Published September 13, 2007
There are a zillion different diets out there, from Atkins Diet to South Beach, low-fat to no carb.
But have you heard of the "sex diet?"
Foods that are heart healthy are also good for your libido. Think about it, if your arteries are clogged, there is no way the blood will flow "down there."
Dietician Tanya Zuckerbrot has some great tips on food you can take from the kitchen to the bedroom.
"Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac and it goes beyond the old wives tale," said Zuckerbrot. "That’s because oysters contain zinc (which) increases libido."
One oyster contains the daily recommended dose of zinc so imagine what a whole plate can do, said Zuckerbrot, adding that those not into "fishy" appetizers can get zinc from any source of protein.
"Protein is essential for producing sperm in men," said Zuckerbrot. "If your guy isn’t into oysters there are other sources of protein that are going to be high in zinc. Turkey, beef, and even beans, that all increases male fertility and sperm production."
Protein also helps increase stamina, she said. Another good source of protein, pine nuts.
"Pine nuts, out of all the nuts, have the most amount of protein," Zuckerbrot said. "So we're back to the sexual drive and increasing fertility, but pine nuts are also seen in elegant dishes. It's a lot sexier than the average peanut."
Pine nuts also are full on healthful mono-saturated fats which helps lower your bad cholesterol.
What about the Veggies?
"Asparagus contains foliate which is necessary for histamine production and histamine is necessary for both males and females to reach orgasm," said Zuckerbrot.
Asparagus also a very phallic food, she said. "You are actually allowed to eat with your fingers. So there’s something to be said for picking up asparagus and gingerly eating it that is sure to get your partner in the mood."
Another vegetable that Zuckerbrot recommends: Artichokes, which women in the 16th century were banned from eating because they were considered a strong aphrodisiac and reserved only for men. She also recommends avocados, which the Aztecs viewed as a valuable aphrodisiac.
Spices: Chili pepper and ginger help to improve circulation. Hot spices like cayenne, curry and cumin help warm things up.
To wash all this goodness down, try some red wine or champagne. “Some foods that are good for your heart and good for your libido include alcohol; specifically red wine and champagne," said Zuckerbrot. "Red wine studies have shown lowers your bad cholesterol. By drinking the wine, it’s actually going to keep your arteries open and you blood flowing."
But Zuckerbrot warned that too much alcohol can have an adverse effect and actually decrease sexual potency.
Zuckerbrot also said not to skip out on dessert. "Chocolate is known to release serotonin in your brain, which (provides) a claming soothing effect so that sort of gets you in the mood. But the sugar also gets you heart going because it increases your serum glucose levels so you feel a rush of energy."
But choose the heart healthy, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate to give your heart some love too, she added.