Want to perk up your love life? Well, then start from the kitchen with food that will give you the oomph factor, says an expert. Hormone and anti-ageing specialist Cecilia Tregear says that sex plays an important role in making people look and feel younger.
Tregear, who is based at the Wimpole Skin Clinic in Harley Street, London, has worked with hundreds of couples over the course of her 25-year career.
"The couples who were having lots of regular sex almost always looked younger than those who weren't. They were also slimmer, fitter, healthier and happier. Sexual activity, in my view, is an accurate thermometer for measuring health," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
And she realised the people who were having lots of sex in their relationships had one key factor in common: their diet. All of them were eating extremely nutritious food.
She explains: "Good nutrition is essential for the healthy production of hormones which maintain the libido and allow for regular and fulfilling sexual activity."
She has devised the Between the Sheets diet, which promises to perk up your libido. Combined with regular exercise it should ensure you not only have regular, great sex-just like you did in your youth-but look and feel younger too.
Step one: Feed your brain
According to Tregear, the first step to boosting your love life is to feed your brain. "The biggest sexual organ is the brain, which produces the chemicals and hormones that trigger feelings of love and attraction, arousal and orgasm. We need to make sure we're eating the right foods to ensure the production of these chemicals and hormones."
First, it's important to have a diet that boosts the levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, released by the brain. Dopamine is the feel-good chemical associated with the emotions of anticipation and desire. As such, it is vital to a healthy sex drive.
Step two: Balance your hormones
Having a good balance of hormones is essential to a healthy sex life, which is why the menopause - when hormone levels drop - can cause havoc with your sex life. There are three hormones responsible for arousal and sexual desire: oestrogens, which are present in both men and women, testosterone, also in both men and women, and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which is found in women only.
"A good balance of animal fat in meat and fish and good cholesterol, found in eggs for example, encourages the production of sex hormones, improving libido. It's vital to eat plenty of good quality protein, ideally a portion with every meal," said Tregear.
Step three: Boost your energy
For good sex, you need stamina and energy. While a generally healthy diet will help you feel strong and healthy, it's important to eat food that will increase your levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This hormone increases sexual desire and provides the stamina and energy needed for a sexual marathon. To increase production, eat organic protein from beef, fish, and chicken.