Increase Your Sex Drive with Zinc, Ginseng, Vitamin E, Iron, Saffron, or Exercise
Since ancient times, certain foods have always been thought to increase the sex drive or libido. Dining being a time-honored mode of foreplay, lovers have always complimented their ability to make love with foods considered to have aphrodisiac nutrients, which are believed to have powers in maximizing performance and increasing satisfaction.
Sex Drive or Libido as the Product of an Active Imagination and a Healthy Body
Today, there is no question that psychological health is as important as an optimally functioning body. How many times has it been said that the imagination is the greatest aphrodisiac? Sexual drive is maintained by an active mind in a healthy body.
Fatigue and depression are common precursors to sexual dysfunction, particularly in men. These conditions are often linked, and can often be alleviated by an exercise program. Regular exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are mood alleviating chemicals. Fatigue and depression underline the importance of a healthy mind, or mindset, that should partner with a healthy body.
Healthy Sex Life or Libido Depends on Good Nutrition
Optimal nerve function, healthy hormonal levels, and an unobstructed blood flow to the pelvic area are essential to sexual performance. Certain nutrients assist the body in achieving these conditions.
Here is a list of nutrients, or foods, that help increase the sex drive:
- Saffron – Ask any herbalist and you will be told that saffron is a sexual stimulant. Herbalists recommend summer savory as a sexual stimulant and tonic. Winter savory is believed to dampen sexual desire. A word of caution: These claims have not been proven.
- Ginseng – Studies have shown that ginseng boosts stamina and mating behavior in mice and rats. It has been touted to be a good source of energy. It is believed to fight off fatigue and stress. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada classify the herb as “safe,” but neither regulatory agency will vouch for claims of its aphrodisiac, and medicinal, potency.
- Yohimbe – Yohimbe is considered an aphrodisiac in many countries. It has no effect on the mental aspects of sexual stimulation, but may dilate blood vessels, thus might alleviate impotence. Be aware that Yohimbe can raise blood pressure and is not recommended for anyone that has high blood pressure.
- Vitamin E – Many experts believe that without a healthy supply of this vitamin, sexual function is likely to suffer. Vitamin E is abundant in foods like margarine, nuts and seeds, legumes, oils, green vegetables, and wheat germ.
- Iron – In some cases, iron deficiency anemia is responsible for fatigue, which dampens the sex drive. To replenish iron stores, diet must include meat, fish and shellfish, nuts and seeds, legumes, enriched or fortified grains or cereals, leafy greens, and dried fruits.
- Zinc – Zinc has long been linked with healthy sexual function. Without enough zinc, sexual development in children is delayed. Adults need zinc for sperm manufacture. Zinc is found in high concentrations in the male sperm. Zinc is abundant in animal foods, seafood (especially oyster), poultry and liver, eggs, milk, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
- Arginine – Arginine or L-Arginine is also noted to help with sexual function in men. A precursor to nitric oxide, arginine is excellent to help with blood flow. Combining arginine with citrulline is an excellent combination that can be found in supplement form. Eating watermelon is an excellent source of citrulline also.
- Horny Goat Weed – Another supplement that can help men with libido and erectile dysfunction is horny goat weed. This is found in numerous men’s vitamins.
- Pycnogenol – Combined with L-arginine, Pycnogenol has been shown to help with erectile dysfunction. Certain studies show this to help, but it takes time. The studies found that 92.5% of the men tested have better erections after 3 months of treatment.
What to Avoid to Increase Sex Drive or Libido
- Eat a diet low in saturated fats – There is a proven link between high intake of saturated fats, elevated blood cholesterol levels, and the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques in the blood vessels around the heart. This condition may also be true relative to the tiny blood vessels in the penis. Without free-flowing blood circulation, the penis cannot achieve optimal erection, which is a response to the mental aspect of the sex drive.
- Curb alcohol consumption – William Shakespeare should be credited with popularizing the notion of alcohol being all fury and no fire, so to speak, when he wrote that wine “provokes the desire, but takes away the performance.” Although alcohol lifts inhibitions related to sex, it has a depressant effect. Alcohol causes impotence and shrinks the testes in men who drink heavily.
- Stop smoking – Nicotine is perhaps the prime enemy of arteries. Nicotine not only promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in penile blood vessels, it also constricts them.
Exercise also Increases Sex Drive
With a healthy dose of the right nutrients, to enhance a healthy mind and a positive attitude, an optimal sex drive can be achieved. This, coupled with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle, can almost guarantee a busy lovers’ nest until the wee hours of morning. Regular exercise increases metabolism and blood flow to the pelvic area, and burns fat.
1801 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems. Reader’s Digest. Australia. 2007. 472 pages.
Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal: An A to Z Guide to Safe and Healthy Eating. The Reader’s Digest. 2004, Montreal, Canada. 416 pages. Hardbound.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.