6 Nutrient Deficiencies That Affect Your Sex Life
Although sexuality and sexual desire are very much neurological in nature, that doesn't mean you should ignore your body. Your body, after all, is the one that's doing the physical end of things. So if you're not taking care of yourself, your sex life could be affected. But, luckily, there are ways to get back on track. And, sometimes it's as simple as making sure you're getting all the nutrients you need.
"In Chinese medicine, all health, including sexual health comes down to a healthy balance between Yin and Yang energies," Dr. Lyndsay von Miller DACM L.Ac., doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, tells Bustle. "So when you go into see your Acupuncturist or Chinese Herbalist complaining about not feeling sexy or wanting to boost your libido, we are going to look at what your imbalance is, give you a diagnosis, and then use needles, herbs, and lifestyle adjustments to help bring you back into balance."
Between eating certain foods that keep your sexual health in a happy balance and focusing on your Yin and Yang energies, you can make steps to getting your sex life back on track.
Here are six nutrient deficiencies that can affect your sex life, according to experts.
1. Lack Of Omega 3
"You might be Yin deficient if you are experiencing lack of arousal, or have other symptoms like hot flashes or difficulty regulating your temperature," von Miller says. "Omega 3 is linked to increasing the bioavailability nitric oxide in your blood stream and thus increasing blood flow, which is great for orgasms and erections."
To get the right amount of Omega 3 in your body, Dr. von Miller suggests an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement or going straight to the source: shellfish or deep sea/cod water fish.
2. Lack Of Selenium
Selenium is a nutrient that, if you don't have enough, according to Neil Grimmer, founder of Habit, can reduce your sex drive. In men, selenium doesn't just give the libido a boost, but it increases sperm count too. Foods that are high in protein like shellfish, chicken, eggs, and Brazilian nuts is where you'll get your selenium fill.
3. Lack Of Vitamin D
When it comes to a low libido, a vitamin D deficiency might also be to blame, Grimmer says. Although most of us know that calcium and vitamin D go hand-in-hand so milk and cheeses are great choices, there are also vegetables that are high in vitamin D that you should add to your diet. Kale, okra, spinach, and soybeans, for example, are a good start.
4. Lack Of "Hot" Foods
We may not think of hot foods as contributing to a nutrient deficiency, but they do. Naturally hot foods are necessary to keep things moving in the body so as to keep Yang deficiencies at bay.
"Hot foods like ginger, fennel, and hot peppers, foods that are spicy and 'moving' are great for Yang deficiencies," Dr. von Miller says. "You might be Yang deficient if you feel your libido is low and you have a tendency to feel colder than other people in the room."
5. Lack Of Vitamin A
According to Dr. von Miller, a vitamin A deficiency can lower the libido because it slows down testosterone production. Although we usual usually think that testosterone is more of a male hormone, women have it too. If both partners in a relationship are lacking in vitamin A, then there's a good chance that neither one will be very interested in having sex. Vitamin A can be found in fish, salmon especially is a great source, as well as other meats and in cheese too. As for vegetables, sweet potato, squash, collards, and carrots are high in vitamin A too.
6. Lack Of B-12
When it comes to getting all the nutrients your body needs to have a happy and healthy sex life, you can't go wrong by eating what's known as the Mediterranean diet. It's not a diet, as much as a way of eating.
"Eat a Mediterranean diet (olive oil, fish, whole grains, lean meats, cooked vegetables, unsaturated fats) to keep your inflammation down," Dr. von Miller says. It consists of things that are high in fiber, as well as lean meats which are high in essential vitamins like B-12, as well as healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.
"In Chinese medicine we have a lot of herbs and herbal formulas that treat Yin and Yang deficiencies," von Miller says. "But they aren't 'one size fits all.' We tailor them to match your specific diagnosis. And then as you improve, aka become more in balance, we adjust them accordingly."
If you're feeling like your sex life isn't what it used to be, then take a look at what you've been putting into your body. It could just be a matter of adding in more fish or vegetables to get the nutrients your body needs to be up and running again.