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Food & Sex: Increase you sexual appetite with this diet

Brie Gatchalian is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. When she's not writing about fashion and beauty, she researches topics related to relationships and mulls over her own love life. She'll be the first to admit she doesn't hav...

Daily diet to rev up your libido

Whether you and your partner are trying to conceive or just want a better sex life (and more of it), you probably have thought of using toys, playing games and wearing lingerie. But did you know there are many everyday foods out there that you and your beau can nosh yourselves in that will help in the love-making department?

Sexy woman licking spoon

Delicious Dairy

"Mother nature's prescription for a healthy sex life is high-fat animal foods, such as whole milk, cream and butter," says Kaayla T. Daniel, who has a PhD in nutrition and is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food. "Anatomy and physiology books make it abundantly clear that we need plenty of fats--natural saturated fats, as opposed to the trans fats in margarine and shortening--and foods rich in cholesterol if we produce sex hormones and stress reduction hormones."

Delectable Eggs, Meat and Seafood

There's much to say about the incredible, edible egg, says Daniel, whose next book will be about ways to feed your libido and fuel your lust for life. On her list? Aphrodisiacs like caviar and oysters, and fish and meat. "Although it's fashionable to eat low-fat, plant-based diets that include a lot of soy, right now, this is a prescription for lowered fertility and libido," says Daniel. In fact, monks in Asia eat soy to help them maintain their vows of celibacy. So put down the edamame and have some sushi rolls with caviar for an appetizer next time you're at a Japanese joint.

Super Veggies

Some of the health nuts are onto something. As if veggies couldn't get any better for you, Genie James, author of In the Mood Again (out January 2010), recommends natural hormone-balancing foods to help you with your sex drives. In the book, Genie devotes an entire chapter on "sexy-healthy eating" to keep your sex life hot and sizzling.

James, who's treated thousands of men and women looking to regain vitality and lost libido at the Natural Hormone Institute in Jacksonville, FL, disagrees with Daniel when it comes to soy. One should eat foods that are rich in phytoestrogens (which means plant estrogen and includes soy), James advises. "In other words, if you are estrogen dominant, phytoestrogens will temporarily bind to your estrogen receptors thereby reducing estrogen activity at a cellular level. Conversely, if you are estrogen deficient, phytoestrogens will jump in to make up for some of the insufficiency."

"Some of the richest phytoestrogen-containing foods are soy products, including soybeans, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, roasted soybeans, miso and edamame," James points out. "Did you know that the number one Japanese porn star was 72 years old? Many postulate that to the fact that the Japanese diet is rich in phytoestrogens."

Lovable Lignans

"Lignans are another exemplary phytoestrogenic food group," says James. They're present in a wide variety of plant foods, including seeds (flax, flax seed oil, pumpkin, sunflower, poppy), whole grains (rye, oats, barley), bran (wheat, oat, rye), and fruits (particularly berries). "Flaxseed is by far the richest dietary source of plant lignans," James attests.

Live for Liver

I have yet to find a human who enjoys eating liver, but did you know it can make youa better lover? The reason for that: It's loaded with zinc, which is necessary to maintain optimum levels of testosterone. "Inadequate zinc levels prevent the pituitary gland from releasing luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones, which stimulate testosterone production," James explains. "Zinc also inhibits the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into excess estrogen."

Zinc has also been proven to help the body produce healthier sperm by increasing sperm count and motility--so if you're trying to conceive, liver's for you. "A USDA study found that semen volume dropped 30 percent when zinc intake was low," James says. "Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that male volunteers who consumed low amounts of zinc exhibited decreased semen volumes and serum testosterone concentrations."

Other foods rich in zinc include oysters, other mollusks, shrimp, crab, peanuts, lentils and whole grains.

Now you should have enough to add to your eat-for-sex-health shopping list. Perhaps you'll make some liver tonight with a side of oysters? Or maybe caviar and flaxseeds are more your style. Bon appetit!

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