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Nutrition and sex. Not tonight, I have a headache.

JarmuzGetting your nutrition right can have countless benefits, some of them rather unexpected, and I hear from several clients that their sex lives have been improved. This could be due to increased self-esteem or better energy but I think that nutrition can play a more direct role as well. If you want better sex, then you might want to consider what you eat along with everything else.Our libidos have numerous influences, aside from relationship issues, such as fluctuating levels of hormones, the optimal functioning of the thyroid and the efficiency of neurotransmitters, all of which can be influenced and, to a large extent, improved through improving the diet.

Although hormones were once viewed as female issues, the levels of hormones in both men and women need to be maintained in balance to promote regular and satisfactory sex. Any disruption of these hormones will be likely to affect sex drive, and what we eat can help rebalance levels leaving us more likely to be in the mood. For example, changes in levels of both progesterone and oestrogen will dictate the length of the menstrual cycle and a longer cycle can equal diminished desire.

It is generally acknowledged that many women in the western world have excess levels of oestrogen, known as oestrogen dominance, which will affect the function of progesterone, encouraging weight gain, as well as exacerbating any symptoms of PMT, all of which will in turn affect libido. Oestrogen dominance has many probable causes, mostly xeno-oestrogens ( ‘xeno’ meaning false ) found in some tap water and also in some plastics used to wrap or seal foods.Boosting a flagging libido that is linked to hormones can be achieved by simple step. Including foods known as phyto-oestrogens in the diet, including linseeds, tofu and other soya products, can gently influence oestrogen levels thereby promoting a healthy appetite for sex.

Tofu is widely available, especially in Asian cooking, but if it does not appeal, simply sprinkling some linseeds on a salad will do.In our weight-obsessed times, repeated dieting can have repercussions in the bedroom. The male sex hormone, testosterone, is also present in women, albeit in small quantities, but is required by both sexes for libido. As testosterone is held in the adipose tissue, or in simple terms, in fat stores, it follows that a lifetime of dieting will influence levels, and as such lower sexual desire in skinny women. Many larger women do claim a higher sex drive than their skinny counterparts could this be why many men find voluptuous women enticing?

Low fat diets are obviously low in essential fats such as those found in olive oil, fish, nuts and avocado yet these are utilised in the synthesis of the myelin sheath that covers each nerve in the body, much like insulation on a wire. A deficiency of fats can affect overall nerve transmission, and thus influence the sense of touch and arousal, and so rather than avoid all fats, ensure that it is the essential fats that are part of the daily diet.Frequent dieting also affects the function of the thyroid gland, which controls metabolic rate, and the constant cycle of losing and gaining can suppress thyroid function, and if the thyroid gland is not functioning optimally, then the chances are that you won’t be either.

Poor thyroid function will inevitably lead to fatigue and also low blood pressure, which in turn will inhibit the flow of blood to sex organs in both men and women, thereby reducing the incidence of achieving erections and, for women, lessening the likelihood of reaching an orgasm.The thyroid gland relies upon minerals, especially iodine for optimum function, yet iodine can often be lacking in modern diets, and so including some seaweed or spirulina in the diet or supplementing kelp or, better still, blue green algae can be of benefit. Drinking what amounts to pond life may not sound the most palatable of pastimes, but it is one of the richest sources of minerals known to man and many clients report a noticeable benefit within a short space of time and after a while, the flavour is strangely appealing ( I add algae to my daily smoothie, which should bode well for my thyroid and other organs!).

Lets not overlook stress and how it affects us. Stress will also affect testosterone levels in both sexes. Long-term stress will lead to a rise in a stress hormone known as cortisol, increased levels of which will effectively suppress testosterone. Reducing stress in ones life may not sound especially easy, but ensuring that the adrenal glands are well supplied with the nutrients required to manage the physiological reaction to stress more efficiently is more certainly more achievable. If the adrenal glands are well supplied with nutrients, then they are more likely to release adrenaline at the optimum amount, rather than flooding the body, thus allowing us to distress quickly, returning the body to a calmer state. This can be done by including foods rich in magnesium found in green leafy vegetables, fresh nuts and seeds; vitamin C which is richest in sweet potato, kiwi and peppers, and vitamin B5, found in brown rice, wholegrains and chicken.

Nutrition Keeping blood flow to genital areas is of great importance for both sexes yet as we age the internal circumference of our veins and capillaries can diminish which increases blood pressure but not quantity. Antioxidants such as those found in abundance in fresh fruit and vegetables will help reduce age and diet related damage, yet the current fad for high protein and fat diets are almost totally devoid of fresh produce and, as such, are notoriously low in vital antioxidants. With such diets being popularised by desperately thin celebrities, it is likely that more women will be tempted to follow such diets, yet the repercussions in the bedroom cannot yet be evaluated. Being thinner might help boost self-esteem, and make the journey into the bedroom easier, but once there, the appetite for sex could be diminished.

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