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Foods to boost you in bed

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th August 2008 03:00 AM

FOR millennia, people have sought ways to improve their sex lives. The ancient Romans are said to have preferred exotic aphrodisiacs like hippo snouts and hyena eyeballs. The Chinese used such rare delicacies as rhino horn.

FOR millennia, people have sought ways to improve their sex lives. The ancient Romans are said to have preferred exotic aphrodisiacs like hippo snouts and hyena eyeballs. The Chinese used such rare delicacies as rhino horn.

By Fred Ouma

FOR millennia, people have sought ways to improve their sex lives. The ancient Romans are said to have preferred exotic aphrodisiacs like hippo snouts and hyena eyeballs. The Chinese used such rare delicacies as rhino horn.

Modern lovers are no less extravagant. In 2005, for instance, Americans spent about $1.4b to treat male sexual dysfunction disorders, according to Amsterdam-based health care information company Wulters Kluwer.

In Uganda, sexual-enhancment drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are ranked third to pain killers and anti-malarials as the most demanded over-the-counter drugs, the latest data from the Pharmacy Society of Uganda show.

Now scientists say all the ingredients you need to spice up your sex life may be in your garden or grocery store. Try these foods to ignite the passion in your bedroom.

Hunt for omega-3 foods
Since the legendary tale of Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love) emerging from the sea on an oyster shell, shellfish has been hailed as an aphrodisiac. Oysters carry a hefty dose of dopamine hormone and zinc, which boost testosterone and stimulate sexual desires.

Salmon, scallops and sardines are also loaded with Omega 3s which enhance sex drive and romance.

“Omega-3 makes your nervous system function better,” says Sam Kyobe of Joyva Herbal Research Centre in Kampala. Multivitamins and minerals improve neurological function, which contributes to good circulation.

A glass of champagne or wine
Champagne’s other name is ‘drink of love.’ A daily glass of champagne or wine prevents arteries from clogging, allowing better blood flow down south.

Dr. Vincent Karuhanga of Friends’ Poly Clinic in Kampala says like other mind-altering substances, wine lowers inhibitions and ease a couple into an amorous mood.

“From an erection standpoint, anything that’s good for your heart is good for your penis,” he says.

The natural sugars found in honey can improve libido and also increase sexual stamina. The term ‘honeymoon’ was derived from an ancient custom. Newly married couples would go into seclusion and share a special honey drink.

This concoction was believed to increase their sexual desire and their chances of conceiving. They came out of seclusion after the first moon of their marriage.

There is something about the scent of vanilla that gets most men’s hearts racing. Some argue that the aroma increases blood flow to the penis.

However this has not been proved. Vanilla has a positive, stimulating effect on the nervous system, controls and relaxes, muscles. It is believed to encourage sexual energy between lovers.

Spice up you sex life — literally
Ever wonder why Indian restaurants are popular? The secret: spices. The right spices not only heat things up on the tongue, but also in the bedroom. “Chilli pepper and ginger improve circulation,” says Dr. William Kyamuhangire of the Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Makerere University.

“Hot spices like cayenne, curry and cumin warm the body.” Dr. Kamuhangire has made a stimulating liqueur called Omulondo from a root often hawked on the streets of Kampala. Asked what effect Omulondo has on person’s sex drive: “Ah!” he says, “Omulondo, is very stimulating.” “In what way?” I persist. “Ah!” he says, “You can’t disappoint your wife.”

Grab a chocolate dessert
Cacao which is used to make chocolate increases libido. Therefore, eating chocolate causes the release of mood-boosting, stress-reducing serotonin. It stimulates physical contact desires and lowers inhibitions.

The sweet dark stuff also causes a release of hormones which cause changes in blood pressure and blood-sugar levels leading to feelings of sexual excitement. Chocolate is perfect for a sweet tooth and for a sweet sexual experience.

Don’t skip the avocado
According to the doctrine of signatures, food aids the part of the body it resembles. Consequently, the Aztecs valued the avocado as an aphrodisiac and named it ahuacale or testicle because they grow in pairs.

Though science can neither confirm nor deny that this fruit will get your fire going, it will give you fuel in the form of healthy fats, protein and potassium.

“Avocado contains high levels of folic acid which help to break proteins down and in turn provide a person with more energy,” says Dr. Grace Nambatya of Natural Chemotherapeautics Research Laboratories in Wandegeya.

Get nutty
Dr. Edward Kigonya of Mulago Hospital suggests foods rich in L-Arginine, such as groundnuts, simsim, granola, oatmeal, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, soybeans, chickpeas and seeds. Studies show that L-Arginine improves sexual function in men.

There have not been studies done on women but remember erectile response is not just a guy thing.

“Women have erections too in their clitoris and the tissue surrounding the vulva,” says Dr. Karuhanga. Pine nuts in particular have more protein than any other nut.

Besides providing protein to help increase stamina, pine nuts are heavy in monosaturated fats, zinc and other nutrients that are linked with increased sexual desire.

On the other hand, soy binds estrogen receptors, which helps the vaginal area remain lubricated. Studies show that soy is also beneficial to the prostate, a crucial male sex organ.

However, women who have a history of breast cancer should not eat large amounts of soy because it increases the risk of reoccurrence.

At the time of Christ, the Greek physician Dioscordes called artichokes a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. This nutrient-dense peculiar plant was once considered such a powerful aphrodisac that women were banned from eating it.

It contains many phytonutrients with numerous health-enhancing effects. The Romans ate artichokes not only as a delicacy but as an aid to digestion. The Italians even make a digestive liquor called Cynar like the artichoke’s Latin name.

According to Martha Hopkins, co-author of Inter-Courses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook, part of the appeal of the artichoke may be that you have to work hard to “get past the spiked leaves to get to the velvety-smooth heart.”

Celery is believed to be the selinon that Homer mentioned in his Odyssey about 850BC. In Ancient Greece, it was considered a holy plant used to crown the heads of athletes and woven into funeral wreaths.

Celery was grown as a medical plant used mainly to treat nervousness. However, celery is considered to contain libido enhancing androsterone, the odourless male hormone women find extremely attractive.

In a nutshell, while some foods and herbs have been known to have aphrodisiac effect, there are some that are probably not as well known.
Remember, foods that promote weight loss also hold libido-boosting potential.

“Research shows that obesity is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction and low testosterone,” says Marcel Andrew Otim a professor of internal medicine and a diabetologist at Kampala Diabetes Centre.

“Reducing weight,” he says, “results in an increase of testosterone and sexual function.”

Foods to boost you in bed

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