12 Aphrodisiac Foods That Can Totally Up Your Sex Drive


f part of your sex prep involves having a little pre-sesh snack to curb your hunger cravings, there’s a good chance you know a thing or two about aphrodisiac foods. (And if not, hi, I’m here to help). According to sexuality professional and mental health clinician Shanae Adams, an aphrodisiac is a substance thought to “encourage and/or increase libido, aka the energy and desire to have sex, and increase arousal." This is mainly physical changes, such as erection, self-lubrication, increased respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure. Which yes, sounds almost too good to be true, but according to the experts, it’s a real thing. While you might’ve heard in passing that oysters are aphrodisiacs, there are also a ton of other less-exotic foods rumored to have aphrodisiac qualities that you probably eat every day (no offense to the daily oyster crowd). From leafy greens to fruits with high water content, you’d be surprised how many natural foods are out there just waiting to kickstart your sex drive. For some people, it’s all about the actual chemical reactions in the body. For others, it’s more of a placebo (because there’s just something supremely sexy about eating a strawberry). Regardless, it’s important to note that not everyone will respond to aphrodisiac foods the same way. Marta Montenegro, a Miami-based nutrition fertility lifestyles specialist at IVFMD, explains that some people might look for proteins and fats to boost alertness, while others turn to carbohydrates to calm nerves and relax. Here, experts get real about some of the most popular rumored aphrodisiacs and some foods that might actually lessen your desire, so you can select your sex snacks smartly.


Arugula is one of the oldest aphrodisiacs around and the dark, leafy greens are vital to sexual health. According to a study at Al-Nahrain University, in addition to boosting male fertility, arugula can help block out environmental contaminants that wreak havoc on our libidos.


In addition to smelling amazing, ginger can improve blood flow and circulation (which are some of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction) and has been used in many cultures as a stimulate for desire.


According to Jenni Skyler, PhD, LMFT, CST, an AASECT certified sex therapist, sexologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist for AdamEve.com, “Maca, the Incan root that is made into a popular tea, is also known as Peru’s ‘natural Viagra’ and is thought to increase energy, stamina, fertility, and libido.”

Montenegro notes that while the verdict isn’t in yet on scientific research for Maca, however, “the plant’s roots are rich in magnesium and fiber which are good for improving stamina and well-being.”


Studies have found Asian and American varieties of the Ginseng herb to help libido and sexual performance. Clinical nutritionist Josh Axe explains, “Ginseng likely affects the central nervous system, altering hormones in the process.”


McGough also notes that there’s some impressive evidence for saffron’s effect on sex drive. Saffron’s history as an aphrodisiac dates back to Cleopatra, who reportedly bathed in saffron-infused milk for its aphrodisiac qualities. Recent studies have also shown that saffron also helps increase sperm motility and can decrease some of the sexual side effects from taking certain antidepressants.


Not only do figs look sexy (anyone else completely unable to eat Fig Newtons the same way after seeing a halved fig for the first time, or just me?), Dr. Hoppe says they’re also thought to be a sexual stimulant, as they’re high in amino acids, which boost sexual stamina and increase libido.


The high amount of vitamin E in asparagus can increase blood and oxygen flow to the genitals, Dr. Hoppe explains. There are also high levels of potassium, which is linked to sex hormone production. Plus, if the suggestive phallic shape of things also helps get you in the mood, then hey, good for you!


A sexy fun fact about your favorite $2 add-on at Chipotle: The Aztec word for avocado is “ahuacatl,” which means “testicle.” But besides their sex-thetic appeal, avocados also contain high levels of folic acid, vitamin B9 (which provides the body with more energy), and vitamin B6 (which helps increase testosterone production), says Dr. Hoppe.


According to Dr. Hoppe, chocolate contains phenylethylamine—a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of well-being. The natural caffeine doesn’t hurt either. Make sure to get dark chocolate that’s at least 75 percent cacao to get the heart bennies too.


Urban legend has it that Casanova once seduced a virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips to hers. Yum, because what about communal seafood just doesn’t scream seductive? Dr. Hoppe says these puppies contain tons of zinc, a mineral important in the production of testosterone and sperm production. Plus, they contain dopamine, a brain chemical that increases desire.


Dr. Hoppe says salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is important not only for heart health (hence: why you keep seeing it all over vitamin bottles) but also for helping your libido by supplying the building blocks for production of estrogen, testosterone, and progresterone.


While the legend says that strawberries originated from the heart-shaped tears of Aphrodite after she learned of her lover Adonis’s death, modern-day strawberries are anything but a bummer. Dr. Hoppe says they’re loaded with vitamin C, which is important for the production of sex hormones and chemical neurotransmitters in the brain to increase libido. Plus, vitamin C can help keep your immune system up.

This article was originally published on https://www.cosmopolitan.com


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