As human beings, we are all driven towards the pursuit of pleasure and few things in life provide us with more of that satisfaction than food and sex. While both work great on their own, food can actually be used as a tool to inspire romance. In fact, ever since Eve fed Adam the apple, the two have become inextricably intertwined.
Throughout the ages, food has been used to enhance the senses, lift the mood and increase sexual desire. While some foods do work by virtue of their chemical properties, others affect our desires and emotions through sight, smell and tactile gratification as well as through the oral pleasure of food textures and tastes.
Tips to boost the libido:
Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels, so losing weight can directly help boost sexual function and libido.
Eat heart healthy
What’s good for your heart is also generally good for the genitals. Too much saturated and trans fat (found in red meat, chicken skin and full fat dairy products as well as commercially baked products, crisps and most margarines) can, over time, clog arteries and, in doing so, prevent an adequate flow of blood from reaching the genital region. This not only interferes with the ability to perform, but also with sexual pleasure. Keep blood vessels clean and supple by including at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day and by eating other high fibre foods, like wholegrains and legumes. Ginger is a powerful circulatory stimulant and can be eaten raw, made into a tea, added in cooking or eaten in crystalline form. Chilli is also a great circulatory stimulant and is great for spicing up any meal. Omega 3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, like mackerel, salmon, sardines and pilchards as well as in flaxseed oil and walnuts also help improve circulation by keeping the vascular system healthy.
Add stress-busting nutrients
Stress is a major libido killer. Taking a good B complex vitamin can help. A varied diet that includes lean meats, low fat dairy, green vegetables and wholegrains should be adequate in B complex vitamins.
Eat food rich in zinc
Zinc is one of the major minerals needed for healthy sexual function in men and women. Oysters are one of the richest sources of zinc known, which is why these slimy creatures have become the quintessential aphrodisiac food. All animal protein foods are rich in zinc. Legumes and wholegrains as well as nuts and seeds also contain zinc, and pumpkin seeds are the richest source.
Spice it up
Besides the afore-mentioned ginger and chilli, some other spices and aromatic plants are known for their aphrodisiac properties.
Nutmeg: This warm spice has been used for centuries as a powerful aphrodisiac and in large amounts it can produce a dreamy, hallucinogenic state.
Vanilla: The deep, warm aroma and flavour given off by the vanilla plant is said to increase lust.
Truffles: The Ancient Greeks and Romans considered the rare truffle (a member of the mushroom family) to be a sexual stimulant, mainly because of its alluring musky scent, said to be similar to the scent a male gives off when he is aroused.