The red roses are out on display and the giant teddies ready to fill many a Valentine’s Day delivery – the season of all things love is in full swing. So is there any truth to the commonly held belief that certain foods can help to get you in the mood?
Indeed it is well documented that oysters, figs and even bananas are the lusty tastes and visual aids we should seek out if the goal is to feel a little more randy but is there any scientific truth to these claims?
And if you are looking to spice your sexual activity, what are the key foods can you add to your diet so you are all ready to embrace true love this Valentine’s Day?
Oysters are one of the richest natural sources of zinc, a key nutrient involved in the production of testosterone. Low levels of zinc have also been associated with erectile dysfunction whilst boosting zinc intake has been shown to increase sperm count in some studies. As a key sex hormone, testosterone plays a key role in regulating libido for both men and women. The production of testosterone is regulated by both the brain and the pituitary gland and is significantly impacted by stress levels. As testosterone production also declines as we age ensuring an adequate dietary intake of zinc is an important is optimise testosterone production and as such sex drive for both men and women.
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Maca is a root vegetable found in Peru and comes from the same group of vegetables as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. You can find maca in both root and powdered form and can be added to smoothies and baking to boost overall nutritional intake. One of the proposed benefits of maca is that it helps to boost sexual desire and there are a couple of published studies to show that supplementing with maca did increase reports of sexual desire independent of testosterone levels. There is also some evidence to show that supplementing with maca powder may improve the quality of semen. While more research is needed, adding some maca to your daily smoothie will cause no harm and may play a role in boosting our sex drive and getting us in the mood.
While egg whites are known for their high protein levels, let’s not forget the key nutrients found in egg yolk. Egg yolk is a rich source of Vitamin’s D, E which are fat soluble vitamins that play key roles in hormone production, including sex hormones. Egg yolk is also a rich source of Vitamins B5 and B6 which play key roles in energy production.
It is the special omega 3 fats found in particularly high quantities in deep sea oily fish including salmon that is associated with boosting sexual performance and drive long term. Firstly, omega 3 fats act to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. This means that ensuring your diet has enough omega 3 fats each week, or at least 2-3 serves will help to ensure your blood can bump as freely and powerfully as possible when the need arrives. In addition it is these good fats that are also involved in hormone production, including the sex hormones which play powerful roles in regulating our sex drive. I recommend a fresh Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon, such as Tassal, which will give you a full flavour to help give you that extra boost!
One of the richest natural sources of the amino acid arginine, peanuts or 100% peanut butter are a must if your goal is optimising blood flow to the regions of the body that may benefit from good circulation. Specifically arginine is involved in the production of nitric oxide which is required to achieve and maintain erectile function. As such boosting intake via foods including peanuts, turkey, seeds and wholegrains is a natural alternative to more aggressive medications such as Viagra which also works by increasing the level and activity of nitric oxide in a medicinal form.
When it comes to feeling in the mood, let’s not forget the importance of maintaining optimal energy levels in general, especially for busy women. With at least 1 in 4 Australian women with clinically low iron levels is it any wonder plenty of women out there are too tired for any action? The simple answer to the issue of ‘I’m too tired’? Boost your lover’s iron intake with a small serve of lean red meat, one the richest natural sources of iron, 3-4 times each week to help optimise energy and libido. And cooking her dinner (and cleaning up afterwards) will probably help too.
What are your favourite foods that help you get in the mood? Tell us in the comments below.