Life is busy, and when you’re busy, stressed, and not feeling well, you may not feel much like an active sex life. However, sex has a lot of benefits too, and it’s something many of us want in our relationships and in our lives. So how do you ramp up your sex life, in spite of a busy schedule and health issues? Reducing stress and getting more exercise are great first steps. But there is another aspect of your sex life you may have never considered: what you eat. Eating more of the right foods for sexual health is a great way to boost your libido, and it can be a decadent treat you can share with your partner too.
Before getting into what to eat to boost your libido, it’s a good idea to consider why your sex life isn’t where you want it to be in the first place to make sure you are getting to the root of the problem. Sometimes there are environmental factors involved that need to be addressed, like challenges with your partner, or just going through a very busy time in your life. However, when things have begun to calm down and your libido still isn’t what it used to be, it may be worth considering whether stress and health issues are a factor.
Stress alone can have a huge impact on your body, including on the hormones that control sexual interest and satisfaction. Typically, when the body needs to respond to stress, it does so by relying on its NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response system. The NEM stress response system is composed of six system circuits that work to address stress. These include the Hormone, Metabolism, Neuroaffect, Cardionomic, Inflammation, and Detoxification circuits.
Once the stressful episode has passed, all of the organs in the NEM system return to normal function. However, when stress continues to persist and becomes chronic, all these systems are forced to keep responding to stress until they become overworked.
In the Hormone circuit, the adrenal glands work to produce the stress hormone cortisol. When the body experiences chronic stress, it favors the production of cortisol over other hormones, including those required for your reproductive organs. Hence, increased levels of cortisol in the body during prolonged periods of stress have also been associated with decreased sexual desire. This may explain why a 2008 study found that women who experience an increase in cortisol achieved relatively lower scores in the satisfaction, desire, and arousal domains of the Female Sexual Function Index. Similarly, a 2013 study found a direct relationship between high levels of chronic stress among women and relatively lower levels of genital sexual arousal.
As chronic stress continues, the adrenals continue to increase the production of cortisol until they can no longer keep up with demand. At this point, hormonal imbalance occurs and ultimately adrenal fatigue can be the result. This can result in myriad symptoms that worsen both your stress and your disinterest in sex.
If this is the case for you, reducing stress could be an essential first step in improving your health overall and your sexual health. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are all great ways to reduce stress and improve your sexual health. However, most health changes also involve your diet, and this is no exception.
Eating the right foods for sexual health can make a huge difference when it comes to improving both your sex life and your health overall. Many of these foods help improve libido, reduce inflammation, supply important nutrients, and contain antioxidants.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a good first step towards addressing many health concerns. Make sure that your meals contain whole foods, lean protein, and vegetables. This is a good way to make sure you have more energy throughout the day. There are also a number of vitamins and minerals that have been known to help in addition to foods for sexual health. These include vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and B-complex vitamins.
In addition to these supplements and eating a healthy diet, there are also several foods for sexual health that contain a special combo of nutrients to boost the health of your reproductive organs. These foods could be just what you need to get your intimate life back.
However, if you are trying something for the first time and you have a preexisting condition like adrenal fatigue, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure this food doesn’t interact with any other supplements or medications you are taking. Avoid foods that you have a sensitivity to, because eating them only creates inflammation and gut damage that worsens other problems.
That said, these are great foods for sexual health that you can consider incorporating into your daily diet:
Good quality lean proteins such as grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, and wild-caught fish contain high amounts of tryptophan. This, in turn, can help increase serotonin levels in your body, which can boost both mood and libido.
Just like sex hormones, the body’s production of collagen naturally declines as one gets older. Reduced collagen affects the skin’s ability to stay firm. This can affect the health of the vaginal wall and other reproductive organs. To help remedy this, you can consume foods rich in collagen such as bone broth or try some collagen supplements.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin that may help increase blood flow to sexual organs in the body. Moreover, some experts claim that garlic is a natural aphrodisiac. Garlic also contains antioxidant properties. This means it can help combat stress too.
Watermelon is a fruit rich in phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, citrulline, and lycopene, which helps relax ones’ blood vessels, improving blood flow to your body. A 2008 study also found that consuming watermelon can help enhance libido without the risk of side effects.
Saffron is a spice that is known to have antioxidant properties. It is also recognized as a natural aphrodisiac, which can improve one’s mood and sex drive. One Canadian study found evidence that saffron can boost sexual desire.
Avocados are high in folic acid which help women in maintaining stamina and energy levels. It has also been known to help enhance one’s sex drive.
Maca root is sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng. It is a cruciferous vegetable that is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, iron, potassium, and manganese. Moreover, maca root also happens to contain a good amount of carbohydrates, making it a great source of energy. Eating maca root has also been found to increase libido. One 2010 study review found that 131 participants experienced better sexual desire after consuming maca for at least six weeks.
Ginger appeals to the senses because it is both sweet and spicy. Aside from this, ginger contains several vitamins and minerals that provide the nutrients you need for a healthy sex drive. These include magnesium, copper, and potassium. It also helps increase blood flow in your body and reduces inflammation, which can result from chronic stress,
Basil is rich in magnesium, potassium, beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C. These vitamins and minerals work together to enhance once libido’s naturally. Moreover, eating basil helps improve your overall mood, reducing your stress and anxiety levels.
Cayenne pepper is known to help the body improve its metabolism. It can also help increase blood flow to the body’s sexual organs, making it easier for you to become aroused. Even better, cayenne pepper has also been recognized as a natural aphrodisiac.
Olive oil has great antioxidant properties. Aside from this, it can also reduce inflammation in the body and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Studies have also found that olive oil can help enhance a woman’s sex drive. In fact, a 2007 study found that women who ate a Mediterranean-style diet rich in olive oil experienced improvements in female sexual function.
Bananas are a rich source of bromelain. This is an enzyme that is known to help improve sex drive. The potassium and B vitamins in bananas also provide an energy boost.
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids which helps relax the blood vessels and reduce one’s stress levels. At the same time, this treat is also known to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, helping put one in the mood for sex.
There are many great foods for sexual health, but if you don’t eat them, they can’t help. It can be difficult to figure out how to include these foods in your daily life. These recipes can help. They are easy to make. They are healthy. And they help boost your overall health and your sex life.
Pour all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a glass and serve.
As you can see, there are many excellent ways to prepare foods for sexual health. You can eat these alone or make some for your partner too. The best part about these foods is that they are good for your whole body. Along with boosting your sexual health, they provide antioxidants, support healthy muscles, reduce inflammation, and improve energy levels. Along with reducing stress and addressing any medical issues that keep you from enjoying a healthy sex life, these foods can help give you the health and vitality you need to get back the intimate life you want.
It’s worth noting that if you do have relationship issues, medical issues, or severe stress that is keeping you from enjoying sex, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor, a therapist, a women’s or men’s health specialist, or an adrenal fatigue specialist. Often doctors that specialize in a particular field are aware of issues and connections that others miss, and they can help you create an overall plan to work towards the life you want.
© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.