Americans are hungry, mainly for two of humankind's biggest motivators: food and sex.
To help you get your freak on with a full and happy stomach, the way God or Buddha or Zeus intended, top nutritionists shared their picks for the best foods to stimulate your sex life.
In addition to traditionally being used as a medicinal herb for many conditions, including joint inflammation, tooth infections, and respiratory problems, cloves were used as a libido enhancer in East Asian countries. "With a natural ability to improve circulation, nutritionally speaking, cloves are also a good source of vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin C, and calcium,” Lisa Moskovitz, registered dietitian and CEO of New York Nutrition Group, says.
Just hearing the words "filet mignon" is usually enough to turn on the carnivores of the world, but eating it is even better. "While it's not an everyday food, lean cuts of beef such as tenderloin are an excellent source of oxygen-pumping iron, testosterone-boosting zinc, and amino acid L-arginine, which has been linked to enhancing libido and energizing B vitamins," Moskovitz says. She recommends sticking to small portions, or better yet, sharing with your partner for a romantic meal for two.
OK, so you won’t look as sexy consuming seeds as you will tearing into a steak. But sunflower seeds are a leading source of antioxidants and vitamin E, making them an easy, portable snack that can help stimulate your desires. "Vitamin E helps with blood flow to all parts of the body -- if you catch my drift," Moskovitz says. She recommends sticking to 1 to 2oz portions, or sprinkling seeds on yogurt or as a salad topper for an extra crunch.
A medium-sized tomato is just 22 calories, but it has high amounts of vitamin E and more than 30% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C. These vitamins work together to improve circulation in your body, helping you get ready for some afternoon (or evening, or morning) delight, Moskovitz says. Whether you slice them and put them on your turkey sandwich, dice them up and add to your omelet, or eat 'em plain, tomatoes make a great addition to a hearty meal that will keep the romance alive.
If you like as much heat in your food as you like in the bedroom, hot chilies (which contain the wonder-substance capsaicin) are a bold choice. "Hot chilies help stimulate circulation and nerve endings, so you're able to feel... everything!” chuckles Moskovitz.
Men, take note: showing love for spicy foods can also suggest that you have higher testosterone levels, which could be a huge turn-on for your partner.
Who cares how your pee smells when you’re having great sex (unless you're into, you know, some weird stuff)? The secret to a long night of lovemaking is vitamins B1 and B3, found in foods like asparagus, according to Jenny Patrizia, nutritionist and founder of Passion at First Bite. "These vitamins not only contain properties that will give you stamina, but they also dilate blood vessels, creating better blood flow," Patrizia says. And you're going to want that better blood flow.
Grains, nuts, chicken, liver, broccoli, and mushrooms are all also good sources of vitamins B1 and B3.
Yes, the rumors are true: oysters really are the aphrodisiac they're made out to be. According to Patrizia, these shellfish are chock-full of libido-stimulating zinc. In fact, just six oysters provide more than four times the recommended daily dose of this bedroom-friendly nutrient.
Oysters are also a good source of oxygen-pumping iron, and are low in saturated fat and calories compared with most other protein sources. "As a lighter meal option, you’re less likely to experience a post-meal, sex-zapping food coma," Moskovitz says. "Enjoy them raw or baked, but try to avoid ordering them heavily cooked in saturated fat-filled butter, or with breadcrumbs."
While vitamin E isn’t a food, per se, Patrizia notes that vitamin E is often referred to as the "sex vitamin," saying, “Vitamin E can help increase feelings for desire, attraction, and even enhance your mood."
Almonds, spinach, and red peppers are all good sources of vitamin E -- but consuming it isn’t the only thing it's good for. Patrizia says the nutrient itself can also be used topically as a sexual lubricant. "All you need to do is open up a vitamin E capsule and put it on your member." Whatever floats your aquatic vessel of sexual exploration.
Finally, some booze! This Mediterranean staple will help you relax in more than one way, prepping you for experimenting with a new move between the sheets. "Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol, which protects the body against oxidative stress," Moskovitz says. "Long-term oxidative stress can interfere with many things, including blood circulation."
Just beware of imbibing too much -- you might face the wrath of whiskey dick.
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