7 surprising ways to boost your libido
What do pumpkin seeds, yoga and a scary movie have in common? These are just a few of the natural ways you can give your sagging libido a boost
Get active with yoga
“Exercise helps lower your cortisol levels and bring on that sense of rest and relaxation. Cortisol is our stress hormone and when we’re stressed, it puts a damper on our sex drive,” says Kelli Young, a Toronto-based registered marriage and family therapist. “Plus exercise also helps with circulation, so it increases blood flow around important parts of the body, including the genitals.”
In fact, studies have shown that yoga may be particularly effective in this area. In a 2013 small study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers from the University of Korea concluded that yoga might be a treatment for women metabolic syndrome or risk factors for the syndrome. (Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unusual cholesterol levels and more.)
Try some maca
Add some maca to your diet, suggests Chris Kilham, FOX News Medicine Hunter and author of Hot Plants: Nature’s Proven Sex Boosters for Men and Women. “This food from Peru is picked from the ground and it looks like a turnip but it is dried and ground into flour,” says Kilham, who says maca has a graham cracker-type flavouring. “In natural food stores you can buy maca powder and take a tablespoon of it to toss it into a blender drink or use as a substitute for some flour in baked goods.” The libido boost isn’t necessarily acute though-Kilham says you should feel the effects happen over the course of a few weeks.
Cook up some asparagus
While this summery green vegetable certainly has a phallic-type look, Kilham suggests eating some for a different reason. “Asparagus contains a compound called asparagine which is a urinary tract stimulant,” he says. “And we know that anytime you stimulate the urinary tract, there can be a corresponding sexual stimulation.”
Give yourself some pleasure
Self-pleasuring is important from a physiological sense says Young. Lots of blood flow to the genitals can help stimulate sexual response and if you’re not sexually active in a regular way, it can inhibit or disrupt that flow. “The same is true for kegels, which exercise our pelvic floor. Doing pelvic floor exercises have been known to be helpful in improving good sexual response, especially orgasmic response,” she adds. Young recommends doing kegels at least three times a day.
Eat more good fats
“Fat is important in the production of testosterone. Women do have testosterone but produce it in much lower quantities than men. It’s the hormone that’s primarily responsible for sex drive,” says Young. “So when our diet is low in fat, it tends to shut down that testosterone production.” Good sources of healthy fats include seafood, avocados, eggs and nuts and seeds (such as pumpkin seeds, which also contain zinc, a micronutrient that can boost testosterone levels).
Watch a scary movie
Triggering the body’s sympathetic nervous system (SNS)-which in turn kicks off the fight-or-flight feeling-can set off your body’s sexual desire, notes a 2011 study from the University of Texas. As the study noted, “Moderate increases in SNS activity were associated with higher genital arousal, while very low or very high SNS activation was associated with lower genital arousal. These findings imply that there is an optimal level of SNS activation for women’s physiological sexual arousal.”