Loss of libido (sex drive) is a common problem that affects up to one in five men and in even more women during some stage in their life. It is often linked to relationship issues, professional or personal stress, hormone imbalances, or life-changing events such as pregnancy and childbirth. It can also be linked with other issues such as depression, over consumption of alcohol, smoking, certain medications, or chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity, and arterial disease. The first approach should always be to rule out any undiagnosed medical condition. After that, optimal nutrition and lifestyle changes can have a big impact on restoring libido naturally.
Probably one of the better-known aphrodisiacs, oysters have gotten this reputation over the years for a few reasons. Along with the exciting act of eating an oyster, they’re also very high in zinc, which is one of the most researched nutrients in relation to fertility. It’s known to increase sperm count and motility and is needed for the production of sex hormones in both sexes. Researchers have also found that oysters contain certain amino acids, specifically D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), that are thought to stimulate the production of sex hormones.
Healthy fats, like coconut oil, are one of the most important elements for hormonal balance. Healthy fats are needed for the production of sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Having a proper balance of these hormones is essential to having a healthy libido.
Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that help the body absorb and use nutrients needed for manufacturing sex hormones. They are also full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamins E and B, and folic acid– all required for maintaining hormonal balance in the body and boosting libido in both sexes.
Wild salmon is full of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which the body needs for healthy hormone function. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce inflammation in the body and promote blood flow in the arteries, all helpful for a robust libido. Aim for 2 to 3 portions of oily fish per week for both men and women.
Great news for chocolate lovers. Chocolate boosts libido! It contains a wide variety of powerful antioxidants and polyphenols thought to raise endorphin levels. In addition, bioactive compounds found in dark chocolate improve blood flow in the arteries thus improving blood flow to the sexual organs. Chocolate also tastes delicious and is rich in magnesium, which can make you feel more relaxed and ‘in the mood.’
Maca is a root vegetable found exclusively in the Andes mountains and is also known as Peruvian Ginseng. It has been used as a health and vitality promoter for thousands of years and is well known for its hormone balancing and vitality boosting properties. It can be taken by both males and females to help boost libido and increase fertility levels. Maca comes in powdered form and can be added to cereals, soups, and stews. 1 to 2 tsps per day is the recommended amount.
Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans are high in L-arginine, which gets converted into nitric oxide that dilates blood vessels to get blood flowing to the necessary organs. Walnuts also contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system– all needed for a healthy libido.
In addition to its suggestive appearance and history, asparagus is a libido-boosting food because it is high in folate. Folate elevates histamine levels, which increases libido. Asparagus is rich in vitamin E, which stimulates circulation and neurological function, also important for a healthy libido.
Horny Goat Weed
Deeply tonifying for many reproductive functions. Its phytosterols regulate the production of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which has both androgenic and oestrogenic actions. It is especially good for depleted individuals with poor peripheral circulation. It also is beneficial in infertility, menopausal syndrome, and chronic prostatitis. Should not be taken on its own for more than ten weeks . In some individuals, Epimedium may cause vomiting, dizziness, dry mouth, or nosebleeds.
Damiana has a tonic action on the central nervous and endocrine systems. It is particularly appropriate in individuals (male or female) experiencing a loss of libido accompanied by anxiety, chronic fatigue, debility, depression, neurasthenia, or hypothyroidism. It has been shown to exert both a progesteronic and testosteronic activity.
Ashwaganda has been used for 1000’s of years as a restorative sexual tonic. It is of benefit with ED, and improves the quantity and quality of semen and sexual stamina. It stimulates production of DHEA, a precursor to testosterone. Ashwaganda (Hindi) translates to the smell of horse, referring to the power of a stallion. It is by no means solely for improving male libido, it works equally well in women and can be particularly helpful with treating functional female infertility. Ashwaganda is definitely the herb to think of when low libido is accompanied by chronic adrenal burnout.