In the Mood? Part Two: Boosting your Libido
Here are 5 tips to get you started with improving your libido.
1. Seek the help of a health care practitioner.
If you’re unsure what may be causing low libido and are concerned, reach out to Dr. Haarsma or other similar heath care practitioner who can help you figure out what may be underlying the decrease in sexual desire.
2. Self-care and Relationship
- Take inventory of your relationship not only with your partner, but also yourself.
- Ask yourself how is my relationship with my body, mind and spirit? Take the time to nourish yourself and replenish your well-being
- Do one thing every day that makes you feel sexy. Shave your legs, wear sexy underwear, wear your favourite outfit or colour, move your body in a way that makes you feel good.
- Prioritize intimacy and communication with your partner.
- Do things together that make you feel closer and connected.
- Open up the conversation with your partner about unresolved issues and your needs, even if you are needing help to lighten your load around the home or with the kids. If needed, consider couples counseling or working with a sex therapist.
- Try the Gottman Card Decks, a tool for improving relationships.
3. Stress reduction
- Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, contributing to hormonal imbalance and lowered sexual desire.
- Tend to your stress with:
- Daily meditation or deep breathing (try Insight Timer or Calm apps)
- Supplements/Herbs recommended specifically for you by a qualified health care practitioner.
- Not getting enough sleep often leads to feeling depleted, exhausted and a lowered interest in various things, including intimacy and sex.
- Sleep is a time for your body to heal, restore and also produce hormones, therefore it is important for stress reduction, sufficient energy and hormone balance.
- Be consistent with your sleep, aiming to get to bed well before midnight and avoid blue light from devices for at least 1 hour before bed.
5. Clean Eating
- Eat a nutrient-dense whole foods-based diet, while avoiding processed foods and fast-food meals for optimal hormone function.
- Include plenty of healthful fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut, wild salmon and avocado in your daily diet as these foods provide the building blocks needed by the body to make hormones.
- Top foods for boosting libido:
- Dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa)
- Found to have a beneficial effect on mood and energy.
- Rich in magnesium which helps with relaxation and
- Contains flavonoids and arginine that improve blood flow to the sexual organs, helping with the pleasure response.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Rich in zinc, which is needed for testosterone production. Low testosterone in women can contribute to lower sex drive.
- Help boost dopamine and arginine levels in the brain, leading to an increase in nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide helps with blood flow through the body, including sex organs.
- Maca (herb)
- Aphrodisiac herb that is known to enhance sexual desire.
- Check out the recipe below for a maca latte or add 1-2 tsp into your morning smoothie.
- Dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa)
It starts with you. Regardless of being in a relationship with a partner, nurture the relationship with yourself first, by implementing at least one of the above tips.
Maca is a root that grows high in the mountain in South America, mainly Peru. Maca is considered highly nutritious as well as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stress. Maca is also known to enhance libido and can improve energy levels, so it’s best to consume this drink in the earlier parts of the day, so it doesn’t interfere with sleep.
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, coconut)
- 1 tsp maca root powder
- 1 tsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract, optional
- Maple syrup, honey or stevia to sweeten, as needed
- Warm the milk in a small saucepan (removing from the heat just before it starts bubbling; watch as this can happen quickly and will boil over).
- Transfer the milk to a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Cover the top of the blender with an old dish towel (as hot liquids will rise and can spill out, causing injury). Blend until smooth.
- Or for a non-blended option, add the maca powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla into a mug. Pour approximately 2 tbsp of hot milk into the mug. Whisk to combine and remove lumps. Pour the remainder of the hot milk and whisk well to combine.
- Add sweetener, if needed.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy.
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Food for Your Libido: A Valentine’s Diet to Boost Your Sex Drive – Penn Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2017/february/food-for-libido
Lost Your Mojo? It’s Not You, It’s Your Hormones. (2016, May 16). Retrieved from https://www.saragottfriedmd.com/how-your-hormones-really-affect-your-sex-drive-what-to-do-about-it/
Murray, M. T., Pizzorno, J. E., & Pizzorno, L. (2006). The encyclopedia of healing foods. Place of publication not identified: Time Warner International.
Top 7 Foods, Herbs & Supplements to Increase Your Sex Drive. (2017, March 22). Retrieved from https://kriscarr.com/blog/foods-that-increase-sex-drive/