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Naughty nutrition: Healthy holiday foods that make you feel sexy

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Sexy foods for the holidays

The holidays are here, and whether Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice doesn’t matter – you’re an adult, after all. But with adulthood comes holiday stress, stress and more stress – and very often, no desire to have sex. Margaux J. Rathbun, B.S., N.T.P. and creator of AuthenticSelfWellness.com, says noshing on certain healthy holiday foods will not only help you battle holiday angst, but will also put you in the loving mood.

Couple in bed drinking coffee

SheKnows: There is no question that the holiday season is high time for stress. How can diet in general help people manage the stressful time of year?

Margaux Rathbun: Believe it or not, our diet plays a key role in how we think, act and feel! During times of stress, I advise my clients to eat foods that are dense in nutrients. Stress depletes our bodies of many nutrients, including the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Stress also robs our bodies of potassium, magnesium and zinc. When you're feeling stressed, eat nutrient-dense foods, including avocados, asparagus, brown rice, figs, fish (I love salmon), green leafy veggies, and raw nuts and seeds. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water! One of the early signs of dehydration is depression and anxiety. Carry a cute bottle around with you during the day so you will remember to hydrate.

Curious how much water you need to drink every day? Take your body weight, divide it in half, and that's the minimum amount of ounces you want to drink.

SheKnows: Recent research suggests that having sex is good for the heart and can lower stress. But many people are the least interested in sex during the stressful holiday season. What do you advise to get people in the mood?

Margaux Rathbun: When you feel good, you tend to feel sexier. When you feel sexy, you want to have sex! Stay balanced this holiday season with a healthy diet, a regular exercise routine and different therapeutic outlets for managing stress. Maintaining this balance is going to boost your energy and increase your libido. When it comes to working out, there are plenty of gyms now offering classes designed to bring out your inner sex kitten. Such classes include pole dancing, cardio striptease, burlesque dancing and more. Surprise your partner and practice your sexy new moves on him when you get home!

To unwind and manage stress during the holiday season, light some candles and soak in a hot mineral bath. Hydrotherapy helps us relax, while natural bath salts are physiologically powerful and psychologically soothing. Why not invite your partner to join you in the tub? That will heat things up!

SheKnows: You promote "naughty nutrition" as a way to help get people through the holidays on a happy note. What is naughty nutrition?

Margaux Rathbun: Some people think that the topics of health and nutrition are boring. The misconception is that nutrition is just about losing weight, dieting and eating carrots with tofu! In reality, nutrition is a fun and powerful topic because of the impact it has on the entire body, even our sex drive. That's why I get so excited about simple things like chilies and watermelons (both known to help put us in the mood). We really are what we eat!

SheKnows: What specific foods can people eat to rev up their holiday sex drive, and how do these foods increase libido?

Margaux Rathbun: In addition to living a healthy, balanced life, there are certain foods that have been known to spice things up in the bedroom.

  • Oysters are one of the more well-known foods that serve as an aphrodisiac. They are full of zinc, which can help produce sperm and increase libido in both men and women.
  • Honey contains a lot of B vitamins and minerals that aid in getting people aroused.
  • Try cooking with basil; it's been said to increase fertility. Make homemade pesto spreads with garlic, another aphrodisiac, and add it to pasta or use it on chicken dishes.
  • Get things pumpin' with ginger. This well-known spice gets the circulatory system flowing. Its spicy flavor is great in salads or even cooked with fish. Ginger also helps with digestion. We all know how un-sexy it is to feel bloated and full.
  • Sugar, spice and everything nice? Not when you're cooking with nutmeg! A sprinkle of nutmeg on your dinner, dessert or even your date is sure to raise their body temperature and heat up the evening. Add it to a hot cup of cocoa or coffee for an after-dinner treat and watch the clothes melt off.
  • Given the shape, it's not shocking to learn that bananas are said to stimulate the sex drive in men. Besides being loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins, they also contain components that help arouse the boys. Go bananas, ladies!
  • Want to put your man in the mood? Serve him wild yams or pumpkin seeds, two foods that have been said to help with get men going.
  • Want to attract the ladies? It's been said that the scent of almonds arouses women. Gentlemen, maybe it's time to invest in a nice big bottle of almond oil?

SheKnows: Can you suggest fun and sexy ways people can serve or eat these healthy, sex-boosting foods?

Margaux Rathbun: In addition to foods, spice things up in the kitchen and turn a boring cooking routine into foreplay! Why not cook in some sassy heels and a naughty little apron? Have a 9½ Weeks movie moment and feed your partner sexy, small bites. Maybe you can even bust out the blindfold and tease him with tasty foods?

Word of caution: To fully benefit from the sex-boosting nutrients in these foods, it's best not to overcook them, which can destroy the nutrients and essentially make "dead food." It's better to eat these foods as close to raw as possible (except, maybe, for the garlic -- yuck!). For example, if you are making pumpkin seeds, roast them in the oven at 160 degrees F for only 15 minutes. Sprinkle them with sea salt and some garlic powder or chili powder to really rev things up!

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