Could these healthy foods be secretly ruining your libido?

We're shocked!

Healthy foods lower libido: strawberries
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stress, work, Covid-19. There could be a lot of things affecting your sex life at the moment. And your diet is one of them.

But we don't just mean drinking too much alcohol or ordering too many takeaways. There are plenty of seemingly healthy foods (opens in new tab) bad for libido, which you may not even realise. So, it's time to forget about getting into bed with one of the best vibrators (opens in new tab) and a bowl of strawberries. Those fruity favourites can actually turn things sour – quick!

“Facing some issues in the bedroom?" asks Mel Kirkpatrick from health and fitness specialistsTestogen (opens in new tab). "You might find some of the answers you need by simply looking at what you’re putting on your plate. And, by cutting out these foods you will increase the level of potency, libido (opens in new tab) and pleasure in the bedroom (opens in new tab).”

These healthier choices can have a big impact on women – and men – when it comes to pleasure:

The healthy foods bad for libido

1Diet drinks can ruin your sex life

While diet drinks (opens in new tab) may be better for our waistlines, they are not better for us when it comes to adult fun."The artificial sweeteners (opens in new tab) used in diet fizzy drinks lowers serotonin levels," says Mel. "Serotonin is linked to well-being and happiness, and it has been shown that low serotonin levels is linked to low libido – in both men and women."

But, instead of swapping yours for a full-fat version, opt for water instead. The extra hydration (opens in new tab) will give you a much-needed energy boost.

2 Soy is one of the top healthy foods bad for libido

Eating a plant-based diet (opens in new tab) which includes lots of tofu? It could be playing havoc with your sex life (opens in new tab). "Foods with high soy content, such as edamame and tofu, can decrease the amount of sex hormones found in a woman’s body," explains Mel. "It can also affect hormone levels for women going through the menopause (opens in new tab). This means there should be some considerations before reaching for the soy."

3 Liquorice is OK - but only for women

Love liquorice? You're not the only one. But this vintage favourite could be doing your partner more harm than good."The main compound which gives liquorice its aniseed flavour can suppress testosterone production in men, which has a huge impact on libido," says Mel. "It can, however, potentially have the opposite with women, serving as an aphrodisiac (opens in new tab)." So don't go sharing, now!

4 Pasta is another of thehealthy foods bad for libido

Another popular meal which can have a negative affect on men, especially in the bedroom, is pasta."Eating pasta can leave you feeling full and bloated, (opens in new tab) which can be a turn off for anyone," says Mel. "It can also cause an insulin spike. This means men can struggle to be prepared when it comes to the right time." Better stick to salad.

5 Avoid microwave popcorn

Popcorn is a great snack, especially if its not coated in a sugary topping, as it's relatively low in calories. Especially compared to crisps. But, sadly, this can also cause problems for men, especially a microwave version."Although a movie and popcorn may sound like the perfect night in to set the mood (opens in new tab), a chemical found in the lining of microwave popcorn bags has been linked to lower sperm counts in men," warns Mel. "Regular popcorn does not have this effect."

6 Why peppermint is not a great choice

Who doesn't want to smell minty fresh when they're getting intimate? Turns out, it's not a great choice for either sex. "Another testosterone-killing culprit – peppermint – may provide you with fresh breath, but it will also lower libido," says Mel. "The menthol can cause a lower sex drive and chewing peppermint gum causing extra gas (opens in new tab) and air to enter the body."

7 Even strawberries can cause problems

Dipped in chocolate and served with champagne, strawberries are sure to put anyone in the mood, right? Sadly, not. "Fruit, however, is digested very quickly and can cause bloating and cramping in the stomach if not eaten with other food," warns Mel.

Faye M Smith
Faye M Smith

Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021. Currently Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships.