Va-va-voom! Foods to fire up your libido
Stress, fatigue, lack of exercise and poor diet can result in things not being as … ahem… strong as they once were. Yes, I am talking about our libidos. We have clients ask, “What can I do?” We’ve got the answer for men and women… you can eat!
For men, finding nutritional help on the libido front is pretty straightforward. It might not surprise you, however, that women need a little more finesse, a little more subtlety. In both men and women, blood flow is important. For men, it’s all about the lower quadrant of the body, but for women, it’s more about the brain and mind. Both men and women can fuel the fire with the right foods.
For both men and women, foods rich in B6 can enhance libido by optimizing levels of the hormone prolactin, which is made by the pituitary gland. Pregnant women naturally have high levels of prolactin (lots of pregnant women experience increased sex drive). And for both men and women, prolactin levels are typically highest in the morning (heard the expression ‘morning wood?”). B6 also aids in the production of red blood cells, serotonin, and dopamine.
Foods rich in B6 include:
- Roast beef
- Brussels sprouts
- Sorghum (see our recipe for popped sorghum here)
For the guys
Sex drive in men is strongly related to testosterone levels. Foods with selenium, zinc, and arginine can help boost testosterone, and protein is essential as well. Try to eat two of the foods on this list each day.
- Walnuts: Studies have shown that walnuts have properties that can slow or prevent prostate, renal, and colon cancers. It’s one of the most studied nuts when it comes to men’s health.
- Pumpkin seeds: These contain more zinc than other nuts and seeds. Zinc has been shown to be protective of prostate health and they’re so easy to add to salads and soups, or just as a snack.
- Olive oil: In one study, including just a tablespoon of olive oil per day reduce mortality rates from prostate cancer by 29%.
- Ditch the spare tire: Are you seeing the pattern here that healthy oils are great for men’s health? So is CLA, a highly beneficial fatty acid supplement. With my clients, CLA is a real ‘fat tire deflator’ for men. Check out my Metabolism CLA, which is also included as part of my Bye-Bye Belly Fat Bundle.
- Tomatoes and watermelon: These great summer foods include lycopene, a phytonutrient that’s been studied for its ability to slow tumor growth. Watermelon also offers citrulline, which converts in the body to arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to relax blood vessels. What else relaxes blood vessels? (It starts with a ‘V’ and comes as a little blue pill.)
- Green vegetables: We all know that leafy green vegetables and cruciferous veggies like broccoli are good for us. For men, these foods contain folate, which can help boost artery health. Folate is also part of my Metabolism Multi. Especially if you’re guy isn’t a fan of green vegetables, a high-quality multivitamin is super important.
Other foods to think about:
- Brazil nuts
- Celery Stalks
For the ladies
For women, libido is closely tied to mood and emotion. While testosterone rules the libido in men, endorphins and the pituitary gland in the brain get women going. Relaxation and de-stressing are key. In foods, look for ingredients that promote vasodilation — the widening of the blood vessels, which promotes blood flow to the brain and body.
- Hot peppers
- Spices like chili powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric and paprika
- Fresh herbs: Tarragon, basil, spearmint, bay leaf, oregano
- Foods with vitamin C: citrus and orange vegetables