There is no specific food that can help men to shore up their libido for sexual performance. A dietitian at The Trust Hospitals and Clinics, Wise Chukwudi Letsa, who gave the advice, said all that men needed to do was to eat healthy foods to obtain all the nutrients and exercise regularly.
“You don’t have to look for any libido boosting properties in foods, all you need is a general healthy meal. So, if you eat well, then you are fine.
“Let’s not be looking for special foods and products that will boost sexual performance or libido. When you eat well, you will get your iron, zinc, proteins and everything you need to produce sex hormones to perform physically well,” he said.
Mr Letsa, who is the Deputy Chief Dietician and Head of The Dietetic Clinic at The Trust Hospitals and Clinics, was speaking on The Mirror X Spaces on Unhealthy Foods to Avoid.
The discussion, which was moderated by Hadiza Nuhu Billa-Quansah, the Assistant Editor of The Mirror – one of the brands belonging to the stable of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) – centred on healthy eating, portions of food to eat, food types to avoid, exercises and things to do to generally to keep the body physically active.
The seasoned seminar presenter on diet and health for church groups, social clubs or groups, corporate organisations and communities said the ability to afford any type of food did not mean one should eat a lot since it was not healthy to do so because it might have health implications in the future.
He said it was safer for people to begin to eat as paupers because “the moment you want to enjoy how much food, which you can afford, and what is available or what you have access to, you end up paying the price for your decision”.
The dietitian indicated that it was important for people to eat food on dietary recommended tables to acquire all the nutrients necessary for growth and repair of worn out tissues.
Mr Letsa said people should eat the six food nutrients, namely carbohydrates, the proteins, fats and oil, vitamins, minerals and drink lots of water.
These nutrients, he said, were very important for the body but must be consumed in moderate quantities.
The carbohydrates, for instance, gave energy while the protein was responsible for the formation, structure of the body and also involved in repairing the worn-out muscle tissues, as well as the preparation of hormones, enzymes, and all the things that regulated the body.
“The fats also give us energy; they form protective coverings around our body organs. And then we have the vitamins which derive their names because of how vital they are for life” and, therefore, necessary to build strong immunity against diseases, he indicated.
He said people should be mindful of the portion of food they ate to remain healthy.
“What kind of portions are you consuming and then what time, actually, are you eating these foods,’’? He asked.
Citing an example, Mr Letsa said “if you take your plate, divide it first into two and then divide one half also into two. So, we have a quarter and then a quarter”. “If you are going to eat, you should not cover more than a quarter section of the plates with carbohydrates. Then your protein being either fish or meat. Whatever protein you want to add to the meal should also not be bigger than the quarter. Vegetables should cover about half of your plate,” he explained.
Drink more water
Mr Letsa said ‘‘With regard to water, many people do not know that about 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the body weight is made up of water, for that matter, anytime about one per cent of the water in the system is lost, a person becomes thirsty and when four per cent of the water is lost, the person medically is diagnosed to be dehydrated,” he explained.
“So water is very vital. Don't even stay glued to what we know already such as taking eight glasses of water. No,” he said.
Mr Letsa said the recommendation was that “we should keep drinking water throughout the day so that we will not be feeling thirsty in the first place”.
Sweet drinks after meals
The dietitian cautioned against persons who take drinks after meals, saying the effect could be dire.
“By the time you finish doing that, instead of getting 600 to 800 or 700 calories from your lunch or your supper you end up getting like 1,000 or 1,500 calories of energy from that same meal,” Mr Letsa explained.
“That is just a way of multiplying the amount of energy that you consume”, adding that most people sat in the office after taking energy drinks. ‘‘We don't use it for any physical activity. We don't exercise and at the end of the day, all that comes back to haunt us,” the dietitian cautioned.
Dr Letsa said although sugar provided energy, it was not healthy to take a bottle of energy drink or a bottle of soft drink because “you are gulping down a lot of sugar”.
He said it would be helpful after taking it to engage in an activity such as walking to burn some of the sugar, but if one went to sleep with all the energy “you are doing a lot of harm to yourself. It's like drinking DDT or poison going to bed”.
He indicated that if one wanted to still take energy drinks, then the person should do so occasionally, once or twice a month.
“I will not stick my neck out and say that let's avoid soft drinks. No, unless you have a medical condition which requires that you don't take some drinks. Yes, I'll be the first to recommend for you. But in general, let's be careful how much you're taking but you're actually better off avoiding them”.
No fruits at night
Mr Letsa said eating fruits was very important in achieving a healthy diet, however, it must also be in moderation, especially the sugary ones.
“So before, during or after meals, you can eat fruits. The caution I will give is that don't eat fruits in the night. So anytime from waking up to about 6:30 p.m. or before 7 p.m. is a good time to eat fruits, but let's eat them also in moderation. So one orange at a time, two fingers of banana at a time”, he said.
The GCGL brands have started a range of thought leadership conversations with experts in different fields.
So far, the Graphic Business, the Graphic Showbiz and the Graphic Sports have all organised X Spaces dialogues.
Subsequent editions of the Mirror Dialogue series will have different experts and resource persons who would focus on topics carefully selected to address some health, lifestyle, relationship and family issues in the society.
Links to the X Spaces are shared across GCGL social media platforms prior to the live conversations.