Turn up the heat
Want a really romantic dinner? Sure, candles and soft music are nice, but what you and your man nosh on could truly take things to another level. The following (healthy!) foods may actually affect hormone levels, brain chemistry, and energy, heightening arousal and sex drive.
While there aren’t double-blind studies proving the aphrodisiac properties of these foods, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting they really help, so why not work in one (or more) on your next date night.
- Asparagus You’re not alone if those fleshy green spears remind you of…well, you know.This veggie’s phallic appearance no doubt has something to do with its legendary aphrodisiac status, but the goods are inside, too. Asparagus is rich in vitamin B6 and folate, both of which can boost arousal and orgasm.And it also boasts vitamin E, which stimulates sex hormones in both men and women.
- Avocados Energy and a healthy libido are crucial for great sex, and avocados can give you both. They’re loaded with minerals, monounsaturated fats (the good kind that protect the heart and lower cholesterol), and vitamin B6—all of which help keep your energy and sex drive up.They’re also a top source of omega-3 fatty acids, which naturally boost your mood, making you more likely to feel ready for bedroom action.
- Chile peppers Chile peppers can really spice things up—and not just in your mouth—thanks to capsaicin, a chemical that’s been shown to induce the release of endorphins in the brain, which creates a feeling of euphoria.The potential payoff? Enhanced foreplay and hotter sex.
- Chocolate This sweet has long been linked with love and sex for good reason. It contains tryptophan, which helps the body produce serotonin, a natural feel-good chemical that may play a role in sexual arousal. Chocolate also offers a hit of phenylethylamine, a stimulant thought to contribute to that lovey-dovey feeling. So, go ahead, indulge a little!
- Licorice This candy (sold conveniently in, um, whips) is thought to mimic the effects of estrogen and progesterone, critical hormones for normal reproductive and sexual function and response. Eating it may help you get in the mood—and stay that way more often.Plus, enjoying this candy may reduce symptoms of PMS, a real perk both in and outside the bedroom.But note: Don’t settle for just any old licorice-flavored candy. Be sure to buy a variety that contains real licorice-root extract.
- Oysters It’s not the slippery feel or the singular taste of oysters that make them a sexy superfood. It’s zinc, which oysters are loaded with. The mineral helps the body produce testosterone, a hormone critical in regulating women’s and men’s libido and sexual function.Research suggests that zinc can improve sperm count and swimming ability, and increase sexual potency in men.For women, zinc may help ovaries—the source of estrogen, progesterone, and some testosterone—stay healthy, keeping you primed for bedroom action.