cómo mejorar la salud sexual

How to improve sexual health through diet

Reading time : 6 min The libido or sexual desire, directly dependent on the hormonal balance, goes through different phases in a person's life and can vary enormously from one person to another, both in men and women. Anxiety situations, health problems, age or complex emotional circumstances greatly affect your sexual desire and, consequently, a person's levels of self-esteem. Once again, lifestyle has far more implications than we can imagine, even when it comes to our sex life. In sexual desire, directly dependent on hormonal fluctuations, most of the nutrients that the body needs to carry out all the processes are involved. If these suffer from an imbalance, precisely due to a lack of nutrients, your libido will suffer the consequences. In addition, we cannot forget that psychological factors also play an important role in sexual appetite. If there is not a good psychological and emotional state at the base, it is very common to suffer from a lack of sexual appetite. Therefore, identifying the cause is crucial to establish any treatment and guide the patient in different areas: lifestyle, work stress, diet or even substance abuse such as drugs or dopants that, by inhibiting the nervous system, reduce libido. In this article we reveal some of the keys to keep in mind to promote good hormonal and sexual health, putting your physical and emotional state of health first.

1. Nutrients necessary to improve your sexual desire

We all know the role that food plays in the different areas of our lives and especially as far as hormones are concerned, nourishing your body properly is one of the best ways to avoid hormonal imbalances and, therefore, achieve better sexual health. When we treat this type of alterations we have to review our diet and pay special attention to:
  • Taking care of the quantity and quality of fats : sex hormones (testosterone, estrogens and progesterone) are steroid hormones synthesized from cholesterol, therefore, provide foods rich in quality fats such as avocado, virgin olive oil, coconut, seeds, nuts, dark chocolate; among others, it is crucial to have a good compensation of HDL, LDL and total cholesterol. In short, having a good lipid profile determines a person's hormonal health and, consequently, has a lot to say about their sexual appetite.
  • Foods rich in the amino acids citrulline and arginine (2): these favor the endogenous release of nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes the blood vessels of the reproductive system, helping erection and arousal. The richest foods in these amino acids are watermelon, popcorn and beef tenderloin.
  • Foods rich in the mineral zinc: such as oysters, shrimp and pumpkin seeds. Zinc is a key mineral in sexuality and fertility, present in almost all foods that increase libido. A sufficient amount of zinc and folic acid (vitamin B9) can increase sperm count by up to 74%.
  • Antioxidants (3): a diet rich in legumes, nuts, vegetables, whole grains and oily fish, blueberries and other red fruits, improve oxidative stress and, consequently, sexual function by acting as fertile soil to achieve optimal erectile function in the case of men.
  • Dairy yes or no? : Although we could dedicate an entire article to talk about it, I consider it essential to make a brief reference to it.
Most of the dairy that arrives in supermarkets today and is easily accessible and affordable for your pocket, are foods with a high content of hormones. This is mainly due to two reasons:

- The animals that produce the milk have been previously hormonal to produce more (remember the importance of knowing what the animals you are eating eat).

- It is an "insulinotropic" food, that is, it stimulates the release of insulin in the blood and increases IGF-1, which is a growth factor; hence it is related to acne, insulin resistance and certain types of cancer such as prostate cancer.

dairy Although dairy products are certainly not necessary in your daily diet, much less are those found on the shelves of large supermarkets. Intensive machine milking damages the udders of cows living under the control of industrial plants. In addition, the heat treatment that is carried out afterwards to make the milk suitable for consumption takes away part of its nutrients, which paradoxically are added in the form of supplements. Therefore, if you like dairy and do not suffer from acne, autoimmune pathologies, intolerance, premenstrual syndrome or others, consume them if you like them and in moderate amounts. Like everything, the context dictates:

- Prioritize fermented dairy such as kefir, yogurt or cheeses that are more digestive thanks to the fact that they contain less lactose and more beneficial bacteria for our intestinal health.

- Prioritize those of ecological origin : free of pesticides, agrochemicals, where the treatment of the animal has been respectful of the environment.

- Opt for those natural and whole : with a good amount of fat (remember that it is essential for the synthesis of sex hormones) and without sugar or sweeteners.

Soy is another food subject to great controversy due to its high content of phytoestrogens (molecules of plant origin with a structure similar to estrogen). Being similar to estrogens, they have the ability to bind to the estrogen receptors in our cells, producing a weak estrogen response. They can exert an estrogenic or antiestrogenic effect, depending on the concentration of circulating estrogens that the person has. For example, during the menopausal stage in women the amount of estrogen is lower than in the fertile stage, so the consumption of phytoestrogens would increase the estrogen response. However, in an environment of hyperestrogenism, phytoestrogens would behave as competitors of estrogens, thus reducing their response. The percentage of phytoestrogens that circulate freely and that can exert an estrogenic or anti-estrogenic function is negligible (less than 3%) if they are consumed with food and not as a supplement. The concentration of this nutrient will vary greatly from one person to another because each one of us metabolizes it differently. Two people consuming the same dose will have different amounts circulating in their bodies. Keep this in mind: if you eat phytoestrogen-rich foods like soy 1-3 times a day and have healthy gut health, they are unlikely to have any detrimental effects on your health. The problem with soy is that we rarely find it in its natural format, but in most cases it has been genetically modified, which makes it a processed product. Make sure of the quality and origin of it and prioritize it in its forms such as edamame, miso, tempeh or tamari sauce. poke bowl

2. Supplements that will improve your sexual desire

When we find ourselves with hormonal alterations or other pathologies that affect sexual desire, it is important to pay attention to the person's lifestyle: how do they eat? how much does it move? how much and how do you sleep? What stress levels do you handle? Once these aspects have been assessed, we will see which nutritional supplements can promote hormonal balance, improve fertility and sexual appetite. From clinical experience, the majority of people we find with a lack of sexual appetite or alterations in this area are mainly due to:
  • Insufficient production of sex hormones (testosterone in the case of men and estrogen in the case of women): often caused by periods of very restrictive diets and low in quality fats.
  • Erectile dysfunction problems due to insufficient vasodilation and blood flow.
  • Psychological barriers and excessive chronic stress levels.
Some of the supplements that we are going to name favor the relaxation of the cavernous bodies, allowing blood to flow through the artery and thus produce an erection in the case of men or an erection of the clitoris in the case of women.


The supplements that I most often use in consultation to improve sexual health are:
  • Tribulus terrestrial (4): it is a green plant consumed worldwide and widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac and tonic, to combat urinary tract infections and improve the production of breast milk in women.
  • Panax Ginseng (5): Ginseng is an adaptogenic plant with scientific evidence supporting its aphrodisiac capacity. In 2018, a meta-analysis was published in which its positive effects were once again tested against other herbal plants to treat erectile dysfunction, orgasmic function, and sexual desire.
  • Aspartic acid : it is a non-essential amino acid involved in the endogenous release of testosterone.
  • L-Tyrosine and Mucuna Pruriens : these are supplements that improve dopamine levels in the body, a neurotransmitter that mediates pleasure in the brain in areas such as the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex. It is secreted in pleasant situations such as a pleasant meal, or in a sexual relationship.

wake up mood


  • Zinc and boron minerals : zinc acts on the aromatase enzyme, responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen, and boron improves the sex hormone binding protein (SHBG), which allows for a higher level of free testosterone in the blood.

3. Physical activity, stress and sexual desire

It is not new what prolonged stress means for our body and this undoubtedly affects the production of sexual hormones and sexual appetite. In situations of stress, the cortisol hormone tends to rise, unbalancing the levels of prolactin, adrenaline and dopamine; being able to make available testosterone levels decrease. Implementing habits that reinforce rest, sleep quality , pleasure, reducing hours of training, workload or proper management of emotional stress, will help your sex hormones maintain their balance. Finally, I would like to refer briefly to strength training because, at the muscular level, it promotes oxygenation and vasodilation of blood flow as well as improving testosterone levels and its function, both in men and women. In conclusion, the causes of the lack of libido are of varied origin. Therefore, it is necessary to specifically evaluate your situation to be guided in the different alternatives that will help you, remember that there is not a valid tool for everyone, but you have to find the one that applies to you. Bibliography 1- Gentile and Antonini 2009. Effect of propionyl-L-carnitine, L-arginine and nicotinic acid on the efficacy of vardenafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in diabetes. Curr Med Res Opin 25, 2223–2228. 2- Zhang and Radisavljevic 2011. Dietary antioxidants improve arteriogenic erectile dysfunction. Int. J. Androl. 34, 225–235. 3- GamalEl and Abdel Salam 2019. Tribulus terrestris versus placebo in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and lower urinary tract symptoms in patients with late-onset hypogonadism: A placebo-controlled study. Urology 86, 74–78. 4- Borelli and Colalto 2018. Herbal dietary supplements for erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Drugs 78 , pages 643 - 673
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