Fitness bloggers and healthy recipe advice has hit at an all time high over the last couple of years. With an awareness being brought to healthy lifestyles, we wanted to speak with Dr. Baljit Khamba, a Naturopath, on the Dating and Relationships show about how healthy eating affects our relationships!
Food is a big part of our lives. So when Global News Anchor Angie Seth and I were able to speak with Dr. Khamba about how food affects our moods, lifestyle and even sex drive with our partners we were able to see the major part it also plays in our relationships.
Food For Thought
The main connection food has to our relationships is how it significantly affects our mood. Not caring too much about healthy eating and constantly filling your body with processed food prevents our brains from making happy/calm chemicals like serotonin and gabba. Processed foods are energy dense but nutrient poor, so this means if we reach for processed foods first during our long shifts at work, it will spike our energy periodically but it doesn’t give the brain any long lasting nutrients to pull from so we can typically be grumpy and sluggish once we get home to be with our partner. Being grumpy and not in the mood to really engage with our partner happens because our brain wasn’t able to make any happy chemicals throughout the day! To overcome this mood-food correlation it’s important to start with making small healthy choices. Dr. Khamba suggests keeping healthy snacks or food like a baggy of trail mix, or dates/figs in your car and office so you can snack on that and get the nutrients you need. Meal prepping is key too! It can be hard to completely change your diet and make the time to meal prep all at once. So Dr. Khamba also suggests starting small with meal prepping just breakfast or dinner. Chalk your meal(s) full of mood boosting qualities, which means high fibre, low sugar, B-vitamins, magnesium, zinc, Omega-3, and probiotics. Simply prepping one healthy meal a day can significantly change your mood and make it easier to transition into a healthier lifestyle!
A healthy lifestyle sounds pleasant, a diet does not. Dr. Khamba said that individuals as well as couples need to commit to a healthy lifestyle rather than thinking of it as a diet if we want to see success. Diets are restrictive and tough to stick to, but a healthy lifestyle can simply be a commitment to one super healthy meal a day and a great form of exercise consistently each week. We need to make small manageable changes that can last long term.
We have all heard about the love chub and some of us may have experienced it. We shared with Dr. Khamba that a survey from the Diet Chef showed that 60% of people put on weight when in a comfortable relationship. This is mainly because a couple’s main activity becomes eating out at restaurants, or staying in and watching TV with food. Some women gain more weight once in a confortable relationship since her main activity is changed to taking care of her partner or the mentality that now she has someone and she doesn’t have to try anymore. All of these circumstances are valid and yes, they do happen. However, Dr. Khamba, Angie and myself thought that while you typically do eat out more with a partner, a woman should not start to let herself go now that she has found a someone, or vice versa. We need to be healthy for ourselves and do keep in mind that our partner was attracted to us when we first met partially based on how we looked as well. Get in the habit of making time for yourself, which doesn’t necessarily have to be going to the gym, but doing activities that you love and give you a healthier lifestyle through exercise. If you suggest it to your partner and they love it and will join you, even better!
When living with a partner and consequentially eating together, it can be hard to get both people on the same page when it comes to eating, especially healthy eating. We know that eating healthier will boost mood, which would be beneficial for both partners, but sometimes there isn’t always full support for a diet change from one person. Dr. Khamba suggests in overcoming an unsupportive partner you can try to cook together but modify the meals. Say you both agree on a certain healthy meal but he wants to have meat and you want to keep it vegetarian with black beans. Prepare the meal together but allow him to have his modifiers so everyone is happy.
We discussed food for mood, but what about food for sex – popularly known as aphrodisiacs. Dr. Khamba gave us a break down into what is considered an aphrodisiac and why certain foods have these qualities. So an aphrodisiac is considered something that increases sexual desire and sex drive. She made it clear to us that aphrodisiac is about an experience in addition to the food, you want to eat foods that contain certain qualities as well as textures to boost sex drive and also think about atmosphere and comfort since an aphrodisiac is meant to appeal to all 5 senses. The aphrodisiac foods Dr. Khamba told us about were:
- Oysters – contains zinc which is an anti depressant and increases sperm production
- Chili peppers – they create a reaction in the body that is similar to arousal like increased heart rate and sweating
- Honey – contains boron which regulates testosterone and estrogen in the body
- Dark chocolate – contains magnesium which creates dopamine, a happy chemical in the brain
- Bananas – contains bromaline which increases testosterone and contains B-vitamins which create serotonin in the brain
It was great to chat with Dr. Khamba and Angie Seth about one of the most consistent things in our lives – food! We certainly learned a lot about how eating healthy can impact our relationships for the better, to listen to the full show visit www.640toronto.com and if you’re looking to find someone to share your food with than join our Matchmaking service today!