Naughty Bites! Best Foods For, Well, You Know …

woman eating chocolateThe rising barometer of sexual dysfunction impacts nearly forty percent of women and thirty percent of men.

Translated, this works out to be nearly 70,000 million people who struggle with desire, arousal, and/or orgasm, according to researchers from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Sexual dysfunction is often associated with decreased life satisfaction and increased number of visits to the physician.

Prescriptions written for the sexual performance drugs Viagra and Cialis are now at record levels. But quick fix meds also run the risk of undesirable side effects, including: sudden vision loss, headaches, four-hour erections (sounds good until you have one; it can actually be quite painful), and increased risk of a heart attack.

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The other problem with taking medication to enhance your sex drive is that a drug doesn’t address the root physical cause: diet and lifestyle. When you’re making poor food choices and/or not eating food to support your heart and other organs, blood vessels become backed up with plaque over time. The result: your blood has a harder time getting to where it needs to go. For men, this can translate to the big performance becoming a flop. And for women, the lessened blood flow impacts arousal, lubrication and energy levels.

Conditions that mess with blood flow and can damage sensitive nerve endings in your sex organs: uncontrolled blood sugar (when diabetes isn’t treated properly); chronic stress, depression, and obesity, which trigger inflammation and high blood pressure, both of which scar blood vessel linings.

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Meditate on it.

Maybe just saying NO might work better to help get you in the mood. I’m not talking about an abstinence program here, but rather the acronym NO, which stands for nitric oxide. Nitric oxide naturally occurs in the body to help keep blood vessels dilated and functioning normally. In and of itself, it doesn’t peek arousal. Rather, NOs job is to blaze a path for blood to reach its intended target, whether it be the brain, heart or any other part (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). By incorporating more foods known to produce NO into your diet, over time, you may begin to experience the desired result:
• Coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts
• Oats, barley, wheat
• Soybeans, chickpeas
• Chicken, lean pork, beef
• Chocolate

Let’s also not forget about the foods that you might want to avoid, or at least consume in moderation, if you want the love machinery to work smoothly:
• Alcohol. It may make you brave in the sack at first, but alcohol is a depressant. Over time alcohol can also decrease testosterone; low testosterone can zap energy levels.
• Saturated fat. Otherwise known as “high triglycerides,” a fatty diet is directly linked to impotence.
• Excessive sugar. Too much sugar also raises your triglycerides.

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Dave’s newest book is the The Best Things You Can Eat, an indispensable guide on which foods work best for immune-boosting, healing, energy, and looking good. Grotto also wrote the acclaimed book 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life, which has been published in 18 languages. 101 Optimal Life Foods, with a foreword written by Montel Williams, debuted in January of 2010 and is offered in three languages.

Dave is the founder and president of Nutrition Housecall, a nutrition consulting firm that provides nutrition communications, lecturing, and consulting services. He is also a freelance writer and serves as an advisor to Fitness magazine, Sear’s FitStudio, and Hooray Puree. Grotto is a frequent guest at Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago where he provides mouth-watering (“edu-tainment”) cooking demos. He is also a former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.