You've read the books, you've consulted the websites, you've taken notes from a film or two (purely scientific, of course). More and more of us are self-trained sexperts, finely attuned to what it takes to achieve top-notch bedroom performance and satisfaction.
But despite rigorous academic study, sometimes things can still go south — and not in the way you intend. What's holding you back may not be technique. It could be what's on your plate. Some foods have natural characteristics or nasty additives that can dampen your fireworks, making your climax difficult or even impossible to attain. Below, the seven worst foods for your orgasm.
To keep your sex life on the up-and-up, stock your kitchen with these 15 Foods for the Best Sex Ever!
Think there's nothing sexy about soy? How right you are. While edamame, a.k.a. soybeans, are a high-protein, vitamin-rich snack, you'll want to consume them in moderation if you don't want to minimize your sex life. According to researchers, soy protein diminishes sperm concentration and testosterone, which can lower sex drive in both men and women. High levels of soy in a woman's body can decrease sex hormones and disrupt her ovarian function, said a study in the Journal of Nutrition. And just a half serving of soy per day was enough to slash sperm count by 40 percent in healthy males, the Harvard School of Public Health found.
You knew that baked goods made with processed white flour is junk. You probably didn't know they're awful for your junk. Bread and rolls are the top sources of sodium in Americans' diets, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sodium can diminish blood flow to the genitals, softening erections and making orgasm difficult. Refined grains can also lead to insulin resistance and diabetes, which can narrow arteries, increasing men's risk of erectile dysfunction. Make these 50 Best Foods for Your Penis a staple of your diet instead.
Sorry, regularly consuming spearmint will most definitely not double your fun. According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research, the herb can significantly reduce testosterone levels. It's not just a guy thing: The hormone majorly influences women's sex drive, too. To stay sex-ready, avoid anything labeled "mint".
Much of the cheese that Americans consume is derived from cow's milk is loaded with synthetic hormones. These could potentially mess with your body's natural production of hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, thereby screwing with your sex drive. Try these 22 Expert Tips and Swaps for Eating Less Dairy.
This luscious melon might be a sensual eating experience, but it could leave you cold. It's rich in a molecule called myo-inositol that has been proven to decrease testosterone in women by a whopping 65 percent.
The main compound in licorice — glycyrrhizic acid, which gives licorice root its distinctive flavor — can suppress testosterone production. In one study, seven healthy male subjects were given 7 grams of licorice each day via commercially available candy tablets (containing 0.5 grams of glycyrrhizic acid). Four days into the study, the subjects' total testosterone levels had decreased by 35 percent. Snack on these 7 Testosterone-Boosting Foods instead!
To control a 31-year old women's high T-levels, researchers told her to eat 30 grams of flaxseeds each day for four months. Her total testosterone dropped by 70 percent, and free testosterone went down by 89 percent. The moral of the story? If you're experiencing low libido, find your omega-3s from other sources such as oily fish and nuts.
Beets are delicious, nutritious, and just about the sweetest vegetable there is. Like many other root vegetables, they contain compounds to support healthy estrogen levels in your body. That's great when your testosterone levels aren't depleted, but if you have an existing hormonal imbalance, you could be exacerbating things by eating too many.
The sweet stuff increases levels of the hormone insulin, which can cause you to store belly fat, lose muscle mass and causing your testosterone levels to drop. In men, belly fat raises estrogen levels, which can result in low libido and erectile dysfunction; one study found that glucose (sugar) significantly reduced total and free testosterone levels. Go for these 8 Foods for Her Sex Drive Better Than Female Viagra instead!
Uh-oh is right: Spaghetti-O's could be getting in the way of your O. Canned soups and meals are notoriously high in sodium (one can of Spaghetti-O's has 1780 mg—-as much as 10 bags of Doritos!), which can lead to diminished blood flow to the genitals.
The meat and cheese you buy in the supermarket is usually wrapped with PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which leaches into fatty foods and causes hormonal shifts that can get your sex life stuck in neutral. Instead, buy your meat right from the butcher, and have it wrapped in brown paper. And stay away from these 50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet!
Conventionally grown produce with edible skins, particularly berries, have among the highest levels of estrogen-mimicking pesticides. Other culprits: peaches, apples, cherries and kale. When choosing produce, look for organic whenever you're buying food with edible skins.
The water isn't the culprit here; it's the plastic bottle. Bisphenol A, commonly referred to as BPA, is a chemical component found in most plastic food containers and cans and is associated with negative impacts on fertility in both men and women. A Slovenian study in the journal Fertility & Sterility found a statistically significant association between urinary BPA concentration in men and lower total sperm count, concentration and vitality. Women with the highest BPA levels in the body produced 27 percent less viable eggs when tested during a study out of Harvard School of Public Health.
Trans fats are well known for their ability to clog arteries, which makes blood flow to your sexual organs less than optimal — a very bad thing for sexual function across the board. Not only can these unhealthy fats contribute to early death, they can contribute to a lack of "little death."