Is there a Food Sex Connection?
A late night romantic dinner at a fine restaurant, a bottle of wine, soft music and scented candles. It sounds like the perfect evening and a prelude to a wild night of passion. All the aphrodisiacs are in place. What could go wrong?
Let’s see what we could do to make this night even more memorable. Let us begin with the timing of our date. Most of us have schedules planned out to the minute. By the time we have settled in to our quiet, amorous evening, we are ready for a nap more than a torrid romp in the sheets. Fatigue can ruin a perfect evening and can cause quite a rift between you and your lover. Often times if one partner is tired or under a lot of stress, the other partner will perceive this as lack of interest and take it very personally. Many times it is not discussed and festers until the relationship is put in jeopardy from this unspoken situation.
A good rule to follow is not to plan romantic time together if both of you are not well rested. If one or both of you are not at the top of their game, do not take it personally. Not only will a hectic schedule create fatigue; our meals and surroundings can also be a major culprit in the all too familiar problem. If we are thoughtful as to what we put in our bodies, we will find that impassioned encounters can be more pleasurable than anticipated or a very disappointing end to what was to be a wonderful evening.
The body responds to sensual stimuli, such as erotic touch, sight, scents, sounds and thoughts of becoming aroused. One of the physiological responses is increased blood flow to the erogenous zones of the body. The blood vessels to these areas must be able to carry blood freely in order for you to perceive the maximum pleasure. There are mounds of research showing that certain foods will directly or indirectly clog your blood vessels and prevent normal blood flow. The consequences can range from mildly decreased sensation to a complete shutdown of an erogenous area or organ of the body. A classic example of this is impotence. Many men are in search of some miracle pill, potion or lotion to solve their problem when in fact all they need to do is change their diets. The arteries, if given the proper nutrition, can clean themselves out and the men can act as the young strapping bucks they used to be.
Not only is blood flow involved in arousal but also a complex combination of brain function, hormonal releases and nerve impulses that must work together in order to achieve optimum performance. Certain medications, alcohol, poor diet, cigarettes, and pinched or damaged nerves can all play a part. When we start putting the good nutrients in our bodies and ensuring our nerves are functioning at 100%, in most cases, the body will give us the pleasure we are seeking.
Alcohol is the most obvious “food” that can affect our love lives. Alcohol decreases the body’s ability to produce testosterone, which is also known as the sex drive hormone. We may act on impulse when drinking, however, our ability to sense stimulation is diminished inversely to the amount we drink. The more we drink the less ability we have to fully enjoy the stimulus. A little alcohol may feel like it is relaxing us but in reality, it is not the best thing for us romantically.
Meats and dairy products are well known to increase our risk of hardening of the arteries. The hardening of the arteries, as we have already discussed, will lead to a myriad of problems. These foods are also higher in fats than other foods we may choose for our romantic meals. Fats have a tendency to cause your red blood cells to clump together. Your red blood cells carry oxygen all over the body, including the erogenous zones. A decrease in oxygen will prevent the organs from working at their peak performance and not allow you to fully experience the pleasures being made available to you. This explains why many people will feel tired and sluggish after a high fat meal. Think how you feel after a high fat meal as compared to a low fat meal and you will understand why a high fat meal is not the meal of choice for a romantic dinner. It also takes a lot more energy to digest a heavy, fatty meal. The last thing you want is to use up precious energy when you can be using that energy for more important things.
Fatty foods have been long known as things you want to avoid for numerous reasons including increasing your risk of heart disease and cancer, however not all fatty foods are bad. In fact, some fatty foods can be a good thing for increasing libido activity and actually reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer. The good fats are called essential fatty acids and are found in fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. The secret to making sure the essential fatty acids are doing the job they are designed to do is to be sure that you don’t heat them too much. When any fat is heated too much, it will begin to hydrogenate. When oil is hydrogenated it can lead to hardening of the arteries, also known as arteriosclerosis. When you read the labels on many packaged or processed foods, often times, the words Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Oil are listed. Stay away from these foods. Foods high in essential fatty acids help to produce hormones called prostaglandins that help in increasing the sex drive and in heightening your level of pleasure. Too much fat, even good fat, is not a good idea. Too few essential fatty acids will actually decrease your sex drive. This becomes an issue with very low fat and no fat diets. You may lose weight, however, the long-term damages not only affect bedroom activity but all functions of your body and can be devastating. Eating a good source of good fats like avocado, raw nuts, and lots of raw fruit and vegetables every day will make those romantic interludes even better.
Simple sugars can also decrease our energy levels as well as decrease our immune systems. Too much concentrated sugar in the blood system causes the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin into the blood, attaches itself to the sugar and essentially escorts the sugar out of the blood and into the cells. Once the cells have all they can use, the rest of the sugar is stored as glycogen. Imagine we have all these pigeonholes where glycogen is stored all over our bodies. Once all the pigeon holes are filled up, the extra glycogen is sent to the liver to be converted to triglycerides which are put back into the blood to be carried away and stored as fat. These triglycerides cause the arteries to become clogged up, and we already discussed what happens if the arteries get clogged up. The simple sugars may give you a burst of energy initially, but once the insulin kicks in, you may actually go into a state of low blood sugar and this will make you tired. Again, not a good thing if your goal is to make your night as well as your partner’s night one to be remembered. Perhaps you think you are doing a good thing by using artificial sweeteners. Think again. Many artificial sweeteners are vaso-constrictors, which means they will actually constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to certain areas of the body, including the erogenous zones. They can also restrict blood flow to the brain and cause headaches. A headache can certainly ruin the evening and many times is caused by ingesting artificial sweeteners. Avoid the risk of headaches by avoiding artificial sweeteners.
Coffee, according to recent studies, will increase your blood levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine. Homocysteine will actually cause your body to lay plaque in the blood vessels and clog up them up. Studies have been done giving participants equal amounts of caffeine from coffee and from other sources, such as tea. The participants who did not drink the coffee did not have a significant rise in their homocysteine levels. No one knows just what it is in coffee that raises the homocysteine levels in blood but there is a direct correlation between coffee and Homocysteine.
At this point, you may be thinking that all the fun foods are bad for romance, so, what can I eat? There is plenty of good news when answering that question. Now that we have removed alcohol, meat, sugar, dairy, coffee, soda and artificial sweeteners from the menu, we can replace them with foods that will light up your nights (or afternoons or mornings). The following are a few suggestions that can start you on your way to learning how to eat for more reasons than to satisfy hunger.
The Food Sex Connection
The way a food looks is very important. It has long been suggested that certain foods not only look erotic but also have nutritional value to support romance. Known as the Law of Similarities, the theory says that if something looks like or is suggestive of another; it will enhance, improve or aid that which it looks like. This would mean that if a food looks erotic, it will improve or aid in eroticism. Examples may be asparagus or cucumbers. Not only is there visual appeal, but foods like asparagus are loaded with Phosphorous, Calcium, Vitamin E and Potassium. These can boost energy and help in hormone production.
Hot peppers are vasodilators, which means they will open up blood vessels and increase circulation. They get the heart pumping, more oxygen racing through the body, which gives you more energy. All these reactions can certainly heat up an evening.
Avocados are not only high in essential fatty acids but the smooth, creamy texture is very stimulating to the lips and mouth. Often times, the texture of a food is very stimulating. Combine a pleasurable texture with a high quality nutritious food and the results can be very nice. Artichokes are a very romantic and fun food, which are also loaded with nutrients. Dig in with both hands and enjoy the warm and slippery leaves.
Figs are often overlooked in modern society but are very wonderful foods for a number of reasons. Many times when we are not feeling well or functioning well, it is due to too much acid in our systems. A quick way to lower our acid is to eat alkaline foods. Figs, along with spinach and celery, are among the most alkaline foods and have been known to help normalize the body functions. Be sure not to eat figs that are packed in sugar. Sugar is an energy zapper and that is what we are trying to avoid.
Try this new way of eating for a few days or weeks and see how you feel. Maybe you will have a less than quality meal with lots of sugar and fat once in awhile. See how you feel compared to dining on a meal based on fruits, vegetables, grains or nuts. With over 120,000 edible plants on this earth, I am sure you can find something to eat out of those choices. I have helped thousands of people make better choices in their eating habits and the results are always fabulous. As you eat healthier you will begin to realize how much of life you have been missing – in and out of the bedroom.
(Reference 1 January 1997 study in “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition“)
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