Diet plays a key role in staying healthy, but does this also apply to sexual health? Which foods boost your libido and which kill it? Myth or reality, our specialist answers you.
Foods that stimulates sexuality
There are foods with stimulating, disinhibiting or even euphoric effects on our sexuality. Traditionally we speak of aphrodisiac foods to boost desire.
Each era has had its “star” sexual foods. In the Middle Ages, it was recommended that women buy and eat artichokes to keep their buttocks warm, and Louis XV ate celery to increase his sexual vigour. Nowadays, these foods are no longer “sexy” (except perhaps the artichoke, which evokes for some people the idea of stripping off the leaves), and people are turning instead to foods such as ginger, chocolate…
There are two difficulties with these foods:
- The first is that there are almost no scientific studies that confirm or deny their effects on sexuality. The fact that a food is rich in zinc, magnesium, B vitamins or whatever is not enough to say that it is a stimulant. It is potentially so, but it still needs to be proven.
- The second difficulty is, when the effect is proven, to know how much to take.
It has been shown that watermelons can stimulate the libido, but you would have to eat 2 or 3 a day to do this. Fresh onion juice is a proven effective sexual stimulant, but a small litre should be taken on an empty stomach an hour before sex.
This is why most of these products are found in food supplements to concentrate them.
Foods that are harmful to sexuality
Strictly speaking, there are no foods that have a sexually negative effect. On the other hand, the overall quality of our diet can alter our sexual functioning.
A diet that is too high in sugar, salt and animal fats can end up damaging the functioning of the small arteries that are essential for the functioning of the genital area. It can also disrupt sexual hormonal functioning through the accumulation of abdominal fat.
Recent European studies estimate that one third of people, male or female, suffering from sexual difficulties (libido, orgasm, pleasure, erection) could improve their sexual problem simply by improving their diet.
Recommended diet for sexuality
Several types of diet have been developed and tested to assess their impact on sexuality. The diet that most often comes to the top of the list in studies is the so-called Mediterranean diet.
This is the most varied diet and the one that is richest in vegetables, legumes, fruit, herbs, dried fruit, spices, seafood, etc. In other words, almost all the foods known to be aphrodisiacs.
It is also one of the diets that has the best protective effect on arteries and weight gain.
Beverages such as coffee, green tea and cocoa are known to have an “anti-oxidant” effect, which is very useful especially in limiting the effects of sexual aging.
All anti-oxidant foods play this role of “slowing down” sexual ageing, including apples, which are a food available to everyone.
An Italian study showed that women over 50 who ate more than two apples a day had higher sexual satisfaction scores than women who ate less than two apples a week.
Not only can diet contribute to a more fulfilling sexuality, but it can also help to prevent loss of genital size/volume with age.
In women after the menopause, there is a progressive decrease in the volume of the vulva (thickness and consistency of the labia and clitoris) and in men, fibrosis linked to natural ageing leads to a slight decrease in penis size.
A balanced diet containing anti-oxidant foods (apples, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, walnuts, almonds, coffee, etc.) helps to reduce the loss of volume in our genitals. This is useful for maintaining as much as possible the capacity for physical sexual pleasure in women by keeping a good “consistency” of the genital area. This effect, which limits the decrease in penis size with age, will be well appreciated by men.
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