Crash Diets: Damage to your Sex Drive? | Knutsford Times

Crash Diets: Damage to your Sex Drive?

By on February 2, 2009

Next weekend heralds a busy Knutsford restaurant scene filled with loving couples for Valentine’s Day. For many of them this is also how they developed their relationship when first dating.

I can think of many good (and bad) memories of taking a lady out to dinner as a way of getting to know her. But why do we associate food with love?

To reproduce effectively, a female needs not only love but provision. Because women are relatively dependent during pregnancy and while giving birth, they usually need someone to provide food. Therefore, a partner’s willingness to provide becomes an indicator of suitability as a mate, suggesting a willingness to “invest” in the offspring. Studies revealed that while men universally go for looks, women look for provision. Therefore males with resources are preferred to one without, regardless of attractiveness.

Valentines puts you in the mood not just because of the intimacy created by candlelight and soft music, but because biologically food plays its part. Melted chocolate, ripe peaches, hot peppers all stimulate the limbic system of the brain and subsequently sexual behaviour.

Some cultures regard foods like bananas, asparagus and carrots as erotic stimulants because of their phallic resemblance. The Aztec word for avocado is “ahuacatl,” (meaning testicle) because of the fruit’s appearance. Because of this virgin girls were forbidden from going outdoors during the harvest. Nutritionally speaking avocados contain high levels of folic acid and vitamin B6 which regulate hormone release in the body. Bananas actually contain the enzyme Bromlain which is important as the B vitamins increase energy and sex hormones levels. Similarly asparagus is high in vitamin E. In fact all best-known edible aphrodisiacs do contain certain vitamins and minerals contributing to a healthy reproductive system and consequently a healthy libido. Did you know that Casanova ate dozens of Oysters a day, once  even seducing a virgin by feeding them to her?

In reality oysters are high in zinc, a mineral used in the production of testosterone. Asparagus, recognisable by its suggestive shape, happens to be high in vitamin E, one of the sex hormone stimulants. Chilli peppers are good due to capsaicin — the substance that gives its kick. Capsaicin stimulates nerve endings to release chemicals, raising the heart rate and triggering the release of endorphins giving a natural high. Almonds and Pumpkin seeds are also naturally rich in Zinc as well as Manganese and Copper, which are precursors for the antioxidant SOD, an essential sex enzyme. Almonds are rich in Omega fats and proteins which are aid libido. Interestingly, like the avocado almonds were regarded in the past as a symbol of male genitals and overall fertility.

Figs are very high in the amino acids critical to libido and boosting sexual stamina, a vital nutrient for good sex. Celery boosts androsterone levels, which interestingly is an odourless aphrodisiac in male perspiration that women pick up on even before visual interaction.

No article on aphrodisiac foods would be complete without mentioning chocolate. A traditional lover’s gift, research suggests the stimulant phenylethylamine which is found in chocolate activates the receptor in the brain giving a sense of well being and excitement similar to lovemaking.

As well as look and taste, the smells of certain foods causes arousal. Pumpkin, lavender and liquorice are some of the more unusual ones. Unlike taste there’s nothing inherent about these odours affecting behaviour, it’s the smells association and the persons past experience with it. If your first experience with your partner was after having coffee, in future, when you smell coffee you are instantly brought back to that occasion in a very visceral way, hence becoming aroused.

To the other extreme there are foods that lower libido. Low Fat Diets have this effect because fats are the building blocks of hormones. While good fats are essential to pleasure, Hydrogenated fats can interfere with a good sex life. Be warned that sudden drop in daily calorie or nutrient intake (“Crash Dieting”) can cause a decline in sex hormones.

Excess sugar intake causes blood sugar fluctuations, decreasing energy, overall wellbeing and subsequently sexual health. It also compromises the bodies neurological and circulatory systems that are vital for healthy performance.

In conclusion in order to feel sexy, eat sexy! A sexy diet is one that is filled with a variety of the foods mentioned in this article.

For more information on specific nutritional requirements call me on 07766690036. or visit my website at

About Tom Irvine

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