Everybody needs a little love. Whether you fly solo, or you’re celebrating your 50th anniversary, sexual pleasure plays a major role in all of our lives. But millions of men and women experience sexual dysfunction on a regular basis, which can be a frustrating and emotionally challenging issue to deal with.
While sexual dysfunction can have all sorts of causes, sometimes, all you need to do to reinvigorate your sex drive is feed yourself the wholesome, sexy-boosting fuel you deserve.
And, no, you don’t need to be a fan of ocean snots (ahem, oysters) to reap aphrodisiac-like benefits from your diet. Here are eight vegan foods that support your libido and a balanced sex life.
1 & 2. AVOCADOS AND ALMONDS
Healthy fats are crucial for healthy sex hormones. Our bodies simply cannot function without adequate amounts of fat. Both avocados and almonds are great sources of healthy fat, but that’s not the only thing that makes them libido powerhourses. They’re both also loaded with magnesium.
Foods rich in magnesium have an anti-anxiety effect on the body. Stress and anxiety are major libido killers (anxiety never makes for good sex), so keep up on your magnesium intake (the vast majority of us are probably deficient) to reap the sweet, stress-busting benefits of this mineral.
3. FIBER-RICH GREENS
Greens like mesclun, bok choy, and kale are detoxifying to the body in a pretty major way — they help you, er, excrete. These plant foods are rich in both anti-aging antioxidants and fiber, they help keep things vibrant and regular.
Don’t underestimate the importance of fiber in your sex life. Let’s be honest, nobody feels very sexy when they’re bloated and constipated. Plus, fiber helps the body cleanse itself of excess hormones that can disturb sex drive.
Fiber-heavy greens like spinach and chard also have the added benefit of being magnesium rich, so pile your plate high!
4. HOT PEPPERS
Ah yes, a classic aphrodisiac. Capsaicin, the compound that makes hot peppers spicy, has the added effect of causing our bodies to release more endorphins (and also a little boost of adrenaline).
Their lingering effects can both relax you and hit you with a solid endorphin high, making you more mentally ready to get frisky. For some people, overcoming mental libido blocks can be the biggest challenge, so don’t be afraid to make things a little more spicy.
5, 6 & 7. PUMPKIN SEEDS, OATS AND CHICKPEAS
These foods are rich in the mineral zinc. And while zinc doesn’t really sound like a big deal, it is essential for testosterone production, the sex hormone that acts as a major driver of libido.
Whether you’re a guy or a gal, if your testosterone is out of whack, odds are your libido will be, too. Zinc is also known to reduce male sterility and reduce complications during pregnancy. It also lowers cortisol levels.
Eat these foods regularly, because they are great sources of fiber, too.
8. DARK CHOCOLATE
Yes, the hype around dark chocolate is true. While it might not have a direct effect on libido, the compound phenylethylamine in dark chocolate causes the brain to release pleasure-boosting dopamine. Dark chocolate just makes you feel really good, and if that isn’t a recipe for a better sex life, what is?
The secret to a healthy, balanced sex life is feeling good, relaxed, and confident in your own body. Our day-to-day stresses can cause our hormones to go out of whack, forcing libido into a nosedive. By eating nourishing foods that support your sex hormones and counteract damaging stress levels, you’ll start to notice a real difference, both in the bedroom and out.