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Five Foods that Could Put You In the Mood

from CBS News

The secret to a romantic evening on Valentine's Day could be - in your kitchen.

Really! Love could be on the menu.


What you eat affects your hormone levels, brain chemistry and energy, as Health magazine Senior Food and Nutrition Editor Frances Largeman-Roth explained on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning."


In general, Roth says, if you're not eating a healthy diet, including the foods she mentioned, you may not be performing your best in bed, though this isn't the same for everyone.


ALMONDSbuy almonds


What you need: Nutrients and minerals found in almonds, like zinc, selenium and vitamin E.


Why you need it: Important for female sexual health and reproduction. Vitamin E is necessary to make both estrogen and testosterone.


What it does to your libido: Increases passion, acts as a sexual stimulant and aids in fertility.


DARK CHOCOLATE


What you need: Tryptophan and Phenylethylamine


Why you need it: Maximizes feel-good chemicals in the body. This sweet has long been linked with love and sex for good reason. It contains
tryptophan, which helps the body produce serotonin, and offers a hit of phenylethylamine.

What it does to your libido: Increases production of serotonin - the body's natural feel-good chemical that leads to heightened stimulation and arousal. Phenylethylamine is a stimulant thought to contribute to the feeling of love and happiness.


A few things to note: try and stick to one ounce of dark chocolate (if you add nuts, it's fine too - plus you'll get an extra boost if those nuts are almonds). Keep in mind though that the more items are in your chocolate (nuts, toffee, dried fruit, etc), the more calories the chocolate will have.


STRAWBERRIES


What you need: Vitamin C


Why you need it: Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, helps your body flush out toxins, slowing down the aging process. It also keeps his swimmers (sperm) healthy and abundant.


What it does to your libido: Makes you look hotter! The color red is known to help stroke the fire: A 2008 study found that men find women sexier
if they're wearing red as opposed to "cool" colors such as blue or green.

A few things to note: Try making dark chocolate-dipped strawberries this Valentine's day - they're the perfect treat to feed each other, and bright red color is sexy-because they're topped with chocolate, you're adding more libido-boosting methylzanthines. Strawberries are also super-romantic to serve on Valentine's Day - they're heart-shaped when cut in half.


CHILE PEPPERS


What you need: Capsaicin


Why you need it: Achieving the ultimate orgasm. Capsaicin is a chemical that's been shown to induce the release of
endorphins in the brain, which creates a feeling of euphoria.

What it does to your libido: The potential payoff? Enhanced foreplay, feelings of arousal, and more explosive orgasm.


OYSTERS


What you need: Zinc


Why you need it: Healthy testosterone levels. The mineral helps the body produce testosterone, a hormone critical in regulating women's and men's libido and sexual function.


What it does to your libido: Zinc can improve sperm count and swimming ability, and increase sexual potency in men. (No wonder legend has it that Casanova sucked down several oysters a day!) For women,
may help ovarieszinc may help ovaries -the source of estrogen, progesterone, and some testosterone-stay healthy, keeping you primed for bedroom action.

A few things to note: Consuming raw or undercooked oysters may induce nausea or bacterial infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, notify your doctor immediately.


ALSO OF NOTE


Incidentally, if you shared a certain dish on your first date, or on your honeymoon, and have it again for Valentine's Day, it may help ignite passion - sort of a flash-bulb memory type thing.


And, while a glass of Champagne can help you get in the mood, much more than that will put a damper on sex drive.