So, Here's What Your Diet Says About Your Sex Life

Welp. Here's a new way to look at the saying, "You are what you eat."

Food & Drink

The fact that food provides the fuel that our body needs in order to even have sex, that honestly should be enough of a reason to care about the kinds of food that we put into our bodies…right? But when you add to that the fact that foods also play a significant role in balancing our hormones, keeping our moods in check and boosting our libido, you can probably see why I thought it would be a good idea to share what you can eat to make your sex life better. But that's not all. If you're actually feeling more lethargic than usual, you're not in the mood to get some or your sex drive seems lower than it's been in the past, it could be because you're eating some things that work against your sex drive rather than for it.

While this list doesn't cover every food on the planet that is either "for" or "against" you having a happy and consistent sex life, if you pay attention to the following 12 foods—including why some are good for you and some aren't—it can make your next run to the grocery store the kind that can help to either make your sex life even better or to get it back on track.

6 Foods That Improve Your Sex Life

1. Salmon


Salmon is a fish that is high in vitamins A, B, D, potassium, selenium, calcium and antioxidants—all of which are needed in order to stay healthy and strong. But what really makes it a top food for maintaining your libido is it's a fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids; they work to remove plaque build-up in your arteries which can increase the blood flow through your system, making it easier for blood to rush to your genitalia and intensify your orgasms as a direct result.

2. Citrus Fruits


If you like to snack on slices of an orange or a grapefruit that's been cut in half, that's awesome because, whenever you eat citrus fruit, it's like consuming a multi-vitamin per serving. Nutrient-wise, citrus fruits have phosphorus, magnesium, copper, potassium, folate, fiber, antioxidants and several B-vitamins in them.

However, the reason why citrus fruits make this list, specifically, is because they (especially oranges) also contain the phytonutrient hesperidin which increases blood flow through your system. Also, thanks to the fructose (fruit sugar) that citrus fruit has, it can provide a boost of energy, not to mention the fact that the Vitamin C that's in it has the ability to help to improve the sperm quality in your partner.

3. Whole Grains


I could do an entire article on how and why whole grains should be a part of our daily diet. Specifically, as it relates to sex, whole grains can help to raise testosterone levels in a man who may have a low amount of it. Whole grains can also help to promote healthy digestion which can remove toxins and keep your hormone levels balanced. Plus, if you opt for foods that are 100 percent whole grains (like bread that says it's made out of that on the package), you'll be getting a good amount of zinc; having zinc in your system is one of the best things you could have when it comes to maintaining a good and healthy libido.

4. Black-Eyed Peas


Fiber. Folate. Copper. Magnesium. Zinc. Iron. These are just some of the nutrients that black-eyed peas have in them. Well you look at them from a health perspective, it's no wonder why so many folks eat them as a symbol of good luck at the turn of every new year! Actually, it's the folate that's in them that make black-eyed peas one of the best foods that you could add to your diet, if you're looking to take your libido up a few notches. For one thing, folate can help to reduce any depression-related symptoms (if feeling low is keeping you out of the mood). Another benefit is, since folate is also able to regulate the production of histamine in your system—and histamine is a chemical that is naturally released during orgasms—you can probably see how a serving of black-eyed peas could very well help to take your climaxes to the next level!

5. Basil


Believe it or not, the scent of basil alone is enough to get your juices down there flowing. Aside from its fragrance being able to arouse you, basil also has antioxidants, contains anti-inflammatory properties, is able to strengthen your immune system, reduce stress levels and also help to keep your blood vessels in tip-top shape too.

As if that's not enough to keep you and your partner in great sexual shape, basil can also increase blood circulation, boost fertility levels and help your sex drive to last longer as well.

6. Sweet Potatoes


Sweet potatoes are actually considered to be a perfect food. They are high in vitamins A, C and E, magnesium, choline (which reduces body inflammation) and antimicrobial properties. Thanks to the high amount of Vitamin E that's in them, they can help to keep you in the mood while the magnesium that's in them can help to keep your stress levels at bay. Vitamin A is great at keeping your fertility health in check. Not only that, but all potatoes have potassium in them; potassium also elevates your moods and keeps your blood flowing throughout your system. The better your blood circulation is, the more intense and satisfying your orgasms will be.

6 Foods That Can Wreck Your Sex Life

1. Processed Foods


What is exactly wrong with processed foods? Let me count the ways. More times than not, they are loaded with sugar, filled with preservatives, stripped of fiber, plus they raise your sodium levels, wreck your sleep patterns, can put your moods on a real roller coaster ride and are full of empty calories and very little nutrients—none of these things sound like a boost for your libido, do they? One example of how many processed foods are the enemy of your sex drive is when whole wheat flour is turned into white, it removes 75 percent of the zinc that's in it. Zinc helps to increase arousal in both men and women and can maintain an erection in men. So, if you want to have a strong and consistent sex life, try and avoid eating a ton of food that requires you going through a drive-thru to get it or you need five minutes to try and pronounce the ingredients on the back of its label.

2. Edamame


Soy isn't good for us. That's a full on, full stop sentence. You can click here to read a study on how soy can totally tank your partner's libido (thanks-but-no-thanks to the phytoestrogens that soy contains).

Soy also has isoflavones which also mimics estrogen in your system. Too much estrogen not only increases your breast cancer risk, it can lead to bloating, nausea, thyroid dysfunction, extreme fatigue and a sluggish sex drive. And since edamame is quite high in isoflavones, you can see why I placed it on the no-no side of this food list.

3. “Edible Skin” Produce


Strawberries. Blueberries. Cherries. Tomatoes. Zucchini. Peaches. Apples. All of these are kinds of produce that have the type of skin that you can eat. Especially when it comes to the fiber than they all contain, eating the skin can actually be good for you. The reason why they are on the bad list, though, is they oftentimes contain some pretty off-the-charts levels of estrogen-mimicking pesticides in order to keep them on the produce aisles for longer. As I've already shared, too much estrogen isn't good for you or your partner, as far as your sex drive goes. Does this mean avoid these edible skin foods altogether? Of course not. But it's wiser to look for organic produce. Better yet, pick some up from a farmer's market or grow some of these "edible skin" foods in your own backyard. That will ensure that you're getting less of those nasty pesticides into your system.

4. Coffee


Coffee—and by coffee, I'm more specifically speaking of caffeine—is a bit of a wild card; not just when it comes to overall health benefits but what it can (and can't) do to your sex drive as well. While, on one hand, coffee can help to protect your heart, actually lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes (so long as you're not adding a ton of sugar or creamer), it can also increase the flow of blood to your genitalia while also reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction in your partner. All of that is good stuff. The challenge is, if you take in too much caffeine, it can also cause your estrogen levels to spike (which, as you already know, can actually cause your sex drive to tank). Also, if you drink some of it within 1-2 hours of having sex, coffee can make you too anxious and jittery to fully enjoy it. Basically, when it comes to java, extreme moderation (no more than 1-2 cups a day) is key. Oh, and if you do want to consume coffee in a way that will help and not hurt your libido, I happened up on a "sex coffee" recipe that contains a few extra ingredients (like cinnamon and cocoa) that can do wonders for your libido. Again, if it's consumed in moderation.

5. Cruciferous Vegetables


It might seem odd that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts are on a list of foods that aren't exactly great for your sex life; still, hear me out for a sec and it'll make perfect sense.

While cruciferous vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals, consuming too many of them in one sitting can not only make you bloated and gassy (which can be a total turn-off to your partner, for obvious reasons), they can also cause semen, vaginal fluids and even sweat to lean towards the unpleasant-tasting side.

So, if broccoli or cabbage is your absolute fave, try and eat it on the days when you're not planning on having sex. Your body—and your partner's sense of smell—will be glad that you did.

6. Sugar


Sugar might taste great (clearly, being that sugar addiction is actually considered to be an epidemic in this country) but there are a billion reasons why too much of it really isn't good for us. Since we're focusing on sex drives, I'll just stick to that (for now). If a man consistently gets more than nine teaspoons a day and we take in more than six teaspoons a day, a consequence of that can be that could be testosterone and estrogen levels being all over the place, not to mention weight gain and a loss of muscle mass. One way to test if sugar is indeed infecting your sex life is to eat considerably less of it over the next seven days. If you notice that you've got more energy and a stronger desire to get it in—well, there you have it. More salads and less shakes might be all that you need to have a more fulfilling sex life. Enjoy, sis!

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image by Shutterstock

Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne Foxx are one of Hollywood’s best father-daughter duos. They’ve teamed up together on several projects including Foxx’s game show Beat Shazam where they both serve as executive producers and often frequent red carpets together. Corinne even followed in her father’s footsteps by taking his professional last name and venturing into acting starring in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times as Thelma.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Getty Images

TW: This article may contain mentions of suicide and self-harm.

In early 2022, the world felt like it slowed down a bit as people digested the shocking news of beauty pageant queen Cheslie Kryst, who died by suicide. When you scroll through her Instagram, the photos she had posted only weeks before her death were images of her smiling, looking happy, and being carefree. You can see photos of her working, being in front of the camera, and doing what I imagine was her norm. These pictures and videos, however, began to spark a conversation among Black women who knew too well that feeling like you're carrying the world on your shoulders and forcing yourself to smile through it all to hide the pain.

Keep reading...Show less

Ironically enough—considering the way the word begins—the love-hate relationship that we have with menstruation is comparable to the way in which we navigate the world of men. It’s very much “can’t live with it, can’t live without it” vibes when it comes to women and their cycles. But the older I get, the more I learn to hate that time of the month a little less. A lot of my learning to embrace my period has come with learning the fun, interesting, and “witchy” stuff while discovering more natural, in-tune ways of minimizing the pain in my ass (those cramps know no bounds) amongst other places.

Keep reading...Show less

SZA is no stranger to discussing her mental health struggles and her experiences with anxiety. In 2021, the “Good Days” singer tweeted about having “debilitating anxiety” that causes her to shield away from the public. Unfortunately, she still has those same struggles today and opened up about it during Community Voices 100th episode for Mental Health Awareness Month. While SZA enjoys making music, she’s not a fan of the spotlight, which may be surprising to many.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts