Exotic Delights for Date Night

By David Blyweiss, M.D.,

June 17, 2013

  • Put the “swagger” back in your step
  • Sexy foods for you and your partner
  • How to keep it safe

When J.B. arrived at my office he was literally bouncing off his feet. His eyes were full of mischief and he had a swagger I haven’t seen since his divorce several years ago.

Something had changed. And I immediately knew it was a good change.

Once we were alone in the exam room he leaned forward and whispered “Doc, there’s something I’ve gotta ask you about. There’s this lady I’ve been talking to and I wanna ask her out on a date. But I don’t know where to take her. You got any ideas?”

All I could do is shake my head and laugh. They don’t teach us this stuff in medical school!

But I did have a good idea of what J.B. was talking about.

After being off the market for 30 some-odd years he was apprehensive when it came to dating again. Anyone would be.

I see it all of the time. And it’s not limited to patients who are attempting to restart their lives after a divorce or the loss of a loved one. Many others are trying to revive a failing marriage or languishing relationship.

They know dating expectations have changed over the decades and are fumbling to find new ground.

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You see, back in the day dating was a bad lesson in overindulgence.

Dinner dates took place at the local diner, pizzeria, Burger King, or Denny’s. The best libido-enhancer was a beer or a bottle of Blue Nun.

While these are fond memories, this isn’t the 70’s. And we aren’t in our 20’s and 30’s anymore. Pretty much anyone over the age of 40 is looking at life differently these days.

It’s no longer a battle to see how much we can “get away” with. Today we are much more focused on how we can improve our health and extend our lives.

So I suggested J.B. take his date on a truly exotic – but healthful – adventure.

And you can do the same…

If you want to have a fun, healthy dinner that could potentially encourage your libido, Thai cuisine is just the thing.

Thai foods are loaded with herbs and spices that promote good health. And many of them claim to have an aphrodisiac effect.

Now I’m not talking about the foods you get from the corner Asian/Chinese/Thai/Japanese take-out joint.

When you walk into an authentic Thai restaurant you should expect fresh veggies, quality ingredients and plenty of healthful delights.

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One of the great things about original Thai food is there are choices for everyone. It doesn’t matter if your date is a vegetarian, fish-lover or meat-eater. There will be something on the menu to suit every palate.

To keep it healthy (and sexy!) select appetizers and entrées filled with plenty of zesty herbs and spices.

Here’s what to look for…

  • Chili peppers have numerous health benefits. In studies they have been found to increase metabolism, help burn fat, reduce LDL cholesterol and improve blood flow through your arteries. They also increase the release of “feel good” endorphins in your brain. Between the increased blood flow and activation of your brain’s “pleasure center,” chili peppers are believed to be a potent sexual stimulant.
  • Turmeric (curcumin, curry) shows great promise in the fight against cancer. Research suggests turmeric can suppress tumor initiation and reduce the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. It’s also a strong candidate for the prevention of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke. Curries are also beneficial to the circulatory system – and that may just add some spice to your love life.
  • Garlic is a winner all the way around. It’s been shown to reduce plaque in the arteries, lower homocysteine levels, improve circulation and lower blood pressure. Some research shows it may also reduce the risk of colon, prostate, esophageal, larynx, oral, ovary, and renal cell cancers. Researchers also believe it may help protect from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In the long run, garlic may even increase testosterone levels and elevate your libido. But I have to add a precaution… don’t order a garlicky dish unless your date does!

Ginseng, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom and nutmeg also have numerous health benefits and a historical use as libido enhancers.

However, Thailand isn’t the only country to lay claim to these exotic and libido boosting foods. Indian cuisine also uses many of the same herbs and spices.

But before I sign off, there is one more thing you need to know…

Earlier I mentioned several differences between today’s dating habits and those of our teenage years.

And while I encourage men and women alike to get out of the house, meet new people and plan new dates, I have a serious precaution when it comes to taking things to the “next level.”

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were almost unheard of in the 60’s and 70’s. Herpes and “the clap” were our biggest sexual threats – and neither was life-threatening. Back then, the only thing condoms were used for was to prevent pregnancy.

But men, it’s not quite time to shed your “raincoat” yet. And women – even if you are well into your menopausal years, you still need to demand protection from your suitor.

That’s because things have changed drastically over the years.

These days HIV, chlamydia and hepatitis are running rampant among sexual partners. And even if you don’t have immediate symptoms, these diseases can be readily transmitted to others.

Here’s my advice…

Enjoy date night. Have fun. Eat sexy foods. Take it one moment at a time.

But if and when the “big moment” occurs, keep it safe. ALWAYS use protection.

Resources:
Westerterp-Plantenga M, Diepvens K, Joosen AM, Bérubé-Parent S, Tremblay A. Metabolic effects of spices, teas, and caffeine; Physiol Behav. 2006 Aug 30;89(1):85-91.

Hot pepper compound could help hearts. News Release. American Chemical Society. Mar 2012.

Aggarwal BB, Kumar A, Bharti AC. Anticancer potential of curcumin: preclinical and clinical studies. Anticancer Res. 2003 Jan-Feb;23(1A):363-98.

Cole GM, Teter B, Frautschy SA. Neuroprotective effects of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:197-212.

Borek C. Garlic reduces dementia and heart-disease risk. J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):810S-812S.

Kim JY, Kwon O. Garlic intake and cancer risk: an analysis using the Food and Drug Administration’s evidence-based review system for the scientific evaluation of health claims. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):257-64. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Mathew B, Biju R. Neuroprotective effects of garlic a review. Libyan J Med. 2008 Mar 1;3(1):23-33.

Oi Y, Imafuku M, Shishido C, Kominato Y, Nishimura S, Iwai K. Garlic supplementation increases testicular testosterone and decreases plasma corticosterone in rats fed a high protein diet. J Nutr. 2001 Aug;131(8):2150-6

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