Being vegan has many benefits. People on the diet say it has helped them lose weight, clear up their skin, and, overall, lead a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.
Among the many promised bonuses of veganism is an improved sex drive. PETA frequently runs ad campaigns that imply vegans make better lovers, and some vegan-friendly blogs push the same narrative.
But what is the truth? INSIDER spoke with registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of “Read it Before You Eat It — Taking You From Label To Table,” to find out how — and if — being vegan can actually have an impact on your sex drive.
Eating more vegan-friendly food definitely won’t hurt your sex life.
In this case, much of the vegan promise checks out: Eating more fruits and vegetables can definitely improve your circulation, which, in turn, can improve sexual function.
“We want to look at foods that boost circulation, because not only do we want to boost circulation to your brain —which is your sexiest organ — but it also boosts circulation to other parts of your body that you want to work properly,” Taub-Dix told INSIDER. “So most of the foods that are vegan can do that. Foods like cayenne pepper, dark chocolate, fruits, leafy greens, sunflower seeds, beets. All of those foods would help to boost circulation, and when you boost circulation, there’s a greater chance that you’re going to get the response you’re looking for.”
Implementing more fruits and vegetables into your diet might also reduce your need for certain medications that can potentially diminish one’s sex drive.
“If someone is eating a healthier diet it’s less likely that they’ll need to take meds that could interfere with their sex drive and function,” Taub-Dix told INSIDER.
Limiting animal-based products in favor of veggies could also have a positive effect on your sex life.
“Foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol, which often come in animal products, could clog your arteries instead of making your blood flow more freely,” Taub-Dix told INSIDER.
That said, you don’t have to go fully vegan to reap the benefits of vegan foods.
Instead, just look at your diet, and see if there are spots where you could add more fruits and vegetables, or limit your animal products.
“You don’t have to be a vegan, in this case. Even going from a diet that is very animal product heavy to one that is more plant-forward would be a good idea,” Taub-Dix told INSIDER.
If you do decide to go fully vegan, it can have a lot of benefits — as long as you do it the right way.
The vegan label is fairly broad, and could technically apply to someone who eats lots of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based protein, which would probably give them more energy. It could also apply to someone who subsists solely on bread, which would most likely make them feel sluggish.
“If you’re going to go on a diet like [veganism], it takes some thought,” Taub-Dix told INSIDER. “I have seen vegans come to me because they’re eating all these fake vegan cheeses, and they’re just not balancing out their diets with other sources of protein. If you are not finding enough sources of protein, this could limit energy. And if you don’t have enough energy, your sex drive may suffer.”
Clearly, effective veganism takes some critical thought— and an improved sex life probably shouldn’t be your only reason to take up the diet. If you are looking to improve your sex life through your diet, it might be best to focus more on implementing a higher quantity of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats into your daily consumption rather than deciding to become vegan without considering what it really means.
In the end, when it comes to improving your sex life, one of the most important things to consider is confidence. And, although a vegan or vegan-inspired diet could help with that, it’s likely not the only thing that might make you feel more confident. So, to improve your sex life, start by thinking about what makes you feel good in your own body — whether or not that means adhering to a vegan diet is up to you.