Seafood is great, right? It's delicious, for one. And for another, it's chockfull of protein and ultra healthy omega-3 fatty acids. But it doesn't stop there. Another, somewhat surprising benefit is that it can supercharge your sex life (and even boost your chances of getting pregnant), according to a new study by Harvard's School of Public Health.
For the study, over 500 couples logged their daily seafood intake—both fish and shellfish—in a food diary for four years. They also kept track of how often they had sex. The researchers followed the pairs for a year or until they became pregnant. They found that 92% of the couples who regularly ate fish and shellfish more than twice a week were pregnant by the end of one year. Men and women with the highest seafood intake (more than eight servings per month) had 22% more sex too.
By now, you're probably thinking about the old myth about oysters as an aphrodisiac. So is it really the fish that's stirring these sexual feelings? The scientists behind the study aren't exactly sure. Yet. Oysters get their libido-boosting reputation based on the theory that they have a high zinc content. This study didn't measure zinc levels, so they can't make that connection, says study author Audrey Gaskins, ScD, a research associate in the department of nutrition at Harvard.
According to Gaskins, it might all come down to the fact that couples who consume higher amounts of seafood together may simply share more meals, and thus more time together. And that time together leads to more sex. As for the boost in fertility, she explained that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish could improve semen and embryo quality, up the likelihood of ovulation, not to mention also boost levels of progesterone (a sex hormone involved in pregnancy). But even if you're not looking to have a kid right now, more sex is always a good thing. It creates a deeper connection with your partner, lowers your blood pressure and risk of cancer. And plus, it's a lot a fun.