How Going Apple-Shaped Will Devastate Your Sex Life and Other Stuff Your Doc Should Tell You.
Ever thought that what you eat influences your sex life in ways you’ve never dreamed? And we’re not talking about the so-called aphrodisiac foods like oysters, but rather the pie-and-mash you choose to eat every day.
Changing what you serve up to yourself daily can bring your sexual health as well as general physical health back to tip top condition.
And that’s especially true if you are one of those men or women who’ve grown apple-shaped as you left your twenties and thirties behind.
Dangers of Going Apple-Shaped
If you are:
- Carrying a bit too much weight around your middle
- Feel like you should be taking more notice of your cholesterol levels
- Find yourself snacking on sweet stuff to give yourself energy just a bit too often
Then the sad reality is you’re a candidate for sexual problems as well as indifferent physical health (1) because these symptoms are all linked to a pre-diabetic condition called metabolic syndrome – and that in turn is a strong precursor for low libido and poor erectile function.
Metabolic Syndrome and Sexual Dysfunction
A mountain of research over the last decade has convincingly shown close links between erectile dysfunction and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome shows up as a cluster of health problems which seem just about inevitable to many men in midlife, characterised by:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- insulin resistance
- being overweight
. . . all the things that result from eating and drinking the wrong things and not getting enough exercise.
And they are also all the same things that are a strong indicator of erection problems.
Metabolic Syndrome Leads To ED & Fewer Orgasms
Packing on extra weight around the middle, and a stressed circulatory system, are the key symptoms of metabolic syndrome that also give strong indications of a future risk of:
- heart problems
- and failing bedroom performance
The sad truth is, metabolic syndrome in men older than 50 years is significantly associated with a higher proportion of moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. (2)
And we’re not just talking about men, although a lot more research has been done on the impact of metabolic syndrome on erectile dysfunction than on women’s libido.
Studies show women with metabolic syndrome are also likely to experience low libido, low energy, experience fewer orgasms and show a general lack of interest in being sexually active. (3)
Nutrient Rich Foods to Reverse Sexual Dysfunction (and Metabolic Syndrome)
That’s the bad news. The good news is research also shows metabolic syndrome is reversible by reducing weight and controlling blood sugar. (4)
A University of California study shows factors leading to metabolic syndrome and erectile dysfunction can be reversed solely through diet and moderate exercise in just three weeks. (5)
The men in the study went on a high-fiber, low-fat diet with no limit to the number of calories they could consume, and also did 45-60 minutes of daily aerobic exercise on a treadmill.
That’s switching a lot of high fat, high carb, nutrient-poor food for nutrient dense tucker, and in three weeks they saw results, despite the fact that although the men lost two to three pounds a week they were still classed as overweight at the end of the three weeks.
No 1 Top Food to Beat Sexual Dysfunction (and Metabolic Syndrome)
High Fiber Anything – But Particularly Kale
Nutrient dense, high fiber foods are great to reverse metabolic syndrome and improve your sex life.
Fruits, vegetables, beans, brown rice and whole grain pastas will all do wonders in improving your blood sugar levels and helping you feel full for longer so you don’t need to go for a sugar hit to artificially boost energy levels.
But if you had to pick one of the leaders, Authority Nutrition would choose Kale, as
one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you can eat, with large amounts of vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting compounds and a good dose of fiber as well.
Kale Is King
“Of all the super healthy leafy greens, kale is the king. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and various bioactive compounds,” note Authority Nutrition.
According to another authoritative site collating nutrition data, a 100 gram portion of kale contains:
- 200% of the RDA for Vitamin C.
- 300% of the RDA for Vitamin A (from beta-carotene).
- 1000% of the RDA for Vitamin K1.
- Large amounts of Vitamin B6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.
This is coming with 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and only 50 calories. Kale may be even healthier than spinach. Both are super nutritious, but kale is lower in oxalates, which are substances that can bind minerals like calcium in the intestine, preventing them from being absorbed.
Kale (and other greens) are also loaded with various bioactive compounds, including Isothiocyanates and Indole-3-Carbinol, which have been shown to fight cancer in test tubes and animal studies (6, 7.)
Fiber ‘As Effective as Diabetes Medication’
If you need further convincing,a study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that people who increased their fiber intake from 24 to 50 g daily had dramatic improvements in blood sugar levels. In fact, the high-fiber diet was as effective as some diabetes medications. (8)
Rather than try to figure out exactly how much fiber is in different foods, focus on trying to get a total of 13 daily servings of a mixture of fruits, vegetables, beans, brown rice, and whole grain pastas, cereals, and breads.
For additional inspiration check out 12 Power Foods for Controlling Blood Sugar
How Bad Cholesterol Affects Your Sex Life
Four of the five components that lead to metabolic syndrome also cause erectile dysfunction according to research published in the Diabetes Care the journal published by the American Diabetes Association (1)
Those factors include blood fat disorders such as:
- high levels of triglycerides (fat in the blood)
- or low levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol).
Seventeen epidemiological studies have shown that elevated serum cholesterol and reduced high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). (9)
No 2 Top Food to Beat Sexual Dysfunction (and Metabolic Syndrome)
Cholesterol lowering foods will work wonders in getting you back on track physically and sexually, and one of the best for that is cold water fish like salmon and sardines, high in omega-3 fatty acids.
The “good fat” in cold-water fish can help lower artery-clogging LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Although salmon is mainly prized for its beneficial composition of fatty acids, it also packs a massive amount of other nutrients.
Says Authority Nutrition:
“It is a good idea to eat fatty fish at least once or twice a week, to get all the Omega-3s that your body (and brain) desperately need. It also tends to make you feel full with relatively few calories.”
“A 100 gram piece of wild salmon contains 2.8 grams of Omega-3s, along with lots of high quality animal protein and a ton of vitamins and minerals… including large amounts of Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium and all the B-vitamins.
Says Authority Nutrition:
“Small, oily fish like sardines are usually eaten whole, which includes the organs, bones, brains and other nutritious parts. They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient we need. So sardines are pretty close to being perfect from a nutritional standpoint.
“Like other fatty fish, they’re also very high in heart-healthy Omega-3s.”
How To Tell If You Are in Danger from Metabolic Syndrome
The five risk factors that define the metabolic syndrome are the products of some combination of aging, genetic predisposition, poor diet, and physical inactivity.
To be at risk from metabolic syndrome – which is wide spread though not commonly known – you need to have three of the five – and if you do have three of the five you are more than likely to develop all five soon. The condition that is central and connects all the others is insulin resistance.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factor No 1
Weight around the middle– Also called abdominal obesity or central obesity, this is excessive fat around the midsection, which is the worst place to have it, in terms of the risk it poses to your health. The most obvious measure of it is your waist size. For men, the MS threshold value is 40 in. (102 cm), and for women, it’s 35 in. (89 cm). Lower is better.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factor No 2
Insulin resistance – This condition is manifested as an elevated plasma glucose (blood sugar) level after fasting for at least 8 hours, a period that gives your gastrointestinal tract ample time to digest all the food from your last meal and deliver the resulting glucose to your bloodstream. For both sexes, the MS threshold value for glucose is 110 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Lower is better.
Metabolic Syndrome Rick Factor 3
High triglycerides – These are fats, which typically consist of three long-chain organic acids attached to one glycerol molecule. For both sexes, the MS threshold value for triglycerides is 150 mg/dL. Lower is better.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factor No 4
Low HDL-cholesterol – This is the “good cholesterol,” the kind you want more of, not less. For men, the MS threshold value for HDL-cholesterol is 40 mg/dL, and for women, it’s 50 mg/dL. Higher is better.
Metabolic Syndrome Risk Factor No 5
Hypertension – This is high blood pressure, a major factor in CVD. For both sexes, the MS threshold value for systolic pressure is 130 mmHg,
No 3 Top Food to Beat Insulin Resistance (and Spark Up Your Sex Life)
Cinnamon for Insulin Resistance
To stabilise blood sugar levels, add about two to four teaspoons a day of cinnamon to your diet by sprinkling it on low carb toast, adding it to coffee, or using it as a topping on yoghurt, cottage cheese or ricotta.
Would you believe that a mere teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 mg of calcium, almost one mg of iron, over a gram of fiber, and quite a lot of vitamins C, K, and manganese? It’s true. It also contains about half a gram of “usable” (non-fiber) carbohydrate.
Two good hints for adding cinnamon to your diet from Prevention magazine;
- Sprinkle it in coffee or tea: Research shows that hot-water extraction (the process that occurs when you brew coffee or make cinnamon tea) is one of the best ways to get the good stuff out of the spice.
- Dust 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon on apple slices and place in a container for an after-lunch treat; the spice prevents fruit from browning.
Why Cinnamon is Good For Metabolic Syndrome
According to Dr Joseph Mercola there are five known ways cinnamon can be helpful to your metabolism:
1. Cinnamon can increase your glucose metabolism about 20-fold, which significantly improves blood sugar regulation.
2. Cinnamon has been found to have “insulin-like effects” due to a bioactive compound, qualifying it as a candidate for an insulin substitute.
3. Cinnamon slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin.
4. Cinnamon enhances your antioxidant defenses. A study published in 2009 stated, “Polyphenols from cinnamon could be of special interest in people who are overweight with impaired fasting glucose since they might act as both insulin sensitizers and antioxidants.” (14)
5. A bioflavonoid found in cinnamon called proanthocyanidin may alter the insulin-signaling activity in your fat cells.
Research done byDr. Richard A. Anderson and others has found that cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) is beneficial in alleviating the signs and symptoms of diabetes, by potentiating (increasing the effectiveness of) insulin. (15)
Dr Anderson and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, MD have shown in laboratory experiments that aqueous extracts of cinnamon powder can potentiate insulin activity more than 20-fold!
Anderson summarized the studies—laboratory, animal, and human—on the benefits of aqueous cinnamon extract in counteracting the effects of insulin resistance, noting that patients with the poorest glycemic control appear to benefit the most.
No 4 Top Food To Beat Sexual Dysfunction (and Metabolic Syndrome)
The sea has more than just fish… it also contains massive amounts of vegetation.
In many cases, seaweed is even more nutritious than vegetables from the land. It is particularly high in minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Manganese. It is also loaded with various bioactive compounds, including phycocyanins and carotenoids. Some of these substances are antioxidants with powerful anti-inflammatory activity.
Even more important to older adults however, is that it is high in iodine, a mineral that is used to make thyroid hormones. As the human body ages the thyroid function tends to slow down and many people benefit from giving their thyroid better support in later life. Low levels of thyroid activity can result in
- low energy levels
- weight gain and
- low sex drive, erectile dysfunction and delayed ejaculation
In a study released in the December 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, (17) researchers reported on the connection between specific sexual problems in men with thyroid conditions.
- 64 per cent complained of low sex drive, delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction
- 71 per cent complained of premature ejaculation
Just eating a high-iodine seaweed like kelp a few times per month can give your body all the iodine that it needs.
And even better very new research at the University of Newcastle (UK) has found kelp may have fat-busting qualities as well.
Alginate, a natural fibre found in sea kelp and one of the world’s largest commercially-used seaweeds, could reduce the amount of fat available for absorption by the body by around 75 per cent.
If you don’t like the thought of eating seaweed, then you can also get it as a supplement. A native New Zealand Giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera is one of the highest concentrated sources of iodine and also contains levels of HGH because it is also the fastest growing plant in the world.
Available as Valere kelp pepper occasional sprinklings over salad or soup will give you all the iodine your system requires.
No 5 Top Food for Sexual Health – and Metabolic Syndrome
Dark Chocolate (Cocoa)
According to Authority Nutrition, dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. According to Nutrition Data, It is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
But the biggest factor is its amazing range of antioxidants. In fact, a study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate scored higher than any other food they tested, which included blueberries and acai berries (18).
There are multiple studies in humans showing that dark chocolate has powerful health benefits… including improved blood flow, a lower blood pressure, reduced oxidized LDL and improved brain function (19, 20, 21).
One study found that people who consumed chocolate 5+ times per week had a 57% lower risk of heart disease (22). Given that heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world, this finding could have implications for millions of people.
Make sure to get dark chocolate with a 70% cocoa content, at least. The best ones contain 85% cocoa or higher. Eating a small square of quality dark chocolate every day may be one of the best ways to “supplement” your diet with additional antioxidants.
Read more about the 11 most powerful nutrient rich foods at : http://authoritynutrition.com/11-most-nutrient-dense-foods-on-the-planet/#ixzz2v8CSXeQM
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21. Blood Pressure and Aging
Benefits in Cognitive Function, Blood Pressure, and Insulin Resistance Through Cocoa Flavanol Consumption in Elderly Subjects With Mild Cognitive Impairment
The Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study, Giovambattista Desideri, Catherine Kwik-Uribe, Davide Grassi, Stefano Necozione, Lorenzo Ghiadoni, Daniela Mastroiacovo, Angelo Raffaele, Livia Ferri, Raffaella Bocale, Maria Carmela Lechiara, Carmine Marini, Claudio Ferri 2012; 60: 794-801Published online before print August 14, 2012,doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.193060 http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/60/3/794.short
22. Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with prevalent coronary heart disease: the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study, Djoussé L, Hopkins PN, North KE, Pankow JS, Arnett DK, Ellison RC. Clinical Nutrition. 2011 Apr;30(2):182-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.08.005. Epub 2010 Sep 19.