If you were to need any further encouragement to love on yourself right now, here it is: studies show that sex and self-pleasure are an essential part of optimum health. Self pleasure and pleasure with your partner not only help to lower the stress hormone cortisol and raise levels of oxytocin (our “feel good” hormone), but it also lowers blood pressure. And hey – did you know that it can boost your immune system. No joke. Science backs this, sex boosts your body’s ability to make protective antibodies against bacteria, viruses, and other germs that cause common illnesses.I hope you are reading the Dr. Fauci.
If the pandemic and lockdown fatigue (read my last story on why you are tired all the time) have left you feeling less than raring to go, and the possibility of an orgasm feels as likely as you getting your vaccine anytime soon, then consider adding in some (or all) or the following foods into your diet.
1. Maca Powder
The adaptogen maca has been used for centuries to boost energy and libido due to its high iodine and zinc levels. This herb is native to Peru and used in Incan culture for medicinal uses. This wonder root has been clinically proven to improve women’s sexual experience and satisfaction. Try adding ½ a teaspoon to your breakfast smoothie or latte in the mornings. Pro tip: the sexual wellness brand, Sex and Good, makes an ‘omg’ formula that blends Maca, Horny Goat Weed, and other libido enhancing herbs.
Oysters are typically the food we think of when boosting libido, but in fact, all shellfish are a great option due to their high levels of zinc. Zinc is an essential co-factor in the production of testosterone (women, we make testosterone too), but our modern-day diets are woefully low in this much-needed mineral. Plant based eaters can choose to increase their zinc intake through pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.
3. Dark Chocolate
Cacao contains phenylethylamine, a compound that triggers the release of our feel good neurotransmitters and endorphins that are these are also released during sex. The more often we trigger this release, the more we crave the behaviors that trigger them, i.e. the more chocolate we eat, the more sex we want…
4. Grass-Fed Steak
Red meat is a key source of iron, which is essential for energy production. Low iron levels can contribute to lethargy, poor mood and lack of sex drive. It’s also high in B vitamins, which are used as essential co-factors throughout all processes of energy production in the body (healthy B vitamin levels = healthy sex life).
My plant-based eaters can up their intake of nuts, seeds, quinoa, and gluten-free whole grains, and for those feeling low in energy, I recommend a daily methylated B vitamin complex.
Watermelon contains a nutrient called citrulline, which is converted to the amino acid arginine in the body. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which in turn boosts blood flow and circulation around the body. In order to feel stimulated both men and women need healthy blood flow to their sex organs. Other great options include beets and pomegranates.
Collagen is the key protein involved in keeping our skin and connective tissues supple, structured and elastic. And as this collagen packed extracellular matrix is present throughout our whole body, the same strategies that keep our face lifted and youthful work in the same for the walls of our vagina and anus. 10g of dietary collagen a day can have you seeing (and feeling) results in 4-6 weeks.
7. Sea Buckthorn
Sea Buckthorn Oil (harvested from the orange, berry like fruit found on Sea Buckthorn shrubs) has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its hydrating and anti-aging properties, and now it has been clinically proven to increase vaginal lubrication in postmenopausal women. One study showed best results with 3g of Sea Buckthorn Oil taken daily for 3 months. Sex and Good, makes a foundational omega gummy that blends good oils and DHA to help with lubrication and hormone balance in women.
Photo credit: This famous orgasm scene became bigger than the movie itself. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally.” This 1989 American romantic comedy film was written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner.