While foods such as oysters, chilli and asparagus are well-known aphrodisiacs, there are some others which dampen sexual desire instead of fanning the flames.

Experts say that consuming the wrong foods can destroy your libido by causing lethargy, lowering testosterone levels and increasing abnormal sperm production.

Too much red meat for instance can unbalance a man’s natural hormone levels, making it more difficult for him to get aroused.

Drinking a small amount of alcohol can also boost dopamine. Photo / file And while alcohol may be a great way to lower inhibitions, too much drinking can cause trouble achieving an orgasm.

Harley Street specialist Dr Cecilia Tregear said: “The biggest sexual organ is the brain, which produces the chemicals and hormones that trigger feelings of love and attraction, arousal and orgasm.”

“We need to make sure we’re eating the right foods to ensure the production of these chemicals and hormones.”

The Daily Mail consulted Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at health and fitness app Lifesum to find out what are the foods we should avoid to ensure things go smoothly in the bedroom.

Alcohol

Alcohol in moderation does not cause any damage to your libido. However, excessive drinking can cause erectile difficulties or trouble achieving an orgasm. Drinking excessively can also make you very sleepy, so definitely don’t overindulge.

Red Meat

Interestingly, some red meats contain added hormones, which can unbalance a man’s natural hormone levels if eaten in large quantities. Overall, red meats are a great source of protein and zinc, which help build muscle and get rid of fat, so opt for a leaner cut and don’t indulge on a daily basis.

Some red meats contain added hormones, which can unbalance a man’s natural hormone levels. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Soya Beans

While soya beans are a great source of protein, having too much soya can affect your sex drive, as it lowers the levels of testosterone in your body and decreases the sperm count, all of which contribute to a decreased libido.

Mint

This may be a surprising one to have on the list, but mint can work as a turn-off, especially for men. The menthol in the mint tends to lower testosterone, which will in turn lower your sex drive.

Liquorice

This plant is often used in sweets, herbal teas and other drinks. While delicious, it contains phytoestrogens, which affect the levels of testosterone in the body, weakening your sexual desire.

Quinine

Quinine is most commonly used to flavour beverages such as tonic water, giving it the distinctive bitter and fresh taste. Unfortunately, it is also shown to have a negative effect on the libido, so think carefully before having that gin and tonic!

Chocolate

A known aphrodisiac, chocolate is absolutely delightful, as it is full of anandamide and phenylethylamine, two ingredients that cause the body to release the happy hormones, known as endorphins. However, while the happy hormones are great, cocoa also contains methylxantines, which can make us lethargic and lower the libido.

Fried Food

The trans-fats found in most fried foods are known to decrease the libido in both men and women. Photo / file Not only are greasy foods bad for a healthy diet, they can also affect our sex drives. The trans-fats found in most fried foods are known to decrease the libido in both men and women by increasing abnormal sperm production (lower sperm count and slower sperm movement) in men and interfering with gestation in women.

Microwaved Popcorn

While it may be the perfect accompaniment to a movie night, this snack can cause damage to the sex drive. It is not the snack itself, but the bags in which it is stored, as the chemicals used in the linings (perfluoroalkyl) have been linked to decreasing men’s sex drive.

Healthy Fats

This may be a surprising addition to the list, however, if your body’s percentage of body fat is too low, that can cause your sex drive to plummet. It is important to remember this, especially as people concentrate on getting fit after a relaxing summer break. I suggest eating healthy fats like unsaturated fats, which can be found in avocados, nuts and seeds and omega 3 fatty acids, like those found in oily fish.

Want to get in the mood? Start by feeding your brain

Dopamine-boosting food: To boost levels it’s essential to eat lots of proteins, because these contain amino acids, which are converted into neurotransmitters in the brain.
Amino acids are found in red meat, oily fish, eggs, cottage cheese, beans, peas, milk, wheatgerm, beetroot and bananas.

The production of dopamine also relies on vitamins and minerals, so make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – watermelon, which contains vitamins A, B6 and C, is a particularly good addition to the diet.

The following spices can also boost dopamine levels: basil, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chilli peppers, cumin, fennel, flax seeds, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, rosemary, sesame seeds, tarragon and turmeric.

Drinking a small amount of alcohol can also boost dopamine, which is why a glass of wine can help to put you in the mood.

– Daily Mail


About Jeff Butterworth:

Jeff Butterworth B.App. Sc, N.D is a Naturopath with over 20 years experience specialising in treating hormonal disorders. Jeff developed the Happy Hormones program after discovering a unique way of treating hormonal disorders - by focusing on endocrine balance rather than hormonal levels - which gives long-lasting and dramatic results.