The food of love…

Chocolate, asparagus and oysters are all said to have aphrodisiac properties, but with chocolate being a contributing factor to obesity, asparagus out of season and oysters not to everyone’s taste, are there better alternatives for your Valentine? Vital Nutrition’s Jane McClenaghan thinks so. Here Jane gives us the low-down on how diet can help boost your sex drive and bring back that loving feeling.

First up, cut right back on sugar. A diet high in refined carbs and sugar has been shown to affect libido in both men and women. If you are taking your lover out for dinner this Valentine, opt for a starter and main course over main and dessert and make a few careful choices from the menu to maximise your sex drive.

You have booked the restaurant, bought the flowers and are dressed to impress, so what’s on the menu for your romantic meal for two. We know it’s a cliché, but oysters could be the perfect starter. They have been shown to boost sex hormone levels and are packed full of zinc, which is one of the key nutrients for libido and fertility. If you can squeeze in a bit of watermelon there too, it is said to have Viagra-like effects due to a phytonutrient called citrulline that is reported to increase nitric acid levels, helping to deliver oxygen to that all important area!

Spice things up with a main course. A main meal packed with a few carefully chosen ingredients can boost dopamine levels to get you in the mood. Protein is essential for dopamine production, so stay off the carb-heavy meals like pizza or pasta and opt for a steak, fish or chicken instead. If you want to maximise your chances, choose some omega 3 rich oily fish like salmon, mackerel or trout, to help increase blood flow to your vital organs and throw in a few spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger, garlic, rosemary and tarragon, which are thought to help balance dopamine production in the brain. Don’t forget the local, seasonal veggies too.

And for afters… I will leave that to your imagination.

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