Mastering the Sex-Appeal Meal, huh? Let's start with this jaw-dropper from an article published in the Journal of American Physiological Association, which stated:
"Growing evidence shows that features we find attractive in members of the opposite sex signal important underlying dimensions of health and reproductive viability. It has been discovered that:
1. men with attractive faces have higher quality sperm,
2. women with attractive bodies are more fertile,
3. men and women with attractive voices lose their virginity sooner...
4. and lap dancers make more tips when they are in the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle."
From the perspective of evolution this quote isn't surprising at all. Evolutionarily, it's all about, "survival of the fittest". Or maybe, "survival of the sexiest"is more accurate. The desire to be beautiful, vibrant, and attractive is one that is deeply intertwined with our desire to survive. Stop shaming yourself for wanting to radiate health and beauty. Keep reading, and give yourself some love. You just want to thrive, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's an intrinsic desire.
Okay, maybe you're rolling your eyes. Maybe your eyes are reddish, dry, and have dark circles under them. Maybe you threw your palm to your forehead as to suggest "not another article about food and sex". Maybe your forehead is coated with pale skin that either feels too dry or too oily. Maybe you cover that skin with bronzer on the daily, thinking to yourself,
"I'll just have to work with what I was given"
You're right; you can work with what you were given. In fact, not only can you work with it, but through your FOOD choices you can PERFECT it. The way we look is a significant indicator of our health. Luckily, we can improve our health with our diet, which means we can also increase our "attractiveness" with by choosing the right foods. Hallelujah!
Here are some examples of how specific foods/nutrients impact our appearance:
- Break out much? Chances are your sex hormones are imbalanced. Maybe you have low sex drive too. Eating more saturated fats like coconut, egg yolks, pasture-raised beef, and ghee will bring you back you balance.
- Notice dark circles under your eyes? You could be dehydrated, not getting enough iron, or may need more vitamin C to make collagen.
- Pale, dull skin? You may need to eat more carotenoids (aka carrots, pumpkin, butternut, buttercup, kabocha, and acorn squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, bell peppers)
- Have low muscle tone or tend to store fat easily? You could have higher than optimal estrogen and lower than desired testosterone. Eating more protein, magnesium, and fiber will help you to balance the ratio of testosterone:estrogen.
- Have a narrow or bowed pallet and/or crooked teeth? These can be indicators of nutrient (vitamin, mineral, fatty acids, polyphenols) deficiencies during development.
According to Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who studied indigenous cultures' diets and health, our bone structure, jaw, and teeth can tell us a lot about our health. Another jaw-dropper:
"When the teeth are straight it's a sign that the rest of the body was properly constructed, with good bone structure, good musculature, keen eyesight and hearing, optimal function of all the organs, optimistic attitude and a well functioning mind."
-Sally A. Fallon, (entire quote below here)
Our daily choices in food and drink do more than energize us; they also have the potential to cultivate vibrance, vitality, resilience, and radiance. So, with that being said, let's dive into how to master the eating for sex-appeal.
Master The Sex Appeal Meal: Now that you know why and how our food choices impact our vibrance, here is the formula for you to master your hormones, nutrient intake, and therefore your attractiveness.
Let's break it down.
1. Brightly colored vegetables enhance the color of our skin. Carotenoids, are orange pigments that store in our skin's fat cells. When we consume pumpkin, carrots, winter squash, tomatoes, leafy greens, mangos, and peppers daily carotenoids build up in the skin. Research from 2011 documented that, "...given the choice between skin colour caused by suntan and skin colour caused by carotenoids, people preferred the carotenoid skin color". Additionally, most of these plants contain vitamin C, and essential building block for collagen, which keeps our skin taught and smooth.
Not only can brightly colored plants enhance skin tone, and provide vitamin C, but they can also act as Nature's "Viagra". Beets, celery, and kale all contain dietary nitrate, a chemical that can be made into Nitric Oxide (NO). NO helps the blood vessels to dilate (aka expand).
Dilated blood vessels allow blood to travel through the body, and to appendages more efficiently. Efficient blood flow to specific appendages can be very, very beneficial (if you know what we mean). Nitrate-containing foods also help to foster cardiovascular health, speed recovery (movement of lactic acid and H+ ions), and give skin a healthy glow.
Oh! And the fiber in veggies speeds GI transit time and binds excess estrogen in the gut; this ensures that detoxed hormones are not reabsorbed into the blood stream. That's crucial for optimal hormone balance.
Plus, fiber increases satiety hormones (READ: Weight loss)
2. High quality proteins support the building of collagen, muscle retention, the balance of testosterone to estrogen, and blood sugar regulation. While all of these things are essential for the cultivation of vibrance, the balance of testosterone:estrogen is what keeps us feeling young, energized, and ready for action (if you know what I mean).
Best protein sources include: pasture raised beef or lamb, turkey, fish, egg yolks and whites, shell fish, organic dairy, and beans. Moreover, the aforementioned proteins are rich in B-vitamins and minerals.
3. Whole food based saturated fats act as the building blocks for our hormones. When we eat healthy saturated fats they turn into healthy forms of cholesterol. Cholesterol is the backbone and building block of our sex-hormones. Without it, we will feel fatigued, have low sex drive, saggy skin, slow recovery, are more likely to store fat on our stomaches, and will likely feel less confident and attractive.
Focus on using pasture butter, ghee, unrefined coconut oil for cooking, and eating coconut manna, avocado, egg yolks, fat from pasture-raised animals (e.g. lamb, beef, bison,etc), raw nuts, fatty fish, and coconut meat.
4. Consuming super foods like cacao (very dark/raw chocolate), goji berries, green tea, brazil nuts, berries, and coffee, along with adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, schisandra berry, holy basil (aka tulsi), cacao, coffee, ginseng, eluethero, got kola, shatavari, reishi, etc fortifies the body against stress.
"Super foods" protect our cells from stress and feed our healthy gut bacteria. Both are imperative for aging gracefully. Meanwhile, adaptogenic herbs are known for their positive effects on cortisol, cognition, cellular stress (JNK-1, Heat Shock Proteins, NO production, etc), and vitality (energy and metal endurance).
I know this post is PACKED with information, but if there is anything I want you to take from it, its the following:
1) the formula to build your meals for radiance, and
2) the understanding that the desire to be beautiful, vibrant, and attractive is one that is deeply intertwined with our desire to survive.
- Alyssa Neill, RDN
[NOTE: sources are hyperlinked throughout the blog]