Best Foods To Fire Up Your Sex Life
It’s the most common problem facing couples as they grow older – the dampening of the fires of passion in their relationship even if warm loving affection between them remains.
And as Dr Genie James outlines in her book In The Mood Again – Use the Power of Healthy Hormones to Reboot Your Sex Life At any Age a combination of diet, supplements and exercise can get your hormones re-balanced and your fading libido and sexual stamina on fire again.
Her three-part-plan to getting your mojo back offers detailed advice on just how to naturally re-ignite your relationship and get back the drive you once had for one another.
Much of the low libido – and increasing weight scenario that hits many of us in our 30s is due to hormonal changes which start for most people in their early 30s. Hormonal imbalances – estrogen dominance and limited testosterone – for both men and women have the unhappy result of making weight loss much harder and dampening down desire and response.
Three Step Plan for Rebooting Your Libido
Genie James says the three steps she and her husband, Dr C W Randolph, have developed to help people back to “getting in the mood” at any age will also help you lose weight, because many of the remedies for lifting your libido will also have the side effect of helping with weight loss.
Says Dr James: Diet lays the foundation, natural supplements put up the walls and roof, and lifestyle choices (mainly exercise recommendations) turns on the electricity and puts the sheets on the bed.
“Fully embrace all three steps and we guarantee you will say a permanent goodbye to fading libido, flagging energy and flabby body and a happy hello to a hormone sexy life.”
So we’ll dive straight in to Part One – Foods to help you get in the mood again.
Seven Food Categories to Fuel Your Sexual Fire
A trip to the grocery store is your first step forward to a better sex life, says Dr James
- Foods to promote estrogen balance
One big cause of low libido is estrogen dominance and foods that contain phytoestrogens are a great answer.
Phytoestrogens will temporarily bind estrogen receptors if you have too much estrogen, reducing estrogen activity at the cellular level (where it can cause both unhealthy cell division and fat accumulation) See Belly Fat Blasting Foods
Phytoestrogens include soy-derived foods of all kinds – soy milk, tempeh, roasted soybeans, miso and edamame. Dr James says phytoestrogens are cancer fighting foods which reduce the risk of breast and other cancer. But I know there are cancer specialists who warn women who have had breast cancer to avoid soy.
If this affects you, then another excellent phytoestrogenic food group are the lignans including:
- seeds like flaxseed oil, flax, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy,
- whole grains (rye, oats and barley)
- bran (wheat, rye) fruits (particularly berries)
- and some vegetables
Flaxseed is by far the richest dietary source of plant lignans.
- Foods to promote healthy estrogen metabolism & elimination
These foods will also impact on how your body metabolises and eliminates estrogen
- Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, parsley root, radishes, turnips, collards and mustard greens.
These types of vegetables help decrease the body’s load of unhealthy estrogens – as well as reducing the risk of breast cancer. Just note don’t eat too many servings of these vegetables raw, Lightly steam or stir fry and too much raw cruciferous vegetable can upset thyroid balance.
- Citrus fruit
Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines. lemons, limes and tangelos all have a special oil which detoxifies estrogen.
- Foods that contain Insoluble fiber
Binds estrogen in the digestive tract and it is later eliminated through the bowel.
Sources of insoluble fibre include whole grains, whole wheat breads, barley, couscous, brown rice, whole grain breakfast cereals, wheat bran, seeds, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery and tomatoes.
- Foods that boost testosterone
Testosterone is the hormone most known for its sex-stimulating capacity. If you are a man over 40, sexual interest and stamina declines in step with testosterone levels. Women also know that ebbing testosterone can zap their desire. And women who have a partial or total hysterectomy stop producing testosterone.
Note that excessive sugar eats up the body’s zinc supplies.
Foods that boost testosterone include foods high in zinc, essential fatty acids, and vitamin A
Liver is one great source of zinc. Inadequate levels of zinc prevent the pituitary gland from releasing luteinzing and follicle stimulating hormones (LH and FSH) which promote testosterone production. Zinc also inhibits an enzyme which converts testosterone into excess estrogen.
For men zinc is essential for semen volume and helps keep the prostate gland healthy.
Food sources for zinc include oysters and other molluscs, beef, liver, poultry, shrimp and crabs, nuts and seeds, whole grains, tofu, peanuts and peanut butter lentils, yoghurt and milk.
- Essential fatty acids (EFA) – (Omega-3 and 6)
Studies have shown dietary fat has a direct relationship with testosterone production. EFAs are the right kind of fats to help testosterone production.
EFAs also help your nervous system function better to improve libido, sexual stamina and orgasm potential.
EFA food sources include:
Flaxseed oil, flaxseeds meal, hempseed oil, hempseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, extra virgin or virgin olive oil, avocadoes, almonds, peanuts, sesame oil, pecans, pistachio nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, dark leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, purslane, mustard greens and collard (silver beet) canola, soybean and wheat germ oils (cold pressed and unrefined) and oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies albacore tuna.)
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is necessary for the utilisation of protein and the production of testosterone. Rats with Vit A deficiency were 40 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer.
Best food sources for Vitamin A are liver, egg yolks, full-fat milk and cod liver oil.
If It’s Good For Your Heart, It’s Good For Your Sex Life
Dr James suggests you can restore the sizzle to your sex life by also ensuring you are taking care of your heart. That’s because sexual response – in both men and women – depends on good blood circulation in the genital area. For men, its helps with better erections, and it helps women achieve orgasm.
Poor circulation not only causes cold hands and feet; it decreases sensual sensation and pleasure.
To help get the blood back into the nether regions, four circulation stimulating food groups are recommended.
- Foods rich in L-arginine to improve vaginal response and penile performance
L-arginine is the amino acid the body uses to create nitric oxide. And nitric oxide plays a key role in When you are sexually aroused, your body releases nitric oxide, which pumps up the genitals – whether penis or clitoris – with blood, making them more sensitive and responsive.
With lower nitric oxide levels, sexual response is weak.
L-arginine rick foods include: Nuts and seeds (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, flax seeds and sunflower seeds) granola, oatmeal, canned tuna, salmon, cod, halibut, shrimp, poultry, dried beans, chickpeas, garlic, eggs, green vegetables and dark chocolate.
- Anti-oxidant loaded vegetables, fruits and teas & wine, coffee and chocolate in moderation
Oxidants – or free radicals – are molecules within your body that have been damaged by age, stress and environmental toxins so they are short of an electron. If left to develop unstopped they can damage other cells and increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, skin damage, wrinkles and accelerated sexual aging.
Anti-oxidant rich foods like citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, beets, bell peppers, berries and red grapes stop the damage by returning the cell’s missing electron.
One cup of caffeinated coffee or tea (black) one glass of red wine, or one small cube of dark chocolate can also improve blood flow and inhibit the formation of plaque in the arteries.
- Foods to promote healthy fats and good cholesterol
- Insoluble Fibre
Foods high in insoluble fibre bind “bad” cholesterol in the gut, preventing its absorption into the body, preventing it from clogging your arteries and decreasing sexual libido and sexual performance.
Foods high in insoluble fiber include beans, apples,, pears, barley and prunes.
Omega 3 fatty acids, especially those found in cold water fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and olive oi8l help reduce blood viscosity and clean out the cholesterol and fat deposits.
- Cayenne, ginger and garlic to turn up the heat
Few foods get the body pumping faster than cayenne or red peppers. Ginger improves circulatin and garlic has been shown to prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries.
Use all three to spice up your meals. Maybe go one step further and add a dash of cayenne to breakfast smoothies or take it with lemon juice and hot water first thing in the morning.
- Drink More Clean Water
Drinking eight or more glasses of pure water a day with help with hormonal balance. (We recommend aiming for three liters – See our Water For Weight Loss)
Having adequate water enables your liver and kidneys to work efficiently. Dehydration can also lead to mineral imbalance. Be leery of water packaged in “xenoestrogen leeching plastic bottles.”
Dr Genie James’ Simple Checklist for Sexy Eating
Eat 3 meals a day
4 to 5 times a week, eat oily fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines)
4 to 5 times a week eat phyto-estrogen rich sources of protein including soy or plant lignans (flax seed, sesame, broccoli, kale)
Once a week eat liver
Eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables and fruit daily
Have one serving of soluble fiber (oatmeal, oat bran, kidney beans, appleas, pears, barley and prunes) daily
Have two servings of insoluble fiber (whole grains, seeds, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, celery and tomatoes) every day.
Have 2 servings a day of calcium rich foods (yoghurt, collards, spinach, cottage cheese, canned salmon, and black-eyed peas.)
Cook and season with virgin or extra virgin olive oil
Use flaxseeds and flaxseed oil liberally as a seasoning for vegetables and salads, as well as in yoghurt, cottage cheese and smoothies.
Eat healthy snacks between meals – 2 -3 ounces of raw or lightly roasted nuts or seeds, a piece of fresh fruit, one or two dark pieces of chocolate 2 to 3 times a week
Drink water, water, water. Limit yourself to one coffee a day, preferably decaff. Drink green tea.
Part 2: Beware of Foods That Act As Sexual Vampires