There’s a diet for everything nowadays…why not for better sex or at least improved reproductive health?!
Looking to prevent reproductive health issues or even boost your partner’s libido? These are just a few foods you may want to add to your diet. Some may spice up your sex life while others could save it in general.
Fertility foodies, unite.
If you’re looking to get pregnant, there are a wide range of foods said to boost fertility. According to The Fertility Diet, consider vegetable proteins such as beans, peas, and nuts. And choose whole grains rich in fiber instead of “white” carbs. Like lattes? Get them with whole milk.
“The main goal for fertility is being closer to your ideal body weight—you don’t want to be too overweight or too thin, since it’s the balance that is ideal for balancing hormones and creating the amount of estrogen that is best for fertility. So it’s very important to choose the best foods that can help achieve an ideal body weight,” said Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, nutritionists from New York.
Isabel Maples, a nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said that incorporating more protein from vegetables, like beans, peas, nuts, and lentils adds fiber and can stabilize blood sugar—always a healthy route.
“Changing the diet with a few tweaks can optimize fertility by improving egg/sperm health, hormone levels and blood flow,” Maples said.
Garlic is known to stop the growth of the fungus that causes yeast infections. And it could help you conceive. “Garlic has been proven to lower blood pressure and promote blood circulation, which is ideal when you’re getting intimate with someone and trying to get pregnant,” they said. Maples said she’s not sure garlic has been directly correlated with fertility, but it has shown health benefits.
While it may do a number on your breath—and that’s not good for your love life—just pop a mint after a romantic dinner at an Italian restaurant and you should be good to go.
Go for the full-fat dairy.
High-fat animal foods including butter and whole milk help our body’s produce sex hormones, so go for natural types—not trans fats. Of course, other reports say cow’s milk doesn’t help us due to the hormones that cows are given. Everything in moderation.
“We agree with going with the full fat organic dairy for getting pregnant: Drink a glass of whole milk or eat full-fat yogurt every day,” Lakatos and Lakatos Shames said.
Removing fat from milk changes its balance of sex hormones in a way that it isn’t as helpful in getting pregnant, they say. The hormones that are helpful for ovulation and conceiving stay with the fat. Skim milk also contains more testosterone than full-fat milk, which is not ideal when you’re trying to get pregnant.
In the 2007 Nurses’ Health Study, researchers found that the type of dairy included in a woman’s diet influenced her chances of getting pregnant. “The more low-fat dairy products, the more likely she was to have had trouble getting pregnant; the more full-fat dairy products in a woman’s diet, the less likely she was to have had problems getting pregnant,” they noted.
“Temporarily take a break from nonfat dairy if you’re trying to get pregnant (especially if you’re struggling to do so),” they said.
While a diet low in saturated fat definitely provides a lot of health benefits, one or two maximum servings of whole milk or other full-fat dairy products may improve your chances of getting pregnant.
“We always say aim for no more than one to two servings of full-fat dairy daily and be sure to account for the extra calories they provide by swapping out other lower calorie foods so that it doesn’t cause weight gain,” they added.
Balsamic vinegar and leafy greens both support healthier arteries for improved blood flow, according to Andy Bellatti, a dietitian from Las Vegas, said. He points out that the main cause of erectile dysfunction is arterial blockage. “In the majority of cases, it’s more of a cardiology issue than a urinary one,” Bellatti noted. Balsamic vinegar and leafy greens increase the body’s production of nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes blood vessels. Spinach is high in iron, magnesium, and calcium—all great for women’s health and fertility, too.
Fight UTIs with food.
Load up on water, but don’t discount other helpful foods such as blueberries, yogurt and dark chocolate to help, Jeffrey Henderson, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and molecular microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, told Prevention. Cranberries are also said to be helpful in fighting UTIs.
Want to keep your guy revved up? Add some pumpkin seeds to a meal…maybe even that salad if he’ll go for it. Bellatti said they are very high in zinc, which helps boost testosterone production.
Really, there is little evidence-based information on certain foods to help women in the sex department, Bellatti said. But if you follow the general guidance on healthy eating, that can boost overall health—something that probably helps things in the bedroom, too.