Simple changes in your diet will go a long way.
It's no secret that the unhealthy American diet is contributing to an epidemic of obesity. But there's another hidden epidemic that our fatty diets are at the root of: a national sex crisis.
In 1996, the average American had sex 138 times a year. Compare that to 2007, when people reported having sex just 85 times a year. That's a staggering 38 percent decrease in a little more than a decade. Furthermore, psychologists estimate that as many as 1 in 5 couples are in a sexless marriage, which means sex less than 10 times a year. In other words, our sex drive is in a deep dive.
One of the big culprits, for both men and women, is obesity. As a person's weight soars, their libido plummets due to biochemical changes that result in diminished blood flow—there's simply no sex without strong blood flow. And even when Americans do manage to have sex, the extra weight they're bringing to the bedroom also hinders their ability to have children—with men, it's damaged sperm; with women, it's ovulation problems.
The good news: With some simple changes to your diet, courtesy of Eat This, Not That!, you can revitalize your sex life and reinvigorate your relationship. How? First, as you consume filling foods with fewer calories, you'll begin to shed the weight that's dragging down your desire. Then, because these foods also contain ingredients and nutrients that strategically boost sexual attraction and performance, you'll squeeze even more satisfaction out of each and every sexual encounter.
* Reinvigorate: Impart vigour, strength, or vitality to.
For the hormone rush
Eat This: Dark chocolate
Per 1 oz: A unit of weight equal to one sixteenth of a pound or 16 drams or 28.349 grams
1 pound= 453.584 gram
- 162 calories
- 11 g fat (6 g saturated)
- 10 g sugars
Chocolate is full of anandamide and phenylethylamine, two compounds that cause the body to release the same feel-good endorphins triggered by sex and physical exertion. Cocoa also contains methylxanthines, which make skin sensitive to every erotic touch. A team of U.S. and Canadian researchers found that chocolate stimulates the same brain centers that respond to cocaine, but that eating too much can eliminate the effect. Aim for dark chocolate, which packs more cocoa than lighter milk chocolates, and keep portions small.
Not That: White Chocolate
White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate, since it doesn’t contain any actual cocoa—which means no heightened skin sensitivity, or rush of feel-good hormone serotonin.
Eat This: 6-oz. sirloin steak
- 414 calories
- 24 g fat (10 g saturated)
- 46 g protein
Protein has been shown to naturally boost levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two chemicals in the brain that heighten sensitivity during sex. Your steak is also packed with zinc—a mineral that boosts libido by reducing production of a hormone called prolactin, which may interfere with arousal.
Not That: An energy drink
While the caffeine and sky-high sugar content will initially leave you bursting with energy, you’re setting yourself up for a major crash not far down the line. Additionally, Canadian scientists found that maintaining a diet high in sugar can temporarily lower your testosterone levels, which in turn can sap your sex drive—whether you’re a man or a woman. See, the more testosterone you have, the higher your arousal levels. That means greater lubrication for women, stronger erections for men. Too much sugar sends your T/ testosterone into hibernation—and your libido will go with it.
Eat This: Chilies
Per 1 pepper
- 18 calories
- 0 g fat
- 1 g fiber
Pop a caliente chili pepper in your mouth to keep things hot: They contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that causes your heart to race and your skin to flush—a sure sign that blood flow is on the fast track. They dilate blood vessels and help all of that blood get where it's needed.
Not That: Non-fat popcorn
The carbohydrates in popcorn will release serotonin, which, while it makes you feel good, also makes you feel sleepy. You want to experience a rush of endorphins, not drowsiness.
Eat This: Vanilla ice cream
Per half cup:
- 137 calories
- 7 g fat (4 g saturated)
- 14 g sugars
- 2 g protein
Ice cream has high levels of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that build your muscles’ energy reserves and may help boost your libido. All that calcium—200 milligrams in the typical bowl—can also make you more sexually charged, since the muscles that control sexual response need calcium in order to contract properly.
Not That: Tomatoes
They’re great for you in other ways, but tomatoes’ lycopene and phytofluene can decrease testosterone levels. The effect isn’t dramatic, but you may be better off skipping the marinara sauce if you want to get saucy.
Eat This: Blueberries
Per 1/2 cup of berries:
- 40 calories
- 10 g carbohydrates
- 7 g sugars
Forget Viagra. Mother Nature's original blue potency capsules may do even more for you. Blueberries are high in soluble fiber, which helps remove excess cholesterol from the blood before it gets absorbed and deposited on artery walls. Blueberries also relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. What that means, of course, is that more blood enters the penis to produce stronger erections. For maximum potency and performance, eat a serving of blueberries at least three or four times a week.
Not That: Soda
Soda pop will weaken your sex drive. Too much sugar will lead to spikes and crashes in your blood glucose, ultimately weakening your testosterone levels (and your sex drive).
For a sexy mindset
Eat This: Oysters
Per 6 medium oysters:
- 50 calories
- 1 g fat (0 g saturated)
- 150 mg sodium
- 4 g protein
These slippery shellfish have been shucked in the name of love for centuries, but it wasn’t until 2005 that a team of researchers identified two amino acids in shellfish that had been linked in another study to increased sexual hormone release in rats. If that’s not a tenuous enough link to love, consider that oysters are also high in zinc, which regulates some sexual hormones and boost semen production. Critics question just how potent the shellfish really are, but the history of shellfish as a heralded aphrodisiac could contribute to a small psychosomatic boost.
* Shuck: Remove from the shell; withdrew.
Suggestive staples—bananas, avocados, strawberries—can prompt provocative thoughts, but so far no scientific research has shown them to offer any physical benefits.
Drink This: A glass of wine
Per 5 fl. ounces:
- 125 calories
- 0 g fat
- 1 g sugar
It’s true: A glass of wine really does take the edge off. University of Toronto researchers discovered that one alcoholic drink caused people’s blood vessels to relax. Booze acts as a depressant in the brain’s cerebral cortex, lowering inhibitions that could otherwise restrain arousal. Cerebral cortex main function is to inhibit the emotional functions. So when the function of the cerebral cortex is inhibited there is much more emotional release or sexual arousal.
Not That: A bottle of wine
The University of Toronto researchers who found out about wine’s relaxation effects also found that drinking two glasses of alcohol began to reverse the effects. And research from the University of Washington found that intoxicated men with blood alcohol levels of 0.08 to 0.1 percent (about two or three drinks) had lower “peak erection levels.”
By : Dave Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, Men's Health
Our motto: One step ahead, everyday.