Eat This. Improve Your Sex Life!
--Cathryn Conroy

You probably think we're going to tell you to eat a box of chocolates, down a bottle of champagne, or eat a plate of oysters on the half shell. We're not.

While these delectables have long been rumored as fun aphrodisiacs that will spice up your love life, it's only a quick fix at best and extra calories at worst. Long-term sexual health requires a balanced, nutritious diet that may occasionally include chocolate, champagne, and oysters, but it's foundation is built on good nutrition. "Sexual Fitness: 7 Essential Elements To Optimizing Your Sensuality, Satisfaction and Well-being" by Hank C. K. Wuh, M.D., and MeiMei Fox outlines specific nutritional steps for better sex. Follow these and you'll be saying ooh-la-la!

Step 1: Down With Fat, Up With Fruit
High-fat foods lead to heart disease and cancer. They can also clog blood flow in your arteries--including blood flow to your genitals, which can interfere with sexual pleasure. On the other hand, low-fat foods decrease cholesterol levels and can even reverse the effects of arteriosclerosis. What to eat: Think FRESH and NATURAL. Fresh fruits. Fresh vegetables. Whole grains. Avoid foods that have chemicals and preservatives. Avoid fried foods.

Step 2: Lower Your Cholesterol
Did you know that when a man goes to his doctor complaining of erectile dysfunction, the doctor will likely tell him he is at high risk for heart disease and arteriosclerosis? This is why: Cholesterol blocks blood circulation to the small blood vessels. That's bad for your heart. It's also bad for sex since it prevents adequate blood flow from reaching the genital region. And, ladies, the research evidence shows the same may be true for you. What to do: Exercise, don't smoke, lose weight. Cut out high-cholesterol foods, including egg yolks, butter, cream, red meat, bacon, oysters, shrimp, and palm and coconut oils.

Step 3: Snack on Fruits and Veggies
If you want to be sexually fit, you have to be healthy. And the best way to get healthy and stay healthy is by eating foods loaded with folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E. You'll get this by eating leafy green veggies and fresh fruits. What to snack on: Broccoli, papaya, oranges, sunflower seeds, almonds, fortified whole grain breads and cereals, yogurt, and mango.

Step 4: Think "Whole"
Think "whole" as in whole grains, nuts, and seeds, all of which add fiber and complex carbs to your diet which are a foundation for cardiovascular health. As you reduce your risk for heart disease, you beef up your sexual fitness. What to eat: Whole grains galore. Choose a whole wheat bagel instead of a plain one, brown rice over white rice, whole wheat bread over white bread.

Step 5: Soy--It's Not Just for Hippies
We need protein to have enough of the essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals for optimum sexual function. But that doesn't mean you should reach for a hamburger or steak. Instead, get your protein from low-fat sources: fish, turkey and chicken without the skin, tofu, and beans. What to eat: Soy products, such as tofu or veggie burgers made with soy.

Step 6: Spice It Up
Spicy food leads to a spicy love life! For thousands of years, people have believed that spicy food enhances sexual response. Science says this is true--both directly and indirectly. Spices warm our bodies, causing us to sweat and get flushed as our heart rates rise. What does THAT sound like? What to eat: Chili peppers, ginger, and garlic.