So you’ve slipped into something silky, dimmed the lights, and cued the Kenny G tracks, but you’re still not feeling the heat between the sheets. Uh-oh.
It’s something that many post 50s deal with. Around half of menopausal women reported a diminished sex drive after menopause in one study. And men aren’t immune to a loss of libido — studies have shown that decreased testosterone and estrogen also impact men’s sex drives as they age.
But don’t fret. When it comes to getting in the mood, there’s more at play than just Victoria’s Secret and Viagra. Sex experts say one of the most important keys to having a healthy sex drive is the right diet. A balanced diet will not only help you look better and feel more confident, but will deliver key nutrients to keep your libido high. A poor diet could be causing you toxicity, inflammation, and sluggishness, none of which will help stir your passion.
Of course there are several other contributing factors to a optimal sex drive including maintaining a healthy weight, communicating with your partner, and even getting enough shut eye. But a few tweaks to your diet couldn’t hurt. We’ve rounded up some of the best libido-boosting foods for you below.
Pine nuts are loaded with arginine which helps increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels. Plus, arginine is converted by the body into nitric oxide which is found in Viagra. So consider making some pesto or some nice quinoa pilaf with these wonder nuts for your date night.
Avocados contain heart-healthy fats, vitamin B6, and folic acid which all help fuel the body and increase energy. Vitamin B6 is known to help hormone production in men, which is key for a strong sex drive.
“This phytochemical-rich food enhances both libido and sexual endurance,” Drs. Anna Maria and Brian Clement, authors of 7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality, told Fitness Magazine. For max benefits, they recommend having 10 berries or a tablespoon of their seeds just a few hours before you plan on getting frisky.
Some studies suggest people have more sex on the brain in summertime and we wonder if this warm-weather favorite fruit might have something to do with it. Researchers at Texas A&M University found a nutrient contained in watermelons, citrulline, can have a Viagra-like effect on the body. Citrulline is converted into arginine in the body. “Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it,” Dr. Bhimu Patil said in a release.
Ditch the coffee and put on the kettle. Ginseng tea contains a compound that increases sexual satisfaction and can help prevent or lessen erectile dysfunction, according to Dr. Oz. A 2002 study found Korean red ginseng in particular helped 60 percent of patients with erectile dysfunction. Drink up!
According to some folklore, just the scent of almonds is an aphrodisiac for women. While it’s unclear if there’s any truth to the myth, almonds are packed with libidinous benefits. They’re rich in zinc which is essential to testosterone production and sex drive in both men and women. Dr. Oz calls zinc the “ultimate sex mineral.”
Start the day off with the right breakfast and hopefully it will end well for you too. Oatmeal is touted as a testosterone-booster–but here’s some good news for the ladies. It contains L-arginine which helps blood flow in your nether regions and is an ingredient in many lubes and love potions. Yes, please.