Get in the Mood and Have Better Sex with These Healthy Foods
By Dana Leigh Smith
People have used food to lure lovers and boost arousal since the beginning of time—and it has been proven to work like a charm. In fact, nearly every first date revolves around food, according to a survey by mobile dating app Clover.
Recently released scientific findings show that we’re far more interested in romance and sex after we’ve enjoyed a good meal. (Apparently, a rumbling stomach doesn’t put people in the mood.) But if you really want to rev your sexual appetite, don’t just idly nosh. Instead, reach for foods shown to enhance desire and pleasure.
By increasing blood flow and energy levels, the healthy weight loss foods below will heighten your arousal, sex drive and pleasure—so much so that you may even want to go for a second round! Work a few into your next date night. Both you and your significant other are bound to enjoy the hotter sex.
Eating spinach, a green rich in appetite-suppressing compounds, can not only give you a lingerie-ready figure but also put you in the mood by increasing blood flow below the belt. “Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow,” explains Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of Healthy Simple Life. Although that may not sound sexy, you’re sure to enjoy the effects. “Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable,” says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson Ph.D. “Women will find it is easier to have an orgasm, and men will find that erections come more naturally. Having good sex is the best aphrodisiac. It makes you want to have more sex,” she adds.
If you’re a big Eat This, Not That! fan, you already know that we’re big fans of green tea—and for good reason. The brew is rich in compounds called catechins, which have been shown to blast away belly fat and speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy. But that’s not all: Catechins also boost desire by promoting blood flow to your nether region. “Catechins kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels, increasing their ability to transport blood,” says Bjork. “Catechins also cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow,” she explains. Blood flow to the genitals = feeling of sexual excitement, so sipping the stuff will, well, make you want to get it on. Bjork suggests drinking four cups a day to feel the full effects.
If you’re looking for a way to simultaneously boost your libido and calm those pre-date jitters, pour yourself a glass of red wine. Women who drank one to two glasses of the stuff had heightened sexual desire compared to ladies who didn’t down any vino, a Journal of Sexual Medicine study found. Just be sure to cut yourself after your second glass; enjoying more than that didn’t stimulate any further arousal, and knocking back too much can put a damper on your sexual performance and pleasure. What makes the elixir so beneficial is a rich antioxidant profile that triggers nitric oxide production in the blood, which relaxes artery walls. This increases blood flow down south, creating feelings of sexual excitement.
It’s no secret that oily coldwater fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here’s something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart but also raises dopamine levels in the brain. This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal, Bjork and Nelson explain. There’s more: “Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun,” adds Nelson.
Sounds like a great reason to order the fish to us—just make sure it’s not one that fish that causes belly fat.
If your crazy busy schedule is to blame for your lack of libido, you’re not alone. “One of the primary reasons couples stop having sex is because they’re tired, fatigued and stressed. But sometimes, there’s a biological component at play,” says Nelson. One of the causes of fatigue in women is iron deficiency. The condition can zap energy, which may result in a low sex drive, explains Nelson. Bjork concurs, adding, “Iron deficiency is common and can result in feelings of exhaustion, weakness and irritability, which doesn't make anyone feel like getting intimate.”
Bjork says remedying the situation requires a two-part approach: “If you think your diet lacks iron, focus on eating more spinach, grass-fed red meat and liver, all foods rich in the nutrient. Then, ensure sure your body is able to utilize the iron,” she says. “Consuming probiotic-rich yogurt, fatty fish and an L-glutamine supplement can improve gut health and help your body to absorb iron more efficiently,” explains Bjork.
Good news, chocolate lovers: Your go-to indulgence can help get you in the mood. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that have been shown to reduce stress and relax blood vessels, sending blood to all the right regions—no Twinkie can claim that. Those same flavonoids can also help diminish body fat, which can boost your confidence in bed, making it easier to focus on the main attraction. Just be sure to avoid the worst dark chocolates for weight loss and instead, opt for an ounce of our go-to bar, Lindt 85% Cocoa Excellence. It carries notes of sweet stone fruits and, unlike other bars, doesn’t contain alkalized cocoa, which contains far fewer beneficial flavonoids.
Don't forget that Certain foods for your sex drive can ensure you look, feel and perform your best in the sack, giving you the confidence you desire and the stamina you need. You probably know some to avoid (like onions; Google it), but Eat This, Not That! found 7 other sneaky eats that could end your night prematurely. Scroll down to get in the know and stay safe out there!
Every seasoned dater knows fresh breath is a must! This is why the last thing most people do before heading out the door is pop in a mint. While cinnamon- or fruity-flavored suckers won’t have any negative effects on your date night, opting for the spearmint variety can. A Phytotherapy Research study found that spearmint can significantly reduce levels of testosterone, a hormone that plays a big role in libido. Translation: Even if you’re really into your date, you may just not feel in the mood to get it on. Our advice: Steer clear of this small but mighty sex-drive killer at all cost!
Eat This Instead: Instead of a pre-date mint, brush your teeth before heading out and hydrate with H20 throughout the evening. Drinking water promotes the production of saliva, which helps dissolve stinky substances in both food and drink that are lurking in your mouth. Not to mention, guzzling water can help fight bloat, which can help you look extra lean when you strip down.
Gents, this one’s for you: Considering taking your date to romantic steakhouse? You may want to think again—and consider cutting out meat from your diet entirely—at least if you want to up the odds she’ll be into you. As strange as it sounds, researchers have found that women find guys that follow a vegetarian diet have a more masculine and attractive body odor than those who follow an omnivorous diet. Still not convinced? Consider this: Scientists say that eating a fatty foods—like steak—can cause drowsiness, which won’t do you any favors if you were hoping to last all night between the sheets.
Eat This Instead: While we can’t guarantee she’ll take you home if you order the veggie burger, nix meat for a week before a date and see if the farm-fresh pheromones make a difference.
While cozying up with some chop sticks and sushi may seem like a great idea for a hot night out on the town, drowning your rolls in soy sauce is not. A mere tablespoon of the stuff has almost half a day’s worth of sodium! Eating high-salt foods not only causes bloating—which isn’t what you want when you’re rocking Body by Victoria—but also diminishes blood flow to the genitals. That can make it more difficult to get and maintain an erection and reach orgasm.
Eat This Instead: Ask your waiter for low-sodium soy sauce to slash your salt intake in half—and be sure to avoid other salt-laden Japanese staples like miso soup.
Sure, you may think you look sexy while you eat it, but if you’re hoping to monkey around, stay away from those bananas. It’s not that they’re unhealthy—quite the opposite, actually—but the fruit increases levels of melatonin (the hormone that helps you fall asleep) by a whopping 440 percent, according to a Journal of Pineal Research study.
Eat This Instead: Honeydew melon. It’s a natural diuretic, so it will banish any water retention and help you look slimmer—stat!
We’re talking about food here, but no one likes a Dutch oven. To avoid an unsexy bottom burp, skip out on vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage the day of your date. Not only do these veggies make you fart more, they contain a sugar called raffinose, which increase the pungency of flatulence, making your gas stinkier, too.
Eat This Instead: Asparagus. This anti-bloating superfood makes you pee, which can flush out excess water and relieve bloat. If you’re planning to wear something sexy or revealing on your date, this can help you look even better—instantly.
Right along with bad breath and acting rude, 26 percent of singles say that appearing unkempt tops their list of turn-offs. It’s safe to say this includes sweating profusely. No one, and we mean no one, will feel compelled to heat things up if you look drenched before the bedroom activities start. To keep perspiration at bay, load on the deodorant and stay far away from restaurant dishes that contain chili peppers. The vegetable contains a component called capsaicin, which in addition to giving chilies their fire, increases body temperature and leads to sweating. The bottom line: Keep things mild at dinner if you want to spice things up after dessert.
Eat This Instead: Look for dishes that are loaded with fresh flavors and herbs—not heat. Anything that’s “fiery” or “hot” is not your friend.
You, lactose intolerant, thought you were playing it safe by opting for almond milk before the date. But if your almond milk of choice contains the thickening agent carrageenan, you’re might blow up your spot. Besides being linked to ulcers and inflammation, the seaweed derivative can cause major gastrointestinal distress like bloating and gas. If you’ve been working on your fitness and are banking on your killer bod to help lure your honey into the bedroom, steer clear of the belly-ballooning additive!