Don’t be afraid to prioritise your sexual well-being and nurture a positive relationship with sex, suggests Maitri Trivedi.
What encompasses sexual health?
Many of us, at some point in life, would have searched the waters to fish out ‘How to improve sexual health’ while unaware of what sexual health means.
As per WHO, sexual health is not the absence of a sexual problem but a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality.
Sexual health is tangled with neurological, endocrine, and vascular systems. Hence, when aiming to improve sexual health, these factors must be considered.
Now the question is- How to attain good sexual health?
Is there anything apart from medications that could help?
Here are some lifestyle factors that can influence sexual health-
1. A balanced diet
A diet rich in nuts and seeds, fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and good quality protein, all part of the Mediterranean diet, can help improve cardiovascular health and blood pressure, an essential aspect of sexual health.
2. Excluding the unnatural
Inflammatory foods like red meat, HFSS foods [High fat salt sugar], all-purpose flour, and foods that cause a reaction or your body cannot tolerate.
High inflammation can mess with hormones that govern your sexual health, and that includes sexual desires as well!
In addition, the gut and brain are intricately related, so foods that cause gut imbalances can cause neurological imbalances.
We all know how vital brain chemistry is for sexual health!
Nutraceuticals have become increasingly popular for their potential to support sexual health and wellness.
Vitamins, minerals, and chemical compounds can help manage hormones, improve blood circulation, boost energy levels, and promote better sexual health.
4. Physical Activity
A growing body of evidence suggests that moving from a sedentary to an active lifestyle and including some form of physical activity affects sexual health to a great extent.
It helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body while reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
In addition, exercise helps improve blood flow which betters sexual health.
At the same time, exercise has proven beneficial effects on mental health associated with sexual dysfunction!
5. Avoid substance abuse
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs have been linked directly to compromised sexual health, with symptoms ranging from decreased testosterone production to reduced quality of sperm.
Alcohol intake in moderation is the best way to enjoy it with little repercussions.
6. Stress management
Chronic stress can increase the secretion of cortisol, which has a mountain-long effect on other hormones and sexual health.
Managing stress becomes essential, whether walking, meditation, breathing exercises, or joining a hobby class.
7. Get good sleep
According to the circadian rhythm, deep sleep has benefits that stretch out to sexual health.
Therefore, following a proper routine becomes vital so that the hormones stay balanced, and so does sexual health.
8. Obesity and weight management
Obesity is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and also increases the incidence of pathologies such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension, affecting sexual health.
Obesity-induced inflammation can also lead to reduced testosterone levels.
As per research, weight loss has improved sexual health in both men and women.
Yoga can positively impact sexual health by reducing stress, increasing physical flexibility, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, and improving blood circulation, all of which can enhance sexual function and satisfaction.
Practicing yoga also promotes mindfulness and body awareness, improving self-esteem and confidence and leading to better sexual experiences.
Sexual health encompasses physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being concerning sexuality.
Improving sexual health can be done through lifestyle changes such as having a balanced diet, excluding inflammatory foods, taking nutraceuticals and herbal supplements, engaging in physical activity, avoiding substance abuse, managing stress, getting good sleep, managing weight, and practicing yoga.
These habits help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, regulate hormones, improve blood circulation, and boost energy levels, leading to better sexual health and satisfaction.
Sexual health is no longer a taboo.
Embracing sexual health is crucial for overall well-being and happiness.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is critical in promoting better sexual health for all genders.
Don’t be afraid to prioritise your sexual well-being and nurture a positive relationship with sex. So stay healthy, and stay sassy!
Maitri Trivedi is a Nutritionist at Pure Nutrition Naturals.
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Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com
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