Few things in life remain constant. This includes your sex drive. Many men and women experience periods of low interest in sex, also known as low libido. A number of factors, including illness, medication, hormonal changes, stress and fatigue, can all contribute to a lowered sex drive. While some cases of low libido may require professional treatment, good nutrition may also help increase the desire for sex. Certain types of food may boost your overall health and improve your libido.
Your endocrine glands secrete specific hormones that control much of your body’s sexual function. These glands require proper nutrients to perform at their best level. Your pituitary gland and adrenal glands also contribute to your sex life and rely on your diet to provide good nutrition.
Vitamins and Minerals
Your body, including the glands that control your sex drive, rely on certain vitamins and mineral for optimum health. Vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E all play a large part in reproduction. The B-complex vitamins can help balance your hormone levels and fight stress; both are important factors in increasing your libido. Zinc and folic acid may help improve sexual desire and increase sperm count.
Nutrients that improve circulation may also help your sexual organs function properly. Niacin helps to dilate your blood vessels, improving your circulation. Certain spices, such as chili pepper, ginger, cumin, cayenne and curry, can also help improve your circulation.
To get the necessary nutrients, you may need to alter your diet to include healthy sources of these ingredients. Consume eggs, salmon, whole grains and asparagus to obtain B-complex vitamins. Vegetables, beans and seeds contain vitamin E, while citrus fruits and dark green vegetables provide vitamin C. Eating fish, peas and beans can increase your intake of niacin. Sunflower seeds, oysters and spinach supply your body with zinc.
In addition to improving your diet and including foods that support your sexual health, you can improve your sex drive by reducing your intake of certain substances. Caffeine, alcohol and cigarette smoke may all produce a decrease in your libido. The Mayo Clinic warns that cigarette smoke can restrict your blood flow, decreasing the amount of blood to your sexual organs and reducing your arousal and orgasmic response. Too much alcohol may have a depressive affect, while caffeine can cause stress, reducing your ability to enjoy sex.
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