A healthy diet can translate into a better sex life. That’s not exactly the most shocking of headlines. We’ve long known certain foods like oysters and dark chocolate can get the average person up and randy.
But it turns out that there’s more to the link between healthy diet and good sex than just scarfing down a little seafood and white wine. Bear with us on this for a moment as we put this out there: your weight matters too – as do the underlying medical conditions that sometimes go with obesity, like diabetes and heart disease.
There’s a lot to digest in that statement, and we’re the first to admit, if it was easy to lose weight, we’d all be running around on the beach in Speedos and two-piece swimsuits. Well, maybe not Speedos, but you get the idea.
Study: Obesity and the Sex Drive
A 2005 study conducted at Duke University found that up to 30% of patients that struggle with obesity reported problems with their sex drive, desire, performance or all three of them. The study suggests that obesity alone may not be the problem, but rather, the conditions that sometimes co-exist from having excess weight.
Factors like insulin resistance and high cholesterol are warning signs of type 2 diabetes, both of which can affect sexual desire and performance, especially in men, because they can shrink the arteries leading to the penis.
In turn, that can lead to erection problems and lack of desire.
The study also suggests these two health conditions can affect women in a similar manner. Swap ‘Penis’ for ‘clitoris’, which relies on blood flow to the genital area and is vulnerable to the same blockages that men can experience.
High levels of body fat are also linked to a chemical called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which, as the name implies, can bind to testosterone, which further lowers sexual desire.
With less testosterone, there is less fuel for your erection. Things can go south from there.
How a Healthy Diet Helps Your Sex Drive
A healthy diet can help your sex drive in a variety of ways. Losing just 10 pounds may free up more testosterone in your body. That won’t hurt your libido, and your erection quality may benefit as well.
Further dietary changes may also help your sex life. A low fat diet that is high in fruits and vegetables may help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and might also lower your cholesterol levels.
Even if you don’t lose weight, these along may spark a little more love in the bedroom.
Also, a healthy diet pairs well with regular exercise. Think about adding exercises that boost blood flow to your genital regions to your daily routine. Yoga, brick walking or cycling for 20 minutes a day, three times a week, may help with hardness for men and lubrication for women.
In fact, you can add a sexy twist to that. Try to read some erotic material, either in a book, magazine or online, to go with your exercises. If you exercise three times a week, read erotic stuff three times a week.
It’s a little incentive to take healthy diet and regular exercise seriously.
7 Foods For a Better Sex Life
So, we know a healthy diet can take your sex life to better places. We’ve got your attention – now, which foods in particular can help take your bedroom performance up a notch?
#1 – Oysters
Long-known for their properties as an aphrodisiac, oysters help boost blood flow to the genital regions. The reason for that? Oysters are high in Zinc, which is shown to boost male fertility, in part because it helps to increase testosterone levels.
A 2018 review of scientific literature found zinc deficiency is linked to low testosterone.
In fact, oysters have so much zinc that one serving of these nifty little mollusks packs a whopping 673% of your daily value.
Don’t like oysters? Swap them for crab or lobster, both of which offer a good dose of zinc-boosting love as well.
#2 – Some Meats
Red meat can be a contentious issue, and it’s far from us to say you should go all in on your deepest carnivorous desires. Still, some high protein foods, like beef, chicken and pork, can help blood flow to your sexy places.
That’s because these high protein foods tend to have carnitine, arginine and zinc in abundance – the first two of which are amino acids shown to help men with erection problems.
In fact, a 2019 study suggests arginine may help reduce erectile dysfunction.
Of course, if you choose to add meat to your diet, don’t go overboard, as red meat is linked to various health conditions, and it’s not great for your heart.
Beef, chicken and pork are likely your best meat options for a healthy diet and a sex life to go with it.
#3 – Salmon
Salmon is an obvious contender to be on your list of healthy diet foods. That’s because, among other things, it’s loaded with brain and heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids that help to reduce build-up of cholesterol in the arteries.
This allows for better blood flow throughout the body – including to the genital region, and has healthy implications that extend far beyond your ability to add sizzle to your sex life. Among other things, omega-3 fatty acids help the heart, nurture the brain, and may even reduce your chances of an early demise.
All that from eating a healthy diet. And one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids? You guessed it: salmon. Sardines, tuna and halibut are good sources as well.
#4 – Nuts
Fun fact: if you’re looking to conceive, walnuts may help you get there. A 2018 study found that dudes who quaffed walnuts daily had more and healthier sperm than men who never ate the stuff. If you live by a healthy diet, there is a good chance you already eat nuts.
And if you don’t eat nuts, you might want to start.
Among other things, nuts are high in compounds that include zinc, l-arginine and omega-3 fatty acids. Here’s why that’s good. Zinc appear to have a positive effect on sperm. L-arginine and omega-3 fatty acids help with better blood flow.
Put them in your diet to really get your juices flowing – and your health may thank you too.
#5 – Apples
Apples are a great source of a compound called quercetin. That’s a flavanoid, and antioxidant, that helps with better circulation, reduce erection problems and may help you urinate easier if that’s been a problem.
A review of evidence in 2016 found quercetin can lower blood pressure when taken in doses higher than 500mg per day.
High blood pressure is a common reason why men have sex problems because it can damage your blood vessels, which can impede blood flow to the penis.
This effect can alter a woman’s desire for sex as well. As we’ve seen, with less blood flow to the vagina, it’s more difficult to get wet. While not a one-fix solution, apples can put more quercitin in your body, which should help blood flow and sexual desire as well.
Don’t like apples? You can get the same effect from strawberries, blueberries, dark-colored grapes, red wine, cherries and citrus fruits.
#6 – Beets
Beets are another great source of antioxidants and vitamins that can help constitute a healthy diet. One reason for that, they’re high in dietary nitrates, which expand the blood vessels, in a process called vasodilation.
As you can imagine, this helps blood flow. And some evidence suggests beets might even help improve athletic performance as well.
Further evidence suggests that dietary nitrates may lower blood pressure too, which boost blood flow to the genitals and, you get the idea. If you don’t like beets, other good sources of dietary nitrates include spinach, arugula, lettuce, celery and radish.
One caveat with beets and spinach. They’re both high in chemicals called oxylates, which can lead to painful kidney stones. If you’ve never had a kidney stone, this may not be a problem. But if you have, you remember the pain – and you likely know to avoid beets and spinach if you’d prefer not to go through it again,
#7 – Red Wine
Alcohol is bad for you, right? Well, usually. The health benefits of (moderate) red wine keep piling up. Among them a 2009 study of 798 women who regularly drank light amounts of red wine enjoyed higher sexual desire, more lubrication and overall better sexual function.
The researchers also found that drinking more than two glasses of red, or drinking any other form of alcohol for that matter, did not produce the same results, and can actually lower your sexual performance.
Conclusion: Healthy Diet Provides Vital Nutrition and Better Weight Management
To summarize, a healthy diet provides the body with much needed nutrients and may help you avoid obesity and hit your weight goals.
With obesity being linked to excess weight, and heart problems, it’s not a coincidence that folks who struggle with this common health factor may have problems in the bedroom as well.
While there are no easy answers to this a healthy diet can be a good place to start. It can help boost blood flow to your genitals, improve sperm quality and quantity, may assist with better lubrication, and generally make sex easier and more fun. Does a healthy diet mean a better sex life? In many cases, yes. So put down those potato chips and start eating walnuts (food allergy permitting). Add a little salmon to your plate, and watch the results when you hit the sheets.