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Can Food Really Get You in the Mood?

Can Food Really Get You in the Mood?

Oysters. Chocolate. Chile peppers that make you hot and bothered? For centuries, people all over the world have been claiming that these so-called aphrodisiacs–and others, including asparagus, bananas, strawberries and you fill in the blank–stoke sex drive.

But sparking libido with food is more fable than fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which reviewed the science on the subject. So why, then, do some people report heightened arousal after eating “aphrodisiacs”? Experts tell us it’s all in the mind–and in the heart, literally.

“Experiencing increased libido from an aphrodisiac is analogous to feeling healing properties from placebos,” explains June Meyer, M.A., L.P.C., a psychotherapist in Stamford, Connecticut. “What’s in your mind matters more than what’s in your stomach. But if you think a particular food works for you,” says Meyer, “why not go for it?”

What’s more, research shows that sexual dysfunction is sometimes a result of vascular disease, says Melissa Ohlson, M.S., R.D., of The Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology Nutrition Program. “Eating a heart-healthy diet,” says Ohlson, “helps keep blood vessels healthy.” And since blood vessels nourish sex organs, substituting unsaturated fats for saturated ones, getting plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich grains and laying off the salt may pay off in unexpectedly delightful places.

Bottom line: While there’s no proof that certain foods directly enhance libido, eating a well-balanced diet improves cardiovascular health, which in turn improves total body and sexual health. And if eating dark chocolate or oysters sets the mood, go right ahead. Just balance your calories with ample physical activity–in the bedroom and elsewhere.

Visit EatingWell.com for free quick and easy healthy recipe collections!

Read more: Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Love, Relationships, Spirit, , , ,

By D. Milton Stokes, M.P.H., R.D, EatingWell

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60 comments

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1:53AM PST on Jan 22, 2014

Thank you :)

5:11AM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

1:50AM PDT on Jul 13, 2013

Thank you :)

6:28AM PDT on Aug 7, 2012

interesting

6:48PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

yes

5:28PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Mind over matter.

4:04PM PST on Mar 9, 2011

Good to know

6:43AM PST on Feb 23, 2011

just cooking up some points for the animals ...

11:44AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

thanx :-)

1:01AM PST on Feb 14, 2011

It's all in the mind, proof that your brain is still the biggest and best sex organ. Is it really the banana that gets us going, or is it the potential on how that banana can do for us that gets our mind going? As for oysters, is it the texture in our teeth? It's all in the imagination... Creative thinking helps the brain get the right ideas.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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