Sunday Life

**maybe so, but all that cracking shells and spitting them out is a bit of a turn off though :p

Seeds of love

By Sinead McCavana
18 July 2004

NEVER mind Viagra - Ulster is going crazy for the natural seeds of love!

For local health stores are being bombarded with demands for pumpkin and sunflower seeds, after a celebrity TV health expert last week claimed they boosted flagging sex drives.

One Belfast store sold a staggering EIGHTY KILOS of the seeds in less than 48 hours after the claim by straight-talking nutritionist Dr Gillian McKeith, on Channel 4's new hit series, You Are What You Eat.

On Tuesday night's show, Dr McKeith recommended snacking on pumpkin and sunflower seeds to stimulate libidos, as they are high in zinc content.

The following day, The Nutmeg health food shop in Belfast city-centre was crammed with people buying up arms-full of the seeds.

Husband and wife owners, Paul and Wendy Welshman say they have never seen anything like the crowds in their 18 years of business.

"It was mad.We had queues right to the back of the shop all day," said Wendy

"The demand, especially on Thursday, has been amazing.

"We have sold shelves of the seeds, it's the largest amount we have ever sold in one go.

"It was a mixture of men and women customers, but a lot of the men did say their wives had asked them to pick up the seeds."

Paul reckons an unbelievable 80 kilograms was purchased between Wednesday and Thursday.

"About 40 kilos each, of pumpkin and sunflower seeds," he explained.

But the randy shoppers were staying tight-lipped about the reasons for buying the seeds.

"Nobody actually seemed to know why they were buying them, which made it all the more amusing," said Wendy.

"I didn't see the programme, I don't watch television at all.

"I heard that the nutritionist said they were very rich in zinc.

"We would sell a lot of pumpkin seeds anyway, for men with prostate problems."

When Sunday Life informed the shop owner the seeds were for improved sex drive, Wendy responded: "Nobody mentioned that - what a laugh.

"There must be a lot of under-sexed people around here," she giggled.

"I'm sure the chemists are selling lots of condoms too."

Paul added that pumpkin and sunflower seeds are generally very good for you.

"They are very popular," he said.

"They can be eaten as a snack or toasted and put in salads, they're really delicious and full of good oils."

And other health food stores across Northern Ireland reported a similar staggering increase in demand for libido enhancing seeds.

Meanwhile, Dr McKeith's book from the hit series is selling like hotcakes in local bookstores.

She claims: "Foods can charge up your sexual energy and enhance potency and fertility."

Her list of "extra-sexy foods" also includes: betroot, dulse seaweed, trout, okra, bananas, apples, mung beans, licorice, mangos, raspberries, strawberries, nutmeg and oats.

lYou Are What You Eat is screened on Tuesday at 8.30pm on Channel 4.

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