Promoting sexual health is not just a matter of good hygiene or preventing infectious diseases that undermine one’s sexual health. It also entails having a good and balanced diet. Good food allows the body to acquire various nutrients that are needed by the internal organs to function well. Even the skin is rejuvenated through the consumption of nutritious meals and water.
The lack of a balanced, nutritious diet could possibly expose a person to several physiological problems. Women, for example, could experience irregular periods or even totally miss several periods due to overeating and over-exercise. Amenorrhea, or the absence of menstrual periods, is even welcomed by young women because they are pleased that they no longer need to use a tampon or sanitary napkin. However, what is not often realized by these women is that missing menstrual periods may already be a sign of decreased estrogen levels. Low estrogen levels as well as over-training can lead to osteoporosis Women who lack calcium intake can also develop a higher risk of osteoporosis or brittle bone syndrome. Osteoporosis causes a woman’s bone density to decrease, leaving her skeletal system weak and vulnerable to fractures. Low estrogen levels during the peak years of bone-building through the preteen and teen years, can affect bone density for the rest of your life. Bone growth lost during these years cannot be regained.
Poor nutrition can also cause other delays or problems in physical development among women. These adverse effects of malnutrition may include underdevelopment of mammary glands, hormonal imbalance, stunted growth, weakness, anemia, internal organ failure, and even difficulty in conception.
Improper eating habits can also cause some women to develop psychological problems. Anorexia and bulimia are two of the most common eating disorders reported today especially among younger women. More than just being drawn into a pattern of near-fatal under-eating. Self-inflicted starvation is a very dangerous effect of having an imbalanced sense of self-worth and self-image. Young women who believe that “she can can never be too thin” starve themselves almost to the point of death.
Other psychological problems may also be caused by hormonal changes in a woman’s body. These hormonal changes usually trigger symptoms of depression, sleeping difficulties, oversensitivity, mood swings, and anxiety. In extreme cases, women with psychological problems may even attempt suicide. Specifically, changes in thyroid hormone levels can cause symptoms of depression including mood swings, irritability, fatigue, lack of concentration, sleeping problems, and weight gain. Women with eating disorders can also expose themselves to bullying especially when others see them as being different, weird, or weak.
Among men, hormonal changes are also caused by poor nutrition. Over-exercise or overtraining also causes a sharp decline in male testosterone levels. Men with testosterone problems usually suffer from low sperm count, lack of sex drive, and erection problems.
Indeed, food is not only for the stomach. Good and proper nutrition is also essential to male and female health, especially in the area of sexual ability and performance. By eating the right kinds and amounts of food — plus getting sufficient rest and exercise, men and women can improve their sexual performance and overall sense of well-being.