Humanity has obsessed over aphrodisiacs for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, couples ate wine-soaked lily flowers to boost passion. Some aphrodisiacs since then have been somewhat less pleasant and sometimes even dangerous, like cobra blood, sea cucumber, ants, birds’ nests, or the secretions of blister beetles. Some aphrodisiacs have led to the near extinction of priceless animals, such as the tiger and black rhinoceros.
Most aphrodisiacs have been proven useless, but that doesn’t stop mankind’s search for the ultimate love potion. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to boost your libido, energy, and passion without relying on anything dangerous, illegal, disgusting, or just plain stupid. Nature has given us plenty of commonly-known foods that can help.
Basil – This Italian herb improves circulation, and anything good for the heart and blood flow will also improve libido. Circulation is a big part of the process. Basil also has a warming effect on the body that can enhance arousal.
Tomatoes – Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that boosts prostrate health, which improves virility in men. They are also delicious raw, in soup, as sauce, and more.
Walnuts and Almonds – Nuts and whole grains, in general, contain argenine. Argenine is important to blood flow, especially during arousal. Nuts, seeds, and grains are also rich in essential fatty acids which are crucial in the production of hormones for both men and women.
Flax Seeds – Flax seeds contain phytoestrogens that act very similarly to female hormones that are linked to a healthy sex life. Flax can be beneficial for women who have low estrogen levels, such as those experiencing menopause.
Chia Seeds – These have been shown to naturally boost testosterone thanks to the essential fatty acids that serve as building blocks for hormones. Testosterone is tied to feelings of power, motivation, well-being, and sex drive. Men don’t have a monopoly on testosterone either. Women produce it too and, when it dips too low, experience a loss of sex drive and motivation.
Peppers – Capsaicin, the compound in peppers that give them their bite, increases heart rate, dilates blood vessels, and releases endorphins. They literally spice up your love life. Just don’t go sprinkling cayenne on your special someone though.
Garlic – These overly fragrant cloves may not seem like the best thing to eat for passion, but the allicin in garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks increases blood flow and keeps the heart healthy for sexual activities. If you’re worried about the smell, use it well before things get intimate.
Ginger – This spice increases blood flow and testosterone production. Even the scent alone is enough to send blood flowing. It, like basil, can have a warming effect on the body.
Celery – This mild-mannered vegetable has a secret. It contains androsterone, a male hormone that works as a pheromone to signal masculinity and virility. Men should definitely be eating much more celery than most get.
Bananas – Bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins which boost energy levels. They also contain the enzyme Bromelain which can be found in pineapple too and gives men a boost to the libido.
Avocado – This buttery fruit is rich in essential fatty acids and B6—both increase male hormone production. Avocado also contains potassium, which helps regulate the thyroid gland in women, a gland directly tied to energy and reaction to hormones.
Dark Chocolate – Women have relied on this plant-food for generations to ease them through breakups and heartache for good reason. Chocolate has tons of antioxidants to keep the body healthy, but it also encourages the release of endorphins that increase pleasure, improve mood, and simulate the feelings of falling in love.
Asparagus – These suggestive stalks are rich in folate, a B vitamin linked to a healthy sex drive.
Maca – Maca is a Peruvian root that has long been used by the local population to increase strength, stamina, energy, fertility, and libido for men and women. It is now available for the rest of us too at just about any health food store. Add a dash to your smoothies and see how you feel.
Pumpkin Seeds – The often discarded seeds of this orange gourd are rich in zinc, which keeps the male sex organs healthy and productive. They also taste pretty fantastic and are a healthier snack option.
Watermelon – This sweet, summery melon contains lycopene and helps relax the blood vessels to improve blood flow.
Nutmeg – Nutmeg is a spice that has long been used in Indian medicine to boost libido. Grate a small amount into foods like soup, over pastries, tea, or in dark hot chocolate, but don’t go overboard. A little nutmeg goes a long way.
Broccoli – These common green florets are usually ignored by men, but it is their loss. Broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol which can reduce estrogen levels in men, giving their libido a much needed boost.
Beans and Legumes – Beans, peas, and lentils contain zinc. Zinc is important for adrenal function and is tied to our sense of smell so those pheromones can flow more freely between you and your love.
Goji Berries – These exotic berries are thought to boost energy levels, but they may also increase testosterone production. A win for both men and women.
Libido naturally lags when the body isn’t getting all the nutrition it needs and it must focus on self-preservation over reproduction. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can create fatigue, depression, and low energy levels that get in the way of passion and love. Eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly will also make a big difference in your sex life. When looking for aphrodisiac, no need to go crazy. Turn back to nature and the foods you know.