It’s no secret that the foods we choose to eat have a huge impact on the way we feel. In fact, specific properties found in certain types of food work to positively alter brain chemistry and in turn, put you in a better mood and make you a happier human.
In addition to this, sharing a meal with someone else is one of the best ways to boost oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is often referred to as the ‘love hormone’ because it is responsible for feelings of trust and attachment.
On that note, nutritionist and celebrity chef, Zoe Bingley-Pullin shares seven foods that will help make you feel sexier this Valentine’s Day and leave you smiling from the inside out!
It contains theobromine and caffeine both of which are central nervous system stimulators making us feel more alert and may also help to increase levels of serotonin, our feel good neurotransmitter. Nibble on some dark chocolate after dinner or add a touch of cocoa to a spicy chilli con carne.
The healthy monounsaturated fat content of avocados creates a smooth texture and creamy taste, both of which are very satisfying. Additionally, avocados are packed with tyrosine, which is used to produce dopamine. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure, motivation and attention. Mash and serve as a dip to start the meal or use in a salad.
An overactive sympathetic nervous system means we are likely to feel stressed, irritable and fatigued, the total opposite of sexy. Bananas contain magnesium and also vitamin B6, both of which provide support to the body when stressed. Serve banana as part of dessert for a mood boost.
Berries contain vitamin C, an important cofactor in the production of dopamine and serotonin. Vitamin C also provides support to the nervous system to help the body deal with stress. Add berries to salads, cocktails or dessert.
Cheese is a source of tryptophan, which is converted by the body into serotonin. Increased levels of serotonin have a positive impact on mood. Lets not forget, the more French the better!
Capsaicin, the active compound within chilli is known to positively influence alertness and mood whilst also stimulating the brain’s reward system. This means, chilli packs a punch when it comes to feeling sexier this Valentine’s day. Add fresh chilli to cooking or combine with dark chocolate and make into a decadent dessert.
The scent of vanilla has been positively associated with production of feel good endorphins, so when flavouring food this Valentine’s day, don’t skimp on the vanilla. Try adding vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste into desserts.
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