Libido is a complex phenomenon affected by many variables.
Men often hear about “LOW-T” when it comes to a diminished sex drive and may feel compelled to rush to the doctor for a prescription of the sex hormone testosterone.
While testosterone can have a momentous effect on sex drive, taking hormones is not always necessary.
There are natural dietary and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido.
#1 Lower Body Fat:
Did you know that low testosterone is linked to high body fat?
Visceral fat, or body fat located on the torso, is associated with an increase in waist circumference. If you used to have a 34-inch waist and now it’s a 38, you are probably jeopardizing your sex drive.
Well, besides body fat throwing off all kinds of inflammatory molecules, it also produces the enzyme aromatase.
Aromatase is the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen (or more specifically, estradiol).
The more body fat you have, the more aromatase you produce. More aromatase means your estradiol levels will go up while your testosterone levels go down.
And that won’t be the only thing that does…
Low testosterone puts you at risk for heart disease, prostate cancer… and low libido!
Losing excess body fat offers numerous health benefits with increased libido topping the list.
The right diet can help boost testosterone levels.
Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables
Brussels sprouts, radishes, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower release nutrients that help the body clear excess estrogen.
Consume More Zinc
Low zinc is linked to low testosterone in otherwise healthy men. Good sources include oysters, beef, lamb, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, spinach, and cashews.
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that lower stress in the body, allowing for greater testosterone production.
Good sources are sardines, walnuts, salmon, and mackerel, although a high-quality fish oil supplement also works well.
Optimize Vitamin D3 Levels
Men deficient in vitamin D3 often exhibit lower testosterone levels. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement can be helpful.
Eat Good Fats
Eating coconut oil, eggs, grass-fed beef and butter, avocados, wild-caught fish, olive oil, and raw nuts can provide the basic materials for making testosterone.
Eat Enough Calories
Losing weight may raise testosterone levels, but chronically undereating significantly reduces them.
Eat a varied diet high in unprocessed foods like lean, clean meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, organic dairy, eggs, beans, and whole grains.
Consume Adequate Protein, but Don’t Overdo It
A high-protein diet diminishes testosterone pathways while increasing pathways for estrogen. Strive to consume .8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.
- To boost testosterone, avoid prolonged moderate exercise such as long sessions on the treadmill and elliptical machines.
- Likewise, long endurance sports like running and cycling also seem to lower testosterone.
- Strength training is known to boost testosterone levels, provided you are going at it with enough intensity.
- Be sure to increase the weight and lower your number of reps, and then focus on exercises like squats and dead lifts that work several muscles at once.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), especially when combined with intermittent fasting, has also been shown to raise testosterone levels.
Sleep is critical for every aspect of your health!
If you’re not getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night, you may be sleep deprived: a risk factor for decreased testosterone levels in both males and females.
Make sleep a priority and libido may repair itself. Try it. You just may thank me.
Chronic stress is a libido-killer! It disrupts your sex hormone levels and narrows your arteries, restricting blood flow that can result in erectile dysfunction.
Feeling pressured, distracted, overwhelmed, sad or worried can leave you feeling less than amorous.
- Make time to do things you love
- Work out
- Spend quality time with your family and friends
- Relax with a great book
- Take a long bath
- Have fun and don’t forget to laugh!
#6 Consider Maca:
Maca, or Lepidium meyenii, is a Peruvian herb of the cruciferous family (think: broccoli and cauliflower) whose root has been used for thousands of years as an aphrodisiac.
Studies today reveal an increased libido for those who supplement with it.
Although scientists are not sure exactly how it works, maca appears to increase libido in both men and women without altering their hormone levels.
It has a nutty, earthy flavor that mixes well with chocolate and disappears nicely into smoothies
- Maca may interact with some medications, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking.
- Maca can affect mood, so proceed with caution if you suffer from anxiety or depression.
- Maca is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Mojo Maca Hot Chocolate
Serves 2 (you and your significant other)
2 cups almond milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder
1 teaspoon maca powder
½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4 dashes cinnamon
1 dash sea salt
1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
Heat almond milk and coconut oil in a saucepan.
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until frothy.
Serve and enjoy!