If your libido is less than optimal, regardless of your age, know you’re not alone: 43% of women and 31% of men age 18 to 59 struggle with low sex drive. It can happen for a variety of reasons including stress, depression, obesity, or medication.
First line of defense is always self care. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, staying active, and practicing mindfulness or meditation to relieve stress. Of equal importance if not most is your diet- packing your meals with a balance of nutrient dense vegetables and fruits, clean meats, and healthy fats. To be a little more specific on what to pick up on your next trip to the grocery store.
1. Dark Chocolate
Coming in at first place on the list is this classic aphrodisiac. Dark chocolate contains a compound called phenylethylamine that increases levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, the chemicals that make you feel good. Chocolate also offers varying amounts of the antioxidant flavanols that helps to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. Lastly, the rich and sensual indulgence of letting chocolate melt in your mouth will surely nourish your soul. Find less processed options with the lowest amount of sugar (at least 70% dark chocolate) and for an extra boost, add some warming spices such as cayenne, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
Critical for a healthy sex drive, avocados provide potassium, vitamin B6, and monounsaturated fats for a healthy heart and circulation. Also high in folic acid and Vitamin E, avocados support energy and stamina as well as healthy skin and nails. Try adding slices to your toast or making a guacamole veggie dip. The highest amount of antioxidants are in the darkest green closest to the skin so be sure to scoop out all of the green goodness.
3. Wild Salmon
Fish in generally high in protein and B vitamins including B-6, which aids in healthy blood production and regulates prolactin, responsible for levels of sexual enjoyment in men. Fatty fish like wild caught salmon are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that support vascular health and improve circulation. They also raise dopamine levels and increase blood flow to the brain, supporting feelings of well-being and relaxation.
Tomatoes contain the highest levels of Lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, twice as effective as the better know beta-carotene. The powerful punch of antioxidants from tomatoes relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation. For maximum lycopene content, buy high quality and organic.
Adding a variety of nuts to your diet is always a wise choice as they are rich in protein and healthy fats. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that boost dopamine but also arginine, and amino acid that relaxed blood vessels and increase circulation. Pine nuts, cashews, and almonds nuts are an excellent source of zinc, a mineral associated with increased sex drive.