With our crazy lifestyles these days, there are many factors that can contribute to a decrease in libido, including stress, toxicity from our environment and poor diet. Poor libido often underlies a bigger issue like inflammation that can impair energy production and blood flow, both of which are important for a healthy sex drive.
If this is a concern of yours, there are many steps you can take to get your body re-energized, including adding some key foods to your diet. Although there are a number of so-called superfoods that specifically boost libido, if your current diet is unhealthy, simply eating them may not give you the result you're looking for. To boost libido organically requires that you obtain true health from within.
The good news is that you can incorporate some common foods into a healthy diet that will help to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow throughout the body, and raise your energy. In fact, these foods will not only help you feel better, they will also make you look better, which will do wonders for your libido. Here are six, everyday foods you should be eating:
Wild caught salmon is a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that help maintain the fluidity of our cell membranes. They keep our cardiovascular systems healthy by reducing inflammation, preventing excessive blood clotting, and keeping fats in the blood at healthy levels (i). Salmon is great grilled, broiled, or added to an omelet or salad. The same omega-3 fats are also found in other fatty fish like tuna, black cod, halibut, and mackerel.
Yes, avocados are high in fat, but they're also high in healthy fats like omega-9 and omega-3. They're anti-inflammatory, so they support a healthy cardiovascular system and blood sugar regulation. In addition, they're high in fiber and rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, the fat-soluble vitamin K, folate, and B vitamins. They're also a source of high-quality protein. To get a healthy dose of avocado, (rather than slathering guacamole on your beef burrito,) add avocado chunks to a tossed salad. The fats will help increase absorption of phytonutrients from your greens, carrots, and tomatoes.
Watermelon is rich in a chemical called citrulline (iv) that helps make nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels. It also contains the phytonutrient lycopene and beta-carotene, which act as antioxidants, protecting our cells. This is the perfect time of the year to enjoy it; don’t be afraid to eat the white part of the watermelon rind where much of the citrulline is found, either. To maximize the nutrients, (if you buy the fruit whole), leave it at room temperature until it's cut, then store the leftovers in the fridge. Eat it right off the rind, in a fruit salad, or try it in this delicious gazpacho.
Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans are a good source of L-arginine which gets converted into nitric oxide. Walnuts also contain a plant-based omega 3 fat that's necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system. Add a few to your morning oatmeal, add them to salads, or have a handful as an afternoon snack. Looking for a sweet treat? Try these truffles sweetened with raisins
5. Leafy Greens.
Fresh spinach, kale, collards, arugula, mustard greens, as well as herbs like parsley and oregano c ontain high amounts of chlorophyll, which is purifying to the blood and helps to increase blood flow. Some, like kale, also contain essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6. They're a rich source of vitamins, including the fat-soluble A and K, and C, as well as minerals that keep the body rich in alkaline and improve energy levels. Eat them in salads, steamed, or juiced with other veggies and fruits.
A zinc deficiency can impair testosterone production (v) as well as contribute to depression, which also inhibits libido. Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame are rich in zinc, as well as additional essential nutrients. Eat pumpkin seeds raw in trail mix or sprouted and seasoned. Sprinkle hulled sesame seeds over steamed vegetables, or eat them ground into tahini in hummus. Other options include having them in a dressing for salads, veggies, or fish.
Incorporating these foods into your everyday diet can be easy, tasty and keep your libido and your overall health active and alive.
i. Visioli, F., Giordano, E., Niicod, N.M., Davalos, A., 2012. Front Physiol. 3:42.
iv. Collins, J.K., Wu, G., Perkins-Veazie, P., Spears, K., Claypool, P.L., Baker, R.A., clevidence, B.A. 2007. Nutrition. 23(3): 261-6.
v. Prasad, A.S., Mantzoros, C.S., Beck, F.W., Hess, J.W., Brewer, G.J. 1996. Nutrition. 12(5): 344-8.
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