Life style choices like what you eat and how much you exercise play a big role in how happy and active your sex life will be as you age. If you’re looking to vamp up your love life increase they five super food groups and you’ll be sparking on all cylinders.
1) Arginine found in almonds and walnuts, salmon, cod and halibut, granola, oatmeal, peanuts, cashews, green vegetables, root vegetables, garlic, ginseng, soybeans, chickpeas and seeds.
Arginine is an amino acid which helps the body produce nitric oxide – and nitric oxide helps promote blood flow to the genitals. Without an adequate amount of it, guys can’t get erections and women can’t become engorged and lubricated.
Ingesting additional arginine has beneficial effects on blood flow, which, in turn, can improve your cardiovascular health, according to two studies done in the 1990s. The International Journal of Cardiovascular Interventions published a report noting that supplemental arginine may improve blood flow in coronary arteries, and an article in The Journal of Clinical Investigation showed arginine significantly improved circulation in young adults with high cholesterol.
Arginine is also available as a topically applied cream.
2) Rainbow Fruit and Veg for Antioxidants
Dieticians will tell you that antioxidants – in lay man’s terms – keep your plumbing clean and your cells healthy by mopping up free radicals, molecules that wreak havoc on the body in a process called oxidation.
Eating a rainbow-coloured diet – particularly red and green fruit and vegetables – tomatoes, red peppers, garlic, spinach, broccoli, beets, cranberries and other berries and red grapes – will ensure a constant supply of these important nutrients.
A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and they ranked seventh in a study of the antioxidant levels of 1,000 different foods.
Another good source is dark chocolate. A study of 163 women in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that those who consumed at least one cube of chocolate daily reported significantly greater desire and better overall sexual function than the individuals who abstained. The reasoning: High-flavonoid chocolate consumption has been linked to improved circulation.
3) Foods Rich in Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens – a natural estrogen notably found in soy products – is an excellent food for women in mid life. It reduces menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and helps with vaginal lubrication.
Foods containing phytoestrogens include soy products, whole grains and legumes, lignin-rich foods like flaxseeds, millet and barley.
Although soy is a great source, nutritionists advise getting phytoestrogens from a variety of foods, and particularly flax seed and flax seed oil.
One simple way to ensure you’re getting a good amount of phytoestrogens is to incorporate one cup of soy yogurt mixed with one tablespoon fresh ground flax seed into your daily diet. (Grind your own whole seed with a small coffee grinder).
4) Omega 3 Rich Foods
To really get your blood going, consider circulation-enhancing dishes. Food that’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids such as mackerel, salmon and wild salmon are best.
“Omega-3 makes your nervous system function better,” says Dr. Barbara Bartlik, assistant professor of psychiatry and sex therapist with the Human Sexuality Program at Weill Cornell Medical Center. “Sex is really about circuitry.”
5) Foods That Lift Testosterone
Women as well as men rely on some testosterone to spark up their libido. The production of testosterone in the body depends heavily on the available amount of vitamin B and zinc. The Vitamin B category is actually made up of several vitamins, including vitamins B1, B6, B12, niacin and folic acid. Foods high in vitamin B include whole grains, fish, seafood, meat, eggs, beans, peas, dairy products and leafy green vegetables.
As for zinc, raw oysters are one of the best dietary sources, providing approximately almost 77 milligrams of zinc per serving. Additional zinc-filled foods include most meats, beans, nuts and milk.
Three vegetables beginning with “A” – artichoke, avocado and asparagus are good for supporting testosterone levels.
Because magnesium and zinc counteract the effect of a protein in your blood that binds with the hormone, some advocate adding more of these minerals to your diet to help increase the free testosterone circulating in your bloodstream and ramp up your desire.
Taking the recommended daily allowance of 1,000 milligrams of calcium, 320 mg of magnesium and 8 mg of zinc (the three minerals can be taken in one pill) can help put you in the mood.
Sources of the food recommendations:
Lynn Edlen-Nezin, Ph.D, Great Food, Great Sex: The Three Food Factors for Sexual Fitness (Ballantine Books),
Marrena Lindberg, The Orgasmic Diet: A Revolutionary Plan to Lift Your Libido and Bring You to Orgasm (Crown).