1. Not only can indigestion, gas and discomfort get in the way of your sex life, research suggests that there’s a direct link between your gut microbiome and your sex drive.
2. Hormones, such as testosterone and serotonin, play a big role in our sexual health. Making small changes in your diet, such as reducing sugar intake, can balance hormones and boost your libido.
3. Still not meditating regularly? Studies show that adding mindful meditation into your daily routine can reduce stress and improve your mental, emotional and sexual health.
Can what you eat really affect your sexual health? Yes! Research shows that there is a symbiotic relationship between nourishing your gut and enhancing your libido. While there are many factors that go into promoting good sexual health, your diet is an essential piece of that puzzle.
Hormone deficiency, such as low testosterone and serotonin, have also been associated with a weakened libido. Making small changes in diet, like reducing sugar intake, can have a major impact on your hormones and could be the key to boosting your sex drive.
We all know that meditation is good for our health, but can sex be just as beneficial? Both sex AND meditation encourage the mind to empty overwhelming thoughts, keep your focus on the present and minimize stress.
Your gut microbiome is responsible for producing the good bacteria that helps you digest and absorb the nutrients you need. It also produces antibodies that kill the “bad” bacteria and it houses and produces hormones, such as serotonin. Consuming a diverse variety of organic foods that contain beneficial nutrients, vitamins, mineral, probiotics, and phytochemicals is crucial for keeping your gut microbiome and sexual system healthy. (1)(2)
Generally, a healthy diet will consist of 80 – 90% organic, whole, plant-based foods. Studies conducted in 2010 found that whole (unprocessed) diets, ones higher in plant foods, fiber and healthy forms of protein and fats, are associated with better mental health, better digestion and consequently, better sexual health. (3)(4)(5)(6)(7)
Healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, contain thousands of antioxidants that all promote better health overall. They also assist to balance blood sugar and promote insulin sensitivity, and improve conditions such as adrenal fatigue,. This is especially important for women struggling with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of male sex hormones known as androgens, leading to a decrease in sexual desire. (8)(9)(10)(11)(12)
During time of high stress, it is even more imperative to maintain an organic, nutrient-rich, balanced diet. Stress often erodes healthy eating patterns which in turn, lowers our sex drive. In fact, during stressful times our body has an even greater demand for some key nutrients, including Vitamin C, antioxidants and many B vitamins. Oysters are high in B12 and vitamin C, and (organic) dark chocolate covered strawberries would be a great way to give yourself some extra antioxidants and vitamin C. Hmm, maybe there’s a reason these foods are considered aphrodisiacs! (13)(14)(15)
Science teaches us that sexual desires are controlled by what is known as the libido — a fancy word for sex drive. Libido is determined by a number of factors that include sociological, psychological, and hormonal influences. The primary hormone responsible for much of the human libido is testosterone.
Research confirms that low testosterone levels usually mean a lower sex drive. One culprit for low testosterone is excessive amounts of sugar. Excess blood sugar levels can also cause damage to small blood vessels as well as the nerves that control sexual stimulation and response, resulting in what we know as erectile dysfunction. Let’s not forget, testosterone doesn’t just affect men. Imbalanced levels of testosterone in women can reduce desire, increase body fat, lower muscle mass, and increase inflammatory markers that interfere with hormone communication. In turn, high sugar levels can then affect the ability for a woman to experience sexual stimulation and arousal, and can impede the release of vaginal lubricant. (16)(17)(18)
Another master hormone, serotonin, is also involved in maintaining good sexual health. Serotonin is referred to as the body’s “happy” hormone. While research shows that 95% of serotonin is created in the gastrointestinal track, it is also found in the genitals. It’s suggested that when your serotonin levels dip, your physical response to sexual desires also dips! (19)
Exercise has been shown to improve production of sex hormones like serotonin and reduce stress. Additionally, exercise promotes better circulation, opens arteries and increases blood flow to both men and women’s sexual organs. A Harvard study showed that even moderate levels of exercise significantly improved erectile dysfunction in men. The studies suggest many circulatory conditions that impede sexual function can be reversed by just moving your body a little bit more. (20)(21)
The part of your conscious brain that shuts off right before an orgasm is the same part that shuts off when you’re meditating, concentrating intensely, or otherwise being mindful. So, when you focus on what’s happening in the present, you may very well be putting yourself in an orgasmic state of mind. Studies also show mindful meditation can be an effective intervention for sexual dysfunction due to genital pain, low desire, or inability to reach orgasm. (22)(23)(24)
Breathing, especially during meditation, can alter the state of our emotions via psycho-physiological changes in the brain-body interaction. Breathing patterns begin the shifting of one’s emotional state and thus break the hold that stress or negative emotions can have on us. This shift activates the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest” system, where our body is in a state of peace and healing. While people seek out sex for many reasons, it seems we might all agree that feeling relaxed and stress-free would make most of us more excited for sex! Libido and desire will generally be more elevated in people that are relaxed, happy and confident. (25)(26)
Sexual health can be one of the many great benefits that keep us motivated to maintain a varied diet and a balanced lifestyle. Remember it is healthy, and important, to indulge guilt-free every now and again! By no means do you need to give up these things entirely. Balance is key and resisting the urge to turn to processed or high sugar foods on a regular basis is what you should be aiming for.
The next time you want to skip your veggies, grab fast food or eat that leftover Halloween candy, think of all the pleasurable orgasms you might also be passing up! And one last thing… keep it light with laughter. What could be healthier than lightheartedly chuckling during those vulnerable moments? Sexual health IS Sexual wealth!
M. Moriah Mor, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, is the owner of GreenSilk.com. The company is committed to helping individuals live a healthier lifestyle through education, nutrition, the research of life science, and the development of Professional High-Grade Premium health products.
Recognized for her outstanding dedication and contributions to the health and wellness industry for more than 18 years, Moriah is a graduate of the Energetic Health Institute and the University of Southern California. Her interest is focused on researching the latest scientific breakthroughs in the holistic health field. She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Natural Medicine.
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