Feeling healthy, vibrant, and whole also includes feeling sexy–no? But it’s usually not something we discuss. We talk about ways to slim down, get stronger, more focused and mindful, and get glowing, all through exercise, food, and spiritual nurturing. But if all that healthy lifestyle business isn’t making you also feel sexier and all, oh la la–then what’s the point?
A little personal story: During my senior year of college, I realized that this was the last chance I’ll get to be so physically active before heading out into the “real world.” I was really possessed with the idea of becoming as physically fit as possible–and between dance, yoga, and working out at the gym, I was active at least 20 hours a week. I also cut out oil, pasta, and bread, steamed or water-sauteed my vegetables, and ate that over a small mound of brown rice (if not lettuce leaves). I also ate a lot of celery sticks with natural peanut butter. (Gluten-free!)
To no one’s surprise I dropped a lot of weight. I also lost my period for six months and what little breasts I had. One night when I ran into that bad boy for whom I had vengeful feelings, he said, “Wow you lost a lot of weight”–not in a you look good way, but in almost shocked and un-attracted way. And really, I didn’t feel sexy at all, though I had truly achieved the physical fitness (tiny and flab free waist, longer lines while dancing) I’d dreamed of. And that was reason enough for me to embrace the more balanced approach to health, which does make me feel womanly and sexy.
Low libido is pervasive, even in our sex-obsessed society, with 63% of women reporting that they’d rather sleep, watch a movie, or read than have sex. If you just agreed with that statement, consider if your lifestyle is making you feel sexy and jazzy! If you honestly can’t say whether it’s helping you feel that way, or taking away from you being connected to that side of you, try making little adjustments. These healthy foods that boost libido are a great way to add some spark into your life. Then maybe check out these sexy living tips a la francaise. 😉
Zinc is a natural testosterone-booster, which is essential for healthy sexual function in both men and women. Unfortunately it’s also one of the nutrients that require some added vigilance in a vegan diet. For veg-friendly zinc, try cremini mushrooms, cocoa powder (hooray!!), wheat germ, spinach, miso, sesame seeds, tahini (1 tbsp has about 9-12% DV), pumkin seeds (1 oz serving has 19% DV), summer squash, cashews, and maple syrup.
Amino acid tyrosine is converted by the brain to dopamine, which is responsible for pleasure and arousal. Tyrosine can made by the body, but you can also get it through food (hooray!!).
Try soy, peanuts, oats, almonds, lima beans, avocados, bananas, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds.
3. Vitamin B3 (niacin) and B6
These are essential for blood circulation and increases the skin’s sensitivity to touch (ahem). Asparagus, brown rice, peanuts, fortified non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast are all excellent sources.
Maca is such a great libido booster it deserves its own number. Maca supports the body’s endocrine system–it doesn’t contain hormones or disrupt hormone levels, but rather works by smoothing out the communication between the brain and hormone-producing pituitary gland and the adrenals. In men, maca promotes erectile function and healthy sperm count–and in women it promotes ovarian function and fertility. As for micronutrients, maca is full of the vitamins, including the Bs, C and E, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and calcium.
In addition to increasing your sex drive, maca increases energy and fitness performance, improves focus and mental acuity, enhances mood, and reduces PMS. Mmmm….yummy, right? For some more maca in your life, try our Raw Buckwheat Parfait with Maca Chia Pudding, or Raw Maca Cacao Hot Cocoa.
What’s your natural aphrodisiac of choice? Also, if you have any “feel-sexy” secrets, do share!!
Related: Yoga for a Better Sex Life
Photo: Shan Sheehan via Flickr; Peaceful Dumpling; Mary Hood