Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, pleasure, and procreation, aphrodisiacs are foods that are believed to boost your libido and fertility. Although the FDA says that aphrodisiacs are a myth, there are some researchers that have found that some foods and herbs do stimulate hormones (mainly testosterone) and other chemicals that affect our libido. Then there are “super foods” that rev up our metabolism or give us energy, which can also have benefits to the libido.
How to Aphrodisiacs Work?
Aphrodisiacs work in two ways, according to experts: by stimulating the mind or by creating desire by exciting the body.
Whether you believe in aphrodisiacs or not, it certainly can’t hurt to try them and is also a great excuse to have a sexy feast for two, to start off a hot night of lovemaking!
Here are some of the most popular aphrodisiacs and how they may affect your libido.
Almonds, Nuts and Salmon
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flax seed and pumpkin seeds are all high in magnesium, vitamin E and fiber and contain essential fatty acids which produce testosterone and estrogen in men and women to increase libido. Magnesium is a natural vasodilator, which improves circulation to the genitals to aid in erectile dysfunction and helps increase estrogen production in women. Pine Nuts have lots of zinc as well, which helps to energize the sex drive. Many nuts as well as salmon also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which raise serotonin levels in the brain to improve sexual desire and function.
Asparagus is a great source of Vitamin E and B, which is involved in stimulating the production of sex hormones in both men and women which is important for a healthy libido.
Avocados grow on trees and hang in pairs, resembling testicles, so the Aztecs named the Avocaodo tree the “testicle tree”! Rich in vitamin E, these creamy rich fruit are thought to produce “hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, which circulate in the bloodstream and stimulate sexual responses like clitoral swelling and vaginal lubrication” . Avocados also contain vitamin B6 which increases testosterone production and potassium which helps increase libido in both men and women.
Bananas are not only phallic in shape, but are also full of potassium, which boosts energy and muscle strength, making orgasm contractions more intense. They also contain the bromelain enzyme which is a male-libido booster.
Berries and Pomegranates
Strawberries have the visual appeal of female nipples and have always been symbols of sensuality. They contain a high amount of zinc which acts like a natural Viagra and vitamin C which helps keep blood flowing to all regions of the body. Blueberries help relax blood vessels, improving blood flow, for stronger erections and better lubrication in women. Goji Berries are one of the newest “super foods” which increase testosterone levels, improve overall stamina, mood and wellbeing. Pomegranates increase blood flow due to their powerful antioxidants, and the juice has been found in one study to aid in erectile dysfunction.
Celery contains androstenone, a powerful male hormone which acts as a brain-stimulating pheromone. When you bite into celery, this pheromone is released which triggers the most primitive part of a woman’s brain, to get her in the mood even if she is unaware of it.
Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, an amino acid that stimulates feelings of love and wellbeing, while raising the body’s endorphins and creating a sense of euphoria. It also causes increases in dopamine, said to create feelings of pleasure and tryptophan, which the brain transforms into serotonin, the “happy” hormone. Anandamide, another component, mimics a cannabis high by heightening sensitivity. Chocolate also functions as a vasodilator, improving circulation, and as a stress reliever, reducing cortisol levels. It is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Like bee pollen, honey has powerful aphrodisiac qualities. It contains boron, which regulates estrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost as well as the B vitamins which aid in testosterone production. During medieval times, mead, a fermented drink made from honey, was a popular drink thought to promote sexual desire. Newly wedded couples in ancient Persia also drank mead every day for a month which became known as the “honeymoon” to promote a successful union.
Hot peppers and chilies contain a chemical called capsaicin, which gets the blood pumping and stimulate nerve endings. But they also stimulate endorphins which make you sweat and get your heart all revved up, all of which imitate how you feel when sexually aroused. In addition, hot chilies contain serotonin which gets you in the mood.
Oysters are one of the best known aphrodisiacs and contain zinc, which increases testosterone as well as the sex drive. They also contain amino acid which researchers think trigger sex hormone production including D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA).
Watermelon contains the phytonutrient citrulline which is converted to arginine, thus increasing nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide, like Viagra speeds up circulation to the genitals and relaxes the blood vessels, which improves blood flow to the penis aiding in getting and keeping a hard-on. In women, it enhances sexual desire by supplying more blood to the genitals which improves sensation as well as lubrication. The lycopene in watermelon also enhances male fertility by increasing sperm production.
Now that you have the ingredients, try combining them into a meal or dessert to add fuel to your foreplay for a hot night of sex.
Try pan fried or grilled Salmon in honey-glazed, chili, and pomegranate sauce, sprinkled with pine nuts, with asparagus and avocado on the side.
Chocolate Fondue with Fresh Fruit
Or, how about a simple dark chocolate fondue with fresh aphrodisiac fruit? Melt chunks of dark baking chocolate in a fondue pot. Mix with honey and vanilla to sweeten and flavor. Serve with chunks of bananas, strawberries, and watermelon for a decadent dessert.