Support sexual function and wellbeing (Male)
Supporting sexual function and wellbeing involves a complex myriad of many different body systems coming together, and perhaps most importantly driven by the mind-body link. A healthy sex drive, including the ability to sustain an erection and the ability to ejaculate, is a strong sign of overall health, just like a regular monthly cycle is a sign of overall female health.
Sex hormone function is driven by sex hormones, which for both men and women are physiologically at the bottom of the hormone pecking order. What this means is that the adrenal hormones, responsible for our stress response, and thyroid hormones, which support weight gain and metabolism, will always take precedent over our sex hormones. When stress levels are high, sexual hormonal health can suffer. This is why any loss of libido should be looked at holistically to see where improvements can be made by changes in nutrition, lifestyle or stress management.
Another key body system involved in sexual function is the circulatory system. Both male and female sexual reproductive organs are made up of tiny delicate blood vessels, which are reliant on good vascular health. Ways of improving vascular health include quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, reducing processed foods, limiting salt intake, maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise.
If you suffer from sexual dysfunction or an especially low libido, you may want to consider increasing your consumption of specific foods that have been shown to bolster the hormonal and vascular systems associated with sexual function and drive.
Healthy fats such as those found in avocado, wild salmon, mackerel, trout, herrings and nuts and seeds support vascular health and improve circulation. They help to increase blood flow to the brain, supporting feelings of well-being and relaxation. The more relaxed you are feeling, the more likely you are to easily get in the mood for love making. Spanish priests reportedly forbade the Aztecs from eating avocado due to the natives’ use of the fruit as a libido booster. Modern science has shown that the potassium and folic acid found in avocados supports stamina and energy – so maybe the Aztecs were on to something!
Reduce your sugar intake and switch to dark chocolate for a sweet hit. Sugar is inflammatory and is often at the root cause of many metabolic and hormonal imbalances, which could be further impacting your libido. Dark chocolate has been shown to increase the brain’s feel good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine to help get you in the mood.
Consider tomatoes for their powerful antioxidant abilities. Tomatoes contain Lycopene, one of the most powerful antioxidants, knows to relax blood vessels and improve circulation. Choose fresh over tinned, and organic if possible.
If you have addressed nutrition, lifestyle and stress but are still having problems with sexual function, making sure you are communicating effectively with your partner is a natural next step, or perhaps should be the first! The secret of keeping your sex life fresh, even in a long-term relationship is communication. With the busy lives we are all leading, making time in the bedroom may seem like the least of your priorities, but making space and time for each other sexually, even if you have young children and work long hours, should not be put to the side for too long if you want to maintain a healthy sex life. This doesn’t need to involve elaborate gestures, but simply running a bath for your partner, or giving them a massage signals that you are in tune with their physical needs and are willing to meet them.