Trending Diets and Their Effect on Libido
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that what you eat impacts how you perform in bed. And with trendy diets coming and going at lightning speed, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s going to be best for your overall health and your sex life.
Should you drink a meal-replacement product like Soylent? Go soy-free? Eat paleo or keto? Practice veganism? Go all Joe Rogan with a carnivore diet? Food choices have become more complicated than ever.
Take a look at the diets that experts say can actually help improve your sex life:
Benefits of a ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet is one of the most recent food trends to make headlines. Driven by its low intake of carbohydrates and high intake of healthy fats, this diet causes the body to reach a metabolic state called ketosis. Many practitioners of keto have reported the diet allows them to lose body fat quickly, and the keto diet also has direct effects on libido.
“Restrictive dieting could impact your physical and emotional health, including your libido or sex drive,” said Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian nutritionist, host of the website betterthandieting.com and author of “Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.”
Taub-Dix said that while the keto diet can outwardly help people show significant physical change, there’s also a counterproductive impact on energy levels owing to the immediate loss of certain healthy foods from your diet.
During the beginning stages of the keto diet, people may experience lower levels of energy as their body adjusts from using carbohydrates and glucose as a source of energy to using fats. This is commonly known as the “keto flu.”
After the initial stages of ketosis, however, hormone levels rise and increase libido. Testosterone levels increase significantly in men who choose to go keto, in combination with resistance training, according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Benefits of a plant-based diet
Another trending food regimen in recent years is the plant-based diet. While the absence of meat and fish is a challenging diet restriction, it is possible to replace protein sources with products such as soybeans, quinoa, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes and most dark-colored leafy greens.
Critics of the plant-based diet have wondered whether the diet could have a negative effect on testosterone. A study co-authored by Dr. Ranjith Ramasamy, the director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at the University of Miami, discovered that testosterone levels in men who choose plant-based diets are exactly the same as those who choose diets with meat.
But does that mean a plant-based diet will increase your libido?
“To boost your libido, think about foods that might also boost circulation and send a healthy blood supply to all the right places, including your heart,” Taub-Dix said. “So foods that contain healthy fats, like almonds and avocado, and oils such as olive or avocado oil, and soluble fiber from oats and whole grains, may help to keep arteries clear by helping to keep cholesterol levels in check.”
Some fruits and vegetables are high in zinc and omega-3, which increase libido and dopamine. Zinc also plays an important role for libido because it increases testosterone. Foods such as beans, nuts, bananas and chickpeas can replace meat in a plant-based diet, and help increase and improve libido.
It is important to remember that if you’re on a plant-based diet, you need to consume higher amounts of plant-based foods with zinc to make up for the lack of zinc from meat.
In some instances, supplements may help keep essential vitamins and minerals at optimum levels. Giddy Health Libido Boost vitamins can provide you with a steady stream of nutrients, including zinc, to keep your sex drive in high gear. These supplements are formulated with clinically proven ingredients, and slow-release microbeads ensure optimal absorption.
Benefits of the Mediterranean diet
What if you don’t want to go to the extremes of the keto diet and you can’t quit eating meat and animal byproducts, but you still want to use diet as a route to better sex?
Research has shown that one of the best diets to help improve libido is the Mediterranean diet. Known for its high intake of vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, as well as a balance of meat and animal byproducts, the Mediterranean diet can improve your sex drive.
One of the major reasons for sexual benefits is the high intake of flavonoid-rich foods. Flavonoids are natural antioxidants and have been known to help prevent chronic diseases, improve blood flow and thus help prevent erectile dysfunction (ED). Many plant-based foods are high in flavonoids.
“Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like seafood or oysters, have been shown to boost circulation as well,” Taub-Dix said.
She added that some studies have shown eating certain chocolates can be helpful in increasing libido, although more research will be needed to confirm this claim. Whether it’s scientific fact or not, though, eating chocolate to improve your libido seems like a tasty place to end this discussion.