Even if it’s not Thanksgiving, you have at least one thing to be thankful for if you’re eating turkey: a boost in your sex drive. The poultry has some of the highest levels of the amino acid arginine: a nutrient that both speeds protein synthesis—helping to build muscle—and converts into nitric oxide in the body. As we mentioned early, NO enables blood vessels to open, which can speed blood flow to your lower half.
Ginger root, famous for its belly soothing properties, can also improve your sex life by aiding blood flow down to your nether regions. Consuming a mere teaspoon of the stuff a few times a week is all you need to reap the benefits, according to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology. The spice has also been shown to boost levels of testosterone and sperm viability in men.
Looking to make things harder? (And, no, we’re not talking about work.) Eating flavonoid-rich foods, like blueberries, is associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction in men, according to a joint study from the University of East Anglia and Harvard University. Of the six main types of flavonoids, three in particular—anthocyanins (found in blueberries), flavanones and flavones (both found in citrus fruits)—offer the greatest benefits in preventing ED. So make sure to top that creamy cheesecake with some fresh berries if you’re looking to get it on later!
The myth that oysters are aphrodisiacs actually has some merit. It’s because the shellfish is full of zinc, and studies have found that women with higher levels of zinc in their system have a higher sex drive than those with lower levels. Guys can reap the benefits, too. One study showed that six months of zinc supplementation among slightly zinc-deficient elderly men doubled serum levels of testosterone. You don’t even have to go over budget: Just a half dozen oysters will shell out nearly three times the RDA.
Eating spinach, a low-calorie green, can not only give you a lingerie-ready figure but also put you in the mood by increasing blood flow below the waistline. That’s because Popeye’s favorite leafy green is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow. Although that may not sound sexy, you’re sure to enjoy the effects. “Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable,” says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson Ph.D. “Women will find it is easier to have an orgasm, and men will find that erections come more naturally.”
It’s no secret that fatty fish like wild salmon and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here’s something you may not know: The macronutrient not only benefits your heart, but it also raises dopamine levels (the feel-good hormone) in the brain. This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal. There’s more: “Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun,” adds Nelson.
Awaken your partner’s sensuality with a spoonful of Greek yogurt—bonus points if you feed it to him or her! A single container can provide you with 20 percent of your daily value of energy-boosting vitamin B12 (to get you ready for what’s about to come) as well as 12 percent of your DV of potassium, the mineral that will help you debloat and pump up circulation: two essential factors in getting it on.