For centuries, various foods have been rumored to have aphrodisiac properties, though there were few facts to back up those claims. While a single meal or specific dish will probably only provide a psychological boost to romance (hey, there’s nothing wrong with that), what you eat on a regular basis can help rev your engines for passion.
Boost Your Blood Flow
Some say good sex is all in your head. While your mental outlook plays an important part, there’s no doubt that your heart factors in as well — specifically, the health of your ticker and your entire cardiovascular system.
Simply put, good circulation promotes good sex: Getting the blood flowing to your nether regions promotes healthy genital tissue and enhances erections in men and lubrication in women, explains Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute and author of "Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction."
So, if you want to rev your romantic engines, follow a heart-healthy diet, advises Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson. You’ll reduce your LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels in your blood and the potential for plaque buildup on the walls of your arteries — all of which add up to a lower risk of heart disease and, yes, improved circulation for better sex.
Topping the list for heart-pounding action both in and out of the bedroom:
Liven Up Your Libido
Just not feelin’ it tonight? While increasing circulation to your genitals is important to boosting your sex drive, hormone levels — no surprise — matter to sex drive too. Testosterone and estrogen, found in both men and women (though not in equal amounts), are integral to driving desire. Think of them as fuel for your passion.
When you’re low on fuel, well, your passion just peters out. Low testosterone equals a low sex drive for both men and women. To make matters worse, low estrogen levels in women result in vaginal dryness and sometimes painful sex. Here’s what to do:
Pass the Chocolates
Guess what: Chocolate — the darker the better — really does up your chances of getting lucky. Its serotonin-boosting compounds are especially helpful to women, who tend to have less of this feel-good brain chemical than men. Plus, it contains caffeine, an ingredient that will not only fight fatigue but will also increase blood flow.
Want the oomph without the candy? Try chili peppers or curry for their “body-heating and blood-awakening” capabilities, advises Patti Britton, PhD, a clinical sexologist and author of "The Art of Sex Coaching."
— by Joelie Klein
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