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A Libido-Lifting Dinner? How Food is a Huge Turn On for Women

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There are few things sexier than watching your sweetie whip up something decadent in the kitchen, and cooking together has a way of turning up the heat on more than just the stove. But it's actually the act of chowing down that revs your sex drive: New research, published in the journal Appetite, shows that women are more aroused on a full stomach. (As long as it's not one of these 14 Foods to Skip to Ensure Hot Sex Tonight.)

Researchers from Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania gathered ladies into a lab after they had fasted for eight hours (yikes, talk about hangry!) and then conducted brain scans while the women looked at images. On an empty stomach, all the women had similar responses to neutral images (like a bowling ball) and romantic images (like couples holding hands). But after the hangry women were given some grub, their brains showed a much stronger reaction to the romantic cues.

One hypothesis as to why: Hunger leaves us anxious and annoyed, but once that need has been satisfied, we can get on to a somewhat sexier set of needs, according to the study authors.

Another interesting finding of the study was that women who reported dieting in the past showed a higher response overall to the romantic cues. This could be linked to the way our reward centers are wired in the brain—we're still motivated to reward ourselves even after the initial need has been satisfied.

To put these findings to good use and get things going, dust off the apron for date night. To really up the ante, whip up one of these 10 Seductive Dinner Recipes Featuring Aphrodisiac Foods.

And while this is still a relatively small study and more research needs to be done, it can't hurt to get going on the post-kitchen coitus, STAT.

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