06 Feb Increasing Your Sex Drive w/ Lahana Vigliano
Today I’m talking all about sex drive and how to increase it encompassing a whole body, natural food as medicine approach,
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My friend, Nurse Practitioner, + nutritionist, Cynthia from CHT Wellness covered this same topic this week over at her local news – watch it here!
It’s funny because some people can be so shy about this topic and it can be a hard thing to admit that you sex drive might be in the negative, but we’ve all been there at some point.
I know I was there after I had my first son, I did not want to even think about sex or anything sexual. Of course, that was totally normal especially postpartum with your first – I mean you’re scarred after giving birth for the first time.
But as I’ve worked with clients, low libido can be common and I see it a lot more when people are on certain prescription medicines, like birth control, antidepressants, anxiety meds, etc.
But it could also just be because you’re stressed, your hormones are low, or you’re nutrient deficient. Our testosterone levels play a big part in sex drive. If we’re anemic, it can also lower our sex drive (iron plays a role too!) Certain neurotransmitters like dopamine play a role.
Today, I’m just going to be covering certain foods and herbs that can be beneficial in increasing that libido.
Of course, there are a list of foods and things that you should avoid and that could be a toll of your sex drive, but basically it’s things that I don’t recommend anyway. Processed foods, bad quality animal products, sugar, alcohol, and even caffeine can affect our sex drive.
One of the first herbs that have been studied to help with increasing libido is maca root. Maca root is a great adaptogenic herb, which helps our body respond to stress in a better way. It also helps support our hormones, which can help with our sex drive. I personally put the maca root powder in my smoothies from Gaia herbs and I love it!
Ashwaganda is another adaptogenic herb as well to help our body respond to stress. In the Biomed Research International Journal, they did a study on ashwagandha versus a placebo and the results showed that ashwaganda was beneficial to increasing sex drive. This was determined by a score that rated arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction.
Remember when I mentioned about those dopamine levels affecting your sex drive? Dark chocolate is a food that help increase those dopamine levels. BUT, this dark chocolate has to be more than 70%. The darker the chocolate, the more health benefits it has. It does have a little bit of an acquired taste though!
In the Journal of Nutrition + Aging, it explained that omega-3 fatty acids from fish help regulate mood and libido. I’m always a big supporter of taking in omega-3 in a supplement form if you aren’t eating enough wild caught fish. Omega-3, among other fatty acids, build strong cellular membranes and help with balancing our hormones, which play a role in keeping lubrication in women at a good amount. No fun having dryness down there. In addition, fish oil can also help decrease the sex hormone binding globulin, which means more FREE testosterone is realeased.
Nutmeg + clove was shown to increase libido in mice in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal.
Selenium and zinc are essential in keeping our testosterone levels at a good level. Like I mentioned in the beginning, testosterone plays a role in our libido. Some foods that are high in selenium and/or zinc would be Brazil nuts. Almonds, chicken, spinach, tuna, beef, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and oysters.
Of course, sleep and stress play a role in your libido too! As it does with everything. One, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, this causes hormonal disruption, especially with testosterone. Two, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, that can cause extra stress on your body. And stress alone (even if you’re getting great sleep), can suppress and disrupt our hormones, leading to low libido. Pssst, remember that our body can focus more on producing cortisol, which inhibits our testosterone production. We should be sleeping between 7-9 hours per night and reducing the amount of stress in our life (Yes, easier said than done), but possible. We have to make time for ourselves and do things we love and what we consider fun. That’s one of the best and easiest ways to start to get some more enjoyment in your life and less stress.