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3 Aphrodisiac Effects of Dark Chocolate

by Dr. Laurie Steelsmith


Many people have heard that chocolate is for lovers. But it's not just because women love chocolate and get excited about opening a red, heart-shaped box. There's a biological basis for chocolate's sexy effects. Dark chocolate possesses substances that affect our moods, energy, and sexual function in truly remarkable ways. Here are three of them.

Increases blood flow to sexual organs.
Chocolate contains L-arginine, an amino acid that can be an effective natural sex-enhancer for both women and men. It works by increasing nitric oxide and promoting blood flow to your sexual organs, which increases sensation, satisfaction, and desire.

Stimulates and elevates mood.
Chocolate is known as a super libido food partly because it is a rich source of PEA, the acronym for phenylethylamine, sometimes referred to as the "love supplement" or the "romance chemical." As a stimulant and mood elevator, PEA can induce sensations of euphoria--and it's naturally released by your brain when you're in love! This chemical promotes the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which enhances feelings of well-being, joy, and pleasure.

Acts as an energy booster.
Chocolate really packs an aphrodisiac punch because it also contains the compound theobromine, found in tea and kola nuts as well. This substance works on the central nervous system, causing one to feel stimulated and excited.

Eating chocolate can be a sensual experience, but it is also good for your health. The right type of chocolate can be loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants, making it very beneficial for the physical heart, the organ we associate with love, caring, bonding, and intimacy. If you're going to indulge in chocolate regularly, however, dark chocolate is best--as pure and unsweetened as possible. The extra fat and calories in other chocolate products can end up having poor health consequences and anti-aphrodisiac effects.

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Dr. Laurie Steelsmith is a licensed naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, and nutrition expert with a 20-year private practice in
Honolulu. A leading spokesperson on natural medicine, she has appeared widely on TV, radio, and in print. She and her husband, Alex Steelsmith, are coauthors of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman's Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine (Hay House, 2012) and her previous bestseller, Natural Choices for Women's Health (Three Rivers Press). Learn more at www.drlauriesteelsmith.com.
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