Six foods that rev up your ‘engine’
By Ayoki Onyango | June 21st 2021
There has been a long-held belief that certain foods, seeds and soups increase horsepower for men suffering bouts of low libido.
You must have heard of groundnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, olive oil, certain roots, camel and octopus soup, and even some alcohol brands that act as ‘engine oil’.
1. Octopus soup (Supu ya pweza)
The octopus is a good source of iron, omega-3, selenium, copper and vitamin B12. It is also rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all of which promotes a healthy heart ideal for pumping blood to the genitals.
Supu ya pweza is rich in vitamins and minerals and is known to boost the sex drive.
Dr Willis Wanjala, a herbal researcher, adds that a healthy libido is highly dependent on cardiovascular health and “all these factors are useful for sexual desire and libido boosters.”
Elevated blood glucose and insulin insensitivity cause an imbalance of sex hormones.
Plant scientist at the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Chris Ojiewo, explains that groundnuts are rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that relaxes blood vessels and improves overall blood circulation particularly to the capillaries in the sexual organs. Once L-arginine is consumed, the body converts it into nitric oxide, a compound found in Viagra.
“Groundnuts regulates sex drive by increasing the testosterone levels. They are rich in zinc, which is essential for testosterone production and maintenance of healthy sperm,” explains Dr Ojiewo.
Groundnuts and traditional vegetables increase the sex drive by improving overall blood flow specifically to the sexual organs.
“They are a good source of both micronutrients and therefore regulates libido through a healthy brain and balance levels of sex hormones," explains Dr Ojiewo.
The main organ for control of sex drive is the brain and “micronutrients such as magnesium and zinc are important for your hormonal balance and brain health. Groundnut is a good source of both micronutrients and therefore regulates libido through a healthy brain and balanced levels of sex hormones," explains Dr Ojiewo.
3. Oyster meat
It contains healthy Omega 3 fatty acids that help boost a man's libido, says Dr Willis Wanjala, a herbal medicine researcher.
He says most sea foods are aphrodisiacs, as they contain specific amino acids that improve one's sex drive, though it pays to understand the physical, mental and emotional factors contributing to dwindling fortunes in the libido department.
Oyster meat increases blood flow to genitals and constant circulation of blood is essential to sustaining stamina, besides improving the quality of sperms.
Chris Ojiewo, a macro-biologist, says: “Oysters are rich in zinc, which contains minerals that the body needs every day for vital functions. These include cell metabolism, stamina, regulating levels of testosterone, which is the most important male sex hormone.”
Dr Wanjala explains that men who consume octopus soup, eat crabs, salmon and oysters experience an increased sex drive compared to those who consume less seafood.
4. Grains and vegetables
Dr Ojiewo, who is also a researcher on legumes, says people who eat groundnuts and sunflower seeds/oil have less risk of metabolic syndrome, a major factor for Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
Among traditional vegetables, experts recommend mrenda (jute mallow) as according to Dr Wanjala it has some antioxidants in Vitamin A, C and E which can help the body to kill off cancerous development, especially colon cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Consumption of mrenda keeps the prostate healthy, boosting libido.
Besides, mrenda also has anti-ageing properties.
5. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich in proteins, zinc and vitamin E, which improves blood circulation crucial in maintaining an erection.
Sunflower seeds are highly rated in the libido sector as their consumption lowers the rates of cardiovascular disease, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Your sex life may greatly improve if you switch to plant-based cooking oils like sunflower which is rich in ‘healthy’ fats, including polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat.
Dr Wanjala says the zinc in sunflower is important in sperm production.
6. Pumpkin seeds
Low zinc levels are associated with reduced sperm quality and an increased risk of infertility in men.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and they may improve sperm quality.
They are also high in antioxidants and other nutrients that can contribute to healthy testosterone levels and improve overall health.
"There are no myths in these issues, all facts and points are backed by scientific evidence, research and studies," observes Dr Wanjala, adding that Ginkgo Biloba is a herb that treats antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. It is an extract derived from the Chinese tree Ginkgo.
There are several factors that lead to low libido, a condition linked to low blood flowing to the genitals including “damage of the nervous centres into the penis, side effects of medication/drugs, radiation of medical treatment, depression, stress and anxiety," says Dr Wanjala.
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