When people talk about sexual health or performance, rarely do they also talk about overall health or metabolism. This is in the few times that people talk about their sexual health, as this can be an embarrassing topic for most.
Furthermore, your metabolism and lifestyle may have a far bigger impact on sexual health than you think. There have been many studies emerging; showing a significant link between levels of metabolism and sexual performance.
These new studies raise the question of how much your diet and activity plays a role in your sexual health. It also questions whether the range of medications prescribed for sexual issues are necessary.
Sexual Health And Metabolism: How Bad Is It?
The number of medications purchase for sexual health problems has been on the rise over the last ten years. In fact, it’s nearly doubled in some places. This has led to rising concerns over health in general.
Another interesting trend has been the rise in metabolic issues such as metabolic syndrome and obesity. For those who are unfamiliar, metabolic syndrome is a disease made up of four main health issues. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Increased inflammation
- High blood sugar and Insulin resistance (which means a higher risk of diabetes)
- Increased risk of blood clots
Meanwhile, obesity is simply the state of excess weight and body fat. While the simultaneous rise of these issues don’t necessarily mean there’s a link, it’s worth investigating. This need is particularly true when you consider that one pill of Viagra can cost up to $60 in the USA.
Sexual health is a common problem. Moreover, medication is expensive, has a number of side effects and appears to be pretty ineffective at curing in longevity.
What’s the alternative?
Exercise And Nutrition For Sexual Health
As the above section suggested, there are recorded links between metabolic problems and sexual health. This was confirmed in a few recent studies. American Diabetes Association’s study showed that obesity and metabolic syndrome can lead to decreased testosterone and contributes sexual dysfunction in men.
This is likely due to both the rise in binding hormones, which prevent testosterone from taking effect in the body, and rises in estrogen, which exert the opposite effect to testosterone. An effect found in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Meanwhile, an Italian study reviewed the connection between diet, activity, and the fertility of women. In the study, obesity was discussed as being harmful to both puberty development and fertility overall. This could be due to the increased inflammation caused by obesity.
Consequently, weight, body fat, and diet are all key players in sexual health. This is true regardless of gender.
This then raises the question about what can be done about it. In particular, it leads to the question about whether there’s key nutrients or activities to help improve sexual health.
Diet And Sex: Which Nutrients Are Best For Boosting Libido?
With obesity impacting sexual health, it should come as no surprise that your diet can affect your libido. But, there are actually specific nutrients which could benefit your sex life.
For men, dietary fats have been shown to have a positive effect on testosterone levels. Specifically, monounsaturated fats. These are the types of fat found in oily fish like salmon or cod.
Meanwhile, women have shown better libidos and sexual health when following the Mediterranean diet. This is another diet rich in unsaturated fats. Just like in men, the beneficial impact of these nutrients is thought to be from the benefits towards sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone.
In addition to direct benefits towards hormones, unsaturated fats have also been shown to help decrease hunger and inflammation. So, whether you’re trying to lose weight to improve overall health or boost the libido, unsaturated fats and fish oils can be a huge help.
Exercise And Sex: How To Boost Hormone Levels With Movement
While almost all exercise can be beneficial to your health overall, one form may be more beneficial for libido. Weightlifting.
It has also been associated with an increased sex life and a greater libido. This makes it a clear winner over endurance exercise, like running or cycling, which are less effective. They have even been shown to be a little harmful to libido in extreme cases.
Take Home Points
The above article will hopefully provide some useful information if you’re dealing with sexual health issues. But, if you’re struggling with applying this advice, here’s some practical recommendations for you to use:
- Before considering medication for sexual health issues, look at your diet and lifestyle.
- To improve your diet, reduce food intake and include foods rich in healthy fats, like oily fish, walnuts or avocados.
- To improve lifestyle, add strength training to your exercise program. 2 full body workouts per week should suffice.