My Top 6 Evidence-Based Aphrodisiac Foods
A healthy sex life is incredibly important to your overall wellness. Frequent lovemaking can improve hormone levels in both men and women, and studies even show us that people having more frequent orgasms may actually live longer. In honour of Valentine’s Day (or Valentines month as we call it in my house, I LOVE this love holiday) I’m sharing my top 6 aphrodisiac foods to enhance libido in both men and women. These delicious foods have been proven to enhance your love making. Happy Valentines day ladies & gentlemen:
- Coffee: As if we needed any more reasons to reach for that delicious hot cup of coffee each morning. Not only does coffee improve weight loss outcomes & cognition, new research shows that the caffeine found in coffee also acts as a sexual stimulant by increasing the heart rate and improving blood flow. It may also improve libido in women: a study from Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior showed that coffee can enhance arousal in females mice, so drink up!
- Oysters: There is documentation of people using oysters to enhance arousal for thousands of years, and modern medicine has vindicated this practice by proving that oysters really do contain aphrodisiac properties. One reason that oysters increase libido is due to the high natural zinc content found in these delicious little sea creatures. Zinc is an important co-factor in testosterone metabolism, which enhances arousal in both men in women. Researchers have also found that oysters improve libido because they contain specific amino acids that trigger the production of sex hormones. D-aspartic acid (D-Asp) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) are rare amino acids that trigger a chain reaction of hormones that ends with increased production of testosterone in males and progesterone in females. Increased levels of those hormones in the blood can increase sexual arousal and stamina in both partners.
- Dark Chocolate: There’s a scientific reason why many of us reach for dark chocolate to get us in that love-making state of mind. Research shows that dark chocolate can cause a spike in dopamine, a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of pleasure and arousal. It’s high flavonoid content also acts as a vasodilator, which means that it increases blood flow to the reproductive organs. When purchasing dark chocolate for your loved one this holiday make sure to find a bar that contains more than 70% cacao for maximum benefits.
- Pumpkin Seeds: These are yet another food loaded with zinc to help you achieve higher testosterone levels. Heightened testosterone levels in both men and women are associated with a higher sex drive and increased sexual stamina. Pumpkin seeds also contain a ton of naturally occurring magnesium, which helps to relax the mind and body and put you in the mood for love making. Aim to eat 1/4 cup per day to achieve sufficient zinc and magnesium levels.
- Maca: I often prescribe Maca to both male and female patients as an adjunct treatment to help enhance libido and improve overall sexual health. This delicious root (it’s slightly sweet and has almost a caramel flavour) promotes optimal functioning of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to normalize hormones estradiol, testosterone and progesterone in women. It also works well for men, but the mechanism of action here is not yet well understood. In a recent study, researchers gave adult men either a placebo or Maca root – 3 g daily. After eight weeks the group taking Maca supplements reported improved sexual desire. While sex drive usually links to sex hormones in men, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Maca supplementation. Researchers measured testosterone levels of men taking Maca and found no changes, even when the participants reported increased libido. Maca can be added to smoothies or mixed into my sexy hormone fudge recipe.
- Celery: This common and seemingly bland vegetable actually contains a constituent called androsterone that helps your body produce pheromones. Pheromones are chemical substances produced by animals and released into the environment to affect the behavior or physiology of others of its species. Pheromones enhance sexual stimulation because they subconsciously suggest sexual arousal to attract a lover. Try whipping up a batch of fresh celery juice to chase your Valentines dinner date this year. Not only does it help digestion but it may even improve your sex life!
- N.A. et al. “Beneficial Effects of Lepidium Meyenii on Psychological Symptoms and Measure of Sexual Dysfunction in Postmenopausal Women Are Not Related to Estrogen or Androgen Content,” Menopause (2008) 15:1157.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Naturopathic doctor or primary care physician. Do not use the information in this document for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Always speak with your Naturopathic doctor before taking any medication or nutritional or herbal or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read online.