With the new year, many Americans are thinking about their diets. Most are trying to shed a few pounds in 2018, while others are just aiming to eat healthier.
Of course, health and weight are valid concerns, but did you know that your diet could also affect your sex life?
Small and simple changes to your food choices can actually make a big impact on your libido. Many of the dietary decisions made with little thought negatively impact your sex drive. From hormone production to blood flow and, the foods we eat daily make a difference, according to Livestrong.
Fortunately, minor adjustments can make a big difference. So, if upping your game is a priority this year, you'll want to read closely to the below dietary changes that could drastically change your sex life.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Many vegetables and fruits are rich with the phytonutrient called citrulline, which enhances sexual performance.
"[Fruits such as] watermelon contains a phytonutrient called citrulline, which the body converts to arginine, an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide levels in the body, which relax blood vessels in the same way a medicine like Viagra does," Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Health Institute told Fox News.
Onions, garlic and legumes (such as peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils) are also great sources of citrulline.
Drink alcohol moderately.
Although you may have often heard that alcohol negatively impacts sexual performance, there is a significant scientific body of evidence to the contrary.
According to a report by The Guardian, research has shown an association between alcohol and heightened sexual responses (enhanced orgasms and increased arousal). Though there is some medical research that shows excessive drinking can lead to erectile disfunction among men, there's also research that shows moderate drinking can have the opposite effect.
A 2009 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine revealed that men who drank moderately reported 30 percent fewer erectile problems. Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a sex expert, also claims that drinking beer can lead to delayed ejaculation, increased sexual stamina, enhanced libido and more intense erections, according to The Independent.
Meat eaters have more sex.
If you were thinking about giving up meat anytime soon, you may want to reconsider.
Although vegetarians often cite the health benefits of their dietary choices, a recent survey reported by The Daily Mail suggests that they actually have less sex. The British study, that surveyed 2,000 Brits, showed that 42 percent of those who eat meat at least once a day have sex once a week or more. But among vegetarians and those who eat meat just twice per month, only 16 percent reported having sex at least once a week.
While it could just be correlation and not causation, the drastic difference would lead some to the same conclusion.
Reduce processed food consumption.
Registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick explained to Fox News that processed foods are a bad choice if you're looking to improve your sex drive.
"Cookies, candy and other processed foods tend to be high in trans-fat and simple sugars, which may reduce blood flow and cause inflammation," Kirkpatrick said.
Avoid fried foods.
It's not secret that fried foods are bad for our waistlines, but they can also have a negative impact on libido.
"Not only are greasy foods bad for a healthy diet, but they can also affect our sex drives," nutritionist Frida Harju told Cosmopolitan. "The trans-fat found in most fried foods is known to decrease the libido in both men and women by increasing abnormal sperm production in men and interferes with gestation in women."
Next time you're tempted to order those onion rings, consider a different snack instead.