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Why berries are the food of love; Diet doctor Christy tells what to cook to spice up Valentine's Day.

Byline: Maria Croce

SCOTTISH food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson has come up with the recipe for love to help you feel fruity this Valentine's Day.

At least a fifth of people suffer from a diminished libido at some point - but Christy says a change in diet could help your sex life.

Food and sex are linked as they trigger the same part of the brain that controls emotional and sensual activity.

The Glasgow food psychologist, who is also a spokesperson for soft fruit campaign Seasonal Berries, has created the ideal breakfast, lunch and dinner to put you in the mood for love. It includes berries whichwhich are high in zinc, gingerare high in zinc, ginger which increases blood flow and basil which gets the heart racing.

Dr Christy says adding berries can help your love life because of their high zinc content which is key to stimulating libido. Zinc regulates testosterone, vital for sperm production in men, and helps women get in the mood by enhancing their sex drive.

Berries also contain manganese, which helps energy and are full of plant chemicals called proanthocyanidins, which help increase blood flow around the body, vital for sexual arousal.

Dr Christy said: "This Valentine's Day, the best food to get you in the mood is a handful of berries. They contain nutrients and compounds which help your body feel frisky. Packed with soluble fibre and slow-releasing energy, you will be guaranteed to keep your stamina up."

"She's added hot chilli pepper to a recipe as this can trigger your endorphins, giving you a natural high.

Packed with capsaicin, chilli will stimulate your nerve endings, raise your pulse and make you sweat.

Oats are included because Oats are included because these are rich in B vitamins which can boost sexual performance.

Chocolate is also on the menu as it's full of caffeine which will trigger a greater feeling of arousal. There's also theobromine to stimulate your heart muscle and increase sensitivity of your nerves making your body more responsive to touch.

Ginger will add spice to the bedroom by improving the blood flow around the body, enhancing arousal and stimulation, and there's honey too which contains boron to boost testosterone levels.

Green leafy vegetables can help balance hormones by supporting your liver to metabolise oestrogen, creating a healthy sex drive. Basil can also trigger sexual desire.

BREAKFAST PORRIDGE topped with blueberries, almonds and a drizzle of honey or golden syrup.

METHOD: Add oats to a saucepan; pour in milk (dairy, almond, coconut or oat milk) or water.

Bring to the boil, simmer and stir for 4-5 minutes. Pour into bowls, add blueberries and almonds. Drizzle over a little honey or golden syrup.

LUNCH TOMATO and basil soup with a dash of fresh chilli for that extra kick. Followed by a blackberry and raspberry fruit salad METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas Mark 6. Place the 1 kg of halved tomatoes and 2 whole garlic cloves in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil, season and add chopped fresh chilli. Roast for 20 minutes.

Spoon tomato mixture into a food processor. Squeeze in cooked garlic, removing the skin. Pour in 1 pint of vegetable stock with 8 chopped basil leaves and a fresh chopped chilli.

Blend until smooth. Add to a pan and reheat before serving. Serve with brown seeded crusty loaf.

Follow with a blackberry and raspberry fruit salad.

DINNER WILD Alaskan salmon with dark leafy greens followed by strawberries dipped in a chocolate fondue.

METHOD: Grill 2 wild Alaskan salmon fillets for 15 minutes under a medium heat.

While the salmon grills, take a large bowl, mix together 1 tbs of olive oil, 1 tbs lemon juice, 1 clove of chopped garlic and an inch of grated root ginger. Add 3 cups of mixed leafy salad greens such as watercress, rocket and spinach toss to coat. Season with rock salt and black pepper.

DESSERT STRAWBERRIES dipped in a rich chocolate fondue METHOD: Warm 8 ounces of cream over medium heat until it gently simmers.

Add 12 ounces of dark chocolate and whisk.

Transfer to a fondue pot over a slow flame. Using a fondue fork, dip the strawberries into the mixture and devour immediately.

.www.seasonalberries.co.uk

The best food to get you in the mood are berries this Valentine's

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FRUITY Food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson has tips
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 30, 2015
Words:730
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