Sexual dysfunction and decreased libido plagues many people in America. This piece was written by Paula Simpson, a celebrity nutritionist and formulation expert, discusses some of the natural remedies for decreased libido in men and women.
While statistics show that sexual dysfunction or decreased libido is common in both men and women, it is a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss. Certain illness, fatigue, lack of certain hormones or psychological conditions such as depression and excess stress can dampen sexual interest. Also, commonly overlooked factors include insomnia or lack of sleep, which lead to fatigue. Fortunately, in most cases, it is treatable with certain lifestyle modifications.
Nutirition is one place to start.
Many health experts propose that by increasing the intake of certain foods, one can improve libido and desire in both men and women. On top of diet, many are looking to natural remedies through unique supplement formulations to boost their sexual desire. Most recently, Penthouse jumped on this bandwagon and recently launched their liquid “Libido Shots” for men and women. The company purports their formulations contain ingredients such as B vitamins, amino acids, caffeine and herbal extracts that are “specifically designed to encourage pleasurable response when taken 20 minutes before physical activity.”
With Penthouse, there are many different libido supplements in the market. And although they are considered “natural remedies,” many contain ingredients that may be dangerous to health, such as caffeine, especially for those with cardiovascular conditions. Before considering a supplement, be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner to ensure there are no contraindications with either medications or health conditions.
According to Marenna Lindberg, author of the book, The Orgasmic Diet, there factors that can influence healthy sexual functioning in women include: a diet high in protein, low in simple sugars and void of caffeine; moderate fats; fish oil supplementation; dark chocolate; and exercises such as Kegels. The author believes this will help to stimulate female libido by providing:
1) Sufficient free testosterone
2) Balance dopamine-serotonin levels
3) Promote healthy genital circulation and improve muscle tone
A healthy lifestyle and good nutrition are key components to maintaining a strong reproductive system. Below are some top aphrodisiac foods for men and women if you are looking to spice up your libido!
Chillies & Ginger: Help to stimulate circulation. Both have been used traditionally in Asian medicine to stimulate energy flow (chi) in the body. Because of their potency, a small amount is all that is needed to add to dishes!
Oysters: They are extremely rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, and iron – common vitamins and minerals. When males are deficient in the trace mineral zinc, sperm quality is negatively affected1 and levels of testosterone decrease, resulting in lowered sexual capacity and drive. Oysters also contain dopamine, a hormone that encourages sexual satisfaction.
Nuts: In general, nuts are very high in the amino acid, arginine, which is a precursor of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide allows for our blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow throughout our body (including blood flow to genitial area).
Watermelons: Watermelons are a rich source of citrulline, an amino acid that can be made into arginine, which then gets converted to nitric oxide. Remember to eat the rind, since this is where most of the citrulline is found.
Asparagus: Asparagus is a great source of iron, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin E. In particular, vitamin E is involved in stimulating the production of sex hormones, which then prompts an increase in sex drive for both men and women.
Chocolate: Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which helps to release dopamine, which in turn stimulates the production of the “cuddle hormone,” known as oxytocin. Indulge in dark chocolate 75 percent or higher, as it contains more antioxidant potency and less sugar.
Avocados: An excellent source of vitamin B6 to increase male hormone production, and potassium to regulate a woman’s thyroid gland, avocados play a role in boosting libido for both sexes.
Nutmeg: Used traditionally to boost libido, sprinkle some on your cappuccino!
Celery: Raw celery boosts production of androsterone, an odorless hormone released through male perspiration. Androsterone acts as a pheromone.
Another expert’s views: What does a doctor think about low libido? We asked Dr. Sara NasserZadeh, a psychosexual therapist, co-author of The Orgasm Answer Guide and board member of the World Association for Sexual Health weighs in with the medical, mental aspects of decreased libido.
“The starting point for this condition is very important,” explains Dr. NasserZadeh. “For example, if a person has always had low sexual desire, she/he might have different underlying factors to be addressed than a person who is experiencing this condition as a sudden change, gradually over time, or only within a specific relationship. Also, sometimes, lack of sexual desire or the behavioral pattern that goes with it serves a purpose in the person’s life.”
On formulations to combat decreased libido, such as Penthouse’s “Libido Shots,” Dr. NasserZadeh says: ”Judging by the ingredients, which are mostly stimulants (i.e. increasing the heart beat and level of alertness), one could imagine that it might work to get the person interested in the physical part of sex. After all, sex is a physical activity, it is like having an energy drink before going to the gym! Or, because it increases the blood circulation, it might increase the chance of responsive arousal (still physically driven not emotionally or mentally). So I not sure if it would be the ‘cure’ for the decrease of sexual desire. Imagine you don’t fancy your partner, would drinking this magical shot change your mind about him/her?! I wish it did and many of my clients would have lived a happier life!
“If I have a client with this condition, I would definitely look at physiological, medical, relational and, of course, lifestyle all together. There is still a lot to be learned about the mechanism of sexual desire, especially in women. You probably heard the news of a drug in development by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, which was being explored among women who experienced low sexual desire, but the multi-factorial nature of this condition put a halt on its development last year. Therefore, I would be very careful suggesting one solution for such a complex condition.”
For more from Paula Simpson and Dr. Sara NasserZadeh:
- Dr. Sara NasserZadeh on Supplements for Decreased Libido
- Allure of Red Wine: It May Help Protect Against Sunburn
- Wellness Bites: The Real Research Behind Latest Health Claims
- Dr. Sara NasserZadeh: Is Your Low Sex Drive Normal? (VIDEO)
- The “Clean 15″ and “Dirty” Dozen, by Paula Simpson
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These are two experts’ views on the news. Share with us your thoughts in the comments box below.