If you and your partner are always too tired and stressed to work up a romantic evening, you might want a little help from endorphins – the body’s natural pleasure signals. They are possible the best (and most legal way) to achieve a natural high.

Chemically speaking, endorphins are hormones (polypeptides), which bind to the neuro-receptors when the body needs to reduce stress. They are one of several opium-like substances that account for the afterglow of sex, the so-called “runner’s high,” or the pleasure rush after a race, sky dive or even a horror movie. They can be very strong analgesics. At the least, they can produce in us a relaxed, happy mood.

Other activities like meditation, deep breathing, ribald laughter, exercise, massage, hot and cold baths or receiving acupuncture treatments or chiropractic adjustments, have also been noted to increase endorphin levels in the body.

The human body produces at least 20 different endorphins. They are believed to produce four key effects on the body and mind: they enhance the immune system, they relieve pain, they reduce stress and postpone the aging process.

Consume these foods to set you up for a night of endorphin-spiked lovemaking and perform better in the bed;

Chocolate

Chocolate is by far the most popular endorphin-producing food. Chocolate, as well as sugar, caffeine and fat, contains more than 300 different constituent compounds, including anandamide (named after the Sanskrit word ananda, meaning bliss), a chemical that mimics marijuana’s soothing effects on the brain. It also contains chemical compounds such as flavanoids (which are also found in wine) that have antionxidant properties and reduce serum cholesterol. Women who love chocolate, says an Italian researcher, seem to have better love lives. And that comes on top of earlier research that chocolate – at least dark flavoniod-rich chocolate may be good for your heart.

Chili Peppers

The spice of chili peppers provides an exciting warmth and taste that boosts the body’s production of endorphins. They also provide important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, calcium and vitamin C. The hotter the pepper, the greater the ability to stimulate endorphin production.

Red Wine

Alcohol gives temporary relief for a depleted endorphin level. Drinking moderately is a cardio tonic and stimulant good for your health. Red wine is a spirit of choice because it is rich in phytochemicals, including the purple pigment resveratrol, which is good for your heart and helps regulate blood sugar. A word of caution about alcohol though; too much consumption will result in just the opposite effect. One or two glasses is enough.

While the above mentioned foods can boost hormone levels, eating them isn’t always enough. To set up a special night, remember that increased endorphins are also produced by other non-eating activities like thinking happy thoughts, listening to your favorite music and regular practice of meditation. There are also certain aromas that could influence the production of endorphins in the brain. Might as well talk to your doctor if lack of desire during sexual intercourse constantly occurs in order to get proper recommendations and medication if necessary.

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