How Nutrition Impacts On Male Libido

Has the buzz gone out of your sex life? Do you just spend most of your precious bedroom time watching prime time news or sports during weekends?  Well, its time you start being conscious about what you eat and how it affects your sex drive. Just as other aspects of health are important, sexual health is also an important part of our overall wellbeing. Sound nutrition may help restore decreased libido as well as maintain an already existing one. Below are various nutrients which can enhance libido in men by helping their bodies produce necessary sex hormones, increase blood flow to the brain, boost energy as well as aid in dealing with the effects of stress vitamins-1B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and B6) are important for hormonal balance and good pituitary function as well as dilation of blood vessels. Biotin (Vitamin B7) increases male sex drive. They can be obtained from raw nuts, whole grains and asparagus. Vitamin C which is associated with proper functioning of the sexual organ. It also boosts sperm function. Vitamin C is in plenty in fruits. For instance, the bromelain, a vital form of vitamin C found in bananas is believed to boost libido and may be a great relief for impotent men. Vitamin A nurtures your adrenal glands which increases sex appetite. Vitamin A is present in carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach. Asparagus vegetable can assist the body in producing testosterone (male sexual hormone). Vitamin E increases Excitement; it aids in the production of sex hormone and enhances blood circulation. One should however be careful about taking huge amounts because it can lead to increased blood pressure. Vitamin E is naturally found in nuts, beans, grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Zinc a mineral found in lean meat is important in the production of testosterone as well as increase sperm count. Selenium (important mineral) plays a significant role in promoting sex urge in men besides increasing male potency. It is found in whole grains, red meat, tuna and chicken.

Special ingredients

Maybe we have once heard from colleagues that certain spices increase our libido. That’s quite true.

  1. Garlic for instance increases blood flow to the penile which is an important element of sex mood. If you are irritated by the smell of Garlic, you may take capsules of odorless or aged garlic.
  2. Regular coffee takers are most likely to describe themselves more sexually active than non coffee takers. Caffeine reduces the probability of erection failure. At times, caffeine may wake you up if you feel lethargic. Nevertheless, too much caffeine can reverse the effect as it can make a person too hyper to focus or feel turned on.
  3. Chocolate impacts the nervous system as it contains phenylethylamine, a chemical which gives you that romantic sensation of being in love, hence craving for sex.

Did you know?

Celery (an edible root vegetable) contains androsterone (a hormone released by men celery-rvpduring perspiration) and is thought to enhance your partner’s desire hence increase your own libido.

When both partners are full of energy it almost always results to sex. The more energized they both are, the greater the sex. Hence to have great sex, it’s good for a man to help her partner with house chores in the evening before going to bed! Of course this last point is debatable too.

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Men and women are equally stressed; however men deal with stress differently. They bottle everything up and are hence more likely to suffer harmful effects of stress. The major causes of stress for both women and men are family, relationships, finances and work issues. However the greatest cause of stress differs in the two with relationship loss being the greater stressor for women while performance failure for men. Men tend to let their rival’s efforts or their employer’s agenda set the level of their demand, losing focus on the self to preoccupation with winning or attaining an extrinsic objective. But not all stress is bad. Minor instances of stress keep us engaged and challenged. This level of stress can make life interesting and help us achieve our goals.  However, the danger is when stress takes over. Stress is a normal response to life’s many challenges, even when they are positive ones, such as a new job or a new baby. It is only when stress becomes too much to manage that it is harmful to the mind and body.stress

The main symptoms of stress include;

  • Feeling tired,
  • Forgetfulness,
  • Inability to sleep,
  • Irritability,
  • Lack of motivation,
  • Loss of concentration and an inability to complete projects,
  • Muscular and skeletal aches and pains and recurring headaches.

Stress can also cause more severe medical conditions: Chest pains, Digestive problems, Elevated blood pressure, Elevated heart rate at rest, Sexual problems such as lack of desire, inability to have an erection, or premature ejaculation, Skin eruptions

Managing stress is very different by men and women. Women often seek support from friends, family, or a support group to talk out the emotional experience, to process what is happening and what might be done. Men do not like admitting vulnerabilities. Men often seek an escape activity to get relief from stress, to create a relaxing diversion, to get away from the stress. This could be attributed to the way men are taught from an early age. Men are taught to act as if they can control the impossible on a daily basis

Three simple steps that can be used to manage stress include:

  • First getting interpersonally connected with friends you rely on and talk with through a stressful situation.
  • Secondly, getting physical exercise that has been shown to be a major stress reducer by boosting production of the brains feel-good hormones known as endorphins. In addition exercise helps to improve one’s mood by increasing self confidence and lowering the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. As one is busy exercising focus is on the task at hand which help one forget worries and relax. It is important to chose an activity that you enjoy doing like walking, climbing, jogging, bicycling, zumba, weightlifting and swimming.
  • Last and definitely not the least, important step is getting enough sleep.

However, too much sleep is considered an unhealthy way of dealing with stress. Other unhealthy ways of dealing with stress include hiding behind too much alcohol and drugs; smoking; eating too much (for some, is akin to taking a drug) or eating too little as radical changes in blood sugar levels can affect your moods, dulling the emotional symptoms of stress; acting out anger on others; zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer; withdrawing from friends, family, and activities; procrastinating and trying to escape the stressful situation by filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems. These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common and second most deadly form of cancer among men in the world. The prostate gland is a doughnut-shaped cluster of glands located at the bottom of the bladder about halfway between the rectum and the base of the penis. The prostate is not essential for life but is important for reproduction. The main function of the prostate gland is to store and produce seminal fluid. Seminal fluid is a milky liquid that transports and nourishes sperm. For normal functioning of the prostate it requires male hormones, like testosterone, to help regulate bladder control and normal sexual functioning.Image

Prostate cancer is cancer affecting the prostate gland. Prostate cancer grows slowly and may not spread for many years. The older you are the more likely you are to develop prostate cancer. It is rare in men younger than 40 years of age. Risk factors for developing prostate cancer include being over 65 years of age, family history of prostate cancer and some genetic factors. Blacks have been shown to also have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. One of the common myths on the risk of prostate cancer is high levels of sexual activity or frequent ejaculation. The fact is, some studies have shown that men who report more frequent ejaculations may have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. In addition, having a vasectomy was originally thought to increase a man’s risk to develop prostate cancer, but this has since been disproven.

The main symptoms of prostate cancer include; Problems with passing urine e.g., pain during urination, difficulty starting or stopping the stream; loss of weight and appetite; blood in urine; painful ejaculation and lower back pain. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is made by feeling the prostate through the wall of the rectum during a digital rectal examination or doing a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Other tests include ultrasound, x-rays, or a biopsy.

Treatment often depends on the stage of the cancer and a combination of treatments might be used. There is no “one size fits all” treatment for prostate cancer. Men with prostate cancer have many treatment options. The treatment that’s best for one man may not be best for another. The options include watchful waiting also known as active surveillance where the prostate cancer is carefully watched for any progression and if there are changes then treatment is started; prostatectomy which is the surgical removal of all or part of the prostate; radiation therapy; hormone therapy also known as androgen-deprivation therapy or ADT, is designed to stop testosterone from being released or to prevent it from acting on the prostate cells. Testosterone is the main fuel for prostatic cells growth; and chemotherapy. Depending on the treatment strategy used, side effects might be witnessed. These include; Urinary dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, loss of fertility, side effects of hormone therapy and side effects of chemotherapy

A regular prostate exam can help with early detection of prostate cancer. The question of screening is a personal and complex one. When to start screening is generally based on individual risk, with age 40 being a reasonable time to start screening for those at highest risk.

Other conditions affecting the prostate gland that are of importance include prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. It is often the result of infectious bacteria that invades the prostate from another area of the body. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a non cancerous growth of the prostate that can interfere with urination. Symptoms include: urgent feeling to urinate, weak urinary stream, frequent need to urinate, and involuntary discharge of urine.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a general term that refers to the inflammation of the liver. This can be caused by various causes mainly viruses or other non infectious causes. The non-infectious causes of hepatitis include alcohol, certain medication, chemicals, genetic problem, metabolic disorder, or an immune related injury. The main cause of hepatitis is viruses hence the need to know the main viruses that cause hepatitis and how to prevent infection.

  1. Hepatitis A virus (HAV):

Hepatitis A is spread from an infected person’s feces directly or indirectly contaminating food, drinking water, cooking utensils or someone else’s fingers. The incubation period is two to six weeks after infection. Hepatitis A is considered an acute condition.

  1. Hepatitis B virus(HBV);

Hepatitis B is spread through sexual contact, blood transfusion or exposure to an infected person’s blood via cuts, open sores, needle sharing, razor sharing or ear piercing tools. In addition, hepatitis B can be spread from mother to child at birth. The incubation period is four to 25 weeks. Hepatitis B is the most serious form of hepatitis.

Ninety percent of all hepatitis B cases are considered acute, while the other 10 percent are considered chronic and may progress to chronic hepatitis leading to cirrhosis (a disease of the liver caused by chronic damage to its cells), liver failure or liver cancer.

  1. Hepatitis C virus(HCV);

Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily by direct blood contact – via blood transfusion or and contaminated needles. The incubation period is five to 10 weeks. Twenty-five percent of the hepatitis C cases are considered acute, while the other 75 percent are considered chronic, which may result in cirrhosis.

  1. Hepatitis D virus(HDV);

Hepatitis D is found mainly in intravenous drug users who are carriers of the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis D can cause both acute and chronic disease.

  1. Hepatitis E virus(HEV);

Hepatitis E resembles hepatitis A, and is transmitted in the same manner.

Many people with Hepatitis experience either mild symptoms or none at all. This group of individuals will continue with their daily activities without ever realizing they have a hepatitis infection. For those who present with symptoms of hepatitis, the symptoms are similar, irrespective of cause. Early in the disease, the symptoms resemble those of flu (flu-like symptoms) such as fever, muscle or joint pains, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain. As the disease progresses other symptoms may occur such as jaundice (commonly seen as yellowness of the eyes), dark urine, itching, light colored stool, drowsiness and dizziness.

Hepatitis can heal on its own, even without treatment, with no significant consequence. However, it can progress to scarring of the liver (Liver cirrhosis) which can lead to chronic liver disease. Acute hepatitis lasts under six months, while chronic hepatitis lasts longer.

Depending on the type of viral hepatitis, there are different measures you can take to protect yourself. If hepatitis A or E, proper hygienic practices are vital. These include proper hand washing before handling food and after using the toilet, taking boiled or treated water,only eat raw vegetables if you are sure they have been cleaned thoroughly and only eat fruits that you can peel if you are somewhere where sanitation is unreliable. If Hepatitis B, C or D, avoid direct contact with any blood or body fluids. This includes sharing of personal items that may be contaminated with blood or body fluids.

Vaccination for the people at risk is done for Hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis A is a two-dose vaccine and Hepatitis B is a three dose vaccine. Both vaccines are administered in the muscle, usually the upper arm and are available in the Kenyan market.