Do enough research on sickness and health, and it becomes clear that no matter what ails you, the same five things can usually prevent it, cure it, or at least make living with it more manageable. In fact, one of the difficulties of writing about wellness is that, for all of the human body's complexities, keeping it in optimal condition is really rather simple. Exercise. Eat a healthy diet. Get enough sleep. Manage stress. Don't smoke. The clickbait headlines on the other end of those five tips are infinite: "How Not To Die" or "Look 5 Years Younger With These 5 Tricks" or "Live Up to Your Body's Full Potential." Like really, how many different ways can one extoll the virtues of a leafy green?
But while many of these #healthhacks are well-covered ground, there's another habit that's just as vital to healthy living but consistently gets left out of the conversation even though it's been shown to lower blood pressure, increase longevity, decrease your chances of getting sick and is (usually) a helluva lot more fun than drinking 2 liters of water a day. Oh, and did we mention that our entire species would die out if we stopped doing it? Thinking about it that way, having sex is truly a matter of life and death, and therefore might be one of the most important health habits around. Read on to find out what "doing it" can do for you.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
In a study of 1,165 men followed over a 16 year (on average) period, those who had sex 2-3 times a week were 55% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who had sex once a month or less. And it's not just men. A 2016 study found that remaining sexually active reduced hypertension risks in women ages 57-85.
Looking for an attitude adjustment? Thanks to oxytocin and other feel-good hormones released during sex, a good shag might be just what the doctor ordered. An Arizona State University study on middle-aged women found that having sex not only significantly lowered stress in the moment and immediately afterward but that it was a predictor of having a positive mood the following day as well.
Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer
This one is for the fellas. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, men who ejaculated at least 21 times in a month were less likely to get prostate cancer than those who weren't quite such uh, hornballs.
Provide Immune Support
Can having sex ward off illness? According to a study by Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, participants who had sex one or two times a week had 30% higher levels of ImmunoglobulinA antibodies, which allowed them to fight off colds better than those who kept it in their pants.
Party of One?
While much of the sex-positive research out there has focused strictly on intercourse, masturbation can provide several health benefits, including the release of serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, which can improve mood and lead to better sleep. Orgasms have also anecdotally been shown to decrease symptoms of PMS as well as migraines and headaches.
Use Mushrooms to Get in the Mood
Convinced about the benefits but feeling less than sexy? While (you guessed it) exercise and getting a good night's sleep have been shown to increase libido, why not let functional mushrooms come to your rescue? Long used in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac, several studies confirm cordyceps efficacy as a love drug. In one, of 756 people struggling with a low sex drive, 64.8% of those that were given Cordyceps for 40 days reported significant improvement compared with only 23.8% of the placebo group. Another showed increased sperm survival time and sperm count, in addition to increased libido after 40 days of taking three grams of Cordyceps.
And it doesn't stop there. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to increase rats' "mounting behavior and mating performance significantly." And if the idea of fucking like rats doesn't turn you on then… congratulations, you're not a freak.
Why not make a commitment to self-care this year by spending more time between the sheets? Need a little help getting there? Try our organic mushroom bevvies filled with the sexy-time goodness of Cordyceps and Reishi mushrooms.