The Surprising Thing That Will Ruin Your Sex Life

A man snuggling with a woman in bedWhat are some healthy sex life tips?

A sexually satisfying relationship with one’s partner is a crucial component of any healthy intimate relationship.

Throughout this article, you will learn how poor particular habits can have a devastating effect on the sex in your relationship and on your overall health and well-being.

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Good food, good sex. Bad food, bad sex.

The average American diet is actually a killer of good sex. To fully enjoy the natural delights of good sex, the human body must have the following:

1. A desire for sex

2. Adequate blood flow to the genitals

3. The endurance/stamina to get the job done

It turns out that the desire for sex, maintaining adequate blood flow to the genitals, and physical endurance are all chemically driven processes that are largely determined by the food you eat.

It all starts with desire

The desire for sex in both men and women is largely driven by the sex hormone testosterone. It’s a well-known, scientifically documented fact that low testosterone levels in either gender can lead to low sexual desire. The ability of your body to make adequate amounts of testosterone is based on the raw ingredients that you feed your body through the food you eat.

For example, foods rich in zinc and vitamin E have been associated with an increased production of testosterone, but due to increasingly nutrient-depleted soil, many American foods, including fruits and vegetables, lack adequate amounts of these essential elements. In addition, the typical American diet lacks adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are the essential building blocks the body uses to make testosterone from scratch.

To combat these deficiencies in your diet and, in return, improve your desire for sex, you should:

• eat natural, real foods (food that you can recognize or that you could theoretically pick, fish, or hunt in nature);

• choose organic or wild meat, fish, and poultry over farm-raised or corn-fed;

• take a daily high-quality multivitamin to supplement your diet.

Foods high in zinc are oysters, toasted wheat germ, veal liver, sesame seeds, roasted pumpkin, squash seeds, dried watermelon seeds, dark chocolate, and peanuts. Foods high in vitamin E are wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, broccoli, cooked spinach, and avocados. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are cold- and deep-water fish (mackerel, wild salmon, halibut, sardines, herrings, black cod, and bluefish), flaxseed, nuts, and oils (including olive oil and soybean oil). And if you can’t stomach the taste or smell of fish, consider taking 1,000 milligrams (or one gram) of fish oil supplement daily.

It’s all about blood flow

As mentioned above, after desire must come blood flow to the right places in both men and women. When a man has the desire for sex, to get things started he must have adequate blood flow to his sexual organs in order to achieve and maintain an erection. Likewise, a woman must have adequate blood flow “downstairs” for proper lubrication and enhancement of stimulation.

Blood flow to the genitals is fully controlled by the opening, closing, and/or blocking of arteries in the sex organs. One of the leading causes of impotence or erectile dysfunction in men is inadequate dilation (opening) of arteries leading to the male genitals; one common cause of inadequate dilation of these arteries is a buildup of plaque within the artery walls due to diets high in bad fats. Bad fats are generally considered trans fats and saturated fats.

• Trans fats are also called partially hydrogenated fats. These fats are man-made and used as commercial cooking oils to prepare French fries, donuts, and other fried foods, including fried chicken.

• Saturated fats are found in fatty meats, egg yolks, whole-milk dairy products (cheeses and butter), and tropical plant oils (palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter).

Plaque buildup in genital artery walls can occur in both men and women, leading to inadequate blood flow. And think about it: if you have plaque buildup in your genital artery walls, you also likely have plaque buildup in your heart arteries and brain arteries as well, which can ultimately lead to a whole other set of undesirable health problems.

So, to avoid excessive plaque buildup and to keep the blood flowing to all the right places, maintain a diet devoid of trans fats, low in saturated fats, and high in the good fats. As mentioned above, sources of food rich in omega-3 fatty acids not only increase your desire for sex by allowing your body to make adequate amounts of testosterone, but they also reduce plaque buildup in arteries, thereby improving circulation, increasing sensation, and helping you avoid a stroke or heart attack.

Another powerful item that helps keep your genital arteries open is an amino acid called L-arginine, which is used by the body to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide enhances the sexual arousal response. This common amino acid is found in food sources such as oatmeal, granola, nuts, seeds, and seafood.

Making it last

Sexual endurance is a multifaceted process that not only includes physical conditioning but also a balanced psychological state of mind. This article is certainly not long enough to fully explore the psychological aspects of sexual endurance; therefore, it focuses on the following things that can enhance one’s endurance and improve the overall experience:

• Taurine is an amino acid found in shellfish such as oysters that has been found to have caffeine-like effects (it’s used in Red Bull) for alertness and physical endurance.

• Chocolate contains caffeine, which helps perk you up and also boosts the production of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Both serotonin and dopamine contribute to a feeling of well-being and happiness, which adds new meaning to eating those decadent chocolate-covered strawberries as you set the mood. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, a chemical with an amphetamine-like effect that temporarily mimics feelings of falling in love.

• Avocados contain vitamin B6, which helps produce the feel-good hormone serotonin in the brain.

• Avoid large meals just before sex, as the body naturally shunts blood flow to the gut to aid digestion. This is believed to be the reason you get sleepy after a large meal.

• Try using lavender, since some studies have shown that the scent of lavender increases blood flow up to 40 percent!

Remember, there is one last important aspect to this conversation: when all is said and done about sexual endurance, you hold your partner’s confidence in your hands. You can choose to either build it up or tear it down.

By Dr. Jeff Brown, BDO Medical Expert

Jeffrey B. Brown, M.D., is a Johns Hopkins University/Sinai Hospital Internal Medicine trained physician. Throughout his medical school years, residency training and practice of internal medicine, he has received numerous awards and accolades for his compassion and pursuit of academic excellence. Dr. Brown is certified by the National Board of Internal Medicine. For more information, visit his website: www.jeffreybrownmd.com

Long-Distance Relationships: Are There Any Benefits?

A couple embracing each other and smiling near a beachYou know the old saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder,” but does it really?

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Maybe so: According to a new study, people in long-distance romantic relationships can form stronger bonds than those in normal relationships. Dating couples in long-distance and normal relationships told researchers about their daily interactions using different methods: face-to-face, phone calls, video chat, texting, instant messaging and email.

For a week, the participants reported to what extent they shared about themselves and experienced intimacy, and how much they they felt their partners did the same thing, for the study in the June issue of the Journal of Communication.

Long-distance couples had greater feelings of intimacy due to two factors: They disclosed more about themselves and they idealized their partners’ behaviors, said study authors Crystal Jiang of City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey Hancock of Cornell University.

Long-distance relationships are increasingly common and people use many kinds of communications technologies to maintain their romantic bonds, a journal news release noted. Recent figures show that 3 million married couples in the United States live apart. Between 25 percent and 50 percent of college students are currently in long-distance relationships and up to 75 percent have had one at some point.

Even so, many people believe that long-distance relationships are challenging.

Benefits Of A Long Distance Relationship

You’ll have independence. In many ways, people in long-distance relationships get the combined benefits of being single and of being a couple. You’ll have lots of time and freedom to devote to work or school, to maintaining friendships, and to exploring your own interests and hobbies–but you also have the support and companionship of a partner you can visit or talk to on the phone.

It will show how well you and your partner communicate. In an in-person relationship, there are so many ways to spend time together without actually talking—going to a movie, seeing a concert or a play, watching TV. When you’re long-distance, you’re forced to have conversations over the phone or webcam if you want to interact, and this can help you learn a lot about your compatibility, your shared values, and even how much fun you have together when there’s not a third-party source of entertainment.

It’ll test your relationship—in a good way. People in long-distance relationships can learn a lot about their partners in a short time: how the two of you deal with stress; how well you trust each other and whether that trust is vaild. It can teach you a lot about the strength and endurance of your relationship.

It forces you to take things slow. Not everyone needs this, but some of us have the tendency to commit to a relationship before we know what we’re really getting into. Being long-distance naturally puts off those big steps like moving in together, so you have more time to see if the other person is truly a good fit for you.

It helps you appreciate each other. It’s hard to take someone for granted when you only get to see each other once every few months—and this sense of appreciation, I’ve found, carries over to when you’re finally together again. And, it’ll make the “honeymoon period” last longer.

Even though long-distance relationships are hard, some of these “pros” are really important. If you can find ways to make it work, you’ll come out the other side with a deeper understanding of each other, and a greater appreciation for your relationship.