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health 12th Feb 2021

Va Va Voom Valentine's Day!

Va Va Voom Valentine's Day!

‘Sexual relationships are some of the most important social and biological relationships in human life. Next to thirst, hunger and sleep, the sexual urge is the most powerful biological drive. This physiological instinct, so essential to the survival of the species, is one of the mainsprings of human motivation, and its fulfillment or disappointment is closely related to happiness or misery. Normal sexual function involves the successful integration of biological, psychological and interpersonal influences.’

-Tharakan B, Manyam B: Botanical therapies in sexual dysfunction, Phytother Res 19:457-463, 2005.

Why Is Sexual Health Important

Sexual desire is a basic and essential need like hunger and thirst which is at the core of one’s well-being. A recent meta-analysis suggests thatin pre-menopausal females, the prevalence for female sexual dysfunction is estimated to be 40%. Some other estimates show that female sexual dysfunction could affect as many as 76% of females.

Choosing to express, experience and enjoy one’s sexuality involves the complex interplay of the mind, body, hormones and emotions. A healthy sex life is associated with many health benefits such as:

●Better cardiovascular health: oxytocin released upon intimate contact lowers blood pressure

●Better sleep: prolactin release post orgasm promotes deep sleep

●Stronger pelvic muscles: pelvic floor gets a workout during sex

●Better mood: endorphins release helps to improve mood and lower stress hormone cortisol level

●Better brain: sex support nervous tissue rejuvenation in the hippocampus—a part of the brain that has a major role in learning and memory

●Plus sex may also benefit metabolic health by burning some calories

A healthy sex life is a core element of your mental, emotional and physical well-being.

What Is Female Sexual Dysfunction

Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘the various ways in which a female is unable to participate in a sexual relationship as she would wish’.

Female sexual dysfunction can present in 5 subtypes:

  1. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: lack of or a decreased interest, desire, thoughts and an absence of responsive desire.
  2. Female sexual arousal disorder: lack of mental and physical arousal
  3. Female orgasmic disorder: an absent of orgasm
  4. Dyspareunia: painful intercourse
  5. Vaginismus: reflexive tightening around the vagina despite interest/desire when no structural abnormalities

What’s The Cause Of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Due to the complexity of female sexuality and the various subtypes of FSD, there isn’t one single cause of FSD. In this blog post, I will highlight one important roadblock that affects many female’s sexual health. As many as 46% of females experiencing FSD suffer from hypoactive desire disorder. Stress is one mechanism that destroys libido.

Our nervous system is hard-wired to protect us from threats to our safety and well-being. Worries, sadness, anxious feelings, fears and stress shifts our biology into the ‘fight-or-flight’ mode where the body shuts down non-essential functions such as digestion, rest, sex drive to redirect nutrients and resources to produce stress hormones that keep us alert and ready to go. When life is chronically filled with obligations, worries and stress, the body learns to reduce libido in order to keep up with the demand of coping with stress.

What To Do If Stress Is Stealing Your Libido

Nutrition

When coping with stress, meals have to be simple, delicious and loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that can be prepared in advance. More nutrients are required for the production and metabolism of stress hormones, consider some of these key nutrients depleted by chronic stress.

Vitamin C protects cells from oxidative injury and rebuilds adrenal tissues and enhance cortisol production

Magnesium stress increases the demand of this mineral that regulates and calms the nervous system

B vitamins support energy production and metabolism

Better Sex Smoothie For Her

Serves:1

Ingredients:

1 tsp raw cacao

1 tsp MCT or raw coconut oil

½ cup kale

½ cup spinach

1 ripe banana

1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk

Filtered water or ice cubes to your liking

Juice from 1 lemon

Topping: chia seeds

Directions: blend everything till creamy smooth. Top with chia seeds before serving.

Sexy Nourish Bowl

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup chickpeas, dried

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen

1 sweet potato, diced into small cubes

2 medium carrots, shredded

2 cup red cabbage, shredded

2 cups baby spinach

1 avocado

Olive oil

Pink Himalyan salt

Dressing

4 tbsp Organic olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

½ tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp whit wine vinegar

½ tsp garlic powder

Pink Himalyan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cube the sweet potato into ½ inch cubes,drizzle with olive oil bake at 375F for about 20-30min
  2. Meanwhile, boil chickpeas for about 30 min, set aside to cool
  3. Boil peas for 5 min, set aside to cool
  4. Shred carrots and cabbage
  5. Drizzle with dressing and top with sliced avocado right before serving

Adaptogens

Damiana has been traditionally used as a nervous system relaxant and aphrodisiac, it makes a delicious and relaxing herbal tea Shatavari is a herb that translates to "she who possesses a hundred husbands" which has been used for hundreds of years as a female tonic and aphrodisiac. The powder can be added to smoothies and the root can be added to tea.

Lifestyle

Mindfulness that focuses on gentle thoughts and loving energy towards the reproductive system can help build one’s connection with the body. Take some time to allow the mind to shift from the fight or flight mode to a more relaxed and receptive state.

Scheduling time to care for and reflect on your needs is key to your sexual health.

Disclaimer

Please consult a qualified practitioner. This article is for information purposes only.

Author Bio

Tahlia Sage

Tahlia Sage (Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Bsc Food, Nutrition & Health) is the founder of Tahlia Sage Wellness (tahliasagewellness.com) and a partner at Healing House Natural Wellness (healinghouseherbal.com), she is also an instructor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Her coaching practice helps clients achieve their wellness goals by embracing functional foods and healthy lifestyle changes. Tahlia’s own health challenges and weight issues prompted her to pursue an education in nutritional science and holistic nutrition. Tahlia empowers her clients to regain balance with easy, concrete steps. Connect here with Tahlia for a free 15 min discovery session.