Sex drive foods? A myth, you say? Not so fast. These 10 foods are not only good for your general body function, but they also rev up your libido and boost blood flow to the genitals.
Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they are packed with valuable nutrients. Eating only a small amount can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc. Pumpkins are members of the gourd family, which includes cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. They grow on vines and need plenty of space.
"Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, which boosts testosterone," says Dr Peter Mokaya, CEO, Organic Consumers Alliance.
"Not only is this great for men, but studies have shown women with high levels of testosterone have a greater sex drive. Zinc works to block the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen."
Bonus: Pumpkin seeds are loaded with antioxidants and more good-for-you nutrients.
MONDIA WHITEI (MUKOMBERO)
Mondia is used in many parts of Africa as a traditional remedy to improve appetite and libido, as a galactagogue (increases the production of breast milk), as a fertility medication, and as an antidepressant, Mokaya says.
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In African countries, where it is used medicinally, the most commonly cited use is as an aphrodisiac.
Figs are high in zinc and magnesium, two nutrients needed to make testosterone and other sex hormones, he says.
Although not well documented, figs may also enhance the secretion of pheromones. But the fig's appearance may be the biggest reason for its aphrodisiac claims.
According to Healthline.com Ginseng is a herbal supplement that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Ginseng has been used for improving overall health strengthening the immune system and helping fight off stress and disease.
Ginseng might not look appealing, but it could do wonders for your sex life. Researchers in a 2010 study found Korean red ginseng in particular improved sexual arousal in menopausal women. Ginseng has also been shown to improve sexual function in men.
There are different types of ginseng. Asian ginseng (from Chinese and Korean sources) has been used for unclear thinking, diabetes and male erectile dysfunction.
Another food that increases libido in women is flaxseeds. Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens that act very similarly to female hormones that are linked to a healthy sex life.
Flax can be beneficial for women who have low estrogen levels, such as those experiencing menopause.
Chia seeds are also known to increase male libido. They have been shown to boost testosterone naturally.
It is all thanks to the essential fatty acids that serve as building blocks for hormones. Testosterone is tied to feelings of power, motivation, well-being and sex drive.
"Monopoly on testosterone is not only on men, women produce it too, and, when it dips too low, women experience a loss of sex drive and motivation," says Mokaya.
One of the foods that increase libido in men naturally is ginger. This spice increases blood flow and testosterone production.
Even the scent alone is enough to get the blood flowing. It can also have a warming effect on the body.
They are loaded with B vitamins which increase levels of histamine, a neurotransmitter that facilitates orgasm, says Peter Kimani, a farmer and nutrition coach.
"Green asparagus spears are rich in rutin, a potent scavenger of free radicals. The crowns also have high levels of the chemical protodioscin which may improve sexual function," says Kimani.
Garlic may be the last thing you want on your breath when. But it may be something you want to get more of due to its high concentration of the compound allicin.
Numerous small clinical studies suggest that regular garlic consumption may reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of certain cancers and work against peripheral artery disease, improving blood flow, particularly to the lower extremities.