Libido: How To Boost Yours Naturally
Libido refers to a person’s overall sex drive or their desire for sexual activity. A low libido affects both men and women but it’s more common in women. Men face a steady decline in libido as they age. Aside from ageing, factors such as depression, chronic stress and alcohol use can also lead to a decrease in libido amongst both men and women. Furthermore, menopause, birth control pills and a poor body image can also cause a drop in libido.
It’s also important to mention that erectile dysfunction (ED) doesn’t necessarily equate to a low libido, as men who suffer from erectile dysfunction often have a healthy sex drive. Finding the root of what affects your libido can help you maintain the health of your sex drive, and adopting natural solutions can help in doing so.
1. Natural aphrodisiacs in food sources
These foods include figs, bananas and avocados. Other foods that are commonly seen as aphrodisiacs are dark chocolate and oysters. Although dark chocolate can enhance your mood, studies have revealed that possibility that the effects of chocolate on your sex drive are more psychological. In regards to oysters, they are extremely rich in zinc and this is likely why they are considered aphrodisiacs. Zinc is known to increase sperm production and it also helps in the production of testosterone which can help to strengthen your sex drive.
Zinc can also be found in spinach and seeds.
2. Vitamin C foods
Vitamin C improves blood circulation and this can naturally boost libido. Foods high in vitamin C include guava, oranges, chilli peppers, broccoli and kale.
3. Iron-rich foods
Low levels of iron in the body can result in anaemia. Women who suffer from anaemia find suffer with arousal, lubrication and they also face difficulty in having an orgasm. Food sources of iron include dark leafy greens like kale and grass-fed beef.
4. Collagen-rich foods
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and it helps to keep the skin firm and elastic. However, your body’s production of it decreases with age. According to a study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, the decrease in collagen affects the man’s ability to maintain and the women loses elasticity within her vaginal walls. Citrus foods are a great source of collagen and foods such as nuts, avocadoes and carrots can help to boost production.
Although there are yet to be human studies, animal trials found that extracts of nutmeg and clove enhanced the libido of male animal subjects.
Water is important for overall health and that also includes your sexual health. Dehydration can cause fatigue, vaginal dryness and headaches. These issues can all negatively affect your libido thus it’s vital that you get your daily 8 glasses of water.
Foods to Avoid
While there are some foods that can help boost your libido, there are other foods that can affect your sex drive so it’s best to avoid them.
- Fried foods
Fried foods are usually rich in trans-fats and not only can this lead to cardiovascular health problems- which can lower libido- but such foods can also affect sperm production.
- Factory-farmed meat
Animals that are raised on factory farms produce meat high in added antibiotics and hormones. These hormones can lead to hormonal imbalances within the body, which is why it’s best to only consumed grass-fed meats. Dairy products from these animals also contain the added hormones and antibiotics, thus it’s best to avoid them as well.
- High-sodium foods
High levels of sodium within the body can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn decreases the flow of blood to the sex organs. Processed foods are often loaded with sodium.
A glass of wine may help put you at ease and get you in the mood, but more than one glass can have the opposite effect as over-consumption of alcohol can decrease arousal as well as increase the risk for erectile dysfunction. Aside from focusing on your diet, there are other areas in your life in which you can change in order to give your sex drive a boost.
1. Essential oils
You can use essential oils such as sandalwood, rose and jasmine to help naturally increase your libido as they can help improve overall hormone balance and libido.
Exercise can help you maintain a healthy sex life, as exercises can improve blood flow to the sex organs. It’s also great for your mood and body image.
3. Quit smoking
Aside from destroying the health of your lungs, smoking can lower your libido and reduce your fertility. Furthermore, a group study published in The Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research revealed that participates who smoked had about half as much sex as their non-smoking companions. Click here to find out more about this.
4. Reduce stress levels
High levels can leave you disinterested in sex. Your body also releases the hormone cortisol to help combat the stress and this can affect your libido.
You can combat your stress through meditation and yoga.
5. Communicate with your partner
Communication is important on a relationship and it’s vital that you keep the communication lines open- especially when it comes to sex. Be sure to convey to your partner the issues and emotions you’re dealing with as holding them in might lead to resentment which can affect your relationship dynamic.
In the case that you continue to experience a low libido, (in spite of your best attempts to boost it) be sure to consult your doctor. While no one revels in discussing their sex life with their doctor, it’s important for them to know about your low libido in the case that you have a more serious underlying issue.
Click here to find out about your sexual life stages.