A new study has revealed that a great sex life will not only help you feel and look younger — it will also help you live longer.
Dr Eric Braverman, an anti-ageing expert from the US, has written a new book Younger (Sexier) You, in which he says that sex not only raises your hormone levels (so keeping you young), but can also boost your metabolism, brain function, heart health and immunity.
Braverman says that coffee can help boost a flagging libido, while snacking on peanuts can enhance arousal, reports the Daily Mail. Eating brown rice can help combat sexual coldness, while avocadoes might increase your capacity for pleasure.
Braverman also points to a study by Queen’s University in Belfast that suggested having sex three or more times a week reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke in men by half.
Orgasms are thought to fight infection - increasing the number of infection-fighting cells by up to 20 per cent. A recent study also found that greater sexual activity in older men might protect them against prostate cancer.
According to the doctor, the best aphrodisiacs are asparagus, bananas, cabbage, celery, figs, oysters and sea veggies.
But it’s not just about the mechanics of sex. Healthy sexual function is also about how your brain reacts to the messages it’s receiving from your body, he adds.
When your brain is working at its peak, brain chemicals are produced and dispersed at the correct levels. A reduced sexual desire can apparently be the first sign there’s a problem with one of the four key brain chemicals - dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA and serotonin.
The following spices can also boost dopamine levels: basil, black pepper, cayenne, chilli peppers, cumin, fennel, flax seeds, garlic, ginger, mustard seed, rosemary, sesame seeds, tarragon and turmeric.
Spices good for boosting acetylcholine include allspice, basil, cumin, peppermint, sage, thyme and turmeric.
Alcohol increases GABA levels, but make sure you stop at one or two glasses a day — a man might not be able to maintain an erection and a woman could nod off.
Good antidepressant spices for serotonin include anise, dill, marjoram, nutmeg, peppermint, saffron, spearmint and turmeric.