Ah, vegetables… They aren’t the first thing to pop to mind when we think of sex, unless we’re, well, you know. Playing with them. (Whaaat? I was talking about food fights. Obviously.)
Seriously, eating is sexy. And little is sexier diet-wise, IMO, than eating more plants and fewer animal products. A healthy, whole foods-rich, plant-based diet is one of the healthiest lifestyle shifts we can make. One of my favorite, lesser known perks? Girl Boner Gusto.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply vegetarian-inclined, you’re doing more to promote sexual health and function than most folks—unless your diet consists of plant-based chips and cookies. If your diet is anything but plant-based, you may want to consider some changes.
Here are just some of the ways a plant-based diet can bring more pleasure, fun and vitality to your sex life:
1. Conscientiousness. People generally don’t shift to plant-based diets for superficial reasons. We may be drawn by animal rights, environmental reasons or because we wish to live longer and with greater health. Regardless, it’s the most thoughtful, caring dietary path. And thoughtfulness is dang sexy. We all want lovers who consider others’ needs and take care of themselves. Hopefully we also strive to be them.
2. Natural lube. I’m not talking about mashed avocados. (Wow, the visual…) I mean the lubricant your body naturally produces, given proper circulation and hydration. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also rich in valuable fluid. In fact, much of our daily water needs can, and arguably should, be met through diet. That’s tough to do if you’re eating rich amounts of animal products.
3. Better scent and flavor! Research published in Chemical Senses in 2006 showed that red meat consumption has a negative impact on perceived body oder and physical attractiveness. Non-meat-eaters, on the other hand, seem to have a more pleasant, attractive scent and flavor.
4. Reduced inflammation. While the typical Western diet, rich in meat, dairy products and processed foods, increases inflammation, a healthy plant-based diet reduces it. This is important because inflammation interferes with normal circulation. If blood doesn’t flow freely to your genitals, they can’t reach or maintain arousal.
5. Fewer menopausal symptoms. Numerous staples of a healthy vegetarian diet, such as flaxseeds and soybeans, are rich in phytoestrogens—natural substances that may help minimize vaginal dryness, hot flashes and mood swings associated with menopause. Other fruits and vegetables, such as apples, dates, cherries, garlic, plums, yams and squash contain moderate amounts of these healthy compounds.
6. Increased energy and stamina. A diet rich in whole, plant-based foods is rich in nutrients and easy on digestion. Foods such as nuts, seeds, quinoa and fiber-rich fruits and veggies promote blood sugar control, staving off those annoying crashes that can make anything but sleep unappealing.
7. Happier moods. Emotions play a huge role in sexual desire, particularly for women. A study published in the Nutrition Journal in 2012 showed that folks who avoid meat tend to feel happier and less stressed than their carnivorous counterparts. One reason, according to researchers, is the inflammatory fat type found in animal products. Plant-based diets can also boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, making way for arousal and orgasm.
Tips for reaping plant-based diet perks with success:
- Focus on eating more plant foods, versus on avoidance or restriction of others.
- Emphasize whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
- Listen to and respect your body: Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.
- Eat mindfully—with awareness, gratitude and minimized distraction.
- Make it FUN! One way to do so? Check out The Good Life with VeegMama on YouTube.
Stephanie Dreyer, aka VeegMama, is a fabulous chef and all-around spectacular woman who makes vegan cooking easy-peasy! I had the pleasure of appearing as a guest recently, and get this: Stephanie concocted a Girl Boner Recipe! *SWOON* To learn how to make Spicy #GirlBoner Linguini (and hear our chat about Girl Boner), check out this video:
Lastly, I have to give a shout out to a couple of writer friends—KM Huber, who recently had a poignant blog post of hers published by the Washington Post, and Jess Witkins, who shared a hilarious followup to a Twitter chat she, Jenny Hansen and I had about condom sleeping bags. Check out these fab posts:
How My Blind Beagle Taught Me Zen by KM Huber
And There’s a Side Pocket for Snacks by Jess Witkins
To hear my Girl Boner Radio chat on veganism and more with actress and activist Alexandra Paul, visit this link.
Do you eat a plant-based diet? How has your diet influenced your sex life? I love hearing your thoughts!