Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so maybe you have a few special treats in mind. You may be dropping subtle hints to your beloved about beautiful jewelry that might dazzle your heart forever, but let’s just say your partner is more of a “two-day-old flowers and rubber chicken dinner,” kind of guy.
Whether your partner sees V-day as a money trap or a reason to stoke the old love fires, let’s face it, many people need a little help in this department. No worries, in the words of Kerry Washington who plays Olivia Pope in ABC’s “Scandal,” “It’s handled!”
As your nutrition coach, I’m here to rescue you with tips that will pay off big for both of you! So here’s my advice: if you really want to put the sexy back in your love life for Valentine’s Day, Black Love Day or every day, it is going to take a few special foods and a few good moves. Here are a few of my favorite picks for aphrodisiacs that are supported by science.
Let’s get started with the food.
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, which is good for the heart because the vitamin C increases circulation, making the arteries more supple, and in the boudoir, that circulation is key! The heart’s job is to pump blood to the entire body, including female and male genitalia … all the right places to help you get that lovin’ feeling! For an extra lovin’ punch, dip your berries in dark chocolate, also rich in antioxidants called methylxanthines, known to increase libido. Can you say “two-fer?”
Oysters. OK, you may have heard that these mollusks are a potent aphrodisiac and that they are winners when it comes to increasing libido. Here’s why. Oysters have a high zinc content, a mineral essential to the production of testosterone, the male sex hormone, and the maintenance of healthy sperm. If the idea of throwing back a few of these sexy jewels doesn’t cut the mustard for you, try adding pine nuts to your salads, chicken, fish or vegetable side dishes. Pine nuts also qualify as they, too, contain large amounts of zinc.
Hot peppers. Cayenne and other chili peppers are part of a group of alleged aphrodisiacs that are sometimes sold in the form of an extract, but their effect on the body may be more uncomfortable than arousing. The fiery fruits contain varying levels of a chemical irritant called capsaicin, which causes an increase in heart rate and breathing, sweating and blood flow when ingested. This is similar to the body’s response to sexual arousal. So, munch a small amount or toss a few pieces into a salad.
Chocolate. Probably the most famous — and most studied — of all aphrodisiac foods, chocolate contains feel-good brain chemicals, serotonin and anandamide, as well as phenylethylamine (PEA), which increases endorphins, all of which contribute to feelings of happiness and euphoria during sex. Eureka! To get the greatest concentration of chocolate’s antioxidant and brain chemical power, I recommend dark chocolate with 65 percent to 80 percent cacao, which has more nutrients than its sugary counter parts. Check out this low-fat, dark chocolate fondue recipe to take full advantage of this delicious treat.
Almonds. These nuts are rich in zinc, selenium (minerals) and vitamin E, all of which are important to sexual health and reproduction. Selenium helps with infertility, vitamin E plays a vital role in heart health,and the mineral zinc helps to produce men’s sex hormones and boosts libido. Almonds are chocked full of heart-healthy omega-3 fats as well. Add them to salads, eat handfuls for snacks and make sure you opt for raw almonds as salted varieties cause bloating — a factor you certainly don’t want as you prepare for a sexy night!
Yoga Move to Get You in the Mood!
I personally adore most yoga moves because the very practice of yoga gives you a more supple body that can be moved, bent, folded and eased into almost any direction. Being able to achieve yoga moves is bound to make you feel sexy! But studies show that circulation below the belt is directly linked to arousal and this move delivers. So here’s my fave:
The Wide-legged Straddle Pose. It’s good for low libido because it increases blood flow to the pelvic area, and where blood flows, your energy and vitality goes so here goes:
Sit on the floor, legs spread arms-length apart (as wide as you can spread them), point toes upward, touching the insole of your feet, with your head down, and face almost touching the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds or as along as you can.
Breath in deeply, then exhale, wooo-sah! Have a wonderful, romantic V-Day!
Dr. Ro @everythingro is a Fierce contributor and member of the FierceforBlackWomen.com advisory board. She is also a contributor to the “Dr. Oz Show,” where she helped over a half-million Americans lose over 5 million pounds. For more health, nutrition and fitness tips, join Dr. Ro and her social media community at www.everythingro.com for a free download of her super-easy book of nutrition tips and inspiration, You, Health and Happy, Dr. Ro’s Tips for Living an Inspired Life. She is also the author of Dr. Ro’s Ten Secrets To Livin’ Healthy (Bantam).