A lowered libido is the major cause of the absence of sexual activity within a romantic relationship, and too often people choose to ignore the root cause of why their natural desire for sex has gone missing. Fact of the matter is, many of the decisions we decide to make on a daily basis when it comes to what we put into our bodies and how we treat them overall has a major effect on our sexual urges and the overall balance of health.

Any able-bodied adult can admit that sex is an important factor in a committed relationship. But how can one begin to get back into balance sexually when s/he seems to be so far off the mark? The answer lies within a “libido balancing diet,” and it consists of three parts—the food you eat, the time dedicated to sexual activity, and physical fitness.

Eat your way to libido balance

Having a balanced sex drive begins with what a person puts into his or her body. “You are what you eat” is an especially true statement when applied to the libido, because anything that affects blood sugar levels and fat content within the body can send the libido up or down.

A diet low in fat and processed or refined sugars and high in foods rich with zinc, calcium and vitamin C facilitates in balancing out hormones that control sexual desire. Raised blood sugar levels actually lower libido, and fat clogs the ventricles responsible for sending blood to sexual organs. When these ventricles are blocked from supplying sexual organs with the proper blood flow and oxygen, sexual arousal becomes difficult because of a lack of sensitivity in the genitals. (Packing on extra sauces or drinking extra-large sodas does more harm than good.)

Create a libido balancing diet by adding more leafy green vegetables into your diet. Spinach, kale and collard greens are all high in calcium—a nutrient linked to cellular and sexual health that increases circulation and heightens sensitivity in the genitals. Zinc plays a central role in the creation of hormones as well as clitoral sensitivity. So adding more nuts, beans, mushrooms and other foods rich in zinc will also be beneficial.

Vitamin C is another nutrient linked with improving circulation and increasing male libido. Foods like broccoli, chili peppers, oranges and papaya are best. Swap out deserts made with loads of sugar for vitamin C rich strawberries, also known as an aphrodisiac fruit.

If incorporating these new foods into your diet seems like a bit much to take on at once, begin by incorporating eggs into the most important meal of the day—breakfast. Eggs are jam-packed with protein, which is a source of stamina. (You’re going to need a lot of that to make it through rounds of high-intensity sexual activity.) And by making an omelet filled with spinach and green and red peppers, you’ve created a libido balancing meal high in nutrients and low in fat. Just make sure to skip the cheese, because it can be a libido killer.

Another simple way to balance hormones at the start of the day is to replace that cup of joe with a cup of tea made from ginseng, ginger or clovers—herbs and spices known to increase libido and treat male sexual dysfunction.

Get it in to get it up

Believe it or not, having sex more often actually helps with increasing desire to have sex.  The physical act of sex helps to balance out hormones responsible for sexual arousal as well as increase feelings of attraction, so it’s important to make the time for sexual activity. A hectic schedule is typical of the average adult juggling work, family life and quality time with a significant other, and it’s also a major libido killer. Get a better handle on your schedule by spacing out your daily responsibilities and prioritizing the things that are most important first.

Make a commitment to cut off work at a certain time and block off some hours in the day committed to erotic play. Using shower time in the morning as a way to build intimacy can be used as a form of foreplay to get the day started off right and the mind focused on sexual activity that can resume once the workday is done. Make a solid effort to put together a libido balancing meal at dinnertime to enhance sexual arousal, and use the time before turning in for the night to explore your partner’s body and sexual energy.

Sexual activity doesn’t always have to involve intercourse. So if one partner is feeling lethargic or has a tapped-out energy level, use oral sex and erotic massage to increase sexual arousal without requiring the use of much energy on the receiving partner’s end.  We make time for the things that we consider to be important, and if sex is viewed as an important part of a romantic relationship, then make an effort to create a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Feel the burn to increase sexual desire

Exercise does more than create a good-looking body. Daily amounts of physical activity have been scientifically proven to increase stamina and release hormones that balance libido. Exercise moves that encourage stretching allow a person to become more flexible to get into more… dare I say interesting sex positions, and an increased skill set creates a heightened desire for sex.

Exercise also increases blood circulation to the genitals, which creates sensitivity needed to generate sexual arousal. Cardio exercise increases the stamina necessary to keep sexual activity going. Squats, lunges and other lower-body exercises are great for building the pelvic muscles responsible for controlling the intensity of orgasms.

Weight gain and obesity are major libido killers, so it’s important to maintain a healthy BMI level and decrease fat levels to maintain a balanced libido and desire for sex. Make the time to work out during the week. Thirty minutes of rigorous activity three to four times a week is all one needs to become naturally balanced.

As you can see, each part of the day has an effect on the libido, from the time you step foot out of the bed until the time you return to the sheets. Adequate rest, a balanced diet, regular exercise and making time for sexual activity all work together to create a balanced libido.

Glamazon Tyomi is a freelance writer, model and sex educator with a deeply rooted passion for spreading the message of sex positivity and encouraging the masses to embrace their sexuality. Her website, www.glamerotica101.com, reaches internationally as a source for advice and information for the sexually active/curious. Follow her on Twitter at @glamazontyomi.