The truth is that both testosterone and estrogen play vitally important roles in the bodies of both sexes and, unless we have a good ratio of one to the other, all sorts of things can get wonky. Men can grow breasts; women can sprout excessive facial hair. But in both cases, an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen can increase or decrease libido and a surprising amount of research have gone into figuring out which foods can increase or decrease our T and E levels.

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Below are some of the food items could futz with that delicate balance or be a contributing factor to a sputtering sex drive.

Processed food

Processing removes most of the nutrients in whole foods, including ones that are important to your desire for hanky panky. For example: When whole wheat is processed into white flour, it loses about three-quarters of its zinc, a mineral essential to men’s sexuality and reproduction. Eating refined grains can lead to insulin resistance, the last stop before diabetes. Diabetes can, in turn, accelerate narrowing of the arteries, increasing your risks of heart disease and ED.

Soda diet

Drinking soda on the regular is a terrible idea and, that goes for diet soda too. Artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame, directly affect your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a vital hormone in fostering a sense of well-being or happiness. Low serotonin, say, researchers, is associated with lower libido in both men and women.

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MICROWAVE  POPCORN

Dinner and a movie can be a precursor to sex, but if you like to pair your movies with microwaved popcorn, your main feature could be a flop. See, chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid found in the bag’s lining can kill your sex drive, and, over the long term, even cause prostate problems.

MARIJUANA

Cannabis is already legal in several states and could soon be legal from coast to coast. Many people like to add the drug to food, particularly baked goods. Whether you smoke it or eat it, studies show that in addition to fueling long stories with no ending, marijuana depresses testosterone levels for up to 24 hours.

Alcohol

A glass of wine or a cocktail can get you in the mood, but drink much more than that regularly, and your libido will pay the price. Alcohol is a depressant that can play havoc with a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection and dampen libido for both sexes. Slow down when it comes to drinking and you may find that you rediscover your sexual sparkle. To help do this, nutritionist Dana James suggests drinking a 2-to-1 ratio of water to alcoholic beverages.

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