Could eating more plant-based food improve your sex life?
We asked our nutritionist Anna, to research if there is any link between sex drive and plant-based products and here is what she found...
Consuming more plant-based foods could improve circulation, which, in turn, can improve sexual function. Not just that, implementing more fruits and vegetable into your diet may reduce the need for certain medications that can potentially diminish sex drive or impact erectile dysfunction. The combined benefits of plant-food intake can improve your sex life, physically and mentally.
Sexual arousal occurs in the whole body, especially the brain. The brain sends impulses down the spinal cords and out to the nerves that serve the other necessary parts of the body involved in arousal. These impulses trigger the production of nitric oxide which causes arteries to dilate and send blood the genitals. Acetylcholine (Ach) is an important neurotransmitter involved in carrying the sexual message, controlling sexual activity in the brain and plays a part in the build-up towards climax as well as duration and intensity. Too little ACh can result in reduced sexual drive. Increasing ACh can enhance energy and stamina, allowing for a longer performance with more energy due to the role ACh plays in muscular control and muscle tone.
One way to increase ACh levels is by increasing intake of B5 and Choline. Both of which can be found in plant foods.
Choline – cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts peanuts, banana, carrots, tomatoes, orange, oats, dates, apples, courgettes, avocado
B5 – oats, avocados, dates, plantains, kiwifruit, orange peel, breadfruit, guava, prunes, currants, sapote, starfruit, pomegranates, bananas, oranges, raspberries
The American Heart Association recommend a diet that follows similar lines to that of the Mediterranean diet which sees an increase in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These diets have been associated with a reduction in erectile dysfunction and better sex in both traditional medicine and scientific research.
In fact, many studies suggest men who have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, specifically ones high in flavonoids may reduce their risk of developing erectile dysfunction. This may be due to the impact flavonoids have on inflammation. Many plants are also rich in antioxidants which are linked to better blood circulation; the promotion of blood flow to all the right places can reduce erectile dysfunction, enhance stimulation and results in a more intense climax.
By increasing your intake of plant foods, you can increase your levels of flavonoids, vitamins, and antioxidants essential in the mechanisms involved in sexual arousal and performance.
Anna Garner-Currie, Nutritionist