All Posts Tagged: antioxidants

Couple in Bed, Facing Away from Each Other

Lost Libido? What You Need to Know About Sexual Drive and Desire

When I began my naturopathic medical practice, I did not realize what an issue libido was for women (and men, too).  I quickly learned that MANY patients have concerns about their libido – mostly that their once-strong desire has dissipated with the addition of age, stresses, kids, jobs, etc.  Often one person’s desire is a mismatch for the desire of their partner, creating stress in the relationship.  Sound familiar?

Sexual desire is very individual.  While some folks have desire daily, others feel desire once a week, once a month, or seldom.  Comparing yourself to someone else is useless!  Just because a TV personality, your mom, or your best friend says you should have desire a certain number of times per week does NOT mean that’s normal.  What IS normal libido?  Simple… there is none!  When we talk about “normal libido,” we have to take societal averages out of the conversation and focus on what feels right for YOU.

Many factors inform our desire, including stress, hormonal levels, nutrient status, how we feel about our partner, how we were raised, and how much we sleep.   One thing that often stuns my patients, when we talk about libido, is that often desire comes AFTER connection with their partner.  If we make time in our days for true intimacy and connection, often the desire flows freely.  But, if we wait for desire to initiate intimacy and connection, we may be waiting a long time.  There are so many distractions in our lives, that scheduling alone time with our partner (or ourselves) is essential to connecting into our desire.

How can you connect with your desire?  Can you schedule time with your partner (or yourself) to remove distractions and allow yourself to relax?  Often that’s all that’s needed.  A visit to your naturopathic physician may uncover nutrient deficiencies or hormonal imbalances that can be at the root of low libido.  Stress management, in the form of yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, or psychotherapy can also be helpful.  And don’t underestimate the universal need to engage our passions – whatever they may be.  What are you passionate about?  How can you bring more passion for life INTO your life?  When we allow ourselves to pursue our passions, often libido follows.

5 Minute Health Hacks

How Antioxidants Help Libido

I am often asked which supplement I suggest to boost libido. (Believe it or not, this is a common question at parties!) My answer is not what you’d think, because it has nothing to do with hormones. One of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the modern diet is antioxidants, which help us to detoxify and rid ourselves of waste products, which in turn protects our cells from damage. Boosting antioxidant status can really boost energy and libido. Incorporating ItWorks! Greens chews into your day is a great way to get the antioxidants you need.

These chews are a great energy pick-me up in the afternoon and many folks report a wonderful “side effect” of increased libido. Don’t overdo it – chewing 1-2 of these per day packs an amazing antioxidant punch.

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Safe sun exposure

Sunscreen and Your Skin: What You Need to Know Right Now

The skin is our largest organ. It protects us, and in turn we need to protect our skin. Everything we put on our skin is absorbed. Period. I try not to put anything on my skin that I would not ingest. Sometimes this is easier said than done!

When it comes to sunscreen, I get questions all the time—about which type is best, whether sunscreen is really needed, whether it is ideal to NOT wear sunscreen in order to optimize vitamin D production. So, let’s talk skin, sunscreen and vitamin D. What’s a person to do?

Dr. Jennifer’s Rules for Safe Sun Exposure

Rule #1
Allow your body a little sun exposure without sunscreen.

Yup, a little sun is OK. Getting 20 minutes of sun a few times per week, without wearing sunscreen (and without sunglasses, for that matter), will allow your body to make vitamin D. However, your vitamin D production will depend on your geographic location, the time of day, and tone of your skin in addition to the length of sun exposure. To ensure you have an optimal vitamin D level for immune and hormonal health, get your level tested and take a high-quality vitamin D supplement. (Note: If you have strict instructions from your dermatologist to avoid sun exposure due to a history of skin cancer, you’ll need to supplement your diet with Vitamin D3.)

Rule #2
If you’re going to be in the sun more than 20 minutes, wear sun protection.

Sun protection can be a physical block, such as breathable clothing and a hat, or it can be a good-quality natural sunscreen. Or both, especially if you have fair skin, a history of skin cancer, or are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time. Remember that the sun can reflect off of surfaces onto your skin, so don’t plan on your clothing and hat giving you total protection, especially if you plan to be near water. Water reflects the sun, so protect your skin by applying a sunscreen! The Environmental Working Group is a great resource to help you choose a non-toxic, good-for-your-body sunscreen.

Rule #3
Get your skin checked by a dermatologist once a year.

Really! Have your skin checked by an expert. Skin cancer is on the rise, and not all skin cancers look scary—some can be tiny dots that you might not even notice. A dermatologist will look at your skin and map any moles or freckles that could turn into skin cancer. A dermatologist can compare how your skin changes from year to year, giving you the best preventative care possible.

5 Minute Health Hacks

Protecting Your Skin with Antioxidants

Did you know that maintaining proper antioxidant levels helps you to protect your skin from sunburn? While a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help us increase our antioxidant levels, often a good-quality supplement is needed to maximize antioxidant status. Grapenol, a grape seed extract, is my favorite option for increasing antioxidants and preventing sunburn. (Note: grape seed extract is different from grapefruit seed extract.) Two to three capsules twice a day is ideal.

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