Sex is better when we eat spinach!

with Christine DeLozier

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Christine DeLozier, a food expert, research scientist and licensed acupuncturist, combined all of her talents to produce a book entitled, “Diet for Great Sex: Food for Male and Female Sexual Health.” You can have great sex if you eat certain foods and reduce consumption of other foods, her research shows. During my Smart Sex, Smart Love podcast, DeLozier talks about how great sex is much more than being with the right person and being in the right mood. Throw in the right foods and watch your sexual pleasure skyrocket, she finds. Sex is better when we have good blood flow, which generates strong and rapid nerve conduction to our genitals, her research reveals. Our goal is to awaken our sexual health pathways by achieving the trifecta, DeLozier calls it. Improved blood flow, hormonal balance and nerve condition are the great sex trifecta, she has learned. Spinach operates on all three of these. It is one of the best foods for great sex, she tells her clients. To learn what you can eat to pump up your sex drive, listen to this Smart Sex, Smart Love podcast.

Welcome to Smart sex smart love. We’re talking about sex goes beyond the taboo and talking about love goes beyond the honeymoon. My guest today is Christine disclosure of food expert and licensed acupuncturist at the Rochester center for sexual wellness in New York. Her book diet for great sex food for male and female sexual health is a cheeky scientific Guide to Eating for sex. It has been featured on CBS in the Daily Mail, the Toronto Sun, United Kingdom’s the sun, and Mel magazine. Christine has shared her Expert Commentaries for The Huffington Post, Marie Claire, and good housekeeping. Today, she’s going to be talking about diet for great sex. Welcome, Christine. Thank you so much, Joe, for having me. Yeah, it’s great to have you on the show. Thank you. Let’s just start with the first question, which is before we talk about your book and your research on diet and sex, how does your work as an acupuncturist connect with your food expertise? Are the two separate interests? And how did this all evolve? Um, okay, so I do have a eclectic interests. I’m a little obsessed with food. I’m a foodie, you know, but I also studied nutrition, and I studied Chinese dietary therapy. I have a certification in holistic nutrition.

Christine DeLozier 1:20
So I’m always asking my patients, you know, what their diet looks like how we can support their dreams and goals with food. And I’ve asked this question so many times, and, you know, spoken at nauseam about it that I decided, okay, let’s just, first of all, let’s put it in a book. And secondly, let’s this is kind of a challenge for me to see what kind of research is out there. Before I was an acupuncturist. As an undergraduate I trained to be a research scientist. So I’m comfortable with, you know, looking in research. And so I wanted to take a look at the medical literature, see what kind of evidence there was to show the effect of food, on sex for my patients.

I love it. As a sex therapist, I find this fascinating, and we don’t talk about this enough in our sex therapy community. Are you in the sex therapy world?

Christine DeLozier 2:16
I specialize in sexual health? So I treat patients primarily with acupuncture for sexual health. Yes. Okay.

All right. All right. So when we think of great sex, we generally think of it as psychological as a psychological phenomenon. But you talk about great sex involving physiological changes in our body. Can you explain this?

Christine DeLozier 2:35
Yeah, so great. Sex isn’t just about being with the right person, the right mood, it’s, you know, something that occurs in our bodies, you know, sex is better. When we have good blood flow. It’s better when we have strong, rapid nerve conduction to and from our genitals, whether we’re male or female, it’s best when our sex hormones are balanced, we will have optimal libido. And in my research, what I found was that food very much affects all three of these.

Right? I would agree with that. That makes sense to me. And so, in your book, it’s the first of the kind that scientifically examines the foods we eat and their ability to directly affect the entire trifecta of great sex. Will you provide some background on your research and what you learned?

Christine DeLozier 3:21
Yes. So as I was always saying, Yeah, I did, I did, trained to be a research scientist. So I wanted to just bring that science in with my, you know, to my patients, and basically, show them how they can eat to, you know, support our treatment goals, what we’re doing with acupuncture. So, in acupuncture acupuncture is based on, you know, it operates on the nervous system, essentially, what we’re doing is we’re stimulating nerve pathways. And one of the points that we will use typically with sexual health is points on the perineum, which is a major crossing point of nerves associated with sexual function. And so, you know, biomedically, what we’re doing is we’re stimulating that nerve pathway, we are awakening all those sexual health Pathways because, you know, when when we stimulate those nerve pathways, we’re going to affect change in the body chemistry, we’re going to affect blood flow in the area locally. And you know, those are two out of the three you know, Trifecta if you will have great sex. So, nutrition then comes in and, you know, unfortunately the, the curl joke of my mother nature is that the arteries in the penis and the clitoris are among the smallest in the body. So, the amount of plaque accumulation necessary to completely block those is not very much you know, comparatively, you know, if you see, you know, The aorta, that’s a huge blood vessel, you will not have any idea that they that there’s plaque accumulation there until, you know, much further down the road of you know, cardiovascular disease, whereas the first place it shows up is in the penis and clitoris at reduced sexual pleasure. So basically, the foods that we recommend are those which strengthen the cardiovascular system, allowing optimal blood flow, they nourish blood vessels. And they’re even I was really surprised to find there’s even, you know, there are even dietary recommendations for strengthening nerve conduction, and of course, balancing hormones.

I think most people when they think about food, or they just think about eating or whatever, they’re mostly focused on if alcohol is gonna affect themselves in the bedroom. They don’t think about food have you been? Well?

Christine DeLozier 5:55
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, well, we think about the short term effects of food. Yeah, one of the things that, in my book I focused on was, I wanted to, because I actually did find research on the short term effects of food, not just alcohol, but food as well, which is pretty fascinating. I mean, within two hours of eating, there are, you know, food effects, as measurably in our blood vessels or arteries, for example, certain foods actually make them more elastic, and able to deliver more blood flow. And other foods will constrict blood vessels in basically reduce blood flow. Certain foods will also take testosterone shortly after eating them. So like a sugary meal takes testosterone very quickly, a fatty meal takes testosterone, you know, whereas actually, there are certain fats that have the opposite effect. So in research on omega three fat rich meal had the opposite effect on blood vessels. So

and just because I don’t know enough about like, what is it omega three, fat, or whatever you said, what is that? What would that include?

Speaker 1 7:01
primarily found in fish? But you can also find it in walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, things like that as well.

I see. Okay. And in your book, you write that spinach is one of the best foods for sex? Why yes.

Christine DeLozier 7:15
Okay. So we talked about the trifecta of great sex, right? Blood flow, hormonal balance, nerve conduction, spinach operates on all three of these. So, for example, the chemical messenger, which dilates blood vessels is nitric oxide, our bodies produced this, the blood vessels dilate, we get more blood flow to our genitals. Well, in research, they gave participants one serving of spinach, okay, not a huge bowl of it, just one single serving. Then two hours later, they measured their salivary, nitric oxide, and found that it was eight times that of baseline. So with one serving of spinach, you get an eight times jump in nitric oxide, which is huge. I mean, that’s, that’s pretty incredible, quite honestly, they’re also high in potassium. So potassium is is huge. It’s like human beings, we used to take in about 10 times as much potassium in our diets as sodium. Now we take in about 10 times as much sodium as potassium, because of the fact that we have these highly processed diets. And in order to deal with all that sodium, our kidneys have to flush potassium. And so there’s this relationship between potassium and sodium. And when we don’t get enough potassium, it it encourages arterial calcification stiffening of blood vessels, that essentially this whole process wreaks havoc on our blood vessels, this process of eating tons of salt, and completely neglecting potassium. And in research, even if you do eat a whole a higher salt diet, potassium was shown to offset the effects of this excess salt on blood vessels. So spinach is high in potassium. Again, most of us don’t get enough of it. And it’s also high in antioxidants, which is huge. And we’ll we can talk more in detail about how how antioxidants affect sex, because it’s, they play a huge role.

And what would they be? That’d be an antioxidant. So

Christine DeLozier 9:29
antioxidants, basically most of for example, you know, damage to our arteries, damage to our nerves, which slows you know, the speed of our nerve cell signaling usually occurs as a result of oxidative stress. Okay, so inflammation causes oxidative stress, a poor diet causes oxidative stress, basically, so anti oxidants are basically anti oxidative stress. And they have been shown in research to strengthen and speed, nerve conduction. And this is really important, especially when dealing with the number one. The number one issue that I see in my female patients is difficulty achieving orgasm, lubrication issues, things like that. So in research, antioxidant supplementation was found to measurably strengthen and speed nerve conduction. What that means is that when you have better nerve signaling, the clitoris is more sensitive to touch, it’s more responsive. And the same thing for the penis. So either way, you’re you’re getting more pleasure, what it translates to is more pleasure and an ease of orgasm. For females. I’m

JOE KORT 11:00
mesmerized listening to you say all this but and I realized that if you had caught me at a younger age, none of this would have spoken to me, but I’m right, we find that’s true. Now, where do young people also respond well, to this work this information? Oh,

Christine DeLozier 11:13
yeah. Well, okay, um, know that young people don’t think that, that that, that their wonderful sex drive and great blood flow is ever going to change. You know, usually it’s patients who are, you know, 3040. I mean, let’s, the fact of the matter is, I mean, according to research, we all have measurable plaque accumulation. So what they’ve done studies where they take people who have died recently in war or in car crashes, and they’ve looked at their arteries and found that even in high school aged people, there’s measurable plaque a huge accumulation in their arteries. What that means is that, that’s cardiovascular disease. So it’s what it means is that cardiovascular disease is showing up in kids, you know, as young as high school age, and that’s progressive. It’s just that you won’t notice that until it starts blocking those very tiny arteries in the penis or clitoris, for example.

JOE KORT 12:16
Are there foods that you would specifically say are bad for sex?

Christine DeLozier 12:19
Yes. salty foods. I mean, again, salt is an essential mineral, okay, and for sexuality, but most of us get way too much of it. So yes, it measurably stiffens arteries, it’s, again, it causes these arterial calcifications it affects the body chemistry in other ways, like, you know, that kind of domino effect. It affects it adversely. high fat diet, same thing. I mean, okay, put it this way, there’s absolute fat, and then there’s certain types of fat, nobody should really be eating all those processed, yucky fats that come in a box, you know, that come in all those shelf stable products that we like to buy, those are the worst, of course, but even if you’re eating healthier fats, you don’t want to, you know, over do it. The research says that, you know, if you have a very high fat diet, that you are, you know, it can affect your you hormonally, it can affect your blood vessels. But having said that, it seems as though the fat sugar combination is like the worst. So it’s like, you can either you can do low carb, and you can eat you know, me vegetables, you know, things like that, you know, lower glycemic fruits like berries, that sort of thing. Or you can do plant or plant based you can do like, you know, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, very little meat. But when you try to do both, when you do high fat and high carb at the same time that seems to wreak havoc most often on all these some sexual processes. That

JOE KORT 14:06
make sense. Would you say there are better foods for there are foods that are better for women to eat?

Christine DeLozier 14:11
Well, again, usually when when I’m talking about my female patients, it’s, you know, we’re thinking of lubrication, we’re thinking of orgasm. So, you know, most of the recommendations are just as valid for males as their females but things like you know, sugar for example, sugar wreaks havoc on your on your endocrine system. It there’s tons of research showing that it affects your sex hormones affects testosterone, estrogen, and adversely. So, um, the biggest. The biggest complaint I have from my male patients is erections. They want stronger erections, and my female patients want an easier time having an orgasm. So You know, the the dietary recommendations are pretty similar for both, but it’s just, you know, you may want to focus more on antioxidants if you’re trying to speed nerve conduction, or and you may focus on, you know, things like leafy greens if if you’re trying to boost testosterone. So for example, that’s actually another benefit of spinach is that it reduces cortisol, cortisol sabotages testosterone, and that’s important for males and females.

JOE KORT 15:33
That makes sense. Yeah. The more you talk about the food choices, I just found out I have diverticulitis. So I couldn’t eat these things you’re telling me like, yeah, people without? So

Christine DeLozier 15:43
are you able to eat? Cook spinach? Or just Can you hear? Is it just raw spinach? You can have or can you have spinach?

JOE KORT 15:51
I think it’s both. I don’t think they made a distinction. I have to look again. Okay. Yeah,

Christine DeLozier 15:55
check. Because, you know, you may very well be able to eat some smoothies or Yeah, sauteed, spinach, that sort of thing.

JOE KORT 16:03
Yeah, I’ll find out. Yeah,

Christine DeLozier 16:05
I know, nuts are a big one with diverticulitis. Yeah,

JOE KORT 16:08
I’m just learning about it myself. Would you you also report that even one meal can have a measurable effect. How’s that possible?

Christine DeLozier 16:15
Yeah, so in research 30 minutes after eating a high salt meal. Arteries are measurably constricted, meaning that there’s less blood flow. Two hours after a high fat meal, same thing. A sugary meal measurably takes testosterone within that two hour window, let’s call the post prandial period or the post meal period. So if you are trying to get busy for you know, if you’re having a date night, the thing that you don’t want to eat is the chicken alfredo, combined with the tiramisu, you know, sugary, Fatty, salty meal, then you’re gonna go try to get busy, you’re gonna feel more tired, your testosterone is gonna be lower your bloods not, you know, you’re not getting enough, you’re not getting as much blood flow. So all of those Yeah, are going to be affected. And there’s plenty of research to show this. I’m

JOE KORT 17:13
glad you’re getting more specific. Because I think overall, what you’re saying makes sense. But then people are and I’m thinking myself, my listeners may go, well, like what exactly like so you just did some specific foods. Are there other things you say? Is the kind of thing you’d like also in your book?

Christine DeLozier 17:27
Yeah, yeah, we’d like there’s a whole meal plan in the book. And there are dietary recommendations, you know, specific foods that, you know, are good for specific things.

JOE KORT 17:37
Yeah, what is the name of it?

Christine DeLozier 17:38
It’s called diet for great sex, food for male and female sexual health. What

JOE KORT 17:43
else? Would you like people to know about the work you do? And just how people respond to the work you do?

Christine DeLozier 17:48
Um, well, basically, I would say that what you eat is not just about, you know, your body size, it’s about someone so much more. And the food we eat very much affects sexual pleasure and sexual function in the short term. And in the long run. And, you know, having a great sex life might just be as easy as changing a few. A few key, you know, choices in your diet. So, for example, when I have a patient who is not sure really how or how much change they want in their lifestyle, I often say, let’s, why don’t you focus on lunch? Can we just focus? Can we change lunch, lunch is a great place to make changes. A lot of times people’s dinners are, are good. I find when I interview people, and I interview people all the time about what they eat, out of curiosity, and, you know, looking for ways to tweak it at most people’s dinner looks like this. It looks like protein, vegetable, carb, you know, so you might have potato, then you have, you know, maybe chicken potato and corn or not corner. Carrots, for example. It’s pretty standard. The biggest I put I think the biggest place for improvement is in lunch. If you can get into a routine, for example of let’s say you have a big leafy green salad. You maybe you have some salmon on top or maybe you have you have a yam with it. With this going on. You’re getting a huge portion of your daily targets for minerals in that one meal. You’re getting a huge portion of your daily potassium, for example, you’re getting about 50% of your daily potassium with that one meal, about 50% of your daily magnesium. With that one meal. Both of those are really important. I talk more about it in the book about why different minerals are important for for sexual health. And then, you know you can read The over the course of seven days, you got seven lunches per week, you’re bringing a lot more to the table, you know, so nutrition, not only does it add to sexual health, but it can also ameliorate some of the negative effects of, of our poor or poor dietary choices like we talked about with potassium offsetting the effects of sodium.

JOE KORT 20:25
What about everybody fasting these days? Is that helpful or not? There’s

Christine DeLozier 20:30
plenty of research on it, showing that it can really help your endocrine system, for example, it can help make you more sensitive to insulin, they can help you improve leptin sensitivity. So for those of you who don’t know what leptin is, we have ghrelin that tells us we’re hungry, and we have leptin, which tells us we’re full. And a lot of times our poor diet makes us leptin resistance. So it means that, you know, we’re releasing plenty of leptin, but our cells are not really responding to it and not not really responding with satiety. So that sort of thing makes you more fasting can can help with that. That is

JOE KORT 21:15
awesome. Thank you so much, Christine. It was a pleasure having you on my show. And so if you want to hear more about my podcast, you can go to smart sex smart You can also follow me on Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook. You just go find me at at Dr. Joe core, Dr. JOEK or T or just go to Joe And that’s my website. Thanks for listening. And until next time, stay safe and stay healthy. Thanks, everybody.

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