There’s no ifs or buts about it: poor food and lifestyle choices can diminish your libido and reduce the quality of your performance in the bedroom.
What you put in your body plays a direct role in how your body regulates and produces hormones. And, while anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, and your physical activity levels all influence your libido, it’s what you put on your plate that ultimately defines your performance levels.
Do you feel as though you’re losing a step in the bedroom lately? Here are 5 potential reasons why your dietary habits might have something to do about it.
Higher inflammation risk
Men and women who wish to keep a healthy sex drive, particularly as they age, need to maintain sufficient amounts of hormones related to sexual function. This is especially true for testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
While staying mentally and physically fit are critical factors that determine optimal sexual performance, inflammation is its kryptonite, negatively affecting circulatory and sexual health. Inflammation is, after all, the root cause of many illnesses, including sexual dysfunction.
The good news is that you can you can drastically diminish inflammation and its symptoms by refraining from consuming foods that promote it. These include substances in foods such as corn oil, refined sugars and carbohydrates, trans fats and pasteurized dairy products, which are known to set off inflammation.
As you reduce your reliance on such foods, working towards replacing them with healthier options, it’s just as vital to increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, tuna, green leafy vegetables, turmeric, and walnuts, for instance.
Diminished testosterone levels
Maintaining optimal sexual health has 90% to do with managing your testosterone levels mainly because of the role it plays in a man’s sex life.
Moreover, testosterone also plays a key role in boosting your metabolism and helping us feel energetic and confident. That’s why low testosterone levels have been linked with diminishing muscle mass, frequent bouts of fatigue, decreased mood, and reduced reactions to sexual stimuli.
The same can be said about testosterone’s effect on women – women also produce up to 300 mcg of testosterone from their ovaries and endocrine system daily.
Want to boost your T levels the natural way? Bolster your diet with foods rich in selenium such as wild-caught sardines, tuna, or halibut, as well as an assortment of nuts. Selenium regulates stress and testosterone levels.
Zinc is yet another nutrient you’ll want to get more of because of its role in supporting sufficient energy levels and drive testosterone production. Excellent zinc sources include red meat and poultry, or sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Problems getting and keeping erections
Now, maybe it’s not your libido causing the problem. Maybe you just want to up your performance levels between the sheets. Maybe your partner asked you to increase the heat. Well, erectile dysfunction is generally a circulation problem, apart from the aforementioned flagging T levels and inflammation. The good news is that even if you run into such problems in the plumbing department, over 70% of ED cases can be managed by making simple yet impactful lifestyle changes.
One of the molecules that regulates blood pressure also enhances erectile and brain function: nitric oxide. More nitric oxide means better function, so load up on foods that contain ample amounts of this substance such as your green leafy veggies and dark chocolate.
You’ll need to reduce or entirely cut out your consumption of the following foods just as much for better effect:
- Refined vegetable oils. Oils sourced canola, soybean, or corn promote inflammation, which could in turn exacerbate underlying impotence. These refined vegetable oils and their ilk are found in a vast array of processed foods. Be sure to check what’s on the label and opt for food to be prepared in olive oil or butter rather than refined vegetable oils.
- Sodium-rich foods. Foods heavy on the sodium may lead to erectile dysfunction. This should give you all the more incentive to prepare your own food. Avoid the processed foods, meats, and fast foods and replace them with potassium-rich foods to reduce the effects of sodium and its negative effects.
Lower energy levels
When you’re tired all the time, or feel like you’re running on fumes, a good performance might be the last thing on your mind. And wouldn’t you know – diminished energy levels are a signal of low testosterone. That’s makes it imperative to sort out your diet. Foods that can sap your energy levels include:
- High-sugar foods. Sugar-laden foods affect blood sugar, leading to spikes of energy that ultimately lead to a quick decline and then continuing lethargy.
- Excessive caffeine consumption. Excessive caffeine consumption for some individuals can lead to sleepless nights, lack of sleep, and increased stress, which all affect performance. Consume no more than two cups of coffee and refrain from any further consumption past noon. The later you consume caffeine, the likelier it is you’ll find it hard to sleep.
- Reduce alcohol intake. A bottle or two can get you in the mood to get hot and nasty, but overconsumption of alcohol can lead to inflammation, lack of sleep, and weight gain.
Excess weight gain
Excess weight isn’t good for your cardiovascular health nor your energy levels. It’s also bad for your confidence, which makes it difficult to get in the zone. Reduce weight gain by incorporating more of the following:
- Fiber-rich foods. Loading up on natural fiber sources ensures regular bowel movements, meaning you’re not lugging around extra waste. Fiber also improves absorption, apart from helping you feel more satisfied and being good for your heart. Those are all positives for your hormone production and cardiovascular health.
More fresh produce. The fresher the produce you eat, the better it is, because they all provide ample amounts of antioxidants and vitamins that are linked to anti-inflammatory action.