We’ve all heard of aphrodisiacs before–it’s anything you can consume that will heighten your sexual desire. For most of us, that something is alcohol. While there’s nothing wrong with a little liquid courage, or imbibing for lowered inhibitions, just know that cocktails add empty calories to your waistline and ain’t nobody got time for that!
There’s actually a long list of healthy aphrodisiac foods said to heighten sexual desire, though there’s not much hard research to back up these claims. Still, there is plenty of anecdotal (and even some nutritional) evidence for the aphrodisiac effects of the following foods, so give them a try. You’ve got nothing to lose, except a completely mind-blowing sexual experience.
First revered as an aphrodisiac in a 15th century Arabic sex manual titled, The Perfumed Garden, this long rod of a vegetable is said to resemble the male sex organ. (It’s no eggplant! *sips tea) Visuals aside, it does contain some vitamin E, which helps lift the libido.
Adored by the Aztecs, their word for this creamy fruit is ahuacatl and that directly translates to “testicles,” because that’s what they thought it looked like growing in pairs on the tree. They revered it as an aphrodisiac, and they might be right, as the high vitamin E content helps your body produce hormones like testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, keeping your sexual interest and stamina up.
Another food high in vitamin E, almonds have been revered as a symbol of fertility throughout the ages and some believe that their sweet smell arouses passion in women. Whip out the almond body oil!
Another food given love potion status because of what it resembles: bananas! These lengthy snacks are packed with potassium and B vitamins, both of which are needed to produce sex hormones. The enzyme bromelain is especially libido-enhancing for men.
Chiles get your blood pumping, increasing circulation and stimulating nerve endings so that you feel more turned on.
Ahh chocolate, the food that is inextricably linked with Valentine’s Day and for good reason. The chemicals in cacao help boost serotonin, the hormone that makes you happy, as well as phenylethylamine, the same chemical that’s released when you fall in love. While researchers think you’d have to eat copious amounts to get any sort of physiological aphrodisiac effect, it could be that love and chocolate are so intertwined in our minds that it ‘s more the psychological association that turns us on.
Lusciously sweet and juicy, figs get their aphrodisiac status for resembling the female sex organs. Considering the fact that they are said to be the favorite fruit of one of the most well-known seductresses, Cleopatra, so maybe there is some truth to it?
This sweet and sticky nectar is filled with B vitamins, needed for testosterone production and boron, which helps the body use and metabolize estrogen. Lore has it that the term “honeymoon” comes from an old tradition in which newlyweds drank a honey drink for 30 days after marriage to help them get acquainted in the bedroom and thus set the foundation for a healthy marriage.
This Peruvian root doesn’t have any effect on hormones, but studies show it does seem to improve sexual function and increase sperm count in men.