All of these are going on the date night menu. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Do you hear that? The sound of Marvin Gaye crooning “Let’s Get it On”—loud enough to set the mood, but not too loud. Yeah, you know what I’m saying.
And yet, sometimes even gentle evocations from the master of Sexual Healing isn’t enough to stir up passions that may have been laying dormant for a while. We may be living in a sexually charged culture, but sometimes that charge doesn’t always get conducted into a spark in our own bedrooms. Work stress, family conflicts, long-simmering emotional issues–they can turn what ought to be a stolen evening of romance into just another night in front of the tube.
Don’t waste the time you have on anything less than full-throttle passion. The editors of Eat This, Not That! have uncovered some new research that shows certain foods (all of them totally delicious) can help rekindle a dampened flame. (And these recommendations are based on real science. We didn’t just, you know, hear it through the grapevine.)
The next time you set aside an evening for romance, work some of these foods into your day. If you’re feeling a little wary about baring it all in the bedroom, try these 11 Eating Habits That Will Uncover Your Abs before the big date. You may rediscover some real magic.
#6 Super Sex Snack: Pesto
Because it: increases sex drive in women
Pine nuts, one of the key ingredients in pesto sauce, are exceptionally high in zinc, and women with higher levels of zinc in their system have been shown to have a higher sex drive than those with lower levels. (Zinc is also the driver behind the aphrodisiac effects of oysters, although we find slurping spaghetti far sexier.)
#5 Super Sex Snack: Grilled Cheese
Because it: reveals your sexual adventurousness
In one of the weirdest scientific surveys we’ve seen in a while, the social media company Skout surveyed the attitudes and personal lives of more than 4600 people and discovered that 32% of grilled-cheese eaters reported having sex at least 6 times a month, versus just 27% of those who don’t eat the cheesy treat. And 88 percent of people who eat grilled cheese claimed they were “fairly” or “very” adventurous. Next time your partner asks for this comfort food, it might mean he’s in the mood. (Feel even more confident ditching your clothes when you use these exclusive 14 Ways to Lose Your Belly in 14 Days.)
#4 Super Sex Snack: Watermelon
Because it: boosts male libido
In Chinese medicine, tiger penis has long been valued as a cure for low male libido. Unfortunately, our local Whole Foods was fresh out, so we found the next best thing: watermelon. The juicy summer fruit has even more of the nutrient lycopene than tomatoes, and lycopene rivals Viagra in its ability to relax blood vessels and improve circulation right where you want it. Try Jamba Juice’s Wildly Watermelon Whirl’n frozen yogurt as a post date dessert—only 180 calories and made from real watermelon juice. (Added bonus: if you start snacking on the melon before the big night, you’ll slim down. Watermelon is one of Best Fruits for Fat Loss.)
# 3 Super Sex Snack: Pomegranate Spritzer
Because it: improves arousal
A recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research and performed at the Male Clinic in Beverly Hills (yes, they’re both real!) found that pomegranate juice, like POM Wonderful, had a positive effect on erectile function. Pomegranate has been linked with antioxidants that support blood flow. Just be sure to water your juice down a bit: One cup of POM Wonderful has 31 grams of sugar.
#2 Super Sex Snack: Coffee (for her), Decaf (for him)
Because it: puts women in the mood
A recent survey discovered that the #1 spot for first dates is Starbucks. Looks like we’ve figured out why. In a recent study–albeit on animals–coffee consumption was found to make females more eager to engage in sex, and more likely to want it again after a brief rest. But studies show that men are more sensitive to caffeine than women are; guys begin to react within 10 minutes of sipping joe. Since decaf also creates an enhanced level of alertness, a buzz-free bean might be the right pick-me-up for guys who want to avoid first-date jitters. (If decaf isn’t your thing, get a jumpstart on your slim down by ordering one of these 5 Teas That Melt Fat Fast.)
#1 Super Sex Snack: Dark Chocolate
Because it: increases orgasmic response
A study of Italian women and their chocolate-eating habits found that women who regularly nibbled on cocoa wanted and enjoyed sex more than women who barely touched the stuff. This may be because chocolate increases both serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, making us happy and lowering our stress level. The lower your level of stress-based arousal, the greater the build-up to orgasm–and the more intense that orgasm will be. Another theory is that cocoa increases blood flow through the arteries and relaxes blood vessels—sending blood to all the right regions. Whatever the reason, dark chocolate is a heart-healthy indulgence that belongs in your daily life, as long as its cacao level is at least 72% (good chocolates will have their cacao levels right on the label). Try sharing a bar of Ghirardelli’s Intense Dark Midnight Reverie—even the name sounds sexy, and it’s made of 86% cocoa, good for your heart–in all sorts of ways.
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