Loss of libido can be very stressful during menopause. On top of the increased anxiety, mood swings, and hot flashes, you may find it hard to get in touch with your sexuality. During this time, your sex hormone levels are fluctuating, and your sexual desire may also be decreasing. Maintaining a proper diet is one of the best ways to get your libido back to its usual levels and keep up the energy and excitement.
Vitamin C-filled Fruits
Stress can definitely get in the way of your love life. However, although stress cannot always be avoided, many studies have indicated that vitamin C reduces stress at an emotional, mental, and physical level. Researchers observed that it reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, as well as the perception of psychological stress.
Papaya has one of the highest level of vitamin C in any food, followed by bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels's sprouts, strawberries, and pineapple. It is important that these foods are eaten raw, because exposure to heat can deplete the sensitive vitamin C content.
Vitamin B-rich Foods
Vitamin B deficiency is largely responsible for decreased levels of energy during menopause. Without the necessary stamina levels, it becomes impossible to keep the bedroom spark. Getting a sufficient amount of B-vitamins is important to fight fatigue, depression, lack of focus, and irritability.
Vitamin B deficiency is especially common for vegans and vegetarians, since the highest levels of vitamin B are found in meat. For herbivores, fortified soy products, fortified cereals, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, and supplementation are the best bet for vitamins B6 and B12. For omnivores, shellfish, tuna, turkey, and crab will be an additional source for B6 and B12.
Of course, one of the most classic culprits of menopausal loss of libido are the plummeting estrogen levels. This disrupts your body from sending the proper signals for arousal and vaginal lubrication. Eating foods abundant in phytoestrogens can restore the body's levels by providing an estrogen boost.
Soy products such as tofu, miso, soymilk, and edamame are highly phytoestrogenic and healthy. Flaxseeds and ground flax have perhaps the highest level of phytoestrogen and can be sprinkled on cereals and in salads. Mung beans, chickpeas, fennel, sunflower seeds, and turmeric are additional sources.
Garlic contains allicin, a supposed aphrodisiac that increases blood flow and circulation. Blueberries and watermelon also do this through their nutrient properties, which relax and dilate the blood vessels, giving a surge of blood and sexual energy.
When all else fails, have a one to two squares of dark chocolate. This powerful aphrodisiac has will boost your serotonin levels - the neurotransmitter that makes you happy - thanks to its theobromine content. Furthermore, the caffeine contained will gives you energy, and new research points that phenylethylamine is directly linked to love and lovemaking. In taste, texture, and properties, it will take your sex life to a whole new level.
Keep these foods in mind and on your shopping list next time you go to the grocery store. Filling your basket with these nutrient-dense, libido-boosting foods and incorporating them into your meals every day will help you restore your sex life in no time.
- Brody, S. et al. (2002). A randomized controlled trial of high dose ascorbic acid for reduction of blood pressure, cortisol, and subjective responses to psychological stress. Psychopharmacology, 159(3), 319-324. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11862365
- Guillén-Casla, V. et al. (2012). Determination of serotonin and its precursors in chocolate samples by capillary liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry detection. Journal of chromatography, 1232, 158-165. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2011.11.037
- National Institutes of Health. (2015). B vitamins. Retrieved March 20, 2015,from www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/bvitamins.html