Top Aphrodisiac Foods From Around the World
Aphrodisiac food is meant to help you, erm, get in the mood. And while some people claim their purported effects are nothing but hogwash, these foods have been used for centuries by civilizations around the world to enhance romance in a natural way.
Most people know about oysters and chocolate when it comes to boosting libido, but what other foods can increase your sex drive? Try these aphrodisiac foods from around the world.
Let's start on a very high note. Yes, coffee can actually help you improve your sex life.
The reasoning is simple: Coffee spikes up your heart rate, releases dopamine and gives you energy while helping you relax.
And while all those things are useful for basically any day-to-day activity, it definitely helps when it comes time to create some sparks.
It should come as no surprise that chocolate is considered an aphrodisiac. Chocolate has been used for this purpose for centuries, beginning with the Mayans and the Aztecs, who believed it was a drink of the gods. (Were they wrong? We don't think so.)
But the power of chocolate is more than just mythical. A 2006 study found evidence that high consumption of chocolate is, indeed, correlated to arousal.
So stop feeling guilty about eating chocolate and consume away.
One of the reasons oysters are considered an aphrodisiac is their shape and texture, which many people think is suggestive.
But even if this is far from what you think about when you eat oysters, the mollusks are also rich in zinc, a micronutrient thought to enhance libido.
Zinc has also been found to be beneficial to male fertility. If you're trying to conceive, go on the hunt for some fresh oysters.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers weren't just being cheeky when they chose their band name. It turns out science proved they were actually hot and sexy.
Capsaicin, the active component that makes chili peppers spicy, increases heart rate and releases endorphins. We probably don't need to explain how that acts as an aphrodisiac.
Vitamin C is thought to provide energy, and may thus help increase your libido. If you're looking for a delicious way to consume more of it, go for strawberries. (Though if you can't find any, we'd argue that mimosas will also help you in this manner by providing both vitamin C and a buzz.)
And here you thought that chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine's Day were innocent.
You'd think there wouldn't be anything sexy about a fungus and yet truffles have become quite a romantic food.
The fungi (hold the "fun guy" puns) is rumored amongst crunchy circles to mimic the odor of certain pheromones, scented chemicals that humans excrete and that are thought to be linked to attraction.
They also contain protein, which helps provide energy and stamina.
An apple a day keeps the (sex) doctor away. Or so a 2014 study would have you believe.
The study concluded that regularly eating apples was correlated to a healthier sexual life for women. cThis is perhaps because apples really are good for your health, and overall good health will result in higher arousal as well as energy and stamina.
Another Aztec aphrodisiac food, the original word for avocados, "ahuacatl" means testicles.
And while we don't want to take credit away from the Aztec's impeccable humor, the word may not have just referred to the look of the fruit while it hangs from a tree. Avocados have tons of vitamin B and E. The first is known to provide energy and the second is used to enhance fertility.
Avocados are also one of the best green superfoods to eat.
This versatile spice doesn't just add a hint of sweetness and fragrance to your food. It also helps you feel relaxed and comfortable, adding to a romantic ambiance.
Additionally, it contains manganese, which some people believe increases sex drive.
A symbol of fertility in many cultures because of their shape, almonds actually provide magnesium, fiber and omega-3 fats. All of these are important for keeping vitality and having energy, and omega-3 is also necessary for testosterone and estrogen to be produced.
As such, they can help anyone increase desire and enhance performance when it really counts.
Given how important omega-3 is to the production of sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, it's not surprising that salmon also is featured on a list of aphrodisiac foods.
Salmon is one of the best ways to get omega-3, which can also help improve heart health and offers a myriad of other health benefits.
Though honey doesn't enhance libido per se, it has many health benefits that keep your body working properly. It's antioxidant and anti-inflamattory and helps with maintaining hormonal balance.
What does this have to do with libido? Having a balanced, healthy, youthful body keeps you able to engage in physical activities of all kinds.
Hop on the spicy food trend and make hot honey for an even sexier recipe.
There's a reason why so many date night ideas include a glass (or two) of red, red wine. And while drinking wine every day is probably not good for you (sorry), studies have shown that it helps improve heart health when drunk in moderation.
Wine helps get your heart pumping by increasing plasma levels and giving you antioxidants. It also helps unclog arteries so blood can flow as freely as love.
And they say science isn't romantic.
Besides being healthy and tasting heavenly, sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, a vitamin that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves.
One of the good things vitamin A does is promote the production of testosterone. As you probably know, the hormone is linked to a more active sex drive and increased arousal.
To those with their mind in the gutter, it's undeniable that figs are pretty suggestive when they're cut in half. But their aphrodisiac element go beyond their suggestiveness.
Figs have amino acids that encourage the body to produce sex hormones and that are good for stamina. Pair them with sliced peaches, goat cheese and honey for a delicious appetizer in a romantic dinner.
Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years. Its tried and true benefits include helping with muscle relaxation and increasing energy and vitality.
Both of those things come in handy when it comes to a healthy intimate life.
If you want to increase your stamina, try increasing your pumpkin consumption.
The vegetable contains potassium and fiber, both of which are necessary for a healthy body and are known to help provide energy and stamina.
Asparagus have a reputation for making your pee smell strong, but it turns out they're actually pretty good for helping you get in the mood.
The vitamin E they contain helps increase blood flow. They also have potassium, which is linked to the production of sex hormones.
Bananas are another potassium-rich food. Another beneficial component they have is vitamin B12. Yes, the same vitamin your doctor tells you to take when you feel tired. Having energy is obviously greatly beneficial to intimacy.
Besides, is there any food more suggestive than a banana? According to popular emoji use, maybe only eggplants.
Pomegranate is another very suggestive food. But while in mythology and dirty jokes it's linked to the female body, it can actually help men more.
A 2007 study suggests that drinking pomegranate juice can help improve erectile dysfunction in men. This is probably because the fruit is known to boost blood flow.
That being said, anyone, regardless of gender, can benefit from increased blood flow and a healthy supply of antioxidants.
Continuing on our streak of suggestive fruit, watermelon is much more than a delicious and juicy summer treat.
Its high amounts of nitric acid have been shown to improve blood flow, which in turn can lead to more frequent experiences of sexual arousal.
In Latin America, papaya is one of the most suggestive fruits. So much so, that in Cuba, "papaya" is a slang word for female genitalia. (You have to admit they're not completely off.)
Traditionally, papayas have been considered a booster for women's libido.
Sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng, maca has been used in Peru for centuries to treat several malaises.
One of its most common uses is as an aphrodisiac food for men. This is because the edible plant promotes the production of testosterone, a hormone necessary for sexual function, particularly in men.
Cherries can enhance your sex life by increasing the production of pheromones, which can help make you more attractive to others. They're also one of the fruits that help with blood flow.
Besides, there are so many innuendos and cherry jokes, it's quite easy to be dirty-minded when cherries are mentioned.
You're probably aware that olives have a ton of health benefits, such as regulating hormone levels and increasing blood flow.
And while both of those benefits can directly improve your sex life, olives have also been connected to increased libido for a long time. Some people believe black olives affect women's libido while green olives affect men's.
Artichokes have hearts, which already make them cutely romantic in our book.
But if you want to get serious about it, they're also rumored to help increase libido. If you're looking for a cool date recipe that isn't pasta, try impressing the object of your affection with some delicious roasted artichokes.
Given how many things are vanilla scented, it's common knowledge that vanilla is calming and relaxing. It is also said to increase feelings of happiness while decreasing streets.
Feeling comfortable and relaxed is a surefire way to improve intimacy.
Sweet and sour, juicy pineapple is one of the most balanced fruits. Besides the pleasure of eating something refreshing and delicious, pineapples give you vitamin C and manganese.
The first helps boost your immune system so your romantic plans don't get derailed by the common cold — plus it gives you energy. The latter, as we've mentioned before, is believed to boost sex drive.
Before modern medicine, pineapple was used to treat impotence in many cultures.
Men, in particular, will want to include walnuts into their diet, as they have been shown to help with male sexual function.
Even if you don't suffer from any dysfunction, a nut rich diet could help keep it at bay while increasing desire.
Another food that has proven useful in battling and preventing sexual dysfunction in all genders is saffron.
The herb is most commonly seen in Indian, Persian and Greek cuisine. Besides providing fragrance and flavor, it promotes circulation and relaxation. Both of which target different causes of dysfunction.
Arabic cultures have long touted dates as a natural aphrodisiac. The plant is common in recipes from the Middle East and Northern Africa, and it is believed to boost libido as well as help in the production of sperm.
Dates are consumed in large amounts by couples in the region who are trying to conceive.
In India, mangoes are a symbol of fertility and sexuality. They are thought to increase libido and, traditionally, male performance.
We may not have hard evidence that mangos do possess these powers, but we know that they are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and A, potassium and magnesium.
And all of them promote energy, health and virility.