In honour of the ‘love holiday’ I’m sharing my top 6 aphrodisiac foods to enhance libido and improve sexual pleasure. The following foods have been vetted by science and are actually proven to improve your love making. Happy Valentines day ladies & gentlemen!
- Dark Chocolate: dark chocolate has been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of pleasure and arousal. It’s high flavonoid content also acts as a vasodilator – increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs. When purchasing dark chocolate for your loved one make sure to find a bar that contains more than 70% cacao for maximum benefits.
- Coffee: The caffeine found in coffee acts as a sexual stimulant by increasing the heart rate and improving blood flow throughout the body. There’s even a study conducted on female rats and published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior that showed that coffee can enhance arousal in females.
- Oysters: Casanova, the famous 18th century ladies man, was reported to eat 50 oysters everyday for breakfast in order to enhance his sexual stamina. Recent studies have vindicated this practice by proving that oysters really do contain aphrodisiac properties. One reason for the increase in libido following oyster consumption is due to the high natural zinc content. 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.
- Pumpkin Seeds: These are yet another food loaded with zinc to help you achieve higher testosterone levels, which are associated with a higher sex drive and increased sexual stamina. They also contain a ton of natural 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 love prescribing Maca to both my male and female patients to enhance libido and improve overall sexual health. This Peruvian root promotes optimal functioning of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland and is an easy way to help balance female hormones estradiol and progesterone. It also works well for men, but these effects are not due to hormone modulation. In a recent study, researchers gave adult men either a placebo or Maca root (3 g/day). 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 has a mild nutty flavour and can be added to smoothies or mixed into my sexy hormone fudge recipe.
- Celery: This common 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.
- 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.