Want to be in a better mood? Or improve your sex drive? You could try to biohack your hormones: helping your body function better by ‘hacking’ your very own DNA or makeup. Whether through tech, lifestyle shifts or diets, it’s possible, gaining popularity and less complicated than it sounds…
What is biohacking?
We all have the power take control of our health by making changes to our diet and workout routines, as well as taking supplements and practising self care to balance our mood. According to cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn, “Biohacking is measuring, instituting changes, retesting biological functions like sleep quality, fitness parameters, disease risk factors, and general vitality using tools outside of the traditional medical system.”
Low libido – or lack of sex drive – is more common than you may think, affecting both men and women. It could be due to stress, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances and more. It’s also cyclical: these factors also cause low mood and energy, which in turn reduces libido even further.
How can we biohack our hormones to boost our sex drive?
Henrietta Norton is a nutrition expert and co-founder of food-first supplement brand Wild Nutrition, so what she says is worth paying attention to. When it comes to biohacking your hormones to improve your sex life, she suggests a few things.
Up your adaptogenic herbs
“Growing demands of daily life can put pressure on the adrenal glands, leading to chronic stress. In this instance the body tends to prioritise the production of cortisol, at the expense of reproductive hormones such as testosterone – responsible for libido in both men and women.” She goes on, “adaptogenic herbs, such as Ashwagandha and Maca root, support adrenal health by normalising cortisol levels, thus reducing the negative effects of cortisol imbalance. Ashwagandha root is designed to support the body’s resilience to the the demands of everyday life, playing a key role in low mood, energy, and reduced libido.”
Boost serotonin levels
“Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation, with low levels associated with anxiety, depression, and poor libido. Serotonin is made from an essential amino acid called tryptophan, which we must get through the foods we eat. If dietary intake is low, this can have a knock-on effect,” hormone expert Henrietta Norton says. “Foods such as eggs, nuts, and dark chocolate are rich sources of tryptophan and can contribute to overall mood improvement and enhanced libido. Lean proteins, such as salmon and turkey, are also good sources of tryptophan, as well as other amino acids that form the building blocks for mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.”
Increase Omega 3
Finally, if you want to biohack your hormones, don’t forget your fatty acids. These are found in oily fish (wild salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies), as well as in flaxseed oil, walnuts, and avocados. “These are also associated with regulating hormone fluctuations and improved mood and sexual arousal.”
As a reminder, Henrietta adds that when we support our systems by supplementing, quality is key. “Freshness and purity are paramount; so the oils are cold extracted and free of contaminants such as PCBs and heavy metals,” Henrietta says. Always check to make sure of this.
By adjusting intake of certain foods and nutrients to help biohack your hormones, you may feel much better all round. It could be worth a try.
Main image: Shuttershock
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