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Food And Sex: What’s The Connection?

Food affects our bodies in many different ways, so it’s not surprising that people have tried to find the link between food and sex for thousands of years. But can certain foods really help you have better sex?

Let’s talk more about the correlation between food and sex.

Foods to boost your stamina

Stamina is important for a healthy sex life. Improving your cardiovascular health could help boost your stamina, since blood circulation plays a big role in sexual function. In theory, foods that improve your heart health could also improve your stamina during sex and help you reap the benefits of sex. Foods that can improve cardiovascular health include:

  • Fatty fish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Legumes
  • Red wine (in moderation!)
  • Soy
  • Vegetables
  • Oats
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fruits

You can also try eating foods that contain electrolytes, such as potassium. Athletes eat these foods to shorten their recovery time, aid muscle contraction, and maintain their fluid balance. These are some foods that contain potassium and could help improve your energy during sex:

  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Milk or yogurt

Nitrates are compounds that can improve exercise tolerance, optimize muscle oxygenation, and reduce muscle fatigue. Although there’s no research that specifically links nitrates and sexual performance, their positive effect on your muscles means that they could potentially help reduce fatigue during sex. Nitrate-rich foods include:

  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Dark chocolate
  • Leafy greens
  • Red meat
  • Pomegranate
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Citrus fruits

However, it’s important to mention that there’s not enough scientific evidence to fully establish the effectiveness of using foods to improve sexual performance.

Foods to boost your libido

Many women experience low sex drive at some point in their lives. This situation can cause anxiety, and it’s normal to wonder how to fix your low libido. Many foods and supplements are advertised as instant cures for low libido, but you should remember that there’s limited evidence on most of these substances. However, you can still try out different “sex foods” to determine whether they work for you.

These foods could potentially help increase your libido:

  • Red wine: Some studies have found a positive correlation between regular, moderate consumption of red wine and female sexual function, including lubrication and sexual desire.
  • Maca: Different studies have found that maca root could potentially increase sexual desire and satisfaction in both men and women without altering sexual hormones. Research suggests that it may even improve semen quality in men. However, more research is still needed.  
  • Fenugreek: Some studies have shown that this herb and its seeds could increase female sexual desire and arousal, but more research is needed.
  • Tribulus terrestris: Also known as bindii, this plant has been shown to increase testosterone levels and sexual satisfaction in women suffering from sexual dysfunction. More research is needed to establish dosing and indications for this plant.

Keep in mind that there are many different factors that can lower libido, including stress, illness, hormonal imbalances, substance abuse, and mental health. Consider discussing any libido issues with a doctor to get medical advice and rule out possible underlying causes.

Foods to improve erection

Foods that improve cardiovascular health can also help sustain an erection, since good blood flow is essential for erectile function. Other foods which could help maintain an erection include:

  • The Mediterranean diet: A flavonoid-rich diet full of legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and olive oil has been linked to a lower risk of erectile dysfunction, among many other health benefits.
  • Pistachios: Pistachios contain healthy compounds which can help improve heart health. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
  • Zinc: Foods that contain zinc may help treat sexual dysfunction and regulate testosterone levels, and they may even improve sperm quality. Good sources of zinc include meat, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, whole grains, and one of the original sexy foods: oysters.
  • Ginseng: Some studies have found that Korean red ginseng could improve erectile performance, male sexual satisfaction, sperm count, and libido. However, we still need more research to consider ginseng a sufficiently researched supplement. 
  • L-citrulline: This amino acid is present in foods like beets, soy, watermelon, chickpeas, pumpkins, cucumber, onion, and garlic. Studies have found that L-citrulline may help improve erectile function and erection hardness in men who suffer from mild erectile dysfunction. However, the direct role of L-citrulline is still not well characterized.

Foods to avoid before having sex

A glass of wine or two may help improve libido, but excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided before having sex. Having too much alcohol can lead to a decreased sexual function, increased risk of erectile dysfunction, and it can hinder the ability to give consent.

It may also be a good idea to avoid mixing sex with foods that make you feel bloated, such as processed foods, high-sodium or fatty foods, cruciferous vegetables, beans, or dairy.

You should also remember to consult your doctor before adding any new medications or supplements to your daily routine. Even natural substances can cause negative side effects or interact with any medications you’re taking. Many products that are marketed as natural aphrodisiacs are ineffective or can cause adverse reactions.

One final note about food and sex

Some evidence suggests that certain foods could potentially improve sex for some people, but more research is needed to fully establish the benefits of foods for sex. It’s unlikely that a single food will have a significant effect on your sexual function, but eating a healthy diet can certainly help you feel more energetic and positively impact your sex life.

You can try eating different foods before, during, and after sex. You may end up discovering that combining sex with foods increases your energy levels or libido, or it may simply provide a fun new experience for you and your partner.

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