If you've ever wondered where the word "aphrodisiac" actually comes from, you can pretty much thank the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Because food and sex are pretty much the strongest appetites that we have and since they both appeal to all five of our senses — sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing — the belief is there are foods that can intensify our desire for physical intimacy. And yes, these foods are called aphrodisiacs.
Because fall is my absolute favorite season of the year and also because I'm all about encouraging everyone in earshot to go to their local farmers market to get some produce when it's in season (because that's when fruits and veggies are their freshest and you can get the most nutrients out of them), I thought it would be cool to share a list of some fruits and veggies that are currently in season and, as you soon will see, also qualify as being deliciously stimulating aphrodisiacs too.
While apples are clearly available all throughout the year, it might surprise you to know that their actual peak season is early fall thru late winter. So, if you're all about homemade apple crisp or apple cheddar soup, this would be the ideal time to make either or both. Health-wise, apples are good for you because they are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber. Plus, they're able to help to keep you regular, lower your cholesterol levels, support your immune system, give you good gut health (due to the prebiotics that are in them), reduce your chances of becoming diabetic and, they even contain compounds that help to fight asthma.
And just why are apples an aphrodisiac? Well, two other things that this particular fruit has in it are polyphenols and antioxidants. Both of these can help to stimulate blood flow, including to your genital region. There are also studies that say apples can improve the sex quality of young women. So, if it's been a minute since you've snacked on one, what are you waiting for, sis?
Apple Recipe: The Best Cheddar Apple Soup
I don't know about y'all but a question that irks me is, "What do you know how to cook?" Not because I mind discussing the kitchen and what happens in it, but what kind of general question is that? What I will say is one of my favorite DIY dishes is eggplant parmesan. Due to its texture, it's a great meat substitute. On the benefits tip, this is a fruit (yes, fruit) that contains a good amount of fiber and protein. It's also pretty cool as far as manganese content goes. If you're wondering what else makes it so good for you, eggplant contains antioxidants that fight off free radicals and it's known to keep blood sugar levels in check.
Sexually, it really should come as no surprise that eggplants are on the list (I mean, considering the emoji meaning and all), but if you're wondering exactly why this is the case, the potassium that's in it helps to lower one's blood pressure which can help your partner to maintain his erection. Eggplant also has Vitamin B6 which is awesome when it comes to boosting sexual performance overall.
Eggplant Recipe: Baigan Chokha
Of course, pumpkins are on here! They are the quintessential fall food. Tons of fiber and protein, a huge amount of Vitamin A, some Vitamin C, potassium, copper, manganese and iron are all reasons to get in on this seasonal fall fruit. As a bonus, the antioxidants in pumpkin help to keep chronic diseases from forming, the beta-carotene in it can strengthen your immune system and it even contains compounds that are really good for your skin.
As far as your sex life goes, the focus needs to mostly go into the seeds of the pumpkin. That's because they are full of omega-3 fatty acids which are lipid compounds that help to keep your sexual health intact. Also, pumpkin seeds are known to support prostate health and, thanks to the zinc that they also have in them, pumpkin seeds can improve sperm quality if you and your partner are currently trying to conceive.
Pumpkin Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Latte Cheesecake
Pears are one of those fruits that I have to be in the mood to eat yet I never regret it whenever I bite into one. Let me tell you, thanks to all of the fiber that's in it, it really is one of the sweetest ways to stay regular. Straight up. Aside from that, pears are good for you because they've got a fair amount of Vitamin C and copper. Pears also help to keep your gut in good shape, contain the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for your vision, are able to lower your diabetes risk, can help you to lose weight and are rich in flavonoids which ultimately reduce your body's chances of experiencing any inflammation.
Maybe it's just me but pears look kinda sexy, thanks to their feminine curves yet I digress (LOL). Because this fruit is full of anthocyanins, flavones and flavanones, it's got a pretty good reputation for naturally treating men who may deal with erectile dysfunction on some level.
Pear Recipe: Caramelized Pear and Bourbon Turnovers
Did you know that kale is a part of the cabbage family? While it's another food that you probably don't think about having a peak season, it is mostly harvested between the early fall and late wintertime. Since it happens to be a dark leafy green, I'm pretty sure that you know that, health-wise, kale's benefits are pretty much off the charts! Y'all, the daily value of Vitamin A in kale is 206 percent, in Vitamin C, it's 164 percent and in Vitamin K, it's a whopping 684 percent. The antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol in kale help to prevent the kind of oxidative damage that can lead to cancer. Kale also helps your system to build calcium and is a pretty good source of minerals like magnesium which can help to de-stress you.
It's actually the magnesium in kale that makes it a great food for sex. For one thing, it helps your body to produce the hormones that help to keep your libido intact. Magnesium also makes it easier for testosterone to flow freely throughout the body of men and women which results in your sex drive going up a couple of notches. And finally, because Vitamin A deficiency plays a direct role in fertility issues among so many women, if you want to make a baby, a kale salad or some kale chips can help you out — naturally.
Kale Recipe: Sautéed Kale
Figs are a bit of an acquired taste; still, I can get down with them when it comes to certain dishes. Health-wise, they are a good source of fiber. They're also known for boosting digestive health, improving blood fat levels, managing blood sugar levels and, in extract form, figs are pretty great at helping to boost collagen, strengthen skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Remember how I said earlier that I think pears are kinda sexy in their appearance? This is how many people feel about figs; they even think its smell is a bit of a turn-on. When it comes to your actual sex life, though, the amino acids in this fruit can help to trigger your libido. Also, it has magnesium and potassium that can help to balance your body's electrolytes, decrease your body's blood pressure and increase your libido and stamina.
Fig Recipe: Fall Fig and Chicken Sandwich
7. Butternut Squash
You can also find butternut squash all of the time, but it is known to be best around this time of the year. What I really like about it is it's the kind of veggie that is, oddly enough, both sweet and nutty at the same time. And if you're looking for something that is pretty much a multivitamin-food, butternut squash has totally got your back because it's rich in fiber, protein, vitamins A and C and tons of other vitamins and minerals while being a low-calorie food too. The carotenoids (which is what gives the squash its color) help with cell growth as well as eye and bone health. It's also a food that's pretty good at supporting digestion and boosting your immunity.
OK, aside from the fact that in the sexual position world, there is something known as the "butternut squash" (chile…CHILE. You can read about it here), this is another food that is high in omega-3s which can also help to increase dopamine levels. This is a good thing because dopamine is a natural hormone that helps our system to detect when we experience feelings of pleasure and sex definitely falls under that category. Amen? Sho' you right.
Butternut Squash Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash
Cranberry sauce. I'm pretty sure that at least half of y'all are gonna make or eat some before this year is out. Although, in their purest form, cranberries lean towards the tart/bitter side on the taste tip, they actually contain about four grams of fructose per serving. They also have a lot of fiber, a little bit of protein and some Vitamin B, C, E, manganese and copper, along with some pretty powerful plant compounds and antioxidants. I'm pretty certain that cranberry's most popular health benefit is it has phytonutrients in it that help to prevent and health UTIs (urinary tract infections). It's also got compounds that can help to prevent stomach ulcers and liver disease.
So, what can cranberries do for your sex life? The Vitamin C in them helps to synthesize sex and fertility hormones like androgen, estrogen and progesterone. The Vitamin E in them increases blood circulation from head to toe. The Vitamin Bs in them can relax you and stimulate your libido at the same time.Cranberry Recipe: Cranberry Smoothie
If you've ever eaten arugula before, you know that it has a bit of a bitter and peppery taste to it. Vitamins A, C and K, potassium, folate and calcium are just some of the nutrients that it contains. Because it's also a dark leafy green, it's a good source of fiber, it helps to improve bone and teeth health, it supports your muscles working properly and it helps your cells to stay healthy and strong.
Between the nutrients that I just mentioned and the antioxidants that are also in arugula, it's a valid aphrodisiac because the properties in it also help to fight off free radicals — the kind that play a direct role in causing your libido to tank, if you're not careful.Arugula Recipe: Thai Steak and Noodle Salad
10. Passion Fruit
One more. How could something with the name "PASSION fruit" not be an aphrodisiac? Fiber, vitamins A and C, antioxidants and potassium are plentiful in this fruit, and they all work together to help to reduce your diabetes risk, boost your immunity, support your heart health and decrease any anxiety that you may be experiencing.
Because the potassium in this fruit helps to keep your blood pressure where it needs to be while its medicinal alkaloids and several phytonutrients help you to sleep well and the Vitamin A in it helps to produce testosterone (which you and your partner's libido absolutely need), this is why it can never hurt to bring a few slices of passion fruit into your boudoir. It's sweet. It's sexy. And it bona fide in-fall-season aphrodisiac. Eat up and enjoy!
Passion Fruit Recipe: Pan Fried Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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