There are some great foods that you can incorporate into your diet that are heart-healthy and will do wonders for your sex life! Cooking together with a romantic partner encourages intimacy and connection - so prepare meals together.

Stay away from foods that contain excess amounts of caffeine - they reduce libido. And stay away from foods that may make you feel bloated and gassy (cabbage, broccoli, onions). Selenium, manganese and of course, zinc, are also vital in regulating hormones and revving up sex drive and are found in various fruits and vegetables, so include a salad with meals if you want some action later. This is very exciting news, so start preparing.

Foods for a better sex life:

Bananas, carrots, asparagus. Bananas, carrots and asparagus are all erotic stimulants because of their phallic resemblance. Asparagus contain folate, which boosts histamine production necessary for the ability to reach orgasm in both sexes. Plus, watching you eat asparagus, a phallic food, is sure to get him in the mood.

Red wine.Red wine is healthy for your heart and your romantic moods! It may help prevent blood clots and reduce the blood vessel damage caused by fat deposits. It is also a particularly rich source of antioxidants which raise HDL (good) cholesterol. It lowers inhibitions and stimulates appetite so add a glass of wine to a romantic dinner!

Oysters.Oysters have long been considered the food of love, and legend has it that Casanova ate dozens of oysters a day - once even seducing a vestal virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips. Oysters carry a hefty dose of zinc. Zinc has been linked to male fertility, potency, sex drive, and is essential for sperm production. The daily requirement for zinc can be gained by eating just one oyster, so imagine what serving your boyfriend/husband an appetizer of a few oysters can do ... schwing! If oysters aren't his thing, turkey, lean beef, and beans are other good sources of zinc.

Champagne. So you've already heard the buzz that a daily glass of wine raises good cholesterol and helps prevent arteries from clogging. But alcohol, especially champagne, can also improve your health and your sex life. Like many mind-altering substances, a glass or two of champagne will lower inhibitions and help ease any couple into an amorous mood.

Pistachios.Besides providing protein to help increase stamina, pistachios are heavy in healthful mono-saturated fats, zinc and other nutrients that are linked with increased sexual desire. Pistachios also have a greater portion size than any other nut, so you can eat 49 kernels (1 serving) and still feel thin and sexy.

Artichokes.This nutrient-dense, peculiar plant was once considered such a powerful aphrodisiac that women were banned from eating it. According to Martha Hopkins, co-author of "Inter-Courses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook,"part of the appeal of the artichoke may be that you have to work hard to "get past the spiked leaves to get to the velvety-smooth heart."

Spices.The right spices not only heat things up on the tongue, but also in the bedroom. Capsaicin, the substance that gives kick to peppers, stimulates nerve endings to release chemicals, raising the heart rate and possibly triggering the release of endorphins, giving you the pleasurable feeling of a natural high. "Chili pepper and ginger help improve circulation," says Dix. "And hot spices like cayenne, curry and cumin help warm the body." The intoxicating aromas of exotic spices help infuse romance into the atmosphere.

Avocado.According to the Doctrine of Signatures, food aids the part of the body it resembles. In fact, the Aztecs valued the avocado as an aphrodisiac and named it "ahuacale" or testicle because they grow in pairs. Though science can neither confirm nor deny that this fruit will get your fire going, it will give you fuel in the form of healthy fats, protein and potassium.

Chocolate.Don't skip dessert! Eating chocolate causes the release of mood-boosting, stress-reducing serotonin. The sweet stuff also causes a release of phenylethylamine, which causes changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels, leading to feelings of excitement conducive to lovemaking. Just make sure to choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.

Even smells of certain foods have been found to be sexually arousing, according to studies at the Smell and Taste Foundation in Chicago, notably:

For men: Pumpkin pie and buttered popcorn For women: Licorice candy

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of Skinnyandthecity.com. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto