[ad_1]

Eating for pleasure can mean far more than simply enjoying the food on our plates. What we eat can have a direct impact on libido, as well as our enjoyment of sex.

This is partly because the food we eat can affect our weight, and by extension how we feel about our bodies and how sexy we feel. But it also influences neurotransmitters, which regulate our pleasure and arousal responses, and a diet rich in protein — meat, fish and plant proteins — can help with this. 

Staying healthy during the menopause also means eating fats because these are the building blocks of cholesterol, which we need to make our sex hormones. It’s the production of those hormones that increases arousal. That means a very low-fat or no-fat diet isn’t helpful if you’re struggling with low libido. 

Many women would agree that s­exual arousal tends to start in the mind. That’s why the loss of body confidence some experience during the menopause can have a negative impact on a person’s sex life. After all, it’s hard to feel desire for your partner if you don’t feel desirable. 

What we eat can have a direct impact on libido, as well as our enjoyment of sex. Losing your sex drive can have a devastating impact on a women¿s sense of self

What we eat can have a direct impact on libido, as well as our enjoyment of sex. Losing your sex drive can have a devastating impact on a women’s sense of self

For this I recommend phytoestrogens — foods that mimic the action of oestrogen in the body, such as soy products, flaxseeds, pulses and fennel — these will give your sex drive a boost. And, of course, many menopause symptoms can leave you in a ‘not tonight, dear’ kind of mood. 

If you’re struggling with fatigue or headaches, sex is unlikely to be on the cards. Digestive issues, such as bloating, make it hard to feel relaxed enough. Again, there are tweaks you can make to your diet that should help to mitigate these symptoms. 

Losing your sex drive can have a devastating impact on a women’s sense of self and negatively affect her relationship too. 

There was a time when women shrugged their shoulders and conceded defeat when it came to sex in midlife. But that needn’t be the case. If you’re prepared to be proactive — identifying then targeting the menopausal symptoms that are stopping you having a fulfilling sex life — there’s plenty you can do to get your mojo back. 

Some of that work needs to take place in your head. Accepting that an ageing body will, inevitably, change, that yours has been well loved and may have carried children, can help you feel kinder towards it. 

But nutrition can also play a powerful role when it comes to addressing the cause of physical symptoms that may be getting in the way of enjoying sex. 

Making the effort will be worth it. After all, this is the time when you could be really enjoying yourself. If your periods are behind you and the fear of pregnancy has gone, and your children have flown the nest, then you can feel much more relaxed about impromptu passion. It seems a shame not to take advantage of all that. 

See also  WA Housing Group and Individual Developments WA collapse amid soaring building material costs

CALMING SUBSTANCE TO BEAT STRESS 

Stress is the enemy of the menopausal woman because it makes the body focus on making stress hormones, putting the production of oestrogen on the back burner. 

A diet rich in the right kind of fats is important because saturated fats are the building blocks of cholesterol, which we need to make our sex hormones

A diet rich in the right kind of fats is important because saturated fats are the building blocks of cholesterol, which we need to make our sex hormones

That’s why magnesium should be your new best friend. It has calming properties that can help to reduce levels of stress. It increases serotonin in the brain, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing, which can boost a low libido. It can also play a part in reducing headaches and migraines because it helps to keep blood vessels and muscles relaxed, easing the tension that is a common cause of pain. It may also help to relax the muscles in the vaginal and pelvic areas, facilitating penetration. 

Good food sources include brown rice and wholemeal bread, and leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale and broccoli. Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds also pack a good magnesium punch, along with almonds and cashews. 

One quick and easy way to get a blast of magnesium is an Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) bath or foot bath. Add 2-3 handfuls, soak for 20 minutes and your skin will absorb the magnesium, relaxing your muscles and calming your nerves. 

The combination of magnesium and ‘me-time’ is a great stressbuster that will set you up for a good night’s sleep — or fun between the sheets. 

TOO TIRED? ADD VITAMINS

If you’re too tired by the end of the day, meaning that sex is off the cards, you may be low in iron or vitamin B12 — both are crucial for the production of energy in every cell of your body. A simple blood test by your doctor can identify a deficiency. 

Heavy periods or flooding during the perimenopause can lead to iron deficiency anaemia, and chronic stress is a common cause of low levels of vitamin B12. A vegan diet can also be a factor because B12 is only found in animal food sources, such as meat, fish or eggs. So vegans may need to consider supplements. 

Good food sources are meat, especially red meat, such as venison or beef, as well as fish and egg yolks. Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, will also give you a boost, as will pumpkin seeds, soya and pulses. 

BRING BACK FATS FOR IMPROVED LIBIDO

A diet rich in the right kind of fats is important because saturated fats are the building blocks of cholesterol, which we need to make our sex hormones. Essential fatty acids — the omegas — may also help to lubricate the tissues in the vulva and vagina, if dryness is an issue for you. 

A square or two of dark chocolate can help boost your libido. It increases levels of serotonin in the brain, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing

A square or two of dark chocolate can help boost your libido. It increases levels of serotonin in the brain, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing

We need to be eating around 70g (2½oz) of fat per day. Of this, it’s currently recommended that no more than 20g (¾oz) should come from saturated fat — the rest should be a combination of mono and polyunsaturated fats.

See also  ESPN's Sage Steele slams decision to let trans women compete in USA Powerlifting

Good food sources are: 

OMEGA-3 (polyunsaturated): sardines, salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, beef from grass-fed cattle.

OMEGA-6 (polyunsaturated): evening primrose oil, borage oil, safflower, sesame or starflower oil. 

OMEGA-9 (monounsaturated): olive oil, avocado, cashew.

SATURATED FATS: Red meat, butter, cheese, cream, coconut oil. 

RECIPE IDEAS

  • Boost essential fatty acids by blitzing 4 or 5 slices of smoked salmon in a blender with a small tub of soft cheese, a tablespoon of crème fraiche and the juice of half a lemon. Add chopped dill and seasoning for a tasty pâté.
  • Make a lunch packed with magnesium and B vitamins by mashing an avocado, with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of paprika and spreading it on a slice of rye toast.  
  • Add cubes of marinated tofu and a handful of cashews to stirfried vegetables, instead of meat, for a blast of phytoestrogens, magnesium and iron. 

And what to avoid: 

  • High levels of refined carbohydrate, especially wheat, can cause bloating which means that avoiding foods like pizza, pasta or large portions of bread could be a smart move. Others find that pulses, such as beans or lentils can cause flatulence, so these are best eaten in moderation, because trapped wind is a definite passion killer.
  • Consistently choosing lowfat versions of yoghurt and humous may not help your cause, because of the role that fat plays in producing sex hormones. 
  • Limit your intake of alcohol, because this depletes the B vitamins that play an essential part in the chain reaction to produce energy in the body. If you’re low in B vitamins, you simply won’t have the energy for lovemaking and will find it difficult to wind down and get in the mood. 
  • Keep an eye on tea and coffee consumption if fatigue is contributing to your loss of libido because they block the absorption of iron. 
  • A square or two of dark chocolate can help boost your libido. It increases levels of serotonin in the brain, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing.
Diet influences neuro-transmitters which regulate our pleasure and arousal responses and a diet rich in proteins such as meat and fish can help with this

Diet influences neuro-transmitters which regulate our pleasure and arousal responses and a diet rich in proteins such as meat and fish can help with this

BEST FOODS TO FUEL DESIRE 

Add a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds to your breakfast cereal or porridge to add a blast of iron for energy, and protein to keep you going. A sprinkling of maca powder — packed with libido-supporting antioxidants — could help too. 

Treat yourself to some venison — it contains roughly twice as much iron per 100g (3½oz) as a beef steak and is a great lean source of protein. 

Roast some almonds on a low heat for 10-15 minutes and then toss them in olive oil with chilli powder, paprika or a spice of your choice. It makes a fabulous snack, packed with B vitamins and magnesium. 

AND WATCH OUT FOR PASSION-KILLERS 

The drop in oestrogen that occurs during the menopause will reduce levels of the beneficial lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina and this can encourage an overgrowth of yeast, mostly commonly candida albicans, which could lead to thrush. 

See also  Gisele Bündchen insider DENIES she's dating jiu-jitsu trainer Joaquim Valente after Tom Brady split

Supporting your immune function is key both to helping you to ward off thrush and to reduce the risk of it returning. One way to do this is to eat a diet rich in protective antioxidants, which means upping your vegetable intake and ensuring plenty of variety. 

Different coloured vegetables contain different antioxidants, so it’s important to make sure you don’t get into a rut of eating the same few vegetables each day. 

Eating prebiotic foods such as onions, leeks, chicory, artichokes, asparagus or oats, can help to stimulate the action of the beneficial bacteria in the gut

Eating prebiotic foods such as onions, leeks, chicory, artichokes, asparagus or oats, can help to stimulate the action of the beneficial bacteria in the gut

About 70 per cent of our immune system is in the gut, so focusing on optimal levels of beneficial bacteria is crucial to reduce the risk of infection. 

The immune system relies on the right balance of bacteria to work well, and an overgrowth of ‘unfriendly’ bacteria or yeast can leave you more susceptible to colds, infections and unpleasant digestive symptoms. 

A broad spectrum probiotic supplement can help to restore the balance of ‘friendly’ bacteria — something to consider after a course of antibiotics. Fermented foods are also effective, because the fermentation process creates beneficial bacteria. Look out for kefir or kombucha drinks or kimchi, a fermented vegetable dish.

Eating prebiotic foods such as onions, leeks, chicory, artichokes, asparagus or oats, can help to stimulate the action of the beneficial bacteria in the gut. 

While the digestive tract benefits from having a broad range of different bacteria, the vagina is reliant on high levels of a single type of bacteria called lactobacillus which is most commonly found in natural live yoghurt, so it’s definitely a smart move to have some every day. 

Taking a probiotic capsule that contains at least 3 billion lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria is a therapeutic dose that may help to restore the correct balance in the vagina.

RECIPE IDEAS: 

  • Boost your live natural yoghurt intake by mixing it with chopped basil, mint or parsley, a pinch of crushed garlic and lemon juice to make a salad dressing. 
  • Liven up your salads by adding prebiotic artichoke hearts, asparagus or chicory (endive) leaves. 
  • Shred red and white cabbage, carrots, radishes, celery and a green pepper, and mix with a vinaigrette or mayonnaise to make a rainbow-coloured coleslaw full of antioxidants. 

DRINK WATER — AND SWITCH TO DECAF 

Most women have experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their life, but they can become more common during and after the menopause. 

A lingering UTI can seriously affect your quality of life. One of the classic mistakes women make is not drinking enough fluid — this can cause urine to become too concentrated, which irritates the bladder and can trigger symptoms. Ironically, you’re more likely to want to pee more often if you’re not drinking enough. 

Make sure you drink plenty of water or non-caffeinated hot drinks throughout the day, because this will help to reduce irritation in the bladder and hydrate the tissues in the urethra and vagina. 

  • EXTRACTED from The Happy 

[ad_2]

Source link