Food and Supplements to Get Your Groove Back at Any Age
Valentine’s Day—that time of year when chocolate, teddy bears, roses, and all-things-heart-shaped-and-red compete for our attention. I love you is the prescribed message. We either embrace, scorn, or ignore The Day.
Many who have found true love feel they don’t need a special day to proclaim it. True love is a unique, undeniable alchemy between two people that is tamper-proof. We know it when we’ve found this ultimate, intimate magic.
But the seasonal love-fest hoopla can be loads of fun, too! And truth be told, as we start to emerge from the dark days of winter, perhaps it’s time to bring a bit of sexy back into our relationships?
Aphrodisiacs are a thing.
Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, is the mythical Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion, and procreation. Legend depicts her as a powerful, immortal deity capable of stirring up romance among gods and mortals. And by the way—ahem—Aphrodite fostered her own substantial arsenal of lovers. We imagine her as emerging from the foam of the sea on a scallop shell—hence, the recognition of seafood and shellfish as aphrodisiacs.
An aphrodisiac is food or drink that is purported to subtly improve or enhance the sex drive. There are active compounds of key foods that can affect sexual performance and fertility, and directly impact the brain, blood flow, and hormones. Oxytocin, for example, is a hormone that plays an important role in the brain’s impulses to be intimate.
What can I eat to lift my libido?
The earliest examples of aphrodisiacs originate in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Many healthy foods with aphrodisiac qualities have compounds that can boost libido or sex drive, and/or improve blood flow to both female and male sex organs.
Oysters come to mind for most of us. Suggestive appearance aside, these molluscs provide substantial libido-boosting zinc and are associated with fertility in both sexes and sperm production in men. And garlic, long-touted as a potent aphrodisiac, contains allicin, a compound thought to increase blood flow to sex organs.
Other notable love nuggets include:
- Dark chocolate: This mouth-watering love food is brimming with flavonoids and compounds, like phenylethylamine, which trigger endorphins and dopamine release, putting us in the mood.
- Avocado: Plentiful vitamin E found in this fruit is associated with fertility. Avocado is rich in folic acid for increased energy production, along with healthy fats to improve mood and a sense of well-being. Interestingly, Aztecs called the avocado tree ‘Ahuacatl,’ which translates to ‘Testicle Tree!’
- Pomegranate: High antioxidant levels in this ‘Love Apple’ help increase blood flow and genital sensitivity, and boost testosterone and sex drive in both men and women.
- Watermelon: This favourite fruit is rich in amino acid L-citrulline, which supports the body in optimizing blood flow by relaxing blood vessels and boosting sexual satisfaction.
- Pistachio nuts: These green nibbles contain the non-essential amino acid arginine, which maintains flexible arteries and relaxes blood vessels, helping to reduce erectile dysfunction and stimulating better blood flow throughout the body.
There’s many natural supplements that can help fuel the fire too
Various herbs, roots, vitamins, and minerals may help boost your sexual health.
- Ashwagandha: With a long history in Kama Sutra, this powerful stress-reducing herb is known to help improve sexual desire, pleasure, and performance. Ashwagandha, which means ‘smell of the horse’ in Sanskrit, helps stimulate blood flow, supports testosterone levels, and aids in adapting to physical stress. Warning: Do not take during pregnancy.
- Maca: This ground and dried South American root vegetable may help tweak sexual function in both men and women. Maca is loaded with phytonutrients and zinc, and has been traditionally favoured for its ability to enhance endurance and boost libido.
- Ginseng: A traditional medicinal herb, ginseng increases general vitality and energy. It is favoured for increased sexual desire and performance, as well as improving reproductive capacity. Warning: Can aggravate high blood pleasure; stay clear if you have hypertension.
- Rhodiola: This herb has been used for centuries to relieve stress and boost energy, and can also help boost low sex drive caused predominantly by stress.
- Magnesium, Vitamin C, and Zinc: This trio keeps your blood flowing! These nutrients aid in blood circulation, support healthy testosterone levels, and increase sex drive.
Don’t forget to check with your healthcare practitioner to make sure any supplement you are considering is safe for you, given your medical conditions and medications.
Your sex drive will naturally ebb and flow throughout the years.
There’s no right or wrong libido. We all know that our busy work and personal lives can have a negative impact on our sex lives. But if your lack of interest persists or concerns you, it may be time to look at your lifestyle and talk to a professional.
Julia Denker has a passion for wellness, educational background in psychology and nutrition, and administrative leadership experience. She knows that we can all live and work smarter by making small but impactful lifestyle changes, including rethinking our food choices. Understanding bio-chemical individuality is key, and she guides clients on cueing into their bodies to craft a nourishment plan that works.
This article was published in The Good Life magazine.