Foods like chocolate and oysters are legendary for boosting sex drive. But these so-called aphrodisiacs may in fact have the opposite effect, say Drs. Anna Maria and Brian Clement, co-directors of Hippocrates Health Institute and authors of 7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality. What are good foods for sex—and what foods might sabotage it? Here’s what the husband-wife team has to say.
Good Foods for Sex
• Sprouted grains. High in B-complex vitamins, sprouted grains like wheat relax all systems in the body and are important to the production of hormones. “B vitamins work to strengthen and calm neurons, which work with hormones in the brain and the nervous system,” Anna Maria Clement says. “Of course, hormones play a key role in attraction and intimacy.”
• Leafy greens. Chowing down daily on leafy greens, like kale, spinach and cabbage means you’ll get a big dose of calcium, which boosts cellular health, and vitamin A, which plays a vital role in the production of sex hormones. “When the cells are healthy, they heighten sensitivity for sexual pleasure,” Anna Maria Clement says. The Clements recommend blending up a green juice with the above ingredients if you have a romantic night ahead to heighten desire and sensitivity—who knew that’s all you needed?!
• Nuts, seeds and beans. All of these foods contain essential fatty acids, fuel for the cells that are essential for desire, sensitivity and pleasure. “Eating raw foods gives you more energy and, in turn, makes you more sexually responsive,” Anna Maria Clement says. Produce aisle, here we come.
Bad Foods for Sex
• Oysters. While oysters are a good source of zinc, they’re not the best choice, nutrition-wise. “Oysters are scavengers that absorb all of the ocean’s toxins and parasites,” Anna Maria Clement says. “They wreak havoc with the hormones that directly impact performance and health.” But what if you douse them in hot sauce? No, that doesn’t help? Boo.
• Chocolate. Think twice before you reach for your favorite treat—it can have a high fat and cholesterol content, which can clog your arteries. That’s not groundbreaking news, however, get this: “The first arteries that are usually affected are the penal and vaginal arteries since they are so small and quickly collect plaque,” Anna Maria Clement says. “Symptoms are difficulty achieving and maintaining arousal and orgasm.” Can’t ignore that sweet tooth? Try limiting your fix to a square or two of dark chocolate a day.
• Soy. Just read your ingredient labels and you’ll start to see how many products contain soy, in addition to the usual suspects, like soy sauce, soymilk and edamame. “Soy is high in estrogen, which can lower male sex drive,” Anna Maria Clement says. “One revealing study from Denmark showed that baby boys who consumed [soy-based formula] as infants had reduced penal sizes by one inch.”
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