The definition of Libido is: – emotional or psychic energy that in psychoanalytic theory is derived from primitive biological urges and that is usually goal-directed. Or put much more simply, it’s a persons sex drive which in turn is a measure of levels of certain hormones like testosterone.
Since ancient times, certain foods have always been thought to increase the sex drive or libido. Dining being a time-honored mode of foreplay, lovers have always complimented their ability to make love with foods considered to have aphrodisiac nutrients, which are believed to have powers in maximizing performance and increasing satisfaction.
Libido is usually taken to mean sexual desire, a person’s sex drive or sexual urge. Libido does vary from person to person, from female to male.
General levels of libido & sex drive decrease slowly as people enter mid life. If you have a lower than normal libido, then eating the right types of foods and cutting down on the wrong foods can help to increase your libido and rebuild your sex drive.
Changing eating habits can increase libido
The saturated fats in Fast Foods, Take Away’s and processed foods have all been linked to a loss of libido. Cutting back on these foods could help towards increasing your libido and get your sex drive back on track.
By increasing your intake of the foods listed below and decreasing these negative libido food sources, you can naturally increase your testosterone levels and restore your libido without medication.
A loss of libido is something that can affect women who are pre or post menopausal. Menopause is a natural event in a woman’s’ life and loss of libido may be one of the symptoms experienced around this time.
Whatever the reason for a loss of libido, changing your diet and eating healthily food can help increase libido levels. It certainly won’t do you any harm to become fitter and healthier. This applies to female and male libido.
The smells of certain foods have been found to be sexually arousing, notably pumpkin pie and buttered popcorn for men and licorice candy for women.
Testosterone levels control both male and female libido
For both males and females libido all comes down mainly to one hormone – testosterone. Your libido is controlled by your hormone levels, with testosterone being the key. If the balance is off, things may not function as they should.
When it’s right, everything falls into place. So one of the keys to getting your libido back is to increase testosterone levels in your body. Testosterone production is dependent on zinc and vitamin B, both of these are abundant in many of the foods we eat regularly. But, as nutritional deficiencies increase with age, it does make sense to increase the intake of these vitamins and minerals. So adding a few of the foods listed below can boost your libido especially when combine with a little regular exercise.
Today, there is no question that psychological health is as important as an optimally functioning body. How many times has it been said that the imagination is the greatest aphrodisiac? Sexual drive is maintained by an active mind in a healthy body.
Fatigue and depression are common precursors to sexual dysfunction, particularly in men. These conditions are often linked, and can often be alleviated by an exercise program. Regular exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are mood alleviating chemicals. Fatigue and depression underline the importance of a healthy mind, or mindset, that should partner with a healthy body.
Optimal nerve function, healthy hormonal levels, and an unobstructed blood flow to the pelvic area are essential to sexual performance. Certain nutrients assist the body in achieving these conditions.
Here is a list of nutrients, or foods, that help increase the sex drive:
- Saffron – Ask any herbalist and you will be told that saffron is a sexual stimulant. Herbalists recommend summer savory as a sexual stimulant and tonic. Winter savory is believed to dampen sexual desire. A word of caution: These claims have not been proven.
- Ginseng – Studies have shown that ginseng boosts stamina and mating behavior in mice and rats. It has been touted to be a good source of energy. It is believed to fight off fatigue and stress. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada classify the herb as “safe,” but neither regulatory agency will vouch for claims of its aphrodisiac, and medicinal, potency.
- Yohimbe – Also known as Pausinystalia, this is the bark of a tall western African tree. Yohimbe bark has been used for centuries in some western African nations for healthy support of erectile function. Yohimbe is also effective for women. Women like the enhanced sensation and engorgement of genital organs that yohimbe provides, as long as the dose is kept low to prevent any side effects. Yohimbe is considered an aphrodisiac in many countries. It has no effect on the mental aspects of sexual stimulation, but may dilate blood vessels, thus might alleviate impotence
- Vitamin E – Many experts believe that without a healthy supply of this vitamin, sexual function is likely to suffer. Vitamin E is abundant in foods like nuts and seeds, legumes, oils, green vegetables, and wheat germ.
- Iron – In some cases, iron deficiency anemia is responsible for fatigue, which dampens the sex drive. To replenish iron stores, diet must include meat, fish and shellfish, nuts and seeds, legumes, enriched or fortified grains or cereals, leafy greens, and dried fruits.
- Zinc – Zinc has long been linked with healthy sexual function. Without enough zinc, sexual development in children is delayed. Adults need zinc for sperm manufacture. Zinc is found in high concentrations in the male sperm. Zinc is abundant in animal foods, seafood (especially oyster), poultry and liver, eggs, milk, beans, nuts, and whole grains. Testosterone production is dependent on zinc, and testosterone levels control both male and female libido and sex drive.
- Damiana – is a small shrub with smooth, pale green oval leaves and aromatic yellow flowers. It grows in Mexico and Central America. Damiana (or Turnera diffusa) is said to help with impotence, relieve anxiety, promote general well being and act as a sexual stimulant for male and females alike. This plant has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac for men and women in Central America, because it helps to re balance your hormones and also has mildly stimulating properties
- Rhodiola Rosea Herb – From the Arctic regions of eastern Siberia. Russians have drunk rhodiola tea for many centuries as an energy booster. Rhodiola root has a reputation for stimulating the nervous system, decreasing depression and enhancing work performance, decreasing fatigue. There have been claims that this herb influences sexual activity and in turn helps with increasing libido levels. Rhodiola root is also called rhizome.
- Mucuna Pruriens – Also known as velvet bean or cowhage. Mucuna pruriens contains L-Dopa which is used by the body to make dopamine, an important brain chemical involved in mood and sexuality. Mucuna pruriens has also been shown to have some antioxidant properties.
- Catuaba Bark – This is a small tree found in the Amazon rain forest in parts of northern Brazil. In Brazilian herbal medicine, Catuaba bark is considered to have aphrodisiac properties and the bark is used for nervousness, poor memory, and helping with sexual weakness. Topi Indians have used the Catuaba bark herbs for increasing libido for many centuries.
- General stress : Stress unsets the normal hormone balance of the body.
- Normal relationship – lack of excitement. Spice up your long term relationship.
- Fear of pregnancy – If possible, talk things through with your partner. Find a safe sex method that you’re both fully confident using.
- Relationship Problems – Lack of libido during problems periods in your relationship is normal. Your sex drive should return once the issues are sorted out.
- Anxiety – fear of future events, often based on past experiences. Talking about your fears with a close friend, therapist or doctor can help ease any sexual anxieties you may have.
- Depressive conditions
- Post-natal depression
- Premature Ejaculation – causes anxiety and stress.
- Alcoholism – quite common cause of loss of libido.
- Abuse of drugs - such as cocaine or cannabis.
- Anemia – unusual unless the man has been bleeding for any reason.
- Obesity – quite a common reason for low libido; simply losing weight down will often help increase libido levels to normal.
- Prescribed drugs – things like Proscar (finasteride), a tablet used for prostate problems. Blood pressure medications, antidepressants and psychiatric drugs.
- Low male hormone level (testosterone) – this is not a common reason for low libido, this is rarer than most of us think it is.
- Any major ‘generalized’ medical condition – flu, Glandular fever, Diabetes or any illness that cause tiredness and fatigue.
What to Avoid to Increase Sex Drive or Libido
- Eat a diet low in saturated fats – There is a proven link between high intake of saturated fats, elevated blood cholesterol levels, and the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques in the blood vessels around the heart. This condition may also be true relative to the tiny blood vessels in the penis. Without free-flowing blood circulation, the penis cannot achieve optimal erection, which is a response to the mental aspect of the sex drive.
- Curb alcohol consumption – William Shakespeare should be credited with popularizing the notion of alcohol being all fury and no fire, so to speak, when he wrote that wine “provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.” Although alcohol lifts inhibitions related to sex, it has a depressant effect. Alcohol causes impotence and shrinks the testes in men who drink heavily.
- Stop smoking – Nicotine is perhaps the prime enemy of arteries. Nicotine not only promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in penile blood vessels, it also constricts them.
Exercise also Increases Sex Drive
With a healthy dose of the right nutrients, to enhance a healthy mind and a positive attitude, an optimal sex drive can be achieved. This, coupled with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, can almost guarantee a busy lovers’ nest until the wee hours of morning. Regular exercise increases metabolism and blood flow to the pelvic area, and burns fat. Any kind of exercise will help, it doesn’t have to be going to the gym. Swimming, running, cycling and even a brisk walk are all good exercises to do regularly that will help with low libido levels.
Disclaimer: The text on these pages is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your general health, libido or sex drive.