What food and drinks improve libido and which do the opposite? By Tori Rodriguez Published: A dinner date is a fitting way to celebrate the holiday, since one of its original names is St. Some goodies may help to put you in the mood for grown-up fun, while others may squash it. Weight gain and obesity can also interfere with sexual satisfaction through their effects on sex hormones and self-confidence, he says. But if those areas are pretty well covered, certain foods and drinks may enhance or reduce your sex drive.
Read on to find out which ones to reach for and which ones to steer clear of on this special day — or any time you are in the mood for love. All those yummy boxes of chocolate do more than please the taste buds — they might also boost pleasure in the bedroom.
It has also been found to decrease blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow — including below the belt. That can make it tougher for men to keep or maintain an erection , and it can diminish sexual stimulation in women. In a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women who ate chocolate daily had higher levels of sexual desire than women who ate it less often. This juicy fruit has been a symbol of fertility throughout history. Though people typically associate testosterone with men, the hormone also affects the sexual functioning of women.
The study also found that the fruit led to improved mood and lower anxiety among participants — which may further help in the bedroom, since a bad mood and high anxiety can be sure libido killers. White suggests drinking a glass of pomegranate juice daily or adding a half-cup of the seeds to salads, smoothies or overnight oats.
Try dark chocolate, pomegranate or garlic. Though garlic might repel vampires, it seems to have the opposite effect on lovers. Same goes for onions, which belong to the same genus as garlic. White says that these pungent plants can increase sperm production in men and raise levels of sex hormones. Garlic can improve blood flow in men and women by reducing blood pressure and preventing plaque buildup in the arteries , according to experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and it may also help boost bedroom activity in a different way, suggest findings from a study from the journal Appetite.
The results show that women rated the body odor of men who ate garlic as more pleasant and attractive than the body odor of no-garlic guys. Try a clove of garlic or a cup of onions in a stir-fry or salad. Though soy is a good source of plant-based protein that is often a go-to for vegans and vegetarians in particular, it can increase estrogen levels, and an excess of soy can lead to lower testosterone, says White.
In research described in the Journal of European Nutrition, men who ate baked goods with soy 3 times a day for 6 weeks had lower testosterone than men who stuck with their regular diet. Watch out for protein bars! Aside from more well-known sources like soy milk, tofu and soybeans, the ingredient is also found in lots of other products. Be sure to check food labels to avoid inadvertently taking in too much soy. They present a large load for the body to digest, explains White.
Stick to the balance of healthy protein and complex carbs like veggies and whole grains for best romantic results.
Though it might make you less sexually inhibited, too much alcohol can defeat the purpose. For extra caution, just stay off the sauce for the night.