Vitamains, Minerals, Herbs – All you need to boost your sexual driveAurumie Baubo Feb 10 2020 at 2:06 PM
Sexual drive in men and women isn’t just an outcome of natural desire or how you feel. Many things can impact how one’s sex life is. An unhealthy lifestyle, bad food choices, lack of sleep, fatigue, and stress are some of the things that can inhibit one from having a good sex life. Bringing about lifestyle changes can improve your sexual response and performance. Another important and simpler way is to improve our food choices.
How we think of sex can at times be also driven by better food and diet. What we eat can have serious implications not only on our mental and physical wellbeing but also directly impact our sex life. Many times what we may construe as being something wrong with us, can turn out to be just a chemical imbalance in our body. This can be fixed with the diet which can provide us with a daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, there are herbs that can be a source of natural energy and health boosters too. These herbs are available in their raw forms and processed forms – tablets, capsules, and liquid, that are more easily accessible.
Consuming a healthy diet can help increase our vitamin and mineral uptake within our metabolic system. With discipline and dedication, this can not only improve our sexual wellbeing but create a positive impact on the other aspects of our life too.
Vitamin B Complex : Vitamin Bs help in building energy, strengthening the nervous system, alleviate anxiety and improve mental wellbeing. Specifically, Vitamin B12 and B3 are linked to improving erectile functioning. Niacin or Vitamin B3 is also known to improve blood circulation that can lead to better blood flow to your sexual organs thus leading to better arousal. Vitamin B6 regulates the hormonal balance in men and women. It helps in the production of female sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone and testosterone production in men. You can easily load up B Vitamins from meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, peanut butter, fortified cereals, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and nuts.
Vitamin C : A study of infertile men showed that Vitamin C supplements improved sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology, thus improving the semen quality that’s important for conception. Due to its antioxidant nature, Vitamin C also reduces free radicals that damage sperm quality. This Vitamin also improves blood circulation that aids blood flow to sexual organs and thus improves arousal in men and women. For women, Vitamin C deficiency can impact the hormonal balance. Strawberries, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits like orange, lemons, and guava, bell peppers, cabbage, papaya, and tomatoes.
Vitamin D : A healthy dose of the Sun every day can improve your mood and sex drive. Vitamin D impacts the production of male and female sex hormones that promote healthy sexual functions. Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to erectile dysfunctions and low sexual desire in men and women. Especially for women, Vitamin D deficiency is linked to vaginal dryness which can make sex very painful. To get your daily dose of Vitamin D, step out in the Sun. You can also get Vitamin D from egg yolks, mushrooms, foods fortified with Vitamin D, milk, cheese, orange juice, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel.
Vitamin E : Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps in building a healthy immune system. It has received a lot of attention because of its ability to improve female reproductive health. Additionally, it also improves sperm motility and is used to treat male infertility issues. Vitamin E is also known to naturally boost testosterone production and can hence impact male libido and desire. Vitamin E acts against free radicals and protects healthy cells from getting damaged. As such its popularly recommended for skincare, which can do a lot for one’s confidence levels. A safe and natural way to get your daily dose of Vitamin E is to consume leafy vegetables like spinach, beet greens, and kale, nuts, and seeds – almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, vegetable oils like sunflower and soybean. External supplements for this vitamin must be taken under strict medical guidance as it’s known to impact the cardiovascular system.
Folic Acid : Folic Acid or Folate (Vitamin B9) is essential for energy production in our body and aids in multiple brain functions. It helps in creating red blood cells that carry oxygen to various parts of our body and thus keeps us energetic. Our body makes new cells every day including those in our skin, hair, and nails. Folate helps in cell division and facilitates this cell development. A deficiency in this B Vitamin can lead to fatigue and exhaustion and lack of focus. Your emotional wellbeing can play a major role in your sexual drive and how you respond to sexual stimulus. Lack of adequate folate in our body can make one sluggish and thus impact your sexual awareness and performance. Folate is the natural version of Vitamin B9 and Folic Acid is its synthetic version. You can get your natural dose of Folate from leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and beet greens, foods like bread and cereals fortified with folic acid, fruits like papaya, oranges, and banana, peanuts, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, liver, fish, and eggs.
Potassium : Potassium is an electrolyte that regulates the electrical activity in the body. It’s important for cellular functioning, for good cardiovascular health, a well-functioning nervous system, and muscle health. Eat potassium-rich diets to maintain optimal blood pressure. Appropriate blood pressure maintains effective blood circulation. Optimal blood flow to sexual organs aids in better vaginal lubrication, better sexual function, and performance. In men, high blood pressure can limit blood flow to the penis, thus affecting erection and ejaculation also. Good sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables like banana, spinach, sweet potato, beet greens, peas, avocado, tomato, citrus fruits like oranges, dried apricots, potato and potato skins, seeds and nuts and whole grains.
Magnesium : Magnesium plays a significant role in our body and is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions. It helps in muscle and nerve function, in maintaining cardiovascular health and well-functioning immune system. Magnesium also helps in maintaining sexual health in men and women. Magnesium deficiency can lead to premature ejaculation in men. Magnesium intake can also address fertility issues by increasing sperm production and motility. For women, if you feel your muscle cramping or feel too tired to have sex, you could look at increasing your magnesium intake. Studies also show that taking magnesium supplements can increase testosterone levels thus increase sex drive in men. Increase your dietary intake of magnesium from leafy green vegetables, spinach, milk, bananas, almonds, cashews, dried apricots, whole grains, legumes, fish, yogurt and dark chocolate.
Zinc : Zinc plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, keeping infections at bay and help wounds heal faster. It also helps modulate sexual function and sexual health in men and women. Zinc deficiency is linked to low testosterone, poor sperm quality, and infertility issues in men. Men who have low testosterone can take Zinc supplements, which can help in maintaining a firm erection and in issues related to premature-ejaculation. In a study done on male rats, the consumption of Zinc by male rats delayed their ejaculation and improved their sexual competence. Sports professionals can lose zinc through their sweat which can cause zinc deficiency. For women adding Zinc to their daily diet can also help boost their sex drive and performance. Additionally, zinc deficiency can also impact one’s sense of smell and taste. Both these senses play a role in aiding sexual arousal. Eat red meat, chicken, legumes, nuts – peanuts, cashew, almonds, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, dairy products, strawberries, mushrooms, dark chocolate to get your daily dose of Zinc. Our Indian cuisine already follows many processes like soaking, fermenting and sprouting of grains and beans which improves the zinc uptake from our diet.
Iron : Iron is a key mineral that modulates various metabolic activities and helps in carrying oxygen to various parts of your body. To maintain a strong immune system and stamina, it’s important to maintain adequate levels of iron in your body. Iron deficiency is linked to brain health, inability to ward off infections, high levels of exhaustion and even hair loss. If you feel a lack of energy or unable to whip up that excitement for a cuddle, check your hemoglobin levels as you could be suffering from Iron Deficiency Anemia or IDA. In women of reproductive age, IDA is also linked to dysfunction in sexual response, sexual satisfaction, and sexual intercourse. Women can improve their sex drive and sexual performance by taking iron-rich food. Good sources of iron are meat, chicken, fish, lentils, nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, beetroot, pomegranate, Amaranth or Rajgira and foods fortified with iron.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids : Omega 3 Fatty Acids are linked to cardiovascular health benefits, brain development and having anti-inflammatory properties. It helps increase dopamine levels in the brain that can alleviate anxiety and depression. If you don’t feel up for sex or feel disinterested, look at boosting the Omega 3 intake in your diet. It might just improve your mood and help you in responding better to sexual stimulus. The fatty acid increases nitric oxide production thereby dilating blood vessels and improving blood circulation. Increased blood flow to sexual organs – both to the vagina and penis helps in better sexual lubrication and arousal in women and erection in men. Omega 3 fatty acids are also known to improve sperm count and sperm motility, thus impacting fertility for men. For improving your libido, enrich your diet with Omega 3 fatty acids. Good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are oily or fatty fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, other seafood like mussels, various nuts and seeds like flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, soybean oil, and canola oil.
Calcium : Calcium is needed to maintain strong bone health. It is also needed for muscle movement, for blood circulation, to facilitate messaging between the brain and other parts of the body and many other body functions. Calcium deficiency is linked to high blood pressure which can influence sexual health and performance. Good blood flow to the sexual organs aids in vaginal lubrication in women and erections in men, factors that impact sexual response and improve libido. Lack of adequate calcium in your body can also lead to irritability and fatigue which can impact sexual desire. Get your daily dose of calcium from dairy products, salmon, broccoli, tofu, almonds, sesame seeds, figs, grains, and fortified foods.
Selenium : Selenium is an important mineral that is needed for reproductive health, for a healthy immune system, to keep the heart healthy and many other processes. Selenium deficiency is linked to the depressed mood which can impact sexual arousal and libido. Because of its antioxidant properties, Selenium supplement can improve semen quality and address infertility issues in men. Selenium can enhance a body’s immunity and thus result in better general wellbeing and health. A healthier body can be more receptive to sexual stimulus and be more sexually active. Good sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish – tuna, sardines, chicken, liver, dairy products, wheat, and spinach.
L-Citrulline : L-citrulline is an amino acid that is produced naturally in our body. L-citrulline aids in maintaining heart and muscle health and improves metabolism. It helps in reducing blood pressure, which can impact sexual performance. L-citrulline is further synthesized into L-arginine and Nitric Oxide. Nitric Oxide dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow. Decreased blood flow to the genitals affects its ability to get lubricated and aroused. Vaginal dryness can make sexual intercourse painful for women. In men, erectile dysfunction has been linked to unhealthy blood vessels. L-citrulline supplements have been linked to improving erections and for treating erectile dysfunction. Studies also indicate that Nitric Oxide boosts endurance levels and stamina with regards to sports performance. This can also be extended to and impact sexual performance. Boost your L-citrulline levels with watermelon which is a very rich source of L-citrulline. Other sources are cucumber, garlic, onions, chickpeas, peanuts, soy, meat, liver, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin and dark chocolate.
Arginine : Arginine or L-arginine is an amino acid that helps in protein development. It is important for heart health, in improving blood circulation and maintaining a strong immune system. It increases the production of Nitric Oxide which dilates blood vessels. Because it improves blood flow it can improve conditions related to erectile dysfunction in men. Additionally increased blood flow to erogenous zones can increase sexual arousal in men and women. Arginine also aids in dealing with anxiety and fatigue, which can slow down sexual responses. You can get Arginine from meat, chicken, fish, grains, dairy products, lentils, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and peanuts.
DHEA : DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone that helps in the production of sex hormones – testosterone and estrogen, both important in maintaining healthy sexual function and performance. DHEA supplements claim to help with sexual dysfunction, combat fatigue, and anxiety and improve mood. DHEA levels peak in the mid-20s and begin to decline in middle age. As such it plays an important role in age-related processes. Low DHEA levels are linked to decreased sexual desire and libido. You can improve your DHEA levels naturally by exercising, managing your stress levels and maintaining a healthy diet. All of these will help you in maintaining a hormonal balance in your body.
Gingko : Gingko Biloba or Maidenhair Tree is one of the oldest living species of trees that are native to China and Japan. Some of the trees are almost 2,500 years old. Gingko extract is actively used in traditional medicine in China to improve brain health and sexual functions. Gingko has been seen to treat anti-depression-induced sexual dysfunction in men and women effectively with a positive impact on libido, arousal, and the ability to have an orgasm. It also increases blood circulation which can improve blood flow to sexual organs and relax muscles, thus aiding sexual response in women. Its antioxidative nature battles free radicals and reduces oxidative stress, which can improve penile erections in men and treat erectile impotence. Additionally, due to its mood-enhancing qualities, the herb can enhance the desire to have sex. You can take Gingko extract as supplements in the form of liquid, capsules or tablets. And for a refresher, you can also take Gingko tea made from its leaves.
Fenugreek : Fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum or Methi Seeds is commonly found in Indian kitchens. Fenugreek leaves or Methi is consumed widely by Indians every day. While it’s a popular food item, it has many medicinal benefits too. Fenugreek is used as an Ayurveda herb to boost testosterone levels and improve body strength in men which can improve sexual wellbeing. Some studies indicate that taking Fenugreek seeds regularly improved men’s sexual performance in bed. Research indicates that Fenugreek seeds can improve sexual desire and sexual function in women too. Additionally, testosterone deficiency not only impacts male libido and increases impotence but also female sexual health. Low testosterone in women can impact their sexual drive, increase fatigue and vaginal dryness and create fertility issues. Testosterone also impacts general mood too in women, which plays a role in her desire to have sex.
Tribulus : Tribulus Terrestris or Puncture Vine, or Gokhura as it is called in India, is used as an aphrodisiac to promote sexual desire and for overall sexual health. The herb is also used to treat sexual dysfunctions and infertility. In men, the plant is said to improve sperm count and impact erectile functioning and improve male virility. It helps men in gaining more firmer erections and thus improve sexual satisfaction. In women, research suggests that Tribulus Terrestris can improve libido, vaginal lubrication, sexual arousal, reduced pain during sexual intercourse and increase in orgasms. The herb helps postmenopausal women achieve better sexual satisfaction.
Ginseng : Ginseng is said to be one of the most versatile herbs that have been used in China for therapeutic purposes for centuries. The plant has various versions including American (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian or Korean (Panax ginseng). Panax in Greek means all-healing, hence the versatility. In traditional Chinese medicine, Asian Ginseng is used as a natural energy booster and to increase physical stamina and endurance. There is evidence of its clinical benefits also. Studies have shown, American Ginseng has shown to reduce cancer-related fatigue. Ginseng is also used as an aphrodisiac to improve sexual performance, behavior, and resolution. In men, research also shows evidence that the Korean Red Ginseng can be used to improve erectile dysfunctions and treat premature ejaculation. It improves blood circulation to the sexual organs, which can be one reason for better sexual response. For women who are menopausal and feel their libido waning, Asian Ginseng supplements could help in improving their sexual functions. Additionally, if you feel stressed or feel low, Ginseng may be helpful. It has mood-enhancing properties that can boost your desire to have sex with your mate.
Horny Goat Weed : Horny Goat Weed or Epimedium grandiflorum is commonly used as a sexual enhancer in both men and women and other conditions like fatigue and pain. Legend has it that a goatherd saw unusual sexual activity after they chewed on the plant and thus the name. Traditional Chinese medicine has used Epimedium to treat erectile dysfunctions for a long time. There is now research-based evidence that using horny goat weed on rats had a positive effect on their erectile functioning. More studies showed the herbs extracts have a chemical compound called Icariin which is able to counter enzymes that block erections and can be thought of as natural Viagra. For women, the herb extract is said to help in dealing with painful intercourse and menopausal issues.
Maca : Maca is a plant from the central Andes, Peru whose extract is used commonly in sexual enhancing supplements. It is used to enhance sexual function, as an aphrodisiac and energy booster in traditional medicine for centuries. Studies show the consumption of Maca supplements can improve sexual desire in women and reduce discomfort in menopausal women. It helps in increasing sexual desire and endurance in men also. Additionally, studies suggest that the herb can improve sperm concentration and motility, thus aid fertility in men, and improve conception rates. It also helps improve erectile functioning in men. As a woman, if you are on anti-depressants, it can result in sexual dysfunction. Study shows Maca can help in alleviating this side effect and increase sexual drive in women. The herb can be added to your diet as it has high nutritional value and can be a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Iron and Copper.
Yohimbe : Yohimbe is a plant from West Africa and has been used for decades to treat sexual dysfunctions in men and women and as an aphrodisiac. Yohimbine, the main chemical in the bark extract has been used to increase sexual desire and improve sexual performance, treat erectile dysfunction and increase ejaculation. Studies indicate the herb can improve the mental wellbeing of men that improve their sexual response. Yohimbine also dilates the blood vessels and increases blood flow in your body. Better blood circulation can result in enhanced sexual stimulation and arousal.
Mucuna : Mucuna pruriens or Cowhage as it is called in India is a legume. The bean is a good source of L-Dopa compound which has been used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Indian traditional medicine has used Mucuna for a long time to treat Parkinson’s and to boost libido. Studies indicate the legume extract can be used to improve semen quality in men, thus addressing male infertility issues. L-Dopa is further synthesized into dopamine a neurotransmitter in your brain that works on reward and motivates you to do things that feel good. As such the bean is also used to manage stress. If you feel bored or low on motivation to have sex, Mucuna supplements could give you that dopamine boost.
Consuming naturally produced vitamins and herbs is a great way to bring in that balance in our body. Our sexual wellbeing works within the framework of our overall wellbeing. Diet is that important tool that can make our body feel good and thus can impact our mind too. If our lifestyle and diet do not empower our body, can it be a surprise that our desire to have sex might also be impacted?
If we pay attention to what we eat, we can at many times improve our mental and physical wellbeing too. It’s all about making correct dietary choices. But because of our lifestyle, our diet does not provide us with the necessary nutrients. External supplements can help us bridge that gap. With age and lifestyle, our physical system starts slowing down and thus impacts our sex drive also. It’s a very natural thing to happen. Sexual supplements can act as that external support to our body and help boost our sexual chemistry and energy. People who have any medical conditions must be careful when they take any external supplements.
Just as we take external vitamin supplements to increase our vitamin and mineral levels, sexual supplements can aid hormones and chemicals that are needed to boost our sex drive. With new scientific exploration into natural sex boosters, sexual supplements are being increasingly used to help people to lead better sex life.