Throughout history, food has been linked to good health and increased sexual desire. Casanova, the famous Venetian womanizer, was known to munch on oysters, while honey was supposedly Aphrodite’s nectar du jour when it came to improving sexual performance. Sure, a romantic candlelit dinner can do wonders when it comes to creating a relaxed, intimate, sensual mood, but the foods we consume also appear to have a direct correlation to increased sexual appetite. According to researchers, the taste, smell and appearance of food can also act as powerful aphrodisiacs.
Whether you’re looking to rev things up with a new guy or spice up an established relationship, try indulging in some of these high-powered sexy edibles; all ten have been shown to kick-start your libido, revive sexual performance and enhance overall health.
Historically, almonds have long been a symbol of fertility. A healthy source of protein, they're a natural energy booster, which, in turn, can increase in sexual drive. Additionally, the scent is said to excite women, so it’s not surprising that almond oil is a common ingredient in soaps and lotions. The almond also has roots in the Bible, where Samson wooed Delilah with aromatic almond branches.
This erotic vegetable may be the quintessential libido booster as it contains high levels of vitamin E, which aids in producing sex hormones. After being dubbed an aphrodisiac during the Renaissance, asparagus was later banned from the dining tables of most convents. The Vegetarian Society suggests “eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful effect.”
It’s not surprising that the Aztecs called the avocado tree, ahuacatl or "testicle tree” based on how much its fruit resembles the male body part. This green tropical marvel also contains vitamin B6, which increases male hormones, and potassium, which aids in regulating the female thyroid gland. Both B6 and potassium are reported to increase libido.
Its suggestive shape aside, this popular fruit also contains bromelain, an enzyme which aids in boosting male libido. On top of this, bananas contain potassium and B vitamins, such as riboflavin, which raise the body's overall energy levels.
Celery may not be the first food that comes to mind when it comes to increasing sexual desire. But this crunchy, low-cal veggie contains an odorless hormone called androsterone, which, when released through male perspiration, is known to increase female sexual arousal.
Hot, spicy chilli peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical known to release endorphins and create a feeling of happiness and pleasure. Chillis can increase blood flow and heart rate, and they also stimulate nerve endings, resulting in increased sexual urges.
Dubbed the “love chemical,” the Aztec emperor Montezuma was said to consume large amounts of chocolate in an effort to enhance his sexual prowess before entering his harem. During modern times, researchers have attributed chocolate’s aphrodisiac properties to the stimulant phenylethylamine, which creates a general sense of well-being, similar to an endorphin rush.
Chocolate also releases the amino acid tryptophan, which produces the neurotransmitter serotonin. Known as "the feel-good brain hormone," serotonin helps to stabalize mood and diminish anxiety, all great calming aides that ultimately boost sexual desire.
Originally from Syria – and allegedly Cleopatra’s fave food – this ancient, erotic, fleshy fruit replicates female genitalia in its appearance. Figs are high in amino acids, which increase libido and boost sexual stamina. In some Southern European countries wedding guests toss figs instead of rice, to encourage fertility.
Reports on the effects of ginger date back as far as Chinese philosopher, Confucius (500 B.C.), who was said to never be without the tangy herb. It is also referred to in the Kama Sutra as a powerful aphrodisiac. Fresh ginger root stimulates your circulatory system, improves blood flow to sexual organs, and contains libido-lifting Vitamin C, zinc and magnesium.
Bearing a strong resemblance to female genitalia, oysters are widely-regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac – and for good reason. High in the mineral zinc, which contributes to testosterone production, these slippery mollusks also contain D-aspartic acid, a powerful chemical that triggers the release of sex hormones.