What should you eat to improve your sexual performance?

Since the dawn of consciousness, humans have used plants and other natural substances to heal their bodies and promote good health. And that includes countless examples of aphrodisiacs - substances thought to boost our sex drives and aid reproduction.

Nowadays, we can do better than our ancestors. Across the world, an army of researchers has analyzed possible sex foods, sifting out the real from the mythical. So we have a pretty good idea of which substances can assist those with sexual problems.

We're not talking about Viagra here. Studies have consistently found that naturally occurring compounds can have the same effects as pharmaceuticals. This article will assess a few of the most promising sexual nutraceuticals. Who knows? They could spark a revolution in your sex life, so be sure to read on. A simple supplement could make all the difference.

What is our libido?

Firstly, let's understand what these substances set out to achieve. Basically speaking, all of them work on our libido.

"Libido" is the scientific term for our sexual drive. The state of our libido is generally described as either 'reduced' or 'increased', but these simple terms mask some complicated mechanisms.

For one thing, our sex drive is conditioned by multiple factors. In some cases, our sex drive is compromised by stress and mental health issues. But age can also be a factor. If you look back to your teenage years, you'll appreciate how sexual drives can change rapidly. And these changes occur throughout your life, not just during puberty.

Some medical complaints can also have an impact on your desire for lovemaking. But if medical causes, mental health, and age have been ruled out, there's another huge influence that we can dramatically affect in everyday life: diet.

Diet & libido

The role of diet is well established by now. According to a 2013 NIH survey article, substances as diverse as date palm and the West African Pausinystalia Yohimbe tree have significant aphrodisiac properties. And researchers from Harvard report that the omega-3 fatty acids in seafood can have the same effects.

However, eating the wrong things can actually have a detrimental impact on your sex life. For example, diets rich in soy have been associated with hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction in men. So what foods should we be focusing on in our quest for a better sex life? Here are three nutrients that are proven libido boosters.

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Zinc

Sexual experts have long been aware of a link between the metallic element zinc (Zn) and testosterone levels in the human bloodstream. This connection was established for certain back in 1996 when an article in the journal Nutrition found that "testosterone concentrations were significantly correlated with cellular zinc concentrations."

When zinc was removed from the diets of young men, testosterone levels plummeted. Sometimes, testosterone concentration fell by as much as 75% over a 20-week study.

Foods high in Zinc

We know for sure that testosterone is one of the most powerful libido boosters for both men and women. And these findings suggest that zinc deficiency can radically limit our ability to create this crucial sex hormone.

Recent studies have made the connection even more intriguing. In 2018, a German study reported that women with keener senses of smell reported far more orgasms. As there is evidence that zinc deficiency can limit our ability to smell, it could be holding back women and men from having a better sex life.

Ashwagandha

Also known as Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry, Ashwagandha is being promoted as a wonder drug for people who need a lovemaking boost.

Ashwagandha root & powder

Ayurvedic practitioners in India have used the root for centuries. From iron deficiency and weak immune systems to painful menstruation and stress, Ashwagandha is one of those all-around remedies that pop up in most health food stores.

But what wasn't always so well understood was its effect on our sex drive. In 2014, this all changed thanks to a study in the Natural Medicine Journal. Researchers detected dramatic increases in sperm concentration among participants prescribed Ashwagandha. This backs up plenty of anecdotal evidence that people taking the supplement feel sexually energized. So there's definitely something to it.

Maca

Maca (or Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian plant which is native to remote slopes in the Andes Mountains and has been used for thousands of years as an aphrodisiac. According to modern researchers, the locals were absolutely right: the rich soup of compounds contained in Maca roots contains plenty of powerful libido boosters.

Maca root and powder

While studies have found few indications that Maca increases sperm concentrations in humans, they have reported that it boosts sexual drive, particularly after taking regular doses for 8-12 weeks. And studies on rats have discovered that oral administration of Maca drives the rodents wild with desire. So from what we know, this Peruvian root could be one of the most potent sex foods around.

The popularity of Maca has grown so fast that it's now becoming a regular ingredient in craft beers, while some bakers like to mix in a little Maca flour to give their sourdough loaves more spice. So it's an easy supplement to work into your regular diet.

Fine-tuning your diet can have big sexual benefits

As we've seen, the way you eat can be a stepping stone towards a better sex life. The complex system of hormones and nerves which govern our desires isn't fully known, but food and supplements clearly have major effects on our sexual stimulation.

So if you're worried about erectile dysfunction, struggling with low sperm concentrations, or not enjoying sex as much as you could, help may be at hand. Eating well and taking the right supplements could be the missing ingredient.

At Made For, we make it easy to find the most effective supplements for sexual health. So, fill out our questionnaire and browse our products. They could hold the key to a totally new sex life.

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Ali, J., Ansari, S. and Kotta, S. (2018). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs.

Siepmann T, e. (2018). Hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction associated with soy product consumption. - PubMed - NCBI

Gaskins, A., Sundaram, R., Buck Louis, G. and Chavarro, J. (2018). Seafood Intake, Sexual Activity, and Time to Pregnancy.

Prasad AS, e. (2018). Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. - PubMed - NCBI. 

usatoday. (2018). Sex study: People with better sense of smell find it more pleasurable. 

Natural Medicine Journal. (2018). Ashwagandha for Male Infertility. 

DrinkPreneur. (2018). Berliner Schwarze Dark Beer With Ginseng & Maca.

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