People have been interested in aphrodisiacs for centuries, going to extreme lengths like eating Spanish fly beetles and several tree barks from African and West Indian trees, both which are poisonous. However, there’s no need to risk your health for an increased libido. Add one or more of these aphrodisiacs to your meal to help add a bang to your next date night! These 10 relatively common foods can be found in most grocery stores and restaurants.
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Chili peppers can spice up more than your mouth. Eating spicy peppers causes a release of endorphins, increased heart rate, as well as swollen lips. Unlike many items on this list, this food can affect both partners whether one or both partake: the flushed skin and plumped lips caused by eating peppers act as a visual sexual cue to an observing lover.
Bananas may be one you eat fairly often without realizing their aphrodisiac powers. Not only is it the most phallic of all the fruits, it also contains potassium and B vitamins that boost sex-hormone production and can give you energy, which is always useful when you’re looking to get lucky.
Though you might think this food should be avoided on a romantic night, garlic is a powerful aphrodisiac that works by increasing blood flow, which in turn increases sexual stamina and energy. The blood flow can even increase sensitivity and help men achieve erections more easily. Just make sure to bring some breath mints!
This sweet treat has been prescribed as an aphrodisiac since the days of Hippocrates, and still carries that title today. Its high levels of boron help regulate testosterone levels, which increases sex drive in both sexes. It also contains nitric oxide, which the body releases during arousal. Use a generous amount of honey in your dessert to guarantee an extra-sweet night.
This fruit has long been a literary symbol of romance and fertility, but did you know it could also heighten your sex drive? A 2011 study in Edinburgh found that pomegranate juice can lower cortisol levels, which can mean increased testosterone and therefore increased libido in both men and women.
Perhaps the most commonly consumed item on this list, this addictive beverage increases dopamine, the chemical associated with pleasure in the brain, and increases blood flow. A study done by Mindlab International Laboratory found that just the scent can cause arousal in women. Bottom line, a post-dinner espresso could have some serious extra benefits.
Alcohol as an aphrodisiac may seem like common sense, but it can be so powerful it’s worth a spot on the list. When consumed in moderation, red wine lowers inhibitions, raises the testosterone levels in women and increases confidence. The antioxidants in red wine also widen blood vessels and increase blood flow. Be careful, though. More than a couple glasses has the opposite effect, so don’t overindulge if you’re looking for some action.
Many nuts contain zinc, but pine nuts are especially rich in this nutrient, which helps maintain male potency and libido. They have been used in love potions for centuries, though we don't recommend that usage today. Use them in pesto or toasted over a salad for an extra oomph to your meal.
Though this may be the most famous edible aphrodisiac, a scientific link between oysters and human libido wasn’t established until a 2005 study partly funded by the United States National Institutes of Health. The study found the presence of not only zinc, but certain amino acids that trigger a hormonal reaction, which results in the production of hormones that aid arousal in both males and females. Beyond the chemical reaction, the texture and sensual technique required when eating an oyster can aid in setting the mood.
This fruit is another that has been celebrated for its sensuality for centuries. Figs are said to resemble the female sex organs and, legend has it, are the beautiful Cleopatra’s favorite fruit. Figs also represented love and fertility in Ancient Greece. Coincidentally (or maybe not), they are also a great source of potassium, antioxidants and fiber, all of which could help you in the bedroom.