A low sex drive may be influenced by a number of things — medical conditions, hormonal changes, stress, lack of sleep, obesity — but outside those factors, your sexual drive (or the lack thereof) may be partly influenced by the food you eat.
Research has proven that there are all-natural libido-increasing foods that you can try, and we highlight six of these below.
Spices are loaded with antioxidants, which is great for overall health, including libido. Research published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal specifically found that extracts of nutmeg enhanced the sexual behaviour of male animal subjects. In some African countries, it's been referred to as "Viagra for women."
[IMPORTANT NOTE: Nutmeg in high doses can also cause hallucinatory "trips", and an overdose can be harmful; potentially fatal. Consult a medical professional to determine safe usage levels.]
Ginger increases blood flow, and a healthy blood flow can do wonders for your libido by increasing circulation to your sexual organs. It also warms your blood and optimises your body's temperature. U.S. TV doctor Dr Mehmet Oz listed ginger as one of the top four libido boosters.
3. Maca root
In a 2002 study 57 men were given either 1.5g of maca, 3g of maca, or a placebo, with the men receiving the supplements daily for 12 weeks. After eight weeks, the men taking the maca reported heightened sexual desire. Organic maca root powder can also do the trick.
Almonds have a high quantity of a type of amino acid called arginine, which helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation. They are also rich in nutrients and in several minerals that are important for sexual health and reproduction, including zinc, selenium, and vitamin E. Zinc helps enhance libido and sexual desire.
The spice is not only great for meals, but research has confirmed it's for the bedroom too. A 2011 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that the plant-boosted sex drive in men experiencing low libido.
It's no accident that chocolate is the gift of love. It contains phenylethylamine and serotonin, chemicals that can lead to some aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects, a study has shown. Low-sugar, high-quality dark chocolate is recommended.