Spices do significantly boost dopamine levels
Better sex is all about being good with what you eat, less drinking and smoking, keeping fit and especially, making sure you get the right vitamins and minerals for your sex drive.
Many people are unaware that certain vitamins and minerals in your food can contribute significantly to enhancing your libido.
Therefore, if you want to give yourself a sexual boost, making sure they are in your diet can certainly help. Many of them can be found in natural food and drink which is the best way to increase them.
Sex is mainly dictated by our hormonal balance, especially, testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
As we get older these do naturally lessen and the desire for sex can diminish gradually. These sex hormones are secreted in us in short pulses which may vary from hour to hour or even by the minute.
This hormone release also changes between night and day, and for women can vary due to the stage of their menstrual cycle.
Vitamins and minerals play a very important role to stimulate sex drive and provide support for the sex hormones. They supplement your sexual desire and can give a much-needed boost.
Therefore, adding specific vitamins and minerals to your diet can give you that extra kick-start to activity in the bedroom which may have gone completely quiet or lessened over time.
Culturally, many of the ingredients we have in South Asian food have always aided good sexual health and contain such vitamins and minerals.
For example, garlic, a well-known Asian cookery ingredient contains high levels of allicin, which is a compound that can improve blood flow to the sexual organs; chillies stimulate nerve endings and raise your heart rate, triggering the release of capsaicin which is an endorphin for your brain, and ginger, which increases blood circulation rapidly.
Ancient India has contributed significantly to the realms of good sexual health, especially with the notion of reproduction to keep bloodlines alive.
The Sanskrit word, vajikarana, defines any substance that restores or increases sexual power and desire, which in western vocabulary would be called an aphrodisiac.
Indian aphrodisiacs can be traced back to ancient ayurvedic or Unani therapies and include methi, hibiscus, ghee, saffron, cardamom, cloves, ashwagandha and Shatavari. However, spices are perhaps the most potent among Indian aphrodisiacs.
The vitamins and minerals needed for better sex are available to you in both Asian and non-Asian diets.
The most important factor is to reduce any high fat in your diet and increase the foods that provide you with these vitamins. Let’s look at some of the key vitamins and minerals that can aid better sex.
Vitamin A is essential for normal reproduction. It is common for impotent men to have a deficiency of vitamin A.
It maintains the health of the epithelial tissues which line all the external and internal surfaces of the body, including the linings of the vagina and the uterus in women.
A lack of vitamin A can result in a decreased production of sex hormones.
To boost your vitamin A intake, increase foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, mangoes, liver, eggs, butter, spinach, broccoli, carrots, leeks, peas, cheddar cheese, tuna, pecans and pistachios.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps improve circulation.
Apart from sexual desire itself, circulation is the most important component of sexual function. Good bodily circulation is mandatory for a good sex life.
The amount of vitamin E you need is about 4mg a day for men and 3mg a day for women.
So, for improved circulation, add more vitamin E rich foods into your diets such as almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, kiwi, mango, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, cereals, eggs, butternut squash, green vegetables and plant oils such as soy, corn and olive oil.
The well-known vitamin C which is essential for keeping those colds and flu away also plays a key role in your sex life.
It is important for your the circulation and blood in your arteries, and when working together with vitamin E it accentuates the effect in your body for sex.
Adults need is about 60mg of vitamin C a day.
Tangy citrus fruits are popular for their vitamin C properties such as lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit. Other foods rich in vitamin C include peaches, peppers, broccoli, soybeans, kale, chestnuts, Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes.
Protein plays an important role in the well-being and sexual health. Dopamine is the feel-good chemical boosted by protein, which is converted into neurotransmitters in the brain which is vital for a healthy sex drive.
Protein helps increase stamina thus elongating sex for both men and women. It is also essential for producing sperm in men.
One important building block of protein in the body is L-arginine, which is an essential amino acid.
L-arginine increases the production of nitric oxide. It works by increasing the flow of blood to the sexual organs in both men and women. It helps men obtain erections and sexual sensitivity in women.
Foods high in protein include soya, tofu, turkey, fat-less chicken, oysters, pine nuts, chickpeas, various beans, red meat, oily fish, eggs, cottage cheese, peas, milk, carrots, beetroot, blueberries, parsnips, bananas and wheat germ.
Spices do significantly boost dopamine levels and they include basil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chilli peppers, cumin, fennel, flax seeds, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, rosemary, sesame seeds, tarragon and turmeric.
Selenium is a trace mineral that functions as an antioxidant and works in conjunction with vitamin E.
It is very important for men’s sexual health because without selenium, healthy sperm cannot be produced and it contributes to male potency.
Around 50% of the selenium in a man is in the testes and seminal ducts, and men lose selenium in their semen through orgasm.
For men, 75 mg of selenium per day is recommended and 60 mg for women.
Foods containing selenium include brazil nuts, salmon, tuna, whole-grain cereals, garlic, sesame seeds, kidney, liver, brown rice, mushrooms and all oily fish.
Zinc is a trace mineral and is especially known for testosterone production.
Testosterone has a dramatic effect on sexual desire both in men and women.
For a man, a lack of testosterone can affect his ability to get an erection. A male orgasm leads to an average loss of approximately 15mg of zinc, so replacement of zinc is important for a man.
The recommended intake of zinc for men is 11 mg and 8mg for women.
Foods that are rich in zinc include garlic, spinach, okra, dates, avocado, tofu, asparagus, artichokes, cashew nuts, wheat, oats, pomegranate, raspberries, pumpkin seeds, black beans, soybeans, kidney beans, lamb, sardines and the classic aphrodisiac, oysters (6 medium oysters can contain 40 mcg of zinc).
Iron is very important for the body. Its role is to help carry oxygen in red blood cells to the body’s cells and tissues.
When oxygen is breathed into our lungs it is attracted to the protein haemoglobin. When iron combines with the haemoglobin it forms oxyhaemoglobin.
Lack of iron can make a person anaemic. Men over 18 should be having at least 8.7mg per day and women between 18-50 should have 14.8mg a day.
According to consultant nutritionist, Professor Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, from the University of Ghana, the deficiency of the iron micronutrient in men can make him weak and affect his sexual performance. Especially, his erections.
“Anaemia is a condition in which one does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues.
“So, having a properly-oxygenated penis is crucial for optimal sex performance because sex is energy-intensive.
“A successful erection depends upon a rapid influx of oxygen-rich blood, the lack of sufficient oxygen can make the man weak to perform well during sex.”
Foods which are high in iron include spinach, kale, beans including kidney beans and chickpeas, baked potatoes, tofu, soy flour, fortified breakfast cereals, liver and red meat.
Dr Cecilia Tregear who is based at the Wimpole Skin Clinic in Harley Street, London has done some major work related to hormone and anti-ageing. In a career of over 25 years working with couples, she has found a strong connection between nutrition in foods and sex. She says:
“Good nutrition is essential for the healthy production of hormones which maintain the libido and allow for regular and fulfilling sexual activity.”
Dr Tregear says the biggest sexual organ is the brain, which produces the chemicals and hormones that trigger feelings of love and attraction, arousal and orgasm.
Apart from foods, a diet poor in minerals and vitamins can be helped by taking supplements. For example, zinc and magnesium are available in tablet form.
Therefore, eating foods or taking supplements with the right vitamins and minerals is a must for better sex.