New Delhi: What Grandma didn't tell us and probably didn't know that "food is also sex." There are a number of reasons why your sex life may have lost its sizzle, but boosting a flagging libido isn't that tough. Certain lust-inducing foods can help you put the va-va-voom back into the bedroom.
Bonbons and Champagne whip up thoughts of seduction, but for your body to respond to sex like a well-oiled, orgasm-primed machine, none of them does a hell of a lot.
Here's what you should be guzzling down to make sex sizzle:
1. Eat a balanced breakfast to avoid downtime in the boudoir. Your meal should include protein and fiber, such as yogurt with fresh berries or peanut butter on whole wheat toast. This combo takes longer to digest, so you'll have steady energy all morning. More energy means you won't be a moody grump when you get home from work, so you can enjoy time with your partner.
2. Keeping hydrated helps you stay mentally and physically alert all day and also helps you go the extra distance at night. According to a study published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, mild dehydration will affect your mood, thinking and performance. So, keep sipping low-calorie beverages and snacking on foods with high water content throughout the day.
3. Flavor veggies with olive oil and munch on nuts for a good sexy time. Fats are necessary to produce the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, but be sure to eat healthy unsaturated fats, the kind found in olive oil, fatty fish, and walnuts. Also, include some fats that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish and nuts. According to a review published in the French journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, omega-3 fatty acids may also help prevent premenstrual syndrome and postmenopausal hot flashes, the uncomfortable states that can definitely dampen your mojo.
4. Don't eat too much red meat and processed baked goods as unhealthy saturated and trans fats contribute to clogged arteries and lowered blood flow. And men won't be able to get erections as easily. In one study, researchers examined the cholesterol levels and sex lives of 3,250 men between ages 26 and 83. As cholesterol levels rose, so did the likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction. The authors of the study, conducted at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, concluded that high levels of total cholesterol and a low level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-aka good cholesterol) are risk factors for erectile dysfunction.
5. Eat chicken, fish and lean protein because when you don't have enough protein in your diet, the brain's level of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and romance, drops, leaving you not in a frolicking frame of mind.
6. Dine with wine to improve your performance in the bedroom. In 2009, an Italian research group published a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that showed a correlation of drinking wine -specifically red wine- increased the sexual appetite of women. But too much wine, beer, or liquor can backfire by depressing your central nervous system, making you sleepy and dampening your feelings of desire.
7. Nibbling on dark chocolates after dinner can really leave you woozy with pleasure and make you melt in his arms. In one German study in the journal Appetite, women were given an apple, a piece of chocolate or nothing and asked to rate their mood after consuming them. The researchers found that when women ate chocolate, they immediately experienced a mood boost that stayed for about 90 minutes. This cocoa confection contains a compound called methylxanthine, which triggers the release of dopamine in the body.
8. The South American fruit avocado, which derives its name from the Aztec language Nahuatl, in which it meant "testicle," a name chosen for the fruit's unusual shape, is rich in unsaturated fats, making them very heart-healthy. And a healthy heart can keep the blood flowing to all the right places.
9. Figs, which are bursting with calcium, iron, potassium, and more of that stimulating zinc, are also packed with fibre that boosts heart health and satisfies hunger without adding to your waistline.
10. If you feel your lovemaking mojo is being cramped, all you have to do is eat eggs- hard-boiled, scrambled, sunny-side up, down or sideways- anything you like. Being one of the most ancient fertility symbols, eggs are full of vitamin B6, which help your body balance hormone levels and cope with stress, and are also an excellent source of amino acids, which combat certain types of heart ailments as well as erectile dysfunction. You can also try other foods that are rich in B6 like spinach, carrots, peas, sunflower seeds, wheat germ or fish.
11. Research conducted by the American Chemical Society showed that oysters contain compounds that raise testosterone and oestrogen levels.
12. The nutrient citrulline, found in watermelons, can have a viagra-like effect on the body as it boosts nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels. The study reported in the January, 2011, edition of the prestigious medical journal, Urology, shows the enormous potential the nutrient.
13. The phytochemical-rich black raspberries enhance both libido and sexual endurance.
14. Ginseng tea contains the ginsenoside compound, which according to International Journal of Impotence Research, increases sexual satisfaction and can prevent erectile dysfunction.
15. Strawberries, which are pretty sexy-looking already, contain antioxidants and improve circulation, which up your chances of having a hot-blooded encounter. These are an excellent source of vitamin B, which has been linked to high sperm counts in men.
16. Beef and dark-meat poultry can help curb the body's production of prolactin, a hormone that at high levels can dampen your doing-it drive. Veggie lovers can get the same passion-pumping perks from brown rice, whole-grain bread, leafy green vegetables and crumbly cheeses like Cheshire or Lancashire.
17. While the pungent season garlic will spice up your sex life by dilating blood vessels and improving circulation throughout your nether region, the Eastern relish ginger revs your metabolism, which can get your whole body humming with renewed sexual energy.
18. You may want to start eating oranges because vitamin C ups your body's levels of oxytocin, a hormone that encourages you to bond in the most straightforward way we humans know - by cuddling.
19. This breakfast cereal might not look sexy, but research at the San Francisco Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality found that including oats in your diet improved men's libidos (an indicator of high testosterone) in just 8 weeks.
20. Swap sugar with honey to get some sugar poured on yourself. It contains boron, a mineral that can increase your body's levels of the libido-boosting hormone testosterone.
21. Nitric oxide is a two-atom gas made by the endothelium tissue in blood vessels in the lining of sex organs. When people become sexually aroused, a neurotransmitter sends a message to the lining of the genitals to release NO, which causes blood vessels to expand. Without an adequate amount of it, guys can't get erections and women can't become engorged and lubricated. So, taking arginine, an amino acid the body uses to create NO, may not be bad idea. Ingesting additional arginine has beneficial effects on blood flow, which, in turn, can improve your cardiovascular health, according to two studies done in the 1990s. The International Journal of Cardiovascular Interventions published a report noting that supplemental arginine may improve blood flow in coronary arteries, and an article in The Journal of Clinical Investigation showed arginine significantly improved circulation in young adults with high cholesterol.
22. Lastly, according to the journal Physiology and Behavior, the couple that eats together, sleeps together. The act of cooking together can even be a form of foreplay, and the smell of food can ignite intimacy.
Never mind sex toys and lingerie. It's your diet that holds the key to a fulfilling sex life. So, boost libido by changing what you eat....