The Sex Diet With Christine DeLozier
Jordan D’Nelle 0:01
Welcome to Vaginas Vulvas and Vibrators with Jordan D’Nelle this is a safe place to learn about women’s health and sexual wellness. I’m your host Jordan D’nelle, physician assistant, women’s sexual educator and intimacy coach. On today’s episode, we have a special guest joining us to talk all about diet and sex. Did you know that what you are eating and putting into your body can affect your desires, your natural secretions, your blood flow, all of that. Today, Christina is going to tell us all kinds of foods that you want to make sure you incorporate and what to avoid to make sure that you are having the best sex possible.
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Joining me today is Christine DeLozier. She is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist who specializes in sexual health. Acupuncture is great for sexual function, but to address the underlying mechanics of consistently great sex diet is key. For this reason, she works with patients to develop dietary habits that support their sexual goals. Christine holds a master’s degree in acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and counseling. During her education, she studied Chinese dietary therapy and earned a certification as a holistic nutritional counselor. Really in her practice, she treated numerous men for rectal issues with acupuncture, who ended up having significant improvements in sexual satisfaction. After seeing how meaningful this improvement was in their lives. She specialized in sexual health, expanding her practice to all those who seek it. She wanted to do more to help them connect with their partners and bring joy to their relationships. Christine, would you like to go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself?
Christine DeLozier 2:36
Sure. My name is Christine DeLozier. I am a licensed acupuncturist in private practice specializing in sexual health. And I recently published my book diet for great sex food for male and female sexual health.
Jordan D’Nelle 2:52
I love that can you tell us what inspired you to write that book?
Christine DeLozier 2:56
Well, I’ve always been obsessed with food. I’m a foodie, I love to cook I love to, you know, photograph food. But more importantly, I’ve always had this belief that so much of health can be addressed with the food that we eat. And I in in that passion. I’ve gotten training in nutrition in you know, Chinese dietary therapy. I was also I studied to be a research scientist when I was an undergraduate. So I kind of brought all of that knowledge of research into it. And I really wanted to see what science had to say about this relationship between food. And this entire trifecta of great sex blood flow to the penis in vagina and clitoris, nerve conduction, and balance of sex hormones. And so that’s what the whole books about.
Jordan D’Nelle 3:50
I love that and I feel like diet I’m a huge believer that diet is important for all types of things, just overall health. But definitely from a sex standpoint, I can see where diet would make a huge difference. So how does diet affect our sex lives?
Christine DeLozier 4:05
So let’s take it in as an example leafy greens because leafy greens are one of the absolute best things you can eat for great sex. So, first of all, leafy greens have been shown in research to reduce cortisol. And cortisol is a stress hormone that sabotages testosterone. And testosterone of course is not just important for male sexual function. It’s important for female libido and pretty much all aspects of sexual health for us as well. leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants. And one of the biggest complaints that I have from my female patients is difficulty achieving orgasm. And what they’ll all those antioxidants do is they protect nerves against oxidative stress. They help repair nerve damage and what that does is that helps speed and strengthen nerve signals of pleasure to and from the genitals. So what that translates to is better lubrication, better libido, better pleasure signals in a better orgasm altogether. And then thirdly, leafy greens are loaded with phytonutrients, which promote vascular health, they’re loaded with potassium, which will improve the elasticity of blood vessels and soften that delicate inner lining of blood vessels leading to the clitoris, and vagina. And they also promote vascular health in other ways. They’re high in naturally occurring nitrates, which also promote vascular health. And they actually even in the short term, dilate those blood vessels to for more blood flow within a couple hours of eating them. So that’s just an example the foods we eat can basically sabotage our sex hormones, or they can encourage them, they can stiffen blood vessels, or they can help make them bring, you know, more blood flow, they can strengthen nerve conduction, or they can actually make them slower and more sluggish. And there’s a very strong, you know, very direct relationship between the food we eat, and all three of these dimensions. And there’s a lot of science to support that.
Jordan D’Nelle 6:19
Absolutely, it looks like I’m going straight to the grocery store to buy a big old bag of leafy greens. This I can see like in you know, I work in primary care and fertility, but primary care for the concept of this. Diet is important for blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, in all of that has an impact on your blood vessels and your nerves. And so I can totally see from that standpoint, how it’s all related. So when it comes to women sexual function, it affects your natural lubrication, your blood flow, and your nerve conduction, ultimately leading to better orgasms. Is there anything else with women’s sexual function? That diet really plays a role in?
Christine DeLozier 7:07
Yeah, so when we balance our sex hormones, that helps to optimize libido and that is number two, I would say Actually, I don’t know they’re in kind of in competition for number one. And number two is the biggest issues that my female patients come in wanting to address is libido and orgasm, you know, and then followed by lubrication, I would say, but those are pretty, pretty big issues, all of which can be addressed with diet.
Jordan D’Nelle 7:34
Yeah, and I know like as women age and becoming a puzzle, a lot of times their estrogen drops. And that also has an impact on your natural lubrication. And so eating foods that help promote natural estrogen production can be beneficial. What are like your, besides leafy greens? What is another important recommendation for women to make when it comes to diet changes?
Christine DeLozier 7:59
Well, let me tell you something about blood flow, because this is a very important concept, all the foods that we eat to support this process, they have to address blood flow, not only because it you know, helps with sexual pleasure, I mean, it does women becoming gorged in the clitoris, and it makes the clitoris more sensitive to the touch. It helps with other things too. lubrication is secondary to blood flow. So you need blood flow in order to have lubrication. So the foods that we really have to promote that, besides leave leafy greens, you’ve got a whole other category of foods, which will, in the short term and long term, promote better blood flow. So you’ve got your nitrate rich foods like beets, all those foods that athletes use, for example, to increase performance. They are also useful in the bedroom too, because they improve stamina. They improve the way your body utilizes oxygen. And they actually dilate blood vessels to actually bring more blood flow to the genitals. in that category. We have things like beets, we have things like celery, we have things like cabbage and cruciferous, but another thing that’s really important, I would say is potassium that we could have a whole discussion on potassium in general, we don’t get enough of it. And it’s something that we have to make a conscious effort to get into our diets. You know, human beings, we used to take in about 10 times as much potassium as sodium and now it’s just the opposite. We take in about 10 times as much sodium from all of our processed diets as potassium. What this does is a number of things. It wreaks havoc on those blood vessels leading to the clitoris and vagina and stiffens them. It promotes these vascular calcifications, this lack of it because first of all, all the extra Result makes your kidneys have to flush out potassium with it in order to deal with all the salt. And then it’s forced to conserve potassium in other ways. And the big victim here is your blood vessels. And potassium on its own can offset some of those negative effects on your blood vessels of salt. But it has it has its own benefits all on its own, there’s not a big list of things that have a lot of potassium. In it, though we’re talking about, you know, the highest ones have about 20% of your daily potassium for a serving. So if you eat a big potato with the skin on, you’ll get about 20% of your daily potassium, same with a yam, but about 40% of that potassium is in the skin, so you have to eat it with the skin on to really maximize your benefits. And then you’ve got your oranges and your mangoes, and your banana, and your leafy greens. But other than that, not a whole lot of foods have a whole lot of potassium in them. So it’s something that you have to say, Okay, I’m gonna make, I’m gonna make this part of my shopping list every week, and have this at least a couple times a day, a couple of servings of these high potassium foods.
Jordan D’Nelle 11:08
So I’ve had a handful of patients that come into office telling me that they are taking potassium supplement, how much is too much? Like, would you ever recommend supplementing with a pill? Or would you recommend just getting it from your diet,
Christine DeLozier 11:22
because the fact that you can certainly overdose on potassium, I recommend getting it from food. The other thing is that minerals in our body compete for binding sites. So I have I’ve actually seen people who take you know, a magnesium, a small amount of magnesium and end up with signs of hyper or Sunni hypocalcemia num lives a heart rate that just like drops and that all of those minerals, if you take excess of one, it can inadvertently cause a deficiency in the other. And so things like iron competes with calcium, for examples, zinc competes with magnesium, and then they compete. And so you really want to get a nice balance of it. If you eat a big potato, you’re going to be getting a nice balance of minerals. Whereas if you take a supplement, you’re going to be getting a lot of one mineral.
Jordan D’Nelle 12:16
Yeah, and that was always my biggest concern with patients is overdosing on potassium because too much potassium can stop your heart. And I mean, unfortunately at home, you just don’t know how much is too much. And some patients, a lot of patients think a little is good. So more is always better, which is not the case. And I think that getting your nutrients from diet is very important. How did you discover these diet modifications to improve sexual function?
Christine DeLozier 12:46
Honestly, I pored over 1000s of studies, I basically spent countless hours just looking at research and so the only things I really included in the book were things that had scientific research to back it up and that have been measured. And fortunately they have some of them have been measured directly. We know that antioxidants improve sexual health in type two diabetics For example, we know that the the speed of those nerve signals are stronger and faster with antioxidant supplementation. And we also know that antioxidants will help patients who take them who have type two diabetes, for example, report greater sexual satisfaction. Some of them are more indirect like we know that blood flow is good for sexual health, we know that it improves all dimensions of satisfaction. And we know that these foods improve blood flow. So it’s like you have to go two steps in order to get there. Does that make sense?
Jordan D’Nelle 13:45
That definitely makes sense. So when it comes to antioxidants in the fertility world, we actually recommend them a lot of times for men to improve their sperm quality and function. And we really just don’t, we don’t have an easy way to get all of this stuff into our diets. What are some tricks to do that?
Christine DeLozier 14:07
Honestly, you really have to eat a whole lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. But there are some powerhouses of antioxidants. So you have choices with which fruits you eat. It’s really easy to go a whole day and not eat any if you’re not making a conscious effort, but there’s some that you can really focus on so spinach is a powerhouse of antioxidants. berries are a powerhouse of antioxidants. One very important lovely food that I you know, is very close to my heart are mushrooms. I love mushrooms. They’re loaded with antioxidants. And not only that, but they’re loaded with other benefits to sex, they speed nerve conduction, they help repair nerve damage. They promote cardiovascular health, blood flow, hormonal balance, optimal testosterone and each mushroom is really unique and what it brings to the table but the coolest thing about all of them is the research that I saw on how they benefit the body. So mushrooms have the capability to actually improve the microbiome, which is so fascinating to me. And each mushroom kind of acts on different particular species in the gut. But even your white button mushroom was found in research to improve the biodiversity of the microbes in our digestive tract, improving beneficial species and reducing more harmful species. So really, really fascinating, amazing contribution to sexuality.
Jordan D’Nelle 15:42
That is so interesting. I never knew that about mushrooms. Do you like alternate or rotate your mushrooms Do you take like a special mushroom supplement because I know that there’s a bunch of like, different teas with mushrooms in there are those the type of things that you should use or just go to Costco and get some mushrooms.
Christine DeLozier 16:01
So host defenses are really nice brand of supplements if you do if you just plain don’t like mushrooms, but teas. I love Chugga chugga is a fungus that grows on the bark of birch trees. And it’s this Woody, these woody little chunks and you boil them you can actually reuse them multiple times. And it makes this this liquid that looks kind of like coffee, which is probably one of the reasons why it was used as a coffee substitute after World War Two. And it has a nice fidella aroma. It’s loaded with antioxidants. It’s anti inflammatory, it’s been shown to be anti viral. And it’s a great way to get mushrooms without actually eating them because some of my patients just don’t like them. But I do very them because each of them has a unique benefit for sure things like lion’s mane, it’s one of those things where it’s renowned for its ability to repair nerve damage, and actually help regrow nerves. But it also tastes amazing in a spaghetti sauce. So you chop it up, it has a really nice flavor you can use it is very versatile. So I always throw in some lion’s mane and I throw in some oyster mushrooms. When I’m cooking like a pasta sauce, I might throw in something else too. But they’re really nice, they have a nice flavor. So that kind of determines how I use mushrooms as well.
Jordan D’Nelle 17:22
In your book, do you have a diet plan that specifically lays out like, this is what you should do? Or do you have a list of suggestions for each meal? How do you like how do you incorporate this into your diet.
Christine DeLozier 17:35
So there’s some general guidelines. And there’s also a sample menu just to give people an idea of the sort of meals that would go what fit nicely, but it’s about balance. So I have one recipe in there that like a shwarma steak and mushroom tacos. And that’s not that’s that wouldn’t be good for plant based readers. But there’s only one meat recipe in there in the whole thing because we in generally need to really focus on reducing our fat intake. But you wouldn’t be wanting to eat that every single night anyways, you’d be balancing it, you want to look at the entire week, not just one meal, so some of your meals are going to be way less fat, others are going to be a little bit more fat. But when you look at the sum of your meals over the course of a week, you want them to kind of fit in there. So it gives us a sample week menu as well as a sample date night menu and that that menu contains all of the categories of foods that have been shown in research to have short term benefits. So for example, let’s say you’re going out on a date, and you’re going to be getting busy later on in the evening. Are you going to want to have chicken alfredo? No, you’re not going to want to have chicken on Friday with tiramisu, lovely tasty meal. But you know all that fat in it is going to have an immediate stiffening effect on blood vessels bringing less blood flow, the all the salt is going to have the same effect. The high sugar in the desert is going to tank testosterone in the short term. And so there are alternatives. So for example, a high omega three fat meal like salmon or like walnuts for plant based eaters will actually have the opposite effect on blood vessels, they’ll actually help promote more blood flow and the blood vessels are measurably according to research more elastic and more pliable. So there we have a desert that it’s going to stay away from our refined sugars to keep our testosterone high. And we’re going to include some of those other things that have been known in research to help blood flow in the short term like potassium rich foods like poly phenol rich foods. So you can create an entire meal based on all of those things and it’s not, I wouldn’t say it’s going to be like a Viagra pill according to the feedback I’ve gotten from my patients but it’s noticeable. It’s subtle, noticeable and the more The longer you eat like that, the more benefits you get for sure.
Jordan D’Nelle 20:04
How long do you need to eat, kind of following this diet before you see improvements,
Christine DeLozier 20:11
honestly, not as long as you would think it does depend on your baseline. So if I have a patient who’s in the office, and they’re saying their 30s, and they say, I’ve just noticed a slight decline in pleasure or you know, erectile strength as a male patient, then it’s going to be a lot quicker results than if I have somebody who comes in who says they haven’t had an erection in 10 years, the length of time it takes is going to be different. And depending on how occluded those arteries and in the genitals are, or if they’re not occluded at all that sort of thing, if a patient has type two diabetes, but most of my patients, I would say, if they change their diet for one week, they will report back that they have better sex.
Jordan D’Nelle 20:57
That’s awesome. I definitely expected you to say like three to six months of doing this, at minimum before you see a difference. Although like I know, for me, my body doesn’t tolerate gluten, dairy eggs very well. And if I eat something, it takes like probably 48 hours for me to notice resolution after I eat something that my body doesn’t like. So I guess that would make sense that within a week, I can see a difference if I followed that diet.
Christine DeLozier 21:24
Yeah, because your hormones, I mean, certain, certain parts of your hormones actually respond quite quickly to treatment. So refined sugars are one of those things that very much very rapidly disrupt hormones. And so taking those out of the picture for even a week can really help but can really help with with just balance things and help with in the bedroom.
Jordan D’Nelle 21:45
I love that. Do you work with a lot of patients who have diabetes, and like high blood pressure and things that affect their sex drive?
Christine DeLozier 21:52
I’ve definitely worked with a fair number of patients. Yeah, yeah, I would say, I mean, I don’t I wouldn’t say half or even a quarter. But I would say a good portion of my patients definitely have type two diabetes, and some of them have diabetic neuropathy. And so when they have diabetic neuropathy, we know that there’s stuff going on with nerve conduction, strength and speed, you know?
Jordan D’Nelle 22:15
Yeah, I wish that there was just more information for the general public about diet. And this seems to be kind of a recurring theme in my podcast, and something that I preach to patients a lot like a healthy real food diet makes a huge difference in preventing diseases and really feeling your best. And I just wish that like there was better access to all that information.
Christine DeLozier 22:41
Yeah, me too. Absolutely. Because people don’t think about what you eat affecting that your sex life, I even my patients that I treat for musculoskeletal issues, I address their diet, because if you want to improve blood flow to your tissues, diet can definitely help with that. So indirectly really does affect things like back pain and things like that.
Jordan D’Nelle 23:02
That so make sense? totally makes sense. Are there any foods that are really bad for sex?
Christine DeLozier 23:08
Yeah, so about 30 minutes after salt rich meal, blood vessels are measurably stiffer, which means that they’re not able to deliver as much blood flow. But that effect doesn’t just go away after the salt wears off, there’s a cumulative damage to those blood vessels. So our salty processed fatty diets are definitely not great for sex, certain fats are better than others, you know, so certainly like your koufos your you know, poly unsaturated fatty acids, your mufa as your your omega three fat so those are all way better. And there are a lot of studies to show that your high sugar again really disrupts your hormones and it’s not just your sex hormone. So if you’re eating a high processed sugar diet, it’s going to affect your your insulin sensitivity, it’s going to affect leptin sensitivity, and some people that’s what tells us when we’re full. And when that happens, then in turn that affects sex hormones. So everything is interconnected, it’s very rare that patients have one hormone out of balance in in, in practice, they tend to have a whole slew of hormones that are out of whack. So sugar, salt, fat, and just processed foods in general, or should be left alone when possible. I mean, sorry, I’m not saying don’t eat fat i’m not i’m not saying don’t do that. Don’t Don’t leave alone fat. Just keep it in mind and choose better fats, your avocados, your salmon, your walnuts, that sort of thing.
Jordan D’Nelle 24:53
Yeah, the healthier fats rather than the canola oil, processed food fats. Yeah, absolutely. Well this has been so informational I definitely need to create a new grocery list after this week if the listeners were to take one thing away from today’s episode, what would you want it to be? Be
Christine DeLozier 25:11
kind to your bodies and start early. For the best sex for the longest amount of time, start early taking care of those arteries and nerves leading to and from the genitals.
Jordan D’Nelle 25:24
I love that. Well, thank you so much for joining me today. Where can the listeners find you at?
Christine DeLozier 25:30
I am on social media at diet for great sex. My website is diet for great sex calm, and my book is on Amazon.
Jordan D’Nelle 25:39
Love it and I will put all those links in the show notes. So thank you so much.
Christine DeLozier 25:44
Thank you so much.
Jordan D’Nelle 25:46
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