[HEALTH TIPS] Six foods that increase libido and three that kill it

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If you find you’re more eager to sleep than have sex regularly, your sex drive may need a booster shot.

Here are six foods that make women sweeter in bed by increasing your libido and three to avoid if you want to get in the mood.

  1. Black Raspberries

Both the berries and the seeds will transform your mindset when you’re trying to get in the mood. “This phytochemical-rich food enhances both libido and sexual endurance,” say Anna Maria Gahns-Clement, Ph.D., and Brian Clement, Ph.D., the authors of 7 Keys to Lifelong Sexual Vitality and directors of Hippocrates Wellness in West Palm Beach, Florida. Consume some black raspberries or a tablespoon of seeds a few hours before you plan to get busy.

2. Cloves

This sex superfood is versatile when it comes to cooking: It can be brewed in hot apple cider, infused into your favorite dish, or added to a chai tea latte. Just make sure to share it with your partner, too. “In India, cloves have been used to treat male sexual dysfunction for centuries,” says Glassman. Research published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine agrees, discovering that clove extracts produced an increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats.

“Cloves are also used to rid bad breath, which can’t hurt your kissing skills either,” says Glassman. Try tossing in powdered cloves in Mexican food next time, too, she suggests. Add a little cumin and cinnamon and you’ve got a tasty, multifaceted aphrodisiac.

       3. Watermelon

Chocolate has the reputation of being the aphrodisiac of choice for those with a sweet tooth, but researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada found that this is most likely just a myth. Though ingredients such as phenylethylamine in chocolate may boost serotonin and endorphin levels, there is no link between chocolate and improved sexual performance or arousal. So if you’re really looking for a sweet libido-booster, stick to a slice of watermelon.

Although it’s 92 percent water, that remaining 8 percent of fruit is jam-packed with vital nutrients for sexual health. Watermelon “has ingredients that deliver Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and may even increase libido,” according to research from the Texas A&M Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center. More specifically, “watermelon contains a phytonutrient called citrulline, which the body converts to arginine, an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide levels in the body, which relax blood vessels in the same way a medicine like Viagra does,” say Gahns-Clement and Clement.

         4. Eggs

Poached, scrambled, fried, deviled. No matter how you make them, a couple of eggs will rev you up after a long day so you can go the distance in the dark. “Eggs are high in protein, which is a source of stamina, and they’re also low in calories,” says Glassman. In addition, they’re a good source for the amino acid L-arginine, which has been shown effective in treating types of heart ailments and erectile dysfunction.

5. Lettuce

A small salad with oil and vinegar as dressing might amp up your sex drive. “Iceberg lettuce contains an opiate that helps to activate sex hormones,” say Gahns-Clement and Clement. Nosh on a bowl at dinner and you’ll be ready to go by the time you turn in for the night.

 6. Ginger

“King Henry VII and the ancient [Asian cultures] were astute when using ginger for medicinal purposes: In the 21st Century, those of us who know about botanical-ceuticals know that ginger helps circulation, temperature adjustment, and mucoid detoxification (mucus-like residue that can coat your GI tract), and is also a libido enhancer,” note Gahns-Clement and Clement. Whether raw, in supplement form, or added to your favorite recipe or drink, ginger also lends itself to defense against winter’s hard cold and flu season, which is good because trying to get frisky with a runny nose never ends well.

Below are three food that can kill your libido:

  1. Oysters

Oysters have been dubbed as the king of libido boosters, but don’t buy into all the hype. “Oysters are a well-known source of zinc, which plays a central role in the creation of hormones and clitoris sensitivity, but they are also a toxic food,” explain Gahns-Clement and Clement. You read right: toxic. “Oysters and other shellfish can absorb the toxins and parasites in the ocean, which can often outweigh the benefits of zinc,” they add. Skip the seafood and chow down on spinach for a better high-zinc option.

       2. Processed Baked Goods

Yep, sugary sweets might zap your sex drive (sorry). “Baked goods contain saturated trans fats that wreak havoc on human cells, including the immune system,” say Gahns-Clement and Clement. “They surround the cells, coagulating them so that vital food glucose can’t be absorbed and remains in the blood, raising blood sugar and lowering libido. The fats also clog ventricles, reducing oxygen to sexual organs, and prevent the spleen from producing enough white blood cells, so eggs and sperm have difficulty multiplying,” they continue. Yikes!

      3. Dairy

Ice cream and cream cheese lovers may want to switch to a lactose-free alternative once in a while. The lactic acid in dairy and oxygen-destroying elements can squash a libido at any level, say Gans-Clement and Clement.

But don’t forget dairy’s best benefit: Calcium. It’s linked to cell and sexual health, and when cells are healthy, they increase sensitivity for better circulation to the genitalia — thus giving you more pleasure. Instead of dairy, stock up on calcium-rich soy milk, leafy greens, sprouted beans, cabbage, broccoli, and wheatgrass juice.