It probably doesn't come as a surprise that, among other things, eating a healthy diet and exercising can help ward off disease and promote longevity. But the foods we eat not only influence our health in the future, they also drive our vitality today. Emerging data suggests nutrition affects nearly every element of human health, including sex drive.
A study presented at the The Endocrine Society 94th Annual Meeting, found a decrease in calorie and fat consumption, and an increase in exercise, led to a nearly 50% increase in male testosterone production. Adequate testosterone levels, for both men and women, has been shown to regulate sexual desire.
Another two-year study found the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil, significantly increased scores on the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The chart measures arousal, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain.
Through my medical practice and training, I've come to understand that everything in health is multifactorial. To receive the greatest benefits, nutrition should be combined with exercise and mental health. None of these things can stand alone. To keep it simple, though, I recommend the Mediterranean diet and daily moderate exercise to support libido and overall health.
Those who suffer from sexual dysfunction, or an especially low libido, may benefit from adding specific foods to their diet. These five foods have been shown to bolster hormonal and vascular systems associated with sexual functioning.