For thousands of years, people have been consuming certain foods to help them get in the mood. Alcohol, seafood and sweets are all said to improve libido, but many supposed aphrodisiacs are actually aphrodisi-don'ts. There are even some foods you've never considered that can give you a boost in the bedroom. Take this quiz to find out which provisions you can eat for a romantic night and which will all but guarantee you go to bed alone.
It's long been said that chocolate can be used as a substitute for sex, but can it also be used to enhance, instead of replace, your mood?
You know that dizzy, crazy-for-you feeling you have when you first fall in love? It's caused by a chemical called phenylethylamine, and aside from the throbbing hearts of young lovers, it can also be found in chocolate. Eat a little chocolate before making love, and you'll enhance the heady feeling of the experience.
Coffee helps many of us get out of bed in the morning, but will drinking some make you want to jump back under the sheets at night?
Coffee, like all highly caffeinated drinks, decreases cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that helps your body deal with stress, and if your cortisol levels are depleted, your sexual drive and energy will drop, too.
Besides padding your waistline, some fast foods can also kill your libido. Which of these unhealthy treats might make you want to avoid the bedroom?
Fried foods can cause a noticeable dip in your libido. Hydrogenated and saturated fats make you feel tired and sluggish, which is never good for an active nightlife. These fats also limit testosterone, which (as any guy can tell you) is intrinsically tied to sexual desire and readiness.
Yes, it makes your pee smell funny, but can consuming asparagus also help get you in the mood?
Those green spears look phallic, but it's asparagus' ample supply of vitamin E, not its shape, that makes it an aphrodisiac. Besides being an all-around mood-enhancer, vitamin E helps men stay in the game by keeping blood oxygen-rich during sex. Vitamin E can even be used topically by women as a sensation-heightening lubricant.
Most of the time, kissing and bad breath don't mix. But one notoriously pungent food can actually increase a person's sex drive. What is it?
The reek of garlic might not make you think of long nights and lingerie, but this stinky herb contains allicin, which increases the flow of blood to organs. Do we really need to say more?
Which leafy green is as good for your libido as it is for your diet?
Popeye chows down on spinach for a good reason. These leafy greens contain an abundance of magnesium, which dilates blood vessels and helps blood flow more smoothly to the body's organs. So, besides helping sailors beat up bad guys, spinach can help your man stay up to any romantic task. Ahem.
Forget oysters! The ocean's best aphrodisiac is:
If you're looking for seafood that will save your sex life, you can't go wrong with shrimp. These tasty crustaceans contain serotonin, which promotes feelings of well-being. What's more, research has shown that eating shrimp can raise sperm levels and even increase the intensity of orgasms.
Potatoes aren't normally considered a sexy food, but devouring one kind of spud will help get you ready for love. What is it?
If you're going to snack on spuds with your sweetheart, make sure they're sweet! Sweet potatoes are full of potassium, a natural stress reliever that will make you less inhibited and anxious when it's time to be intimate.
Besides helping you relax, downing a glass or two of wine will give an intoxicating boost to both men and women's sex drives. Grapes, and, thus, wine, contain the antioxidant resveratrol, which increases estrogen production and helps both sexes between the sheets.
Some of us have downed one beer too many at a bar or party and woken up next to an unexpected overnight guest, but is drinking a six-pack a surefire way to heat up your bed?
You may feel like you can do anything while you're drunk, but the truth is that when you consume excessive amounts of beer (or any type of alcohol), the only thing you'll be doing in bed is sleeping. Drinking too much will lower your inhibitions, but it will also make you clumsy and drowsy, which isn't a good combo for intimacy. Need another reason to stay off the sauce? Men who are regular heavy drinkers may even become impotent.
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