Loss of libido refers to a reduction in normal sex drive and results in lowered sexual performance as well as diminished ability to enjoy sexual activity. Loss of libido affects both men and women and has several causes including low testosterone levels in men, relationship problems, age and menopause, stress and anxiety, certain medications such as contraceptives, alcohol and drugs and many others. (1) As well as reducing sexual performance and the enjoyment of sexual activity, loss of libido can lead to an increase in anxiety and problems in interpersonal relationships. Loss of libido is treatable, but drug based approaches can have mixed results and sometimes can have harmful side effects. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to boost your libido and begin enjoying a healthy sex life again. These include the following: (2) (3)
- Change your diet
If you are not already doing so, consider incorporating healthier and libido boosting foods into your diet. A diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein has been shown to have positive effects on your libido. Specifically, the following foods are full of healthy minerals and vitamins that boost your libido;
- Foods rich in Vitamin C: Foods that are high in Vitamin C such as citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, and red peppers have been shown to increase blood circulation in the body and deliver much-needed blood supply to the sexual organs. Consume them on a daily basis in order to reap maximum benefits.
- Potassium rich foods: Bananas, sweet potatoes, and yams are great sources of potassium which helps to lower blood pressure and can improve sexual performance.
- Foods with high iron content: Grass fed beef and dark green leafy vegetables are great sources of iron. Iron helps to increase lubrication in women which can aid in helping attain orgasms faster.
- Zinc-rich foods: Zinc helps to boost both testosterone and sperm production, in addition to helping you get aroused faster. Great sources of zinc include oysters, spinach, beef and nuts, and seeds.
- Supplement wisely
Several natural supplements have been shown to be highly effective in boosting libido by improving blood flow to the genitals, helping with hormonal balance, increasing sexual desire during menopause and performing many other important tasks. Great libido boosting supplements for men include L-arginine, Maca root, Gingko Biloba and niacin. Supplements that will benefit women include Iron, Ashwagandha, Maca and Panax Ginseng. If you are interested in supplementation to consult with your Naturopathic doctor or Health Consultant at your local health foods store.
- Stress management
Unmanaged stress levels can lead to high levels of cortisol in the body and ultimately result in reduced sex drive. Ensuring to keep your stress levels under control can help to avoid this eventuality. You can manage stress by ensuring you are eating properly, getting adequate amounts of exercise, meditating and practicing mindfulness. If you are interested in learning tools to manage your stress, check out the 8 Ways to Reduce Stress Naturally article.
- Moderate exercise
Getting the right amount of exercise can help to boost your libido by improving blood flow to the genitals and improving overall body confidence. However, overtraining can lower your libido by making you too tired to perform or wrecking havoc on your hormone levels. Great exercises to boost libido include weight training with free weights, and yoga or Pilates.
- Lifestyle changes
Habits such as smoking and overindulging in alcohol have been shown to lower both libido and fertility. Research has found that men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day have a 60% higher chance of developing erectile dysfunction (4) which is a direct contributor to loss of libido. To prevent this, it is recommended that you stop smoking completely. Other lifestyle changes to make in order to boost your libido include: reducing your intake of sugar, getting adequate sleep and limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption.
Loss of libido can greatly affect the quality of your sex life. However, by making a few dietary, exercise, stress management and other lifestyle changes, you can get your sex drive back, and begin to enjoy an exciting sex life once more. If you are looking for a comprehensive Nutrition & Lifestyle Plan in regards to Libido contact me for a customized designed plan.