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.
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:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.