If I were to ask you what are the benefits of the Paleo diet, the first things you would probably say are: weight loss and improved health. Well, you’re absolutely right! But let’s look more at what “improved health” means and talk about something that isn’t discussed nearly enough in conversations about balanced health: your sex life and sexual function.
That sex is good for you is one thing we can all agree on – even conventional wisdom and Western medicine. Just check out this list of ways sex improves your health (source):
- improved immune system function
- increased libido
- strengthens the pelvic floor to help prevent incontinence as you age
- lowers blood pressure
- it is legit exercise (who says exercise has to be boring!)
- lowers the risk of heart attack
- orgasms reduce pain
- may decrease risk of prostate cancer
- improves sleep
- lowers stress
Those are all really awesome benefits! Yet, unfortunately in the U.S., talking about sex can make folks uncomfortable, and in general the culture around sex (especially for women) is very unhealthy. Sex is natural and should have no shame attached to it, yet women especially are made to feel like they are “dirty” for wanting to have sex and enjoying it. And sadly, according to The Cleveland Clinic, it is estimated that 43% of women and 31% of men report some degree of sexual dysfunction or difficulty. That’s awful!
How can Paleo help your sex life? Well, just in time for Valentine’s Day, here are some insights into how going Paleo can enrich your life and your health via improving your sexual function.
Paleo can give you more energy
One of the most common “side effects” of going Paleo that many report is that they suddenly have a lot more energy, a clearer mind, and stamina to both work and play each day. It’s hard to want to have sex if you are fatigued all the time, so the extra energy from your nutritious Paleo diet can help you be in the mood and have the energy for sex more often.
Paleo can help you lose weight
This is simple – for many of us, shedding extra weight can lead to a big confidence boost (this was definitely the case for me!) and when you are confident you are definitely more sexy to your partner. I can tell you from personal experience: if you don’t feel sexy (i.e. 80 lbs obese the way I was before Paleo) it’s hard to feel good about having sex. I had a lot of shame about my body shape and condition that lifted like a fog when I started losing weight.
Losing weight can also lead to improved exercise stamina – and didn’t we just say that sex counts as exercise? 😉
Paleo can address root hormonal problems
Switching to an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense diet full of healthy fats like Paleo can do wonders for your hormones and is a great first step in addressing this kind of root problem. When I went Paleo my hormonal acne cleared up, my periods became more regular and less painful, and I stopped having intense breast tenderness periodically in my cycle – all of which were indications of improved sex hormone balance. You can find lots of similar stories online from other people after going Paleo – plus lots of mention of increased libido in the weeks after going Paleo!
Paleo can improve digestive health
Wait, what does digestion have to do with sex? Think about it: do you typically want to have sex when you are feeling sick? Chronic digestive ailments are becoming more common and many people find relief when they switch to a Paleo diet, such as a reduction in gas and bloating (which can majorly impede the mood…), relief from symptoms of IBS, and more regular bowel movements. Trust me: I used to suffer from IBS and it is really hard to get in the mood when your digestion is a mess and your abdomen chronically hurts. Going Paleo removes common irritating foods from your diet and replaces them with anti-inflammatory foods that can help improve the health of the gut, which helps makes sex feel good instead of potentially painful.
Remember: taking one step in the right direction with your health makes the next steps easier, and can help create a positive, upward spiral with improvement following improvement, leading you to a healthier version of you. Don’t underestimate the role of sex in your health journey and enjoy this benefit of going Paleo! But please remember – if you suspect you’ve got hormonal imbalances, or still experience sexual dysfunction after going Paleo, please work with a qualified practitioner like a Chinese Medicine Doctor/Herbalist (acupuncturist), Naturopath, or Functional or Integrative Medicine MD.