheromones.
Sources: You Being Beautiful by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., Libido-Increasing Food, and Love Hacks.
Photo by Ambro courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com