Nuts & Seeds to Boost Libido
Throughout the course of a relationship, the libido naturally surges and falls. While sexual desire often wanes due to the rigors of a busy life, sometimes a dip is caused by fluctuating hormones or poor lifestyle choices. In these cases, diet can make a difference. Nuts and seeds contain a variety of important ingredients that influence sex drive. If you're feeling less-than-passionate, here are several nuts and seeds that can boost your libido naturally.
Top Seven Nuts and Seeds That Boost Libido
Omega-3 fatty acids found in almonds can improve blood flow to the sex organs. In addition, almonds contain a variety of vitamins and minerals important to sexual health and reproduction, including selenium, vitamin E and Zinc. Because almost half of the selenium in the male body can be found in the testes and seminal ducts, it is not surprising that selenium is crucial for the production and mobility of sperm. Often considered the "sex vitamin," vitamin E boosts oxygen and blood flow to the genitalia and it plays a key role in the production of sex hormones. The powerful antioxidant properties of vitamin E also help the body maintain youthfulness and vitality. Men need zinc to help regulate the function of the prostate, a gland that is important to sexual health in men. Zinc is also a fundamental ingredient in the production of testosterone and sperm. Healthy testosterone levels are important to both men and women when it comes to sex drive, making almonds a top choice if you want to boost libido.
Another rich source of selenium, consumption of Brazil nuts may help protect the health of sperm. In fact, studies show that a deficiency of selenium can lead to damaged sperm and eventual infertility in rats.
Although not officially nuts, these legumes are full of L-arginine, an amino acid that serves many bodily functions including boosting blood flow to the sexual organs of both men and women. The body uses arginine to manufacture nitric oxide, which is the key ingredient in popular erection enhancement drugs. Because arginine improves blood flow to the penis, some men may want to prepare peanut butter toast for breakfast.
Surveys by the USDA have found that consumption of zinc by men and women is below the recommended daily allowance. Depleted zinc levels can lead to low testosterone, which can negatively affect muscle growth and sex drive in men (and women) despite regular weight training. Foods like pine nuts are high in zinc and help to boost libido. In fact, pine nuts are used in folk medicine for their love-potion properties.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium, which plays a role in the production of androgen and estrogen, hormones that are important to sexual desire in women. Pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc, and they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a precursor for prostaglandins. In animal studies, these hormone-like compounds have been found to boost libido.
Another good source of zinc, consuming sesame seeds can also help improve production of sperm and testosterone. Sesame seeds can be found in bread and crackers or sprinkled on cereals and stir-fry dishes. Halva is an age-old, middle-eastern recipe that is thought to offer libido-boosting benefits. To make halva, mix one cup of honey with one cup of tahini (ground sesame seeds) until smooth, and stir in a quarter cup of chopped almonds. Form the mixture into small balls, and roll each ball in roasted sesame seeds to coat. Refrigerate to set, and share with your spouse or partner.
Even though they taste like a cross between the two, soy nuts are technically neither a nut nor a seed. They are small, dry-roasted beans containing isoflavones, which help boost vaginal lubrication in women through increased estrogen levels. Soy nuts that are not genetically modified (non-GMO) are the healthiest to purchase. Women who have a history of breast cancer may wish to limit soy consumption as increased estrogen can boost risks for recurrence.
A dwindling sex drive can be frustrating, but libido-boosting foods can help. Ingredients within these foods like fatty acids, magnesium, selenium, vitamin E and zinc can help sustain and even boost sex drive. Add these nuts, "almost" nuts and seeds above to the diet to improve your sexual health and enhance desire.
By guest contributor Jillian Fritsen