WHO defines sexual health as a state of physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity.
Fertility rate is declining. The fertility rate in female is around 31% and in male is 43%. In males decrease in sperm count, sperm motility, morbidity are the main reasons for infertility and in females’ irregular menstrual cycle, oligomenorrhea, polycystic ovarian syndrome became main cause for infertility.
Sexual health is one of the subjects which is not given much attention. Sexual health and nutrition are especially less discussed topic and very few people pay attention to their food especially in relation to sexual health. However, there are some foods which may help enhance sexual health. These foods are discussed below:
1. Garlic- Garlic contains allicin, that will increase blood flow to sex organs. Selenium and vitamin C in garlic will eliminate chromosomal defects. It also contains vitamin B6 and dietary fibre.
2. Fenugreek– Fenugreek has been used since olden times and provides important health benefits. From regulating blood glucose levels to improving libido and improved sexual function, fenugreek has numerous benefits. The active ingredient in fenugreek called ‘testofen’ improves testosterone levels and libido in men.
In a randomised double-blind trial, healthy males aged 25-52 years without erectile dysfunction when administered 600 mg of Testofen ‘fenugreek extract’ experienced increased arousal and libido.
Similarly, Fenugreek extracts also helps enhance female sexual health and can help resolve female sexual dysfunctions. Fenugreek is also beneficial in increasing sexual arousal and desire in women.
3. Saffron- Saffron has many health benefits. From anti-bacterial activity to acting as aphrodisiac, the benefits of saffron are many. In a review of 5 studies which included 173 subjects, saffron was proven effective in improving sexual dysfunction.
4. Chocolate. Chocolate is widely believed to boost libido, especially in women. It is believed to be an effective aphrodisiac, helpful in increasing sexual desire, and improving sexual pleasure. However, there is mixed evidence to support this. There was no difference observed between the two groups of women-consuming chocolate and not consuming chocolate in sexual arousal and satisfaction, sexual distress and depression. Some research suggests that chocolate may promote the release of the chemicals phenylethylamine and serotonin which are thought to produce some aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects. There is conflicting data regarding chocolate as a sexual health enhancer.
5. Nuts- Nuts may enhance libido in men. In a study, healthy men when given western diet enriched with 60g/day of mixed nuts, there was a significant increase in the orgasmic function and sexual desire in the study group. Pistachio and almonds are especially beneficial in enhancing sexual wellness.
6. Pomegranate- There is some evidence that pomegranate can help enhance sexual behaviour. However, these studies are limited to animals and need more human studies.
7. Ginger- Ginger contains vital nutrient like manganese that may enhance testosterone production. Ginger roots contains high levels of manganese and can also increase blood flow to the sexual organs.
8. Turmeric- Melanocortin, progesterone, and estrogen hormones can improve sexual function and they are modulated by adiponectin hormone which can be increased by turmeric.
Certain natural foods discussed above can help enhance sexual wellness and health in both males and females. These are natural foods used from old times with proven benefits in different aspects of health.