Is your sex drive feeling a little under the weather? You can pin the blame on low testosterone levels. Testosterone is a key player in the sexual drive of both men and women. Depending on the amount of testosterone in your body, you’ll experience an increase or decrease in libido.
Just as there are “aphrodisiacs” that boost sexual desire, certain foods can also quell a person’s libido. Unless you’re taking a vow of celibacy, you may want to avoid foods that lower testosterone and sex drive.
Soy is a popular food choice for a wide array of people. Rather than force themselves to consume meat or milk, vegetarians and lactose-intolerant individuals use it as alternative source of protein. Body builders often turn to soy to increase their muscle mass. Dr. Jose Antonio, the head of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, considers it the best type of plant protein for this job. Unlike most plant-sourced proteins which lack the essential amino acids found in animal sources, soy provides the best of both worlds.
Women suffering from menopause could also drink soy milk to relieve symptoms such as hot flushes. Soy contains isoflavones, a weak estrogen that can make up for the body’s inability to produce natural estrogen throughout menopause. Isoflavones are also helpful for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), endometriosis, and other conditions brought about by excessive estrogen production. In these instances, they act as phytoestrogens that block the effects of too much estrogen on the body.
In spite of its popularity, soy has an equally bad reputation for decreasing libido. Because it contains estrogenic compounds, it is believed to counteract with testosterone. Not only that, soy has been found to increase “equol” in the body. Equol is an anti-androgen that lowers testosterone as well as sex drive. Furthermore, soy intake is associated with erectile dysfunction in men, which inadvertently affects their desire to engage in sex.