Sexual Health and Nutrition: How One Impacts the Other
Sexual health and nutrition share a closer relationship than most realize. What you put into your body determines how it functions. By filling your body with unhealthy foods and beverages and not exercising, you’re causing more damage to yourself than meets the eye.
Good sexual health and nutrition choices benefit your mind, body, and soul. By making these choice, you’ll experience:
- Better sexual function
- Better overall health
- A higher sex drive
- Better hormonal balancing
- Improved fertility
- A healthier weight
Here’s how a better nutrition strategy can help with each of these categories…
Sexual Function and Food
To prevent this and/or improve sexual function the natural way, eat foods that are rich in flavonoids or vitamin E instead.
Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant chemicals found in chocolate with 70% cocoa or higher, tea, red wine, and almost all fruits and vegetables. Not only are they powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and good for your immune system, but a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating flavonoid-rich foods can improve erectile function. The flavonoids shown to have the greatest benefits include:
- Berries – blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries,
- Citrus Fruit
Vitamin E, which is found in nuts, oils, seeds, and vegetables, has a direct impact on sexual function. Experts believe that people without a good supply of vitamin E have more difficulty performing. However, this is an easy fix. Several double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized trials proved that, when combined with ginseng, vitamin E improves erectile function in just six weeks. If you’re struggling sexually, consider adding more vitamin E to your diet before going the route of pills. The long-term benefits are well worth it.
Health and Nutrition Improves Your Sex Drive
Switching out processed food for healthier alternatives can dramatically improve your sex life. Super foods high in antioxidants, such as berries and dark chocolate, boost blood circulation in the penile area, helping you feel a stronger arousal. Chocolate itself is especially beneficial because it has methylxanthines, which activate your libido.
If you want to maintain a healthy sex drive, avoid nicotine or copious amounts of alcohol. Nicotine both promotes the formation of artery-clogging plaque in your penis’ blood vessels and constricts them.
Alcohol comes with its own issues. While alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes you feel liberated, it’s also a depressant (tequila being the one exception). For women, alcohol can throw estrogen levels off balance. For men, it can cause “whiskey dick,” leaving you impotent for the evening. One or two drinks is usually okay, but when a 3am street dog sounds like a good idea, you’ve gone too far.
Don’t Rely on Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodisiacs, such as oysters, are high in zinc, and zinc is often tied to sexual function and your sex drive. However, there’s little evidence to support the efficacy of aphrodisiacs when it comes your improving your sex drive. It’s definitely possible, but research shows that aphrodisiacs aren’t nearly as effective as many are led to believe.
Hormone Balance and Nerve Function
Keeping your hormones in balance and achieving optimal nerve function is necessary for sexual performance. To keep these in check, maintain a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Not only will your sexual health, function, and appetite improve, but you’ll also experience potential weight loss and fewer mood swings.
Better sexual health and nutrition can also improve fertility. Good nutritional practices help keep you at a healthy weight, which is important because obesity has a negative influence on fertility – especially in men. Other, natural ways to improve fertility include a diet of:
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Low carbs
- Low glycemic index foods
- Vegetable proteins
- Skim milk (for men)
- Whole milk (for women)
There’s weak evidence pointing to the efficacy of dietary supplements when it comes to fertility. However, vitamin B, vitamin D, L-arginine, and yohimbine are among the most promising.
Fertility for Women
If you’re trying to get pregnant, we recommend that you add foods that are high in folic acid and vitamin C to your diet, such as oranges, kiwis, tomatoes, and broccoli. These foods will help your child avoid birth defects and strengthens their organs. You’ll also want to avoid fish, ice cream, meat, and alcohol.
Fertility for Men
For optimal sperm health and production, consume foods rich in zinc, vitamin E, and omega-3. These foods include: nuts, beans, shellfish, green vegetables, seeds, and seafood, to name a few.
You Need to Pair Nutrition with Exercise
Diet and exercise go together like peanut butter and chocolate, wine and cheese, and 2020 and Xanax. The food you eat will improve your sexual function, but it’s the exercise you get that helps adequate blood flow.
Cardiovascular exercise is essential for proper sexual function and can even save your life. Erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of a lack of exercise. To get an erection, you need adequate blood flow. If you’re experiencing atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, it can impair the quality of an erection. Erectile dysfunction is sometimes a sign of early heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women. By upping your cardio game, you can reduce your chances of suffering from erectile dysfunction, thus also reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease.
Exercise also leads to better sex and usually makes you a happier person. Fatigue and depression are among the most common culprits of sexual complaints. By exercising regularly, you’re improving your blood flow and increasing your stamina. You’re also releasing more endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the body, similar to that of morphine.
In short, get on those bikes, treadmills, ellipticals and evil, evil StairMaster. Go on those hikes, walk more, and pick up jogging. Your body will love you for it.
Throughout this entire post about sexual health and nutrition, we have talked about the problematic links between sexual function and unhealthy eating. We know that it’s really hard to kick those bad habits – especially in 2020. However, we are all in a position to change our lives and our habits for the better. If you ever need help getting your mind and body back on track, we’re here to help. Your body and spirit will love you for it.