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They say you are what you eat, and while plenty of things we consume have a direct impact on our hormones, brain chemistry, energy, and stress levels, some also may serve a much sexier purpose: Aphrodisiacs. There’s a great deal of lore surrounding foods that supposedly boost your sex life, and throughout history, various edibles have been hailed as intense aphrodisiacs. Of course, they don’t magically make sex better, but some really do boost body temperature, which makes us more susceptible to getting it on; some provide instant energy; some help produce sex hormones; and still others spark neurotransmitters that trigger feelings of love or arousal.
Next time you’re looking for something a little more than Marvin Gaye and candles to get in the mood, you might want to think about grabbing some silverware and digging into the below foods that can help you feel frisky.
Vanilla’s power is in its yummy aroma. Even before one morsel reaches the taste buds, the hypothalamus—the gland that controls memory and emotion—springs into action, evoking feelings connected with vanilla’s powerful scent. When consumed, vanilla improves sexual debilitation and kicks the central nervous system into gear, causing sensations to feel even better. Add a few drops of vanilla essence into your bath or devour ice cream made from this sweet bean after dinner.
Avocados are superfruits rich in antioxidant properties like vitamin E, potassium, and vitamin B. They’re an amazing source of heart-healthy monosaturated fats that may prevent heart disease and promote better blood flow—and makes your stomach flatter!
Anything that helps your heart and circulation can also be critical for a healthy sex life. In addition, the vitamin E that is so good for your skin also helps your body churn out hormones likes testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, which circulate in your bloodstream and stimulate sexual responses.
Phallic allusions notwithstanding, bananas have a lot to offer when it comes to boosting sex drive. These fruits deliver a punch of potassium, a nutrient key to muscle strength (which might make orgasms extra-intense.) They’re also packed with nutrients like potassium and vitamin B, which are essential to sexual hormone production.
Pomegranates owe their passion power to antioxidants—they protect the lining of blood vessels, allowing more blood to course through them. The upshot? Increased sensitivity
You probably already know the salmon is a stellar source of Omega-3 fatty acids that support a healthy heart as well as shiny hair and glowing skin. But you may not know the connection between steamed fish and a steamy night of passion. Those essential fatty acids also maintain hormone function and may raise dopamine levels in the brain to prime you for optimal arousal.
The chemical found in fiery peppers called capsaicin, increases circulation to get blood pumping and stimulates nerve endings so you’ll feel more turned on.
Good circulation is a benchmark of proper sexual functioning, and these berries are rich in antioxidants that benefit your heart and arteries. Bonus: ry dipping the berries in dark chocolate, another aphrodisiac food, which contains methylxanthines that may activate the libido.
Wine is a classic aphrodisiac and a killer mood-setter. Not only does red vino combat free radicals, but it can also boost your libido. But be aware of how much you consume as excess amounts of wine can lead to drowsiness, which is the last thing you want when trying to get it on.
Pure, dark chocolate in particular has a centuries old reputation as an aphrodisiac. Cocoa contains the chemical phenylethylamine, a stimulant that that sparks dopamine production in the brain and conjures just the sort of subtle feelings of well being and excitement that make sex seem like a great idea. The neurotransmitters serotonin and anandamide both contribute to feelings of happiness and euphoria during sex. And both are found in chocolate. Yum!
Rich in the plant nutrient citruilline, this summer fruit is known to have beneficial effects of the cardiovascular and immune systems. Citrulline increases nitric oxide that opens blood vessels and speeds up circulation contributing to increased arousal. There is also a study suggesting that watermelon may have Viagra- like effects on the body.
Honey is filled with B vitamins that support testosterone production, which can increase desire. It also contains the boron used in estrogen production that is important for female desire. Use it to sweeten a cup of tea, some yogurt, your oatmeal, or use it in marinades. If you can, try to use a local, raw organic varieties.
Almonds have been a symbol of fertility throughout the ages, and—like vanilla—their aroma is thought to induce passion in women. These nuts are a rich source of essential fatty acids like omega-3s, which are needed for the production of hormones like testosterone. They also aid in reproductive function, fertility and a healthy libido.
Cherries have a musky scent that are said to stimulate pheromone production. They contain tons of heart-regulating antioxidants, as well as feel-good vitamins A, C, and E, plus potassium, which is necessary for producing sexual hormones.