Sex and your shopping basket
One easy and sometimes overlooked way of reducing stress, sleeping better and maintaining fitness, is having a healthy sex life.
Unfortunately, life gets in the way sometimes and a combination of factors can lead to less and less activity in the bedroom. Often this is to do with energy levels, hormone changes, stress and a lack of desire.
Working long hours at a demanding job, a hectic social life, emotional stress and caring for family members can all take their toll on energy stores. At the end of a long day sex is often the last thing on your mind.
Taking time out to pay closer attention to your diet as well as adding a few key ingredients to your shopping list could be all that’s needed to rev up your energy levels and enhance your libido.
Here, expert nutritionist Jackie Newson recommends her shopping basket favourites for a healthy vibrant sex life.
Tackling fatigue is probably top of the list for revitalising a flagging sex life so let’s start with increasing your get up and go! Raising energy is dependent on key nutrients like vitamin C and iron. Low iron is known to contribute to fatigue, since it is involved in the production of haemoglobin and the oxygenation of red blood cells.
Vitamin C significantly improves the absorption of iron so it’s important to get this combination in your foods. We also need vitamin C for the synthesis of carnitine which is another nutrient necessary for energy production.
Vitamin C and iron packed foods include: Dark-green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, beet greens, turnip greens and mustard greens. If increasing your fruit and veg intake is not possible, opt for a really well absorbed vitamin C supplement. My personal favourite is Altrient C.
Altrient C is the world’s first highly advanced gel nutritional supplement. It uses cutting-edge Lipsomal Encapsulation Technology to ensure up to 98% absorption all the way to your cells, where great health begins.
Choose foods rich in zinc
Zinc is essential for the release of hormones, and is well known for its fertility enhancing properties. Men in particular may benefit from an increase in Zinc in their diet because of its link to testosterone production, which is important for sexual function. For a mega zinc fix load your trolley with: chicken, oysters, crab, cashews, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate.
Pep yourself up with protein
L - Arginine, one of the amino acids that make up protein does a great job at dilating blood vessels and is thought to increase the flow of blood to your erogenous zones, helping to improve arousal.
This is often used as a natural therapy for erectile dysfunction and to increase sensation in a women’s genital area. Protein foods that supply maximum doses of arginine are: turkey, chicken, pork, pumpkin seeds, soya beans, lentils, peanuts and chickpeas.
Try the 3 T’s – Tofu, Tempeh and Tamari
These fermented foods are all made from soya which has high concentrations of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant molecules, similar in structure to our own oestrogen and are capable of gently mimicking natural oestrogen in the body to restore balance at times when hormones are fluctuating.
Low libido, vaginal dryness and painful sex are common around the menopause and have been linked to a reduction in oestrogen levels. Fermented soya foods provide easily digestible soy isoflavones that can help to get things back to normal.
Brew up a cup of Ginseng Tea
Panax ginseng has been used traditionally in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to increase energy and support the body through physical and mental stress. Complimentary therapists often use this to improve sperm count and sexual performance and studies have confirmed it can help with erectile dysfunction. Ginseng tea is readily available from health food shops and some supermarkets.
Spice up your menus
Spicy foods can improve circulation which helps to move blood towards the genital area. Other herbs have also been found to improve virility. Head for the herb section in your supermarket and pick up some of these:
Fenugreek seeds: Saponins which can be found in fenugreek seeds play a role in increasing the production of testosterone. Fenugreek has been found in studies to significantly increase sexual arousal and orgasm.
Curry powder and cumin: Increase blood flow, helping to keep the vaginal tract healthy and increase sensitivity in the genital area.
Nutmeg: Is a popular aphrodisiac, this could be because animal studies have found it helps to increase libido and potency and there are no nasty side effects.
Search for Maca
Not something you might commonly find in your supermarket so you may have to hit the independent health food shops for this. Maca is a libido enhancing root plant native to Peru and said to nourish the endocrine glands, which are responsible for producing and releasing hormones. Powdered maca can be added to hot drinks, so try half a teaspoon a day to gain the libido enhancing effects!
Make shopping your secret weapon. These simple additions can be an easy way to add some va va voom back into your sex life!
- By Jackie Newson
- BSc (Hons) in Nutritional Therapy
Jackie has been writing for a range of health publications since graduating as a nutritional therapist from Westminster University in 2008. In addition to producing health and nutrition workshops, Jackie is also an experienced assessor and enjoys the opportunity to help other students of nutrition to achieve their goals. In her role as an experienced nutritional therapist, Jackie offers individualised advice on a variety of health conditions. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of healthy nutritious food, supported with high quality supplementation to achieve optimal health. Jackie is a great believer in the power of positive thinking and attributes much of her enthusiasm and sense of well-being to the wonderful people in her life, a healthy diet and yoga which she practices regularly.