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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
We waved farewell to summer last week, along with all its highlights. Now we warmly embrace music that encourages us to feel, calm down, and think back on the last enjoyable months and their aftermath. Some of the aftereffects of our summertime delights, like "Lil Boo Thang" and "Guarantee," will make us feel content and that our time was well spent. Other repercussions, like "I Just Wanna Feel Your Love Again" and "No SZNs," are more severe and will leave us contemplating some ill-placed steps while we spiral into deep despair.
Whichever side you find yourself on during this change of seasons, or if you're between, consider adding some of these new singles to your playlist to help mourn what's left of this summertime weather. While also welcoming the possibilities that only autumn's beautiful breeze can create.
1.Doechii - "Pacer"
Oh, Doechii, how we have waited for you at every door and corner for what seems like an eternity; yet we are so grateful that you have finally arrived. Doechii has released another single to further demonstrate her versatility after releasing one of the summer's most popular songs. With "Pacer," Doechii, who stunned us with her vocal range on "What It Is," goes back to her rapping roots. The TDE phenomenon starts the song out completely unhinged. With a blood-curdling scream, similar to fellow TDE artist Jay Rock, Doechii gathers her clique to prepare for battle, as though she had just returned from a fierce altercation.
However, instead of amassing casualties upon those who doubted her, Doechii plans to render them inept under the weight of her accomplishments and accolades. She acknowledges that she has arrived at her success later than she had hoped, but says she is on "God's time," and that while reaching her level of achievement later than others, she has done it regardless and with enough assurance to intend to remain for a while.
2."No Statements" - ScarLip
No matter what rap music you play these days, there is always a critic waiting to proclaim that rap and hip-hop are dying. Although part of what they say is true, they haven't yet detected the faint pulse that keeps the business alive. If the naysayers would quiet down long enough to hear that fading pulse, it would be the sound of female rappers smashing through locked doors in an attempt to reclaim its strong and steady beat. One of those rappers, besides Doechii, is ScarLip.
ScarLip, who is 22 years old, fresh off the success of her 2022 "Glizzy Gobbler," has dropped her newest single "No Statements." The rapper says in "No Statements" that she is not in the business of snitching, making statements, or leaving a paper trail of her wrongdoings, but rather needs to be fully aware of the circumstances so she may proceed with her decisions. It would be difficult to not hear people humming this song for weeks to come, because of the catchy chorus and straightforward lyricism. Maybe after this, critics can follow her lead and refrain from making detrimental statements.
3."How Were We To Know" - Emeli Sandé
How were we to know? We ponder this question after a relationship has ended and everything has been put out on the floor to be either picked up and rebuilt or swept away and abandoned. How were we to tell if the connection would burn to the ground or vanish into thin air? How could we have known that the person we intended to spend forever with would be gone the next day? How were we to recognize all the signs when they were arranged randomly and incomprehensibly? In this query, we pardon ourselves for not being omniscient. We accept responsibility for failing to recognize the apparent facts that were put in front of us.
Emelie Sandé asks the same questions in her most recent song, "How Were We To Know." She ponders how she might have known that the relationship was doomed. But as the song goes on, it becomes obvious that she, just like the rest of us, could have easily figured it out if we had communicated better, assigned blame less frequently, and set aside our egos.
4."Angel" - Halle (Acoustic Performance)
At the beginning of August, Halle Bailey released "Angel," her debut single as a solo performer. In less than a few hours, the piano-driven ballad that explored what it is like to be a Black woman growing up in this tiresome, neglectful environment captured millions of listeners and became an anthem for all sun-kissed girls. With beautiful lyricism that acknowledges the weight unfairly burdened upon Black women, Halle reminds audiences that they are in fact angelic, despite the demons that appear out of the woodwork to tell us otherwise.
When one falls, they fall "onto clouds" and find a way to make their way through the limitless struggles bestowed by simply existing. After all, as I said before, black women are the only things to ever grow without nourishment. As if the song couldn't be lovelier than the original rendition, Halle debuted an acoustic version of the smash a couple of weeks ago to demonstrate just how genuinely heavenly she is.
5."No SZNS" - Jean Dawson and SZA
Every day is like the day before. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and everything beautiful and dismal that can happen occurs in between. The seasons bring a certain ambiance that allows for differentiation between the past and the present, but only if you're in a place where it matters, and the changing of seasons can be felt. If not, then every day is every day. In "NO SZNS," by Jean Dawson and SZA, this simple fact is mentioned repeatedly in the chorus; but the reality of every day being the same creates an unshakeable melancholy that can only be felt through their lilting vocals and sometimes abrupt instrumentals.
They appear to be pleading for some other truth, because they find it difficult to accept that each day will be the same as the last, and that, despite the passing of time and the changing of the seasons, we are doomed to repeat the at times idyllic, terrifying cycle.
6."Black Dress" - 070 Shake
It's unfortunate that not as many people tune in to 070 Shake as frequently as they ought to. Despite becoming popular with her song "SCAR" on Beyoncé's The Lion King: The Gift, many people are still unaware of how good she is as an artist. The unclassifiable New Jersey musician, whose music is tough to define, has released "Black Dress," in preparation for her second album, You Can't Kill Me. The brand-new 070 Shake track "Black Dress" is a sensation with a haunting feel.
The song has strong, churning guitars, hazy synthesizers, and trap 808s that help to create an eerie and encapsulating, daunting melody. Shake plays the sole survivor of an aircraft accident in the popular song's music video, which was shot by Noah Lee. She is originally stranded in a tree with her parachute before descending to the burning wreckage below. When she finally touches the ground, she performs a song deserving of the fame she will one day enjoy.
7."You" - Lola Brooke ft. Bryson Tiller
What's that I hear around the way? Oh, another female rapper here to save the day? With the help of Bryson Tiller, Lola Brooke's newest song, "You," aims to kick off this cuffing season in the 90s. The rapper, who is relatively new to the hip-hop scene and who recently released the single "Don't Play With It," samples Foxxy Brown's popular song "Get Me Home" on this nearly three-minute tune.
In time for the fall, Brooke and Tiller's powerful voices and sensuous vocals have created the ideal song to dance to while searching for love. In her lyrics, the 29-year-old displays both her Brooklyn heritage and the characteristics ideal in a potential suitor. By the end of the song, it is clear that Brooke plans to move through this cuffing season with intention and refuses to settle for anything less than what she deserves.
8."Guarantee" - Black Eyed Peas
No matter how far into the future we are, you can always depend on the Black Eyed Peas to come from a more vibrant, lively, and distant time period than our own. The trio speaks about having what other people need in their newest song, "Guarantee," off of their 2022 album ELEVATION. In this single, they assert that they can elevate all that is freely provided to them, leading to greater love, knowledge, and total pleasure.
Promising endless satisfaction, they show what is guaranteed if only given the opportunity. With a fun summer mix and poppy, futuristic beat, "Guarantee" is one of the dance songs the endless heat has to give.
9."Lil Boo Thang" - Paul Russell
It is almost ridiculous how often this song has been played throughout the summer, to not have made it in time to be a summer hit. But with only the first 30 seconds available to audiences via TikTok, it had no other choice but to be a glimmer of what it could have been. Nevertheless, now that Paul Russell's "Lil Boo Thang" has been made available, it includes a much lengthier version of the endearing summer song about liking someone enough to be open and honest about one's intentions.
In this short song, he sings of all the potential and affection he can bring to the relationship if only given the chance. Concluding with a nice homage to The Emotions' "Best of My Love," "Lil Boo Thang" might be able to reclaim the love it was unable to receive in the summer this fall.
10."I Just Wanna Feel Your Love Again." - Montell Fish
If Kevin Abstract, Leon Bridges, and Moses Sumney had a baby, I'd imagine it'd be this Montell Fish single. In "I Just Wanna Feel Your Love Again." Fish laments the end of his relationship and the unrestricted love that came with its demise in this song. Without her affection, the need and want to be with her consumes his weekends and moments, but he is always left pleading and alone.
To make matters worse, he is compelled to navigate the world knowing how wonderful it is to experience everlasting love and realizing that he is unlikely to come close to doing so again. As he sings over a guitar and echoing backing vocals, the song has a loneliness that cannot be placed into words. Ultimately, his longing to once again experience his love's devotion feels almost unearthly and forever out of reach.
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