Serotonin soothes. This is the feel good chemical that makes us feel calmer and more relaxed. It gets stimulated when we’re eating sugars and starches. So loading up on croissants and black currant jam, jelly donuts (not a member of the fruit group), pasta with pesto or chocolate-covered cherries might seem like a good idea. But we all actually know better than that, since “once past the lips, always on the hips” seems more like the reality.
It’s deceptive. Cakes, cookies and other processed carbs might temporarily make us feel less stressed, but they actually put more stress on our digestive and metabolic systems, also over-stimulating the cortisol that pours on the belly fat.
Carbohydrates are actually the crudest way to get the serotonin soother, anyway. Take heart, its best source is from tryptophan, an essential amino acid that comes in good proteins, like turkey or other poultry, seafood and beef. If you can digest them. Have the steak instead of the potatoes. Take a couple of digestive enzymes, if you need, to get the breakdown happening.
Chocolate? “Absolument,” as the French would say. Yes, absolutely. I don’t know about you, but this is one delight that gets more than my mouth watering. And there are plenty of reasons. Chocolate is chocked full of antioxidants that help boost your brain function, energy, immunity, and your body’s ability to renew itself. Controlled research studies, feeding all types of chocolate to volunteers, even confirm that it reduces risk for stroke, decreases bad cholesterol, increases the good type, and boosts heart and brain function to make you smarter. Chocolate may even increase your IQ! I thought so!
It’s also a great serotonin enhancer, giving you that liquid, sensual feeling. Try savoring the darker chocolates with 70% or higher cacao content. They have more impact plus fewer sugary carbs. And now that it’s official, confirming what every woman knows --chocolate is in its own food group ---you can LEAVE MY CHOCOLATE ALONE!
Good nutrition always wins. Hands down, your best strategy for feeling better, and better about yourself, is to feed yourself well. That means good proteins –high quality eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, organic dairy products like cheese and yogurt. Fruits and vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. That’s where you’re going to find the most concentration of vitamins and minerals, especially trace minerals that are so key for optimum whole body functioning. And you can’t beat exercise for getting the blood flow going, along with other benefits.
Think Rich and Creamy. Sensual foods-- the textures and colors, as well as the nutrients in them -- do impact your senses, as well. So you might even find creamy chocolate pudding, Crème brûlée, Tiramisu or a gooey slice of brie cheese and a glass of ruby Merlot or Malbec amazingly suggestive in pampering your libido.
Take your own inventory. What makes you feel luxurious and alluring? Devising a list of foods that conjure up the same emotions and feelings you’d like to experience between the sheets could be the way to create your own private list of aphrodisiacs. Since the effect of these aphrodisiac foods is really as much or more psychological than dietary, it’s likely that the same foods you find scrumptious can put you into that mood, as well.