Get ready to tingle your taste buds (and some other body parts!) with these foods, all of which have research to back up their aphrodisiac status. Start eating to put nooky back on the menuBy: Keri Glassman, R.D.
This sensual sweet does more than just make your tongue happy; it also contains a compound called phenylethylamine (what is this?), which is linked to the release of endorphins, those natural feel-good chemicals that flood our bodies after a workout. Interestingly, though, research from the University of Guelph, which examined hundreds of studies on potential aphrodisiacs, found that even though people believe their sexual desire increases after eating chocolate, it's not linked in any way to sexual arousal or satisfaction (Related: Sculpt a sexy body with this slimming yoga plan). In other words, chocolate's sexy powers are likely all in the head, where it triggers serotonin and endorphins. But hey, that works too! When you're jonesing for a fix, enjoy a portion-controlled amount (half an ounce) with some hot tea.
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OK, coffee breath may not be that alluring, but java does possess some sexy properties. A study from Southwestern University found that the female sex drive perks up after a little joe, which stimulates the part of the brain that regulates arousal. One caveat: Because getting back to a healthy sleep pattern is so important for your overall health, be sure to pay attention to your afternoon cutoff time (Video: Get Better Sleep). For many people, restricting caffeine after 2 p.m. is a good general rule.
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These are a reliable source of L-arginine, an amino acid that's been shown to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction. And they're not just for breakfast. Try an easy frittata recipe for dinner some night.
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The creamy texture, beautiful color, and summery smell are definitely attractive, but these are just bonuses: It turns out that peaches' high vitamin C count makes them something of a fertility drug for your guy. Higher consumption results in better sperm counts and less sperm clumping (without going into details, that's a positive thing). Frozen slices are actually a little higher in vitamin C than the fresh ones, so stash some in the icebox and toss them into a smoothie for you—and your man. (More: Find out how vitamin C can flatten your belly)
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A gorgeous, bright-yellow spice, saffron comes from the crocus flower and has a mild, delicate flavor that's popular in Spanish and other Mediterranean dishes. Researchers have found that saffron lives up to its reputation of improving sexual performance (worth its expense at about $11 per gram). The best way to bring out its flavor is to soak the threads in hot (but not boiling) water or broth for 15 minutes and add the "tea" to your recipe. (Free Guide: Cut 500 Calories) It's superb in any grain dish—Spanish seafood paella is a classic one—as well as in soups and stews.
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Beef has loads of zinc and iron, as well as plenty of satisfying protein and B vitamins. Plus, there's just something so tantalizing about the sound and smell of steak sizzling on the grill--it's like foreplay you can eat!
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Besides being good for sexual performance, steak has that special-occasion feel to it. Go for a grass-fed variety to make it extra healthy.
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This juicy favorite has an unusually high level of an amino acid called citrulline, which your body uses to pump out another amino acid, arginine, that's related to vascular health. (Related: 20 Easy Ways to Help Your Heart) In guys, that can translate to healthier erections; in women, it has been linked to increased libido, according to research from the University of Hawaii. And let's be honest, there's something kind of sexy about biting into a dripping hunk of melon on a hot day.
Excerpted from Slim Calm Sexy Diet: 365 Proven Food Strategies for Mind ⁄Body Bliss, by Keri Glassman, R.D. (Rodale, January 2012), available at rodalestore.com.
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