Named after Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, Aphrodisiacs are foods said to boost sexual desire. While it’s tempting to believe that biting into something gooey and delectable can instantly boost your libido, is there evidence to back up the claim?
The answer isn’t particularly straightforward and lies in somewhat of a gray area. The energy contained in a certain food, its cultural legacy and connotations, and the fragrance, texture, shape, and color of a dish may all contribute to arousal (remember, your largest sexual organ lies between your ears!)
The bottom line is that experts recommend including aphrodisiac foods in a diet that supports healthy blood circulation, hormone balance, and vitality, all of which are necessary for higher libido.
You’d be astonished at the variety of natural foods available to jumpstart your sex drive, from leafy greens to fruits with high water content.
While you’ve probably heard that oysters are aphrodisiacs in passing, there are many other less exotic foods (that you undoubtedly consume regularly) that also possess aphrodisiac properties. For some, it’s all about the chemical interactions occurring within the body. For others, it’s more of a placebo effect. Regardless, it’s essential to keep in mind that not everyone will react the same way to aphrodisiac foods.
And while there is no concrete scientific evidence that any diet stimulates the human sex organs, it surely doesn’t hurt to stack the sexual odds in your favor by eating meals that both you and your lover find hot AF!
The 5 Types of Aphrodisiacs
Historically, the majority of aphrodisiacs have been classified into five broad categories, all based on unverified theories:
Keeping you hot and wet
Foods that generate warmth and moisture (such as chili or curry) were considered to evoke “heated” passion, whilst cool foods (such as lettuce and purslane leaves) were thought to induce “chilled” desire.
If it looks like a sex organ, it’s probably great for sex organs
It was believed that foods that resembled male or female genitalia increased desire. One such example is the legendary oyster, as are several fruits and root vegetables.
The remarkable reproduction hypothesis
Sexual desire and potency were considered to be boosted by the consumption of reproductive organs and eggs (fish roe and bird eggs, animal genitals).
Exotic = Sexy
Rare (and hence expensive) foods were believed to be sexually arousing. When several rare items became more easily obtainable, such as potatoes and cocoa, their reputations as sexual stimulants diminished.
Awaken the senses and awaken desire
Foods that pleasurably stimulate the senses (sight, smell, taste, and touch) were considered to arouse desire.
Our Top 20 Aphrodisiac Foods
Eat a varied diet, including a few of the foods mentioned below, and might just find yourself in the mood for some extra luvin!
There are several reasons why truffles are one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs. They are uncommon and pricey for starters, which only adds to their allure.
Plus, they contain a high protein content, which aids in stamina. However, and perhaps most intriguingly, their odor is thought to mirror male pheromones, subconsciously making individuals want to devour them.
Apart from its fabulous fragrance, ginger can help increase blood flow and circulation (two of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction) and has been utilized as a stimulant for desire in many cultures.
3. Sweet potatoes
You’re probably aware of sweet potatoes (also known as “yams”) sex-enhancing qualities due to Sex and the City 2. Samantha consumed them in an attempt to obtain a “natural” dosage of hormones at a period when she was unable to take her menopausal tablets. Vitamin A, which is found in the root vegetable, has a role in testosterone production and arousal.
According to Jenni Skyler, a certified sex therapist, sexologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist, Maca, the Incan root made into a popular tea, is also known as Peru’s ‘natural Viagra‘ and is believed to boost energy, stamina, fertility, and libido.
The plant’s roots are rich in magnesium and fiber, beneficial for stamina and overall well-being.
Arugula is one of the world’s oldest aphrodisiacs, and its dark, leafy greens are necessary for sexual wellness. According to research conducted at Al-Nahrain University, arugula can help block out environmental pollutants that can wreak havoc on our libidos.
TBT to ancient Greece, when Hippocrates used to prescribe honey for sexual stamina. This “liquid gold” includes boron, which aids in hormone regulation, and nitric oxide (which helps increase blood flow during arousal).
Nitric oxide also promotes the dilation of blood vessels involved in erections and clitoral engorgement.
7. Pine nuts
If a man lacks zinc, pine nuts might help boost his libido. Additionally, pine nuts include a range of other beneficial oils and phytochemicals that support general health and increase libido.
Asian and American versions of the Ginseng plant have been shown to improve libido and sexual performance in studies. Ginseng most certainly affects the central nervous system, modifying hormones in the process.
9. Extra virgin olive oil
While the thought of dipping fresh bread or pita into olive oil is enough to turn anyone on, there are legitimate reasons for the oil’s seductiveness. Olive oil is antioxidant-rich, which helps keep the skin smooth and the body working smoothly. But, this isn’t new knowledge! In fact, from ancient Egyptian times, olive oil has been used for erotic massages.
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a stimulant that induces feelings of exhilaration and well-being. Natural caffeine is also beneficial. Make sure to get dark chocolate that has at least 75% cacao to reap the cardiac benefits.
Do yourself a favor — stock up on a handful of these nutrient-dense spears! Asparagus is high in vitamins A and C, which helps maintain healthy skin and hair.
Often, looking good makes you feel good. And if you’re feeling good, you never know what kind of spontaneous fun might follow.
In addition to being abundant in potassium and B vitamins, asparagus provides the body with a boost of histamine, promoting bigger orgasms.
There is some compelling evidence supporting saffron’s sexual drive-enhancing properties. Saffron’s reputation as an aphrodisiac dates back to Cleopatra, who is said to have bathed in saffron-infused milk for its aphrodisiac properties.
13. Chili peppers
Capsaicin is purported to activate nerve endings on the tongue, releasing epinephrine (adrenaline), the chemical responsible for increasing your heart rate, and releasing endorphins (natural opiates found in your body). Just make sure that you are eating them and not placing chili peppers anywhere near your partner’s body!
A seductive, fascinating tidbit about your favorite nacho add-on: Avocado is referred to in Aztec as ahuacatl, which translates as “testicle.”
Apart from their sexual attraction, avocados are abundant in folic acid, vitamin B9 (which gives the body more energy), and vitamin B6 (which aids in testosterone synthesis)
Poms are packed with antioxidants, which are critical for preventing inflammation and plaque buildup in your arteries and assisting in delivering increased blood flow to all regions of your body, including your genitals.
Research shows that pomegranate juice may be beneficial for erectile dysfunction.
16. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which helps contribute to healthy testosterone levels. While pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium, and other beneficial nutrients, zinc also inhibits the enzyme responsible for testosterone conversion to estrogen.
Not only is this beneficial for males, but studies have shown that women with elevated testosterone levels have a greater sex drive.
17. Red grapes
Red grapes are a rich source of boron, a mineral that aids in the stimulation of estrogen and testosterone production.
Increased estrogen and testosterone levels can revitalize your sex organs and put you in a great mood.
Bananas are an excellent supply of potassium, a necessary nutrient for muscular contraction, and vital for having high-quality sex.
Also, bananas contain bromelain, which assists in the production of testosterone. This sweet and smooth fruit is worth incorporating into your diet to boost your sexual drive.
Soybeans are well-known for their isoflavone compounds, which behave similarly to estrogen. Estrogen lubricates the vaginal region, enhancing sexual pleasure. If you’re not too keen on tofu’s texture or taste, try adding soy milk to your next smoothie.
Last but not least, the king of aphrodisiacs – the oyster!
Oysters have been known to help stimulate libido for years – but why? Not only is Casanova’s favorite food high in zinc, it also includes D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate, which are two amino acids that have been shown to raise both male and female sex hormone levels.