A recent Ipsos Reid survey revealed the majority of Canadians over the age of 40 often feel “too tired” to have sex. Few things invigorate quite like a roll in the hay — which means it’s definitely time to take a look at the diet factors behind this sad-but-true sex drive stall.
Foods That Affect Sexual Health:
Empty calories and greasy treats just don’t cut it in the boudoir, and not simply because poor eating contributes to an expanding waistline and crumby sheets kill the mood. Saturated fats and sugar zap the body’s stores of zinc, which is a key player in all things amorous.
- improves sex drive
- regulates sperm function
- increases fertility
- heightens the senses of taste and smell
How to Get Zinc:
- brown rice
- sesame seeds
- oysters (“Oysters contain the highest amount of zinc available in a food source,” says Dr. Millie Lytle, naturopath, Toronto.)
- Other types of seafood, such as crab, scallops or mussels
More Foods That Improve Sexual Health:
- lean meats
- leafy greens
Factors That Can Decrease a Woman’s Sex Drive, and What To Do:
Hormonal imbalances brought on by pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, menopause or the stresses of everyday life can put the kibosh on lust. Diet changes and herbal supplements are one way to make a difference:
- “Omega-3’s and -6’s are very important for females because they tend to be found in phytoestrogen food sources such as flax and borage seeds and good quality soy products like miso, tempeh and naturally fermented tofu,” says Dr. Lytle. These phytoestrogens boost the female libido and help alleviate the sex drive sapping symptoms of menopause by balancing estrogen.
- Wild yam supplements are another wise choice for women who yearn to reignite their ardor. This plant contains progesterone friendly phytonutrients and can address a cornucopia of woes associated with hormone deficiencies, including increased body fat, migraines, water retention, dysmenorea and, of course, loss of sex drive.
Substances That Improve Male Sexual Health
- Celery may be an unassuming veggie, but when broken down, this crafty little crudité releases androsterone, an odourless male hormone that attracts women.
- Almonds are also alleged to give off a ‘ladies, come hither’ aroma, and the essential fatty acids in this vigorous nut also support healthy male hormone production.
- Garlic, although perhaps not the sexiest of foods, increases blood flow to the most vital of sexual organs. (On date night, try taking garlic in capsule form rather than noshing on the real thing, unless you’re both partaking of the stinking rose!)
- Saw palmettois a first-rate supplement for men because its anti-inflammatory properties promote prostate health by reducing abnormal enlargements and shrinking benign tumours just as effectively as expensive prescription remedies. Furthermore, the saw palmetto berry may thwart hair loss and could even play a role in preventing prostate cancer. Be sure to choose a supplement which also contains a fatty acid extract.
Bedroom Friendly Food
Now that you’ve taken care of your sexual health, it’s time to have a little fun.
- Whipped cream, honey, and chocolate have long been reported as the perfect ingredients for combining food and love. However, too much skin-on-skin contact can turn cream into an oily, foul smelling fiasco, honey tends to make situations a little too sticky, and chocolate brown stains on the sheets are never, ever sexy.
- For true gastronomic pleasure in the bedroom, choose natural fruits for your sensual smorgasbord. Feed your lover cherries, compare your curves to those of an apricot, or do like Mrs. Waters in Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and wantonly seduce with a juicy pear. The shape of a banana speaks for itself, dates provide a burst of energy when it’s needed most and ripe peaches will fan the flames of sexual desire with their silken skin and sumptuous flesh.