Let's Talk Libido...
Let's talk about sex baby....ok not the song, but good song, right? Okay back to the what what of libido. What are some of the common causes, yo man ticking you off...maybe, work stressing you out...yup could be that too, the media making us all feel inadequate??? That for sure doesn't help. But day today life on a cumulative basis can sure make you stressed. There are also medical conditions (like fibroids, endometriosis and thyroid problems).
So I bet you thought that low testosterone only affects men...nope it can affect women as well.. Female testosterone levels peak in the mid-20s and then steadily decrease until a woman goes through menopause. After menopause, female testosterone levels drop dramatically, and sex drive can drop dramatically as well. Birth control pills and other forms of hormonal pregnancy prevention can also have negative effects on a woman’s desire for sexual activity.
When it comes to how to increase your libido, there are two key biological chemicals that may affect your level of sexual desire whether you’re a man or woman. I’m talking about dopamine and prolactin. It’s theorized that dopamine increases desire while prolactin decreases it. If you take any medications, it’s important to know that some can increase prolactin release or inhibit dopamine release. Either of these two scenarios can decrease sexual desire and also cause other sexual side effects.
Other possibilities, relationship issues, depression, prescription medications, alcoholism, drug abuse and/or chronic diseases like diabetes can all be at the root of low sex drive for both sexes. A BMI that’s too high can also cause problems for both men and women when it comes to libido.
How to Increase Libido Through Diet
Now let's talk food, what foods should you eat to help fuel that fire....we aren't just talking slimy oysters, but hey if you like em, eat em up!
Foods That Help
Natural Aphrodisiacs — Figs, bananas and avocados are natural aphrodisiacs loaded with vitamins and minerals that can encourage more blood flow to the genitals and naturally increase sex drive. Hmmmm besides what's in them, could it be the shape?? Ha!
Vitamin C foods — Vitamin C improves blood circulation to the organs so it’s important to make sure you consume foods rich in vitamin C on a daily basis. Vitamin C has also specifically been linked with a healthier female libido. Some great choices include broccoli, oranges, red peppers and guava.
Iron-rich foods — For women in particular, low iron levels can have a negative effect on sexual desire, arousal, lubrication and ability to have an orgasm. Great sources of iron include dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, along with grass-fed beef. Where's the beef??? But I digress....
Collagen-rich foods — Collagen production naturally declines with age. This has a direct negative effect on skin health and makes it harder to keep skin firm. This phenomenon can make it harder for men to maintain an erection, and it can lead to a looser vaginal wall in women. To increase your collagen levels, you can consume more bone broths and opt for a collagen supplement powder. Vitamin C also helps to increase collagen production.
Sweet potatoes — Ladies, in case he needs the help...bring on the potatoes!Sweet potatoes or yams are loaded with potassium and vitamin A. The potassium can help with high blood pressure, which makes a man more likely to have erectile dysfunction.
Watermelon — In 2008, research conducted at Texas A&M demonstrated that watermelon may have a Viagra effect. What??? The phytonutrients known as lycopene, beta-carotene and citrulline found in watermelon help relax blood vessels. While watermelon might not be as organ-specific as Viagra, it can be helpful in the bedroom without any negative side effects when you naturally want to improve libido. And make them sweeter too ;)
Spices like nutmeg and clove — Spices are loaded with antioxidants, which is great for overall health, including libido.
Dark chocolate — Here are the magic words right here ladies...chocolate! Research has shown that chocolate consumption leads to the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin, leading to some aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects. Just make sure you choose a low-sugar, high-quality dark chocolate.
Brazil nuts — Healthy nuts!! Who knew! These nuts are high in selenium, which plays a role in maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
Almonds — Rich in zinc, selenium and vitamin E, almonds contain vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that can improve sexual health and reproduction.
Water — Making sure you’re not dehydrated is helpful when it comes to your libido since dehydration can cause a number of negative side effects that can easily dull sexual desire. If you want to avoid possible fatigue, headaches and vaginal dryness then drink up.
Foods to Avoid
Trans fats and fried foods — Foods items that are greasy and/or loaded with trans fats are not helpful in the bedroom by any stretch. The adverse effects of consuming trans fatty acids can include increases in abnormal sperm production for men and interference with gestation for women.
Processed foods — Chemicals in these foods may negatively affect sexual performance.
Poor-quality protein — Factory-farmed meat is known for containing added hormones and antibiotics, which can lead to hormonal imbalance in the body.
High-sodium foods — Foods that are very high in sodium, like canned foods and processed foods, can contribute to high blood pressure, which in turn decreases the flow of blood to the sex organs.
Conventional dairy — Milk, cheese and other dairy products from cow’s milk can have synthetic hormones that have a negative effect on estrogen and testosterone levels.
Sugar — Sugar in general negatively affects sex hormones. Studies have shown specific and scary affects on testosterone levels. In a 2013 study of male subjects, the consumption of glucose decreased blood levels of testosterone by an average of 25 percent, regardless of whether the men had diabetes, prediabetes or normal glucose tolerance. Testosterone levels also remained low hours after glucose consumption.
Caffeine — Overindulgence in caffeine can have unwanted affects on sexual performance.
Alcohol — Overdoing it on alcoholic beverages is known to decrease sexual desire, arousal and sensitivity. If you’re going to imbibe, opt for one glass (yes, just one) of polyphenol-rich red wine. The antioxidants in red wine can help widen blood vessels and increase blood flow to key arousal areas.
Microwaveable Popcorn — It may be convenient, but it’s certainly not healthy. The chemicals found in the lining of microwave popcorn bags (as well as nonstick pots and pans) have been linked to a lower sex drive for men. According to a 2009 study, these types of popcorn bags contain perfluoroalkyl acids, such as PFOA or PFOS, known to significantly lower sperm counts.
Final Thoughts on How to Increase Libido
On a serious note, I know it is always a difficult topic for most but it is important that you don't ignore the issue. Not only for your partner but how it can negatively impact your self image and your overall life in general. Sex is a natural part of a relationship and can actually help de stress you. Look there are many natural ways to he
lp support your libido as you can see and it has no negative side effects. Of course there is a whole other side of things that are mental. So finding a way to calm those stresses like exercise, stretching, yoga, meditating. Something to calm the outside world. If you are still not finding an increase in the libido, talk to your doctor or health practitioner about it as there could be an actual medical reason for this. So take back your sex life ladies!