Food & Sex

Can a change in your diet improve your sex life? Yes, but not in the way you might think. You probably heard of “aphrodisiacs”: substances or foods that increase lust and passion quickly. The idea of them has been around for ages and continues to persist, but there is no scientific proof that there is any sole food that can actually achieve this. What is true is that the quality of our diet has a great deal to do with the quality of our sex.


 

According to a survey with 4,000 singles, conducted in 2012 by a well-known dating website and a popular US-American television news program, about 39 percent of the single women and 16 percent of the single men would rather give up sex for a year than their favourite food. Even when in a committed relationship, over 28 percent of the 3,500 additional respondents chose food over sex. The top foods people would choose over sex were chocolate (26 percent) and steak (25 percent) followed by foods like pizza, cookies and other baked goods, ice cream, chips, various Italian dishes and lobster. But what if you could combine food & sex, thus benefiting your sex life by choosing the right food?

 

Food and other elements that cause or stimulate sexual desire by working on the mind or by affecting parts of the body are called aphrodisiacs. But they do not improve performance or ability. So, can certain foods really increase sexual desire? Millions of people all over the world swear they can, but the scientific proof has yet to be delivered. In order to work, the food would have to affect the hormone level, more precisely the testosterone level, in men and women, since testosterone controls our sex drive. If we don’t have enough testosterone, then the interest in sex can decrease. Things that decrease the sexual desire are called anaphrodisiacs. Researchers have found out that some foods and herbs do stimulate the production of hormones or other chemicals that affect the so-called libido. But what they don’t know is whether those chemicals are produced in a high enough quantity for us to really notice the difference. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aphrodisiacs and anaphrodisiacs are simply myth. So the question is: Why do so many people still believe in the existence of aphrodisiacs and anaphrodisiacs without definitive, scientific proof? Most scientists believe that these substances have a greater effect in our head than in other parts of our body, which means that believing in something’s aphrodisiac qualities can make you think you experience those effects. It is what we call “placebo effect”. After all, the brain is the most powerful sex organ we have. 

 

Another reason for believing in aphrodisiacs may be based in history. Most foods that are believed to be aphrodisiacs are very nutritious. In earlier periods, like the antiquity or the middle ages, food wasn’t readily available to everyone and undernourishment was often found in Europe, especially among common people. When these foods are consumed by people with very poor diets, those nutrients could possibly make the eater feel healthier, more energetic and thus more interested in sex.

 

Click here if you want to know more about foods that are said to have aphrodisiac qualities.

 

So there is no proof for aphrodisiacs or anaphrodisiacs. And after you read about all these things that do not work, is there food that actually can help with your sex life? Yes, there is. And it is rather simple, actually: Eat foods that are lean and have a high nutritional value in regard to the amount of vitamins, minerals, trace elements etc. A healthy diet will help you feel more sexy and will also give you a better performance at sex. Avoid things like too much alcohol or fatty foods. Besides the benefits of one small glass of red wine, there aren’t many good reasons to drink alcohol. You may feel more confident after a drink, because alcohol is known to lower inhibitions, but it also acts as a depressant and reduces your natural sexual response, which will make it harder to “function” and to reach orgasm than when you are sober. As for the fatty or fried food: this kind of food, if consumed regularly, can lead to many health risks and a general sluggishness which doesn’t help in your sex life. Those effects occur generally if you stick to a poor diet.

 

But if your diet contains a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins, (especially vitamins B3, B9, B12, C and E) and minerals, complex carbohydrates as well as lean proteins (from lean meat or, even better, cold-water fish, which is a great protein source and full of polyunsaturated fatty acids) the impact on your libido should be fairly noticeable. For one your body gets enough nutrients to function well and if you feel well and like what you see in the mirror, you will feel more confident and sexier, too. And that has been shown to have a huge effect in the bedroom. Another advice if you plan to have sex shortly after dinner is to avoid large portions. Too much carbohydrates, proteins and/or fat will negatively affect your metabolism, most certainly making you feel tired and bloated, because of the energy your body needs to digest all that food.

 

And if you’re still looking for an aphrodisiac… Experiment and then create your own aphrodisiac. If you believe something is boosting your libido or your performance, there is a good chance that it will, because your brain, as we said before, is the most potent sex organ that you have.

 

By the way, according to the survey mentioned in the beginning of this article, 35% of the singles would be turned off by someone who lacks knowledge about food. So, again: it’s a smart choice that you visit our website.

 

Here are some additional links if you want to know more about aphrodisiacs:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/61721117.html

http://science.howstuffworks.com/aphrodisiac.htm

http://health.howstuffworks.com/sexual-health/sexuality/aphrodisiacs-dictionary.htm

http://www.pdx.edu/wrc/aphrodisiac-foods-anaphrodisiac-foods

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3112606.stm

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120702005327/en/Love-Bites-TODAY.com-Match.com-Survey-Reveals-Singles%E2%80%99

http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20080701/watermelon-a-natural-viagra

 


This article was prepared by Erik Voigt from the Department of Food Biotechnology & Food Process Engineering of the Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), Berlin, Germany and from the European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST), Wageningen, The Netherlands.

For further questions please refer to: erik.voigt@tu-berlin.de


 

Videos

    "Channel 4 (UK): The Sex Education Show - Aphrodisiac Food"

 

    "Ask Men: Foods That Will Increase Your Sex Drive"

 

    

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