24 November, 2009

The Sexual Side Effects Of Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving's a sexy holiday, and Thanksgiving dinner, a sexy meal. Say what?

That's right: what happens at the Thanksgiving table has been proven to get the blood flowing, and we're not talking about your blood pressure. Many of the ingredients that go into turkey-day dinner are natural aphrodisiacs. Below are some of the top randiness-inducers, along with a few recipes that you may or may not want to include on the menu this November (depending on how close you're sitting to drunk Uncle Pete).

Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin pie does more than expand your waitline: it's also an olfactory sexual aphrodisiac. According Alan Hirsch, a neurologist at Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, the aroma of pumpkin pie increases blood flow to the penis by 40 percent. It works even better when combined with the scent of lavender. And it's not just the smell that gives rise. When consumed, pumpkin provides a healthy dose of zinc, an element necessary for healthy blood flow and testosterone production.

Oysters: Oysters have a long-standing reputation as an aphrodisiac, and for good reason: they contain an enormous amounts of zinc, which, as mentioned before, is oh-so-important for testosterone production (read libido) in both men and women. For men specifically, it has been shown to improve both the longevity of an erection and the quality of sperm. With that in mind, here's an oyster stuffing with shitake mushrooms recipe from Epicurious.com, which packs a one-two punch with zinc-heavy mushrooms.

Fig/Cranberry Sauce: This cranberry sauce with port and dried figs recipe is great for both getting in the mood beforehand and for preventing complications afterward. Figs are high in the sex-drive-boosting Vitamin A (important for the reproductive and circulatory systems), while cranberries are great for treating potential urinary tract infections with a healthy dose of Vitamin C. Figs are also fairly sexually suggestive (when sliced, they resemble a woman's vulva) and could make quite an addition to a holiday tablescape.

Sweet Potato: The sweet potato, while not exactly scientifically proven, has been said to increase the female sex drive if consumed in large amounts. What science does know about the sweet potato is that it is high in potassium, which helps reduce stress, as well as Vitamins A, C and iron—all important sex drive-enhancing nutrients.

Celery & Fennel: Celery seems to find its way in just about every recipe, yet it remains such an unassuming vegetable. Men listen up: celery contains androsterone—a powerful male hormone that stimulates female sexual arousal. Historically, it has also been used as a cure for impotence. For all you ladies out there, while the men chew on celery, make sure you chomp on a bit of fennel. Fennel contains an estrogen-like substance called estriol that not only will boost your libido, but will also help alleviate post-dinner bloating and cure many PMS-related symptoms.

Chocolate: What's not to love about chocolate? Not only does it pump up your endorphins, it also stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain and will increase a woman's sex drive. What's more, according to Italian researchers, women who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life than those who deny themselves the treat. So, do yourself a favor and include this Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie along with the classic pumpkin.

Booze: Red, red wine.... we all know it makes one feel fine, but along with decreasing your inhibitions, red wine is also rich in resveratrol, an important antioxidant. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that levels of sexual desire were higher in women who were moderate drinkers of red wine than in their counterparts who preferred other alcoholic drinks, or were teetotalers.

Get ready to eat, drink and be very merry this Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!

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