Here are 5 foods to boost libido for men and women, and simple explanations of why they can be as powerful as other libido boosters you may have your eye on.
If you’re more excited to sleep than have sex in the bedroom, your sex drive might need a little boost. A low libido can happen at any point in your life for a variety of reasons. Studies show that 32 percent of women and 15 percent of men lack the desire to have sex regularly. A few potential causes of a decreased sex drive could be due to depression, stress, obesity, or certain medications.
How Food Can Increase Your Libido
Rather than heading out to purchase new lingerie or an unnatural libido enhancer, a trip to the nearest grocery store might help. Not only does eating healthy foods help you feel better about yourself, and in turn boost your confidence, but it can also increase your mood, energy levels, and stamina. All of these contribute to boosting your libido. In addition to an overall healthy diet, research shows specific foods and nutrients can help sizzle things up in the bedroom. Be sure to include these five foods in your diet to supercharge your sex drive.
A shorter version of this article originally appeared on Fox News Health.
Five Foods That Are Libido Boosters
- Chocolate (dark chocolate and cocoa powder)
- Fatty fish
- Green tea
- Pumpkin seeds
1. Avocados and Libido
A source of vitamin E for healthy skin and nails, avocados also provide potassium, vitamin B6, and monounsaturated fats. These contribute to a healthy heart and circulation, which are critical for an active sex life.
Studies show that men with heart disease are twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction, since both conditions can result from artery damage. Try some mashed avocado on your toast in the morning, add slices to your sandwich or salad, or blend together this Avocado Pineapple Green Smoothie.
2. Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Powder and Libido
One of the most popular foods for its indulgent flavor, chocolate can help boost your mood by increasing both dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. These are also known as your “feel good” neurotransmitters.
In addition, chocolate offers varying amounts of flavanols (a naturally occurring antioxidant in cocoa) that help relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. Since the amount (and therefore benefits) of cocoa flavanols vary greatly in chocolate depending on the brand and how it’s processed, it’s best to get your cocoa flavanols from unsweetened cocoa powder or a fortified powder from a major manufacturer that guarantees at least 200 mg in a serving.
3. Fatty Fish and Libido
You may have heard that fatty fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon are swimming with omega-3 fatty acids. These are not only good for your heart, but also raise levels of dopamine in the brain that improve circulation and blood flow.
Fish is also high in protein and a good source of vitamin B-6, which aids in healthy blood production. For example, just one ¼ cup serving of wild-caught canned tuna provides nearly 25% of your daily need for protein and 10% of your daily need for vitamin B-6, along with omega-3 fatty acids. Who knew a tuna fish sandwich could put you in the mood?
4. Green Tea and Libido
Could a hot cup of tea heat up your sex life? Green tea is rich in compounds called catechins, which in addition to helping reduce belly fat has been shown to help promote blood flow for a better sex life.
Catechins promote blood flow in two ways:
- First, they kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels, increasing their ability to transport blood.
- Second, they cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow.
In addition to a hot mug of green tea, try adding it in your morning oatmeal, blend up a green tea smoothie, or add some green tea powder to your yogurt or baked goods.
Read about additional benefits of green tea and other tea varieties.
5. Pumpkin Seeds and Libido
One of the best plant sources of zinc, pumpkin seeds (or papitas), also contain protein, fiber, potassium, and iron. Important for immune function, wound healing, and eye health, zinc also plays a role in a man’s libido/sex drive as having a zinc deficiency can led to low testosterone.
While it’s not exactly understood why a lack of zinc impacts testosterone, the mineral may affect the cells in the testes that produce testosterone. One study found that men who received 30 milligrams of zinc per day showed increased levels of free testosterone in their bodies. Enjoy pumpkin seeds for a snack, or add them to your salad or cooked grains for a little crunch.
One Last Food for Thought
While the food choices you make can positively impact your libido, I next encourage you to pay attention to two other key elements: sleep and stress. Stress directly interferes with both sleep and sexual desire.
A 2019 study of postmenopausal women found that having “highly stress-reactive sleep systems”—aka being unable to sleep due to a racing mind, anxious thoughts, and so on—is connected to sexual dissatisfaction.
Additionally, the connection between sleep and sex is so strong that researchers have floated the idea that sleep disorders could be risk factors for sexual dysfunction.
So when you’re selecting a few new foods and planning your meals and , don’t forget to mix in some stress-reducing and sleep-enhancing rituals as well. Take a deeper dive into stress and sleep with these tips and tricks:
- 4 Foods to Eat Before Bed to Sleep Better
- 8 Foods to Help You Sleep
- 10 Proven Ways to Better Handle Stress
- How to Overcome Stress in 5 Minutes or Less
Plus, sign up for a free bonus chapter of my book to boost energy.
This post was updated September 2022 from it’s original content.