Give Your Libido a Boost in the Right Direction

Along with making us feel overworked and underappreciated, this modern day era of multitasking (which equates to us never being disconnected thanks to our smartphones and social media addictions) can also leave us feeling unloved. Or, at the very least, like we don’t have any time (or energy) to go with the flow and get our romance on. This can be as true for longtime couples as it can be for those who are in the earlier stages of their love stories.

The good news is that we can get ourselves in the mood through healthy living and nutrition—no pill, potion, or love spell required. And no, this doesn’t equate to ordering that old standby of oysters on the half shell as a way to ignite the senses. While they’re certainly a delicious indulgence, there’s no medical backup to the claims that those little guys increase our desires.

Get Your Fill of Potassium

Instead, why not turn to pumpkin? That’s right! It doesn’t have to be Halloween or even autumn to put these orange miracle workers to work for your love life. The secret ingredient is potassium, which not only lowers blood pressure but also increases blood flow (wink-wink!). At the risk of a few giggles, I also recommend bananas (no, not for their particular shape), which also offer high doses of blood-flow-boosting potassium. 

Why not combine the two in a smoothie? Add in some yogurt or skim milk so that you and your main squeeze will get calcium.

You'll have a vitmamin and mineral punch—beta carotene from the pumpkin, along with a nutritious dose of potassium and magnesium.

More Libido-Boosting Foods

There are other all-natural foods we can consume to give our libido a boost in the right direction. Oatmeal, for example, is a natural testosterone booster, and watermelon can actually have a Viagra-like effect thanks to ingredients that encourage amino acid production.

Berries offer antioxidants and phytochemicals, which also encourage blood flow.

Which Foods Kill the Mood? 

Along with eating what might help boost our libido, you may want to avoid foods that sometimes equate to mood killers. Onions, garlic, and even coffee can make us fail the breath test. Too much alcohol can lead to choices we might regret in the morning (or any time of day). And any kind of larger meal can leave us feeling more like planting ourselves on the sofa rather than into the arms of the person we most desire.

Focus on What's Inside 

In addition to food putting us in the mood, it’s also what’s on the inside that counts. This equates to feeling better about our bodies, no matter what size our clothes labels tell us we are. Remember that real women have curves (real women of all sizes). If you know that a little romance is in your future (or hope there will be), put down that smartphone, click away from social media, and enjoy a little  you time.

Light some favorite candles (rose, cucumber, cinnamon, and even cucumber scents can help lighten the mood in more ways than one), draw a bath, and then list your attributes to yourself as you soak in the bubbles. Afterward, put on your favorite negligee or robe (go ahead, indulge in the moment) and remember all the ways you are beautiful.

Ultimately, the healthier your self-esteem, the more desirable you are—both to yourself and to that lucky paramour you just might choose to share a pumpkin smoothie with in the morning (or at midnight… I won’t tell!).

By Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show and founder of Nourish Snacks. Joy’s latest book is From Junk Food to Joy Food

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