One of the most common questions I get: What kinds of foods can I eat to boost libido?
Here are a few you probably eat every day without even knowing it.
- Hot Chilies: Diana Hoppe, an MD and author of Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You: What Your Libido Reveals About Your Life, says capsaicin, the stuff responsible for making chili peppers spicy, stimulates nerve endings on the tongue, which release epinephrine (adrenaline) -the chemical that increases your heart rate and releases endorphins (natural opiates found in your body). Just make sure you’re eating them and not rubbing chili peppers on your partner’s body.
- Apples: Dr. Steve McGough, doctorate in human sexuality adds that apples have also been associated with increased sex drive. A 2014 study suggested that eating an apple a day correlated with better sexual quality of life in young women.
- Avocados: They contain high levels of folic acid, vitamin B9 (provides the body with more energy) and vitamin B6 (which helps increase testosterone production).
- Bananas: These fruits contain bromelain enzyme -believed to increase a man’s sex drive -as well as high levels of potassium, riboflavin and vitamin B2 (keeps your energy level up)
- Dark Chocolate: Chocolate contains phenylethylamine -a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of well-being. The natural caffeine doesn’t hurt either.
- Red Wine: A good bottle of red wine can help get you in the mood, but it’s a powerful antioxidant. It helps decrease inflammation and helps quite literally get your blood pumping.
- Oysters: Urban legend has it that Casanova once seduced a virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips to hers. Yum! That seems so seductive! These puppies contain tons of zinc and iron. Zinc is important in the production of testosterone and sperm production. Plus, they contain dopamine, a brain chemical that increases desire.
- Asparagus: 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.
- Figs: Not only do figs look sexy (Anyone else agree?) Dr. Hoppe says they’re also thought to be a sexual stimulant, as they’re packed full of amino acids, which boost sexual stamina and increase libido.
- Salmon: Dr. Hoppe says salmon is high in omega-3-fatty acids, which is important not only for heart health but also helps your libido, by supplying the building blocks for production of estrogen, testosterone and progresterone.
- Almonds/Walnuts: Not only have these been a symbol of fertility in art forever, they’re a prime source of beneficial fatty acids like omega-3, which again, help with hormone production. Dr Hoppe also adds that the aroma of almonds in purported to arouse passion in women.
- Vanilla: Vanilla -doesn’t only smell sexy, Dr. Hoppe says it can create an overall calming effect.
- Watermelon: Watermelon is high in citruline, a phytonutrient, Dr. Hoppe says, that increases the amount of nitric acid in the body; which in turn increases blood flow, blood vessel relaxation, and sexual arousal.
- Strawberries: 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.
- Cherries: Another sexy fruit! Not only do they contain potassium and vitamin C, Dr. Hoppe explains that they also contain anthocyanins (the stuff responsible for giving them their red color), powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation and help maintain a healthy sex drive.
- Honey: Turn back time to ancient Greece, when Hippocrates used to prescribe honey for sexual vigor. This “liquid gold” as Dr. Hoppe calls it, contains boron, which helps regulate hormone levels and nitric oxide (which helps increase blood flow during arousal). Nitric oxide also helps open blood vessels involved in creating erections and clitoral engorgement.
- Coffee: Similarly to chocolate, coffee’s caffeine increases stamina and can elevate mood. Dr. Hoppe also adds that coffee increases dopamine levels in the brain, that stuff that increases desire and pleasure.