You are what you eat, as the saying goes, and what you eat can go a long way in supporting a healthy libido or robbing you of one altogether.
Food is our body’s fuel, just as gasoline fuels a car. When we eat right, we are energized, in a better mood, our blood is flowing, and our hormones are in check, which are all key components of a healthy libido.
Therefore, if you’ve been experiencing challenges when it comes to your libido—low energy, not in “the mood,” difficulties sustaining an erection—then you may want to look closely at your diet.
Here are six ways your diet is negatively impacting your libido and sex life and how you can fix it.
You eat too much junk: Junk food, processed food, and fatty food can all negatively impact your heart, and your heart is a key player in libido. Not because your heart feels love, but because it is responsible for pumping blood. When you eat poorly, it increases your risk of heart disease, cholesterol, and hypertension, which can all affect blood flow. Therefore, eating well can support a healthy heart, which ultimately supports a healthy libido.
You drink decaf: Caffeinated beverages have been shown to boost blood circulation by 30 percent within 75 minutes. Decaf drinkers don’t experience this boost in circulation. If you’re looking to get in the mood, then you may want a cup of coffee to get the blood flowing.
You drink too much alcohol: Small amounts of alcohol can loosen your inhibitions and get you in the mood, but too much alcohol can actually derail your libido as it limits blood flow, causes numbness and loss of sensation, and even lowers your testosterone, which is necessary for a healthy libido. Drinking in moderation is okay, but make sure you aren’t overdoing it or else you will be faced with a boring evening.
You give in to your sweet tooth: Too much sugar in your diet is detrimental for several reasons, including contributing to weight gain, hypertension, heart disease, and reducing testosterone levels. Researchers found a drop in testosterone levels among men who consumed sugar by 25 percent after consumption and those lower testosterone levels remained for nearly two hours. Furthermore, eating a high-sugar diet means you crash after the sugar has been burned off, so you are left fatigued and definitely not in the mood.
You eat too much: Big portions cause weight gain and zap you of your energy. The more food you eat, the harder your body has to work to break it all down, and that requires a lot of energy. After your romantic dinner, you’re left far too tired to perform. Be mindful of your portions—one way to do this is to use a smaller plate.
You no longer eat meat: You decided to go vegan, which seemed like a great idea, but for some, cutting out meat can lead to a vitamin D deficiency and increase the risk of erectile dysfunction. If you are choosing to cut out meat, ensure you are getting vitamin D from other sources to lower your risk of erectile dysfunction.
Related: How your libido affects your life