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Boost Your Libido Naturally this Valentine’s Day

Katie McIntosh | 13 February, 2021


          
            Boost Your Libido Naturally this Valentine’s Day

Boost Your Libido Naturally this Valentine’s Day

Historical evidence shows that many ancient civilisations were intensely resourceful with their approach to areas such as medicine and diet, using natural resources to boost their libidos way before the science behind how they work was uncovered. The purported effects of these aphrodisiacal foods and natural extracts have been passed down through generations and ancient manuscripts. Despite their long-standing history, the role and effectiveness of aphrodisiacs in contemporary usage are still questioned today.

With Valentine’s Day on its way, we’re looking into the science behind how aphrodisiacs work, discussing the best ways to enhance our libido using natural foods.

What are the Best Aphrodisiac Foods?

Aphrodisiac Foods and How They Work

Both inventive and questionable, almost every natural ingredient imaginable has been used within some form of therapeutic remedial preparation over the years. From water lilies doused with wine in Egypt, to saké-soaked blowfish in Japan… Not every purported aphrodisiac has been supported by scientific research. Here are some of the much more palatable foods that can boost your libido, as backed by science:

  • Rocket, Kale & Other Leafy Greens
    Rocket has been found to increase testosterone levels, a hormone that has the effect of increasing libido and reducing sexual dysfunction. Rocket also boasts strong antioxidant properties, particularly when served raw or just slightly sauteed.

  • Antioxidants as Aphrodisiacs
    Antioxidants enhance libido by de-toxifying the reproductive system, maintaining neuron health and supporting blood vessels. The top antioxidant superfoods to snack on if you’re wishing to achieve these benefits include berries, leafy greens like kale and rocket, vitamin C based fruit, and nuts. Polyphenols, specific phytochemicals full of antioxidants found in chocolate and tea, are also being tested for their efficacy in improving fertility health.

  • Saffron
    A vivid red and aromatic spice, saffron has been studied for its positive effect on libido. A 2012 study found that 30mg of saffron intake on a daily basis reduced the libido diminishing side effects of commonly prescribed SSRI antidepressant, fluoxetine. Saffron contains crocin, a carotenoid chemical compound found to improve certain biological functions.

  • Pistachio Nuts, Brazil Nuts & Pine Nuts
    Pistachio and pine nuts are full of arginine, an amino acid that increases aphrodisiacal potential due to its conversion into nitric oxide within the body. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels, improving the natural flow of blood. Brazil nuts are brimming with selenium, an essential micronutrient that supports fertility in men. Studies into selenium-rich diets found that those with a high blood level of the nutrient were less likely to develop certain cancers, including breast and prostate cancers. Many nuts also aid with the intake of essential vitamins, further supporting an inclusively healthy diet and the associated libidinal benefits.

  • Citrus Fruits, Berries, Grapes & Apples
    While all fruit has benefits, these specific selections are known for their high flavonoid content. Flavonoids are aphrodisiacs that were found to reduce physical symptoms of dysfunction in a study of 50,000 men. They work by increasing artery flexibility and improving blood circulation.

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Nutritional Deficiencies and Their Role in Diminishing Your Libido

Not only can some foods work to enhance your libido, but a lack of particular nutrients can actually diminish it.

Intense dieting is one of the reasons that individuals find themselves experiencing a lack of desire. Dieting can have a significant impact on hormone levels, as nutritional intake is directly linked with the production of healthy endorphins. If you’re trying to lose weight, its essential to follow a healthy diet that includes vital vitamins and nutrients. Many naively dismiss the health consequences related to extreme dieting. Not receiving enough nutrients to sustain the body has a substantial effect on all elements of our physical and mental health, including our libido.

Think about incorporating these vitamins into your diet if you’re feeling a little distanced from your loved one:

Zinc

An extremely common nutritional deficiency, low levels of zinc can cause reductions in the production of the male hormone, testosterone. Essential for the personal health of men and women, testosterone can be boosted by eating foods rich in zinc. Meat, eggs and shellfish are a source of zinc, though there are plenty of vegan and veggie options. Think legumes; lentils and chickpeas; nuts, seeds, mushrooms and tofu!

Magnesium

Magnesium increases libido by preventing testosterone from latching on to proteins within the body. This increases the amount of the hormone within the system, boosting libido. It’s also linked to dopamine production, a neurotransmitter that further increases testosterone levels while mediating mood and pleasure in the brain. Magnesium rich foods include seeds, spinach, leafy greens, nuts and legumes.

Vitamin B

B vitamins are essential in ensuring we stay energised, with healthy hormone production and mood boosting benefits. Rocket and other leafy greens are rich in vitamin B, deficiencies of which have been linked to lowered libido. Vitamin B12 is particularly renowned for reducing fatigue and regulating mood. Keeping all these complex factors in balance can have a surprisingly positive effect on our desire for physical closeness.

Improving Mental Health and Libido with Nutrition

The level of biological inclinations we feel often depends on our state of mind. Unfortunately, depression decreases interest in physical closeness with romantic partners in up to 50% of adults suffering from the condition. While prescribed antidepressants may work to somewhat remedy these low moods, there’s a further caveat… Antidepressants have been found to reduce the desire for physical intimacy in 63% of patients.

As studies confirm nutritional intake and mental health are closely interconnected, one effective way to support your libido is to focus on improving your overall diet. Antidepressants are often successful in the treatment of clinical depression; so their use should not be entirely disregarded due to libido issues. Despite this, improving your nutritional and dietary choices may alleviate some of the symptoms of depression in the first place, rendering the patient healthy enough to cope without hormonal interference.

Findings from nutritional science and behavioural neuroscience can be thoughtfully combined to develop nutritionally optimised diets. Upon following these scientifically backed diets, individuals often revel in the realisation that their mental health (and thus, their libido) can be improved without artificially enhancing our neurological processes via the use of pharmaceuticals.

Natural Foods that Boost Libido Naturally

The Relationship Between Healthy Eating and Self-Image

While adding nutrients to your diet is great first step, there’s more to the story. Another consideration in determining how our diets affect our intimate relationships is the correlation between healthy dietary choices and positive body confidence. Following an unhealthy diet can leave us with feelings of low self-esteem, as we fall into the repetitive trap of eating processed, calorific foods without thinking too much about the nutritional downsides. These emotions are also caused by the hormonal imbalances and even weight gain that can be caused by an unstable diet. Switching up some of your dietary choices and starting off on the right food with a nutritionally considered meal plan can improve your body confidence. Nourish your body by focusing on clean, healthy foods. You’ll begin to notice how increased confidence positively impacts physical intimacy.

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Katie’s Valentine’s Pick

This week is the perfect time to infuse natural, healthy aphrodisiacs into our diets.

Set yourselves up for a cosy night in this Valentine’s Day. At Remedy, we’ve just launched our nutrimental new Couple’s Menu for you to indulge in. Plant based with vegan or vegetarian options, each ingredient is selected to energise and improve mental clarity. Share the love for both your partner and your health this week, with our restaurant-quality Valentine’s meals for two.

Need a sweet treat? Katie’s pick of the week is her luscious Vegan Brownies. The ideal aphrodisiac, they’re nourishingly infused with libido-boosting antioxidants such as high-grade cacao. Available as an add-on to the couple’s meal plan or in a box of 6, these chocolatesque vegan delights are the perfect way to savour a sweet moment with your loved one.

Natural Libido Boosting Foods: Vegan Chocolate Browni

About the Author

The Remedy Kitchen concept and ethos was created by Katie McIntosh, Remedy Kitchen’s co-founder and Managing Director.
 
Katie is a specialist in Nutritional Interventions for Eating Disorders & Obesity, and has completed an expanding range of wellbeing-centric qualifications to date, including Detox Specialist, Advanced Sports & Exercise Nutrition, Performance Enhancement Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach and BSc Psychology. Katie is also a member of the British Psychological Society.
Having first launched her career as a fitness professional back in 2015, Katie realised her passion for helping others use nutrition to elevate their health could be put to better use. It was this realisation, along with the identification of a stark gap in the market , that inspired the Remedy Kitchen concept into what it is today.