The libido-boosting plan
Sex, stress and your ‘ki’
Quite literally your ‘ki’ is the key to unlocking doors of misery in the bedroom. Healthy and vitalized ‘ki’ is essential for you to make it not only in the bedroom but in life. Not wanting sex, having no desire can be only traced back to stressors in your life (be they foods or emotional stress of any kind) which adds to stagnated ‘ki’.
Stress has a lot to do with libido issues, it activates a chain reaction that affects your hormones which in turn suppresses libido. A person who is stressed out is usually also suffering from low energy levels and if complicated by a health issue then it’s a perfect combination for a problem in the bedroom. When stressed, women’s estrogen raises a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) this binds with testosterone in the cells leaving women less aggressive in their response to stress as opposed to men who exhibit the fight or flight syndrome, but also leaving the body with lesser testosterone for libido.
Men can manifest stresses in a different way than women premature ejaculation, taking a long time to ejaculate or erectile dysfunction are some manifestations. They respond differently to stressors in their environment, they usually adopt the fight or flight strategy, when confronting stress. This shoots up cortisol (hormone) levels, adrenaline, and norepinephrine (neurotransmitter). This affects the digestive system and blood circulation and testosterone as well as affecting male libido. When the body is under stress, cortisol levels increase, therefore it’s called the ‘stress hormone’. Cortisol’s primary function is to increase blood sugar and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. When I say you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, it also means that cortisol levels are higher in your body which is produced by the adrenal glands causing imbalances. An excess of this hormone will send your blood sugar levels out of whack making you also gain weight. Also, cause a predisposition to have an impaired thyroid, high blood pressure, lower immunity, and affects sex drive.
Sex and foods
The basis of Macrobiotic diagnosis is rooted in TCM and at the beginning of the book The Love Diet I have mentioned we are working with your ‘ki’ energy, cleaning up your life force, so you chakras a spinning efficiently and your nadis or meridians connecting to chakras are not blocked. For this free flow of ki, you need a couple of things. You need to be in the following states –
- Not be stressed.
- Not eat food that will sludge up your liver namely fatty foods.
- Not have an unfulfilled desire or dream or too many of them.
- Not have unresolved anger and frustration.
- Are not harbouring grudges and resentments.
- Not carrying any negative sexual experiences.
- Not overweight.
- Not sad or depressed.
- Have abundant energy.
- Not be consuming caffeine, too much tea, or stimulants like alcohol (excessive).
- Eat right to spice up your sex life, and choose foods that move the ‘ki’ and not stagnate it.
- Relax, and manage your stress levels.
- Take vitamin B for additional zinc to calm you down and magnesium to relax muscles.
- Get regular massages to unleash your stuck ‘ki’.
- Choose exercises that will help move ‘ki’.
- Consider bodywork therapies like: acupuncture, acupressure, craniosacral therapy, polarity (chakra balancing), shiatsu massage.
Foods that decrease libido
Foods that decrease libido in males and females don’t change that much on an overall level.
SIn a similar vein a diet rich in –
- Meats, eggs, animal foods will cause a tightening of the body’s muscles adding to the stress that a person can go through. Including, making them rigid and inflexible and often not being able to relax.
- A diet where there is too much sugars, alcohol, fruit sugars, spices, simple sugars will make one scattered and therefore unable to focus and concentrate on the needs of their partners. These foods make you scattered and attract more stress.
- A diet that includes intoxicants like marijuana, drugs, too much coffee, tea and alcohol will deplete sexual energy.
- Processed and refined foods will clog up the arteries and pathways, causing a block in free-flowing chi energy, affecting sex negatively.
Sex demands vitality in abundance. Sexual performance enhancers, stimulants, etc are touted by marketers when in reality there is no real need for them if you are eating healthy. Adrenal fatigue can be a huge contributor to sapping vitality; low blood sugar or hypoglycaemia is a big factor that prolongs adrenal fatigue. The pancreas is your regulator of insulin (sugars) in the blood.
The accumulation of hard fats makes this organ tense. So if someone is prone to eating more sugars (yin) the blood sugar rises and the insulin is released in large doses in the system. The opposite occurs when animal fats, salts and proteins are consumed, a low blood sugar level response occurs. When the pancreas becomes tense they lack their ability to secrete anti-insulin, this keeps blood sugar levels high at first and then a crash happens i.e., low blood sugars within the body causing hypoglycaemia. This condition brings with it its host of issues like anxiety, depression and a lot of fatigue. The condition also causes cravings and the munchies are usually accompanied by more sugar. The impact of this yo-yo situation will affect you or your partner. Along with anxiety, your image of yourself or confidence and body image are all at play here under this pseudo-influence of blood sugars in your system. Sugars will also leach minerals and impact your energy and vitality, so magnesium which relaxes muscles will get depleted, or zinc which calms you down will be impacted.
Whole grains which have complex sugars are broken down slowly in the body thereby entering the bloodstream also in an orderly manner. The pH (acid-alkaline) balance is very important. The body gets stressed physically if we are constantly acidic or too alkaline. The liver stores glycogen i.e., sugars until it can be converted to glucose and an excess of is stored here then gets dumped into the blood in the form of fatty acid in your thighs, buttocks, breasts and waist area, there is a build-up of the same if sugars are consumed simultaneously. All organs and pathways get loaded with thick mucous.
As this mucous gets lodged in tissues of the organs their functioning is impaired, resulting in lethargy, fatigue and a decreased desire for sex. The chakras are thermal, if you are in yang contracted dried up overtly acidic state, then the tendency will be to gravitate towards iced cold drinks, and foods this will cool the chakra energy down, and impair energy flow here. The kidneys which are also attached to adrenals burn out with cold foods.
Foods that are good for sex drive
The balanced foods are whole grains, vegetables, and beans/lentils, fruit, nuts and seeds; these foods are not on the end of the yin and yang polarities and have the same effect on stabilizing your sexual energies. Mind you I am not negating the non-vegetarian diet here, but you need to balance this out and seek a more plant-based approach. Because these foods have complex carbohydrates (compact sugar molecules) further broken down by chewing sustained sugars are released in the system, therefore also sustaining energy. They also comprise fats, minerals, proteins and fibre supplying you with physical endurance for your love life. Simple sugars give you that quick burst of energy with a low called the ‘sugar blues’ and this will impact energy negatively. A diet that will bring in peak performance (pun intended) is the one that will avoid saturated fats (meats and dairy), sugars that are refined, and stimulants (alcohol, coffees, teas, medications, drugs). Minerals are lacking in the Indian diet and should be pulled in from sea salt or rock salt and spirulina-the only sea vegetable available at the moment, besides kombu that is available in speciality stores.
In summary, this is what is advocated in the basics –
- Higher consumption of complex carbohydrates and reducing the intake of simple sugars.
- A lower intake of fat with increasing the use of unsaturated fats and oils and decreasing saturated fats (except ghee and coconut oil).
- Using more protein from whole grains, beans, and other vegetables by combining a balanced meal plan and relying on animal protein less, except fish.
- The right balance of minerals and vitamins.
- Using traditional and local foods and less of processed and refined foods.
- Using foods that are left whole, rather than those that have been refined.
- Using antioxidants that promote health and vitality.
- Using aphrodisiacs as supplements to eating well.
- Meditating or using breathwork (pranayama) to calm the mind.
- Getting your 8 hours of sleep to recuperate from the demands of life.
- However, women need to include the brassica family group of vegetables to help them clear out toxic estrogen and be focused on foods that will drive insulin levels up.
Here’s wishing you a healthy sex drive!