When it comes to food, nothing says Valentine's Day like a big box of chocolates, an indulgent dinner and a bottle of wine or champagne.
Funny that -- from a health standpoint -- it's possible each of these things can ruin the mood for love faster than a punch to the gut, according to Hippocrates Health Institute co-directors Anna Maria and Brian Clement.
The Clements -- both certified nutritionists, naturopathic medical doctors and health counselors -- have worked with more than 200,000 people in North America and Europe instructing them on natural health, healing and longevity. Part of their work is not only giving tips on how to live a healthier life, but also how to have a healthier sex life.
For Valentine's Day, Hippocrates has a way to spice things up in the bedroom naturally. No Viagra, over the counter stimulants, or medicine required.
The Clements say that sexual health isn't just important for a stronger marriage or relationship, but also a healthier life. Married for 30 years, the Clements have garnered a few secrets of their own, and compiled their work into their latest book entitled Seven Keys for Sexual Vitality: The Hippocrates Institute Guide to Sex, Health & Happiness.
"Sex provides the body with an array of health benefits; it can help strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, relieve depression, improve your sleep and sense of smell, reduce the risk of heart attacks, help with weight loss, relieve pain, and make you live longer," Brian Clement says. "And there are ways you can retain sexual vitality and intimacy throughout life without the use of prescription drugs and artificial stimulants."
Today, many people are suffering from sexual dysfunction due to what is often life-long exposure to non-nutritive, chemical-fueled diets, polluted environments, and too much stress, said Clement. The result: men and women are losing libido at shockingly young ages. Furthermore, he adds, hormone altering from ingestion of processed foods and prescription medicines (think birth control) and exposure to heavy metals -- combined with inadequate sleep patterns and tons of sexual imagery everywhere you turn -- also means an increase in the number of people feeling the effects of impotency.
While you might not be dysfunctional enough to go out and buy a copy of their book, it does offer a variety of clinically-tested holistic methods to reviving libido, and intensifying sexual satisfaction and performance no matter what your age or health, said Clement.
Inside there are tips for how to alter your diet to include sex-boosting foods that can help to support sexual health instead of hinder it. Foods such as figs, watermelon, black raspberries and ginger have been proven to aid in these endeavors, said Clement, who also gives tips for sourcing specific nutrients found in raw foods that are essential to sexual health. For example, the B-complex vitamins are effective for relaxing all of the body's major systems, and are important to the production of hormones. Beta-carotene (or vitamin A) also plays a vital role in the production of sex hormones, while both essential fatty acids and calcium -- each linked to cellular health -- can help heighten sensitivity for sexual pleasure and circulation to your "love-making" parts.
You'll also find techniques for detoxification, massage, meditation, and guided imagery (there's even a variety of "exercises" to enhance your sex life). "All these things can help to activate your sex hormones, enhance your libido and increase your sexual endurance and energy levels," said Clement.
We like that the book is sold as part of a package that includes a 4-ounce jar of Lulu's Luscious coconut body butter. Just rub it on -- and then lick it off -- for an all-natural, raw, vegan and organic treat between the sheets.
"Good health leads to good sex, and good sex can lead to good health," said Clement.
The Aphrodisiac Salad
If you want something that's all-natural, good for you, and good for sex, try the Aphrodisiac Salad. Or, as the Clements like to call it, the "Sex Salad." This concoction includes ingredients whose nutrients contain some of the most powerful libido enhancers.
Salad (in a large bowl combine)
3 to 4 c of "super" greens like mustard greens, spinach, baby kale, and pea greens
1/4 c chopped scallion
1/4 c dried apricots
1 medium avocado, sliced
1-2 c chopped zucchini, broccoli and pumpkin seeds
Dressing (in a blender combine)
4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1 ½ tsp. Herbs de Provence
½ lb. fresh basil
A pinch of cayenne pepper
½ c extra virgin olive oil
If you'd like to know more about achieving sexual vitality through a raw vegan diet, go to the Hippocrates website, or call 1-888-228-1755.