Self, Sex

7 Sexual Side Effects Of Eating Thanksgiving Dinner — Really!

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aphrodisiac foods

Thanksgiving is a sexy holiday, and Thanksgiving dinner is a sexy meal. That's right: what happens at the Thanksgiving table has been proven to get the blood flowing, and we're not talking about your blood pressure. Many of the ingredients that go into Thanksgiving dinner are natural aphrodisiacs.

Below are some of the top blood flow-inducing aphrodisiac foods, along with a few recipes that you may or may not want to include on the menu (depending on how close you're sitting to drunk Uncle Pete).

RELATED: Turns Out Aphrodisiacs Don't Work The Way We Thought After All

1. Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie does more than expand your waistline; it's also a sexual aphrodisiac. According Alan Hirsch, a neurologist at Chicago's Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, the aroma of pumpkin pie increases blood flow to the penis by 40 percent.

It works even better when combined with the scent of lavender. When consumed, pumpkin provides a healthy dose of zinc, an element necessary for healthy blood flow and testosterone production. 

2. Oysters

Oysters have a long-standing reputation as an aphrodisiac, and for good reason: they contain an enormous amounts of zinc, which, as mentioned before, is oh-so-important for testosterone production in both men and women.

For men specifically, it's been shown to improve both the longevity of an erection and the quality of sperm. With that in mind, here's an oyster stuffing with shitake mushrooms recipe, which packs a one-two punch with zinc-heavy mushrooms.

3. Fig/cranberry sauce

This cranberry sauce with port and dried figs recipe is great for both getting in the mood beforehand and preventing complications afterward. Figs are high in the sex-drive-boosting Vitamin A (important for the reproductive and circulatory systems), while cranberries are great for treating potential urinary tract infections with a healthy dose of Vitamin C.

Figs are also fairly sexually suggestive (when sliced, they resemble a woman's vulva) and could make quite an addition to a holiday table.

4. Sweet potatoes

The sweet potato, while not exactly scientifically proven, has been said to increase the female sex drive if consumed in large amounts. What science does know about the sweet potato is that it's high in potassium, which helps reduce stress, and has Vitamins A, C and iron, which are important sex drive-enhancing nutrients.

RELATED: The Best Aphrodisiac In The World Is Also Pretty Damn Illegal

5. Celery and fennel

Celery seems to find its way in just about every recipe, yet it remains such an unassuming vegetable. But celery contains androsterone, a powerful male hormone that stimulates female sexual arousal. Historically, it's also been used as a cure for impotence.

For all you ladies out there, while the men chew on celery, make sure you chomp on a bit of fennel. Fennel contains an estrogen-like substance called estriol that not only will boost your libido, but will also help alleviate post-dinner bloating and cure many PMS-related symptoms. Check out the fennel and celery root casserole recipe.

6. Chocolate

What's not to love about chocolate? Not only does it pump up your endorphins, it also stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain and increases a woman's sex drive.

What's more, according to Italian researchers, women who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life than those who deny themselves the treat. So, do yourself a favor and include this chocolate bourbon pecan pie along with the classic pumpkin.

7. Red wine

We all know it makes one feel fine, but along with decreasing your inhibitions, red wine is also rich in resveratrol, an important antioxidant. A study found that levels of sexual desire were higher in women who were moderate drinkers of red wine than in their counterparts who preferred other alcoholic drinks, or were teetotalers.

RELATED: 10 Foods That Will Actually Improve Your Sex Life