The food we eat can kill or resurrect our libidos.
"It's true that different foods have an effect on hormone production in our bodies and can affect blood flow to our genitals," explained Ashley Gibbon, a registered dietician with Dieticians at Work, adding that these factors have an affect on our sex lives.
And while Gibbon is against "demonising foods", she shared with HuffPost SA the foods that are best to eat, and which ones should be avoided, if our sex lives are to thrive.
Foods to eat
"Normally, people are referring to aphrodisiacs here, which can be referred to as 'foods that increase libido when eaten'," said Gibbon.
She pointed out that although many aphrodisiacs are regarded as such purely because of their "sexy" reputation, some do in fact have a positive impact on our hormones.
This fruit is high in Vitamin C, which is important in the production of sex hormones. It is also rich in antioxidants that are good for your heart and arteries. You can't achieve the required stamina without proper blood circulation.
They contain the micronutrient element zinc –– important in the production of testosterone. Studies have proven that zinc is important for healthy sperm, too.
3. Red wine
Dubbed the sexiest of all wines, consumed moderately, red wine can increase your libido and make you more relaxed. One study even found that the polyphenols found in red wine can decrease instances of erectile dysfunction.
Almonds are rich in zinc and Vitamin E, important for the production of male sex hormones and the heart's health, respectively.
Generally, good fats are said to be good for one's sexual health.
Foods best avoided
"Anything too sugary, too heavy, too carby, that makes you feel overly full and lethargic" is not recommended by Gibbon.
1. Fatty foods
Foods high in fat usually contain "bad" fats –– for example saturated fats and trans fats. Trans fats can clog up arteries. Clogged arteries reduce blood flow to your sexual organs, and that's not good.
Additionally, processed foods have reduced nutrients, compared to natural or whole foods. Reduced vitamins and minerals may lead to decreased libido.
2. Foods high in sugar
Sugar increases insulin levels in the blood -- which can increase belly fat and decrease testosterone levels. This can result in a low libido and even erectile dysfunction. Sugary soft drinks are among the worst culprits, and researchers have discovered that too much of them can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of erectile dysfunction.
3. Too much alcohol
The downside of the red-wine news! "Not too much of it, or it may have the opposite effect," cautioned Gibbon. Too much alcohol can decrease libido for both sexes. Men, in particular, may fail to maintain an erection.
4. Too much spice
While spices have been proven to have various health benefits, too much spice can have an unwelcome effect on your sex life. A runny nose, sweaty armpits, or a pungent aroma emanating from a man's or a woman's naughty bits can be the result of too much spicy food, or too much onion or garlic. However, it's important to note that each vagina has its own natural scent.Suggest a correction