In the mood for love this Valentine’s? After dinner at a fancy restaurant, a romantic movie and a couple of drinks, spending the night with your significant other would be the perfect ending, don’t you think?
When you’re in the heat of making love, you’re probably not thinking of any other benefit other than being with the one you love and satisfying each other. Yet good sex enhances your life and health both physically and psychologically.
Natural health expert Joseph Mercola is no sex therapist but he believes that having regular sex can provide you with many health benefits, including:
• Increasing your production of immunoglobulin A – an antibody that fights infection—to decrease your risk of catching a cold
• More predictable periods for women due to exposure to male pheromones
• A better physical response to stress
• Lower blood pressure to reduce your risk of heart disease
• Increase your levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol while lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
• Help tone your abdominals and any muscle in your body
• Improve the appearance of women’s hair, skin and nails by naturally increasing estrogen levels
• Improve your memory by increasing blood flow to your brain
• Increase your motivation by releasing “feel good” brain chemicals called endorphins
• Boost self-esteem and improve intimacy in your relationship by increasing oxytocin, also known as the “love” hormone
• Reduce the risk of accidents in women by helping strengthen pelvic floor muscles
These benefits are backed by scientific studies and based on the assumption that you’re in a monogamous relationship, Dr. Mercola points out, because otherwise, you risk catching an STD (sexually transmitted disease).
The lack of a sex drive could make you miss out on these health benefits. Pharmaceutical companies have created drugs to treat sexual dysfunctions. But many believe that lack of libido in women does not need to be addressed by drugs. Also, while drugs like Viagra, Levitra and Cialis may help men maintain an erection, the initial erection still needs to be triggered psychologically – meaning men have to want to get hard, Mercola explains.
Here are Dr. Mercola’s 7 tips on how you can naturally boost your sex drive:
1. Eat a diet based on your body’s unique Nutritional Type. We need varying demands for the ratios of macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats and proteins – to function optimally. When you’re eating the foods your body was designed to eat, you’ll notice improvements in every aspect of your health, including your sex life.
2. Take control of your emotions by learning the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Sexual dysfunction can become worse due to anxiety and stress. EFT helps you deal with all stress-related emotions to keep you calm and make you ready to face your challenges.
3. Avoid sugar. Your sexual desire can be fanned simply by limiting your sugar intake because high levels of sugar in your bloodstream can turn off the gene that controls your sex hormones.
4. Exercise. Aerobic exercises improve blood flow to sex organs and help boost your mood by releasing endorphins. Testosterone levels also shoot up about an hour after working out, which can leave you feeling sexier. Studies also show that men who engaged in regular physical activity reduced their risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction.
5. Relax. Testosterone levels plummet when the stress hormone cortisol increases. Loosen up for about 15 minutes a day by meditating, listening to music or writing in your journal.
6. Optimize your insulin and vitamin D levels. These two factors can help improve not just your sex life but almost every aspect of your health as well.
7. Take choline and vitamin B5 supplements. These two nutrients help safely and effectively increase acetylcholine (ACH), a neurotransmitter that triggers the sexual message in both men and women. ACH also helps facilitate erections.