Losing interest in sex lately? Don’t blame your partner. The cause may not lie in the bedroom, but in the kitchen. Why? Because the foods you eat each day affect your body’s production of hormones needed to stimulate a healthy libido or hormones that dampen sexual drive. So let’s start the New Year with a new diet you’ll love, because you eat delicious foods that rev up sexual desire and enjoyment.
It’s true that sexual desire can be affected by the quality of your intimate relationship, by your stress levels, the quality of your sleep and overall health. Regardless of these, you can nourish your ability to desire and enjoy sex when you choose a daily menu of foods that feed your libido-boosting sex hormones, which deplete naturally as we age.
If you want to find love or turn up the heat in the bedroom, what are the best foods to include or avoid in your daily diet?
Here is the list recommended by Michael Aziz, MD, a board certified internist in Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and author of The Perfect 10 Diet: 10 Key Hormones That Hold the Secret to Losing Weight and Feeling Great—Fast! (Cumberland). www.Perfect10Diet.com
While Dr. Aziz says there is no precise daily dose, like eating 2 oysters each day, he recommends that along with a healthy lifestyle you choose these foods in your daily diet:
Natural fats. In the past, we’ve been advised to severely restrict all fats to reduce heart disease risk and maintain a healthy weight. But to produce sex hormones, your body needs some saturated and monounsaturated fats. Best food sources of natural hormone-balancing fats are found in avocados, butter, fish, nuts, olive oil and whole milk.
Cholesterol-rich foods. You may think it’s best to avoid this food group if you want to reduce your cholesterol levels. Dr. Aziz says the type of cholesterol found in foods is not the same as the type that clogs arteries. Actually, dietary cholesterol aids in the production of sex hormones—so include moderate amounts of eggs, liver, organic red meats and shellfish in your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids. You’ve been told these protect against heart disease. The good news is what’s good for your heart is also good for your genitals. Why? Because Omega-3s improve blood flow throughout your whole body, and the more blood that reaches the genitals, the more aroused you feel. From a hormonal standpoint, omega-3s optimize sex hormone production. Good food sources include fatty fish (halibut, mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna) as well as eggs, flaxseed oil and walnuts.
Zinc. This mineral supports the production of female and male sex hormones. Oysters are particularly rich in zinc. So are clams, crabs, lobster and shrimp. If you’re allergic to fish you can get zinc when you eat barley, buckwheat, cheese, chickpeas, nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts), oat bran, poultry, red meat, seeds (pumpkin, squash, sunflower) and spinach.
Citrulline. This amino acid converts to arginine, a substance that dilates blood vessels, and thus improves blood flow (“like a natural Viagra,” Dr. Aziz said). Best food sources of Citrulline are watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers and milk.
In choosing your daily menu, Dr. Aziz says it is best to limit these foods that decrease your libido:
Sugar. You can’t satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing sexual desire. Why? Because eating sweets triggers production of the stress hormone, cortisol. This interferes with arousal because the body uses up some sex hormones to increase cortisol. Sugar also impairs production of the steroid hormone DHEA, a precursor the body uses to create sex hormones.
Alcohol. A drink can increase desire by lowering inhibitions—but it also shuts down sex hormones. If you do drink, Dr. Aziz recommends limiting yourself to no more than three servings per week.
(Hadley’s note: If you want to gain the proven health benefits from red wine, my internist recommended limiting your daily dose to 4 ounces. Any more can tax your liver and reduce the health benefits of resveratrol in red wine)
Manufactured fats. Trans fats—such as those in margarine, hydrogenated oils and vegetable shortening—damage DHEA and interfere with production of female and male sex hormones.
(Hadley’s note: Let’s be aware that manufactured, fake foods and genetically modified “Frankenfoods” aren’t proven to be healthy or safe. New studies show they cause harm and should be avoided.)
Caffeine. In addition to breaking down testosterone, excessive caffeine can disrupt production of human growth hormone (HGH). Dr. Aziz says, HGH is “the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth.” So it’s best to limit caffeine intake to two servings per day to help keep your libido lively.
Hadley’s note: Remember there is caffeine in many soft drinks and in chocolate, as well as in coffee and tea.
Now you know how you can feel even greater sexual desire and enjoyment of sex when you eat libido-boosting foods each day. And you’ll get the red-hot love life you deserve when you use the red-hot relationship guide I provide at www.TribeOfCouples.com
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