Women with a sensual look biting into a chocolate bar.

Lookin’ Like A Snack: 7 Foods with Aphrodisiac Properties

Legends about mysterious, exotic plants that can enflame a woman’s desire or make a man more virile are as old as history itself. The quest for great nooky is one of the few things that unite people of the past, present, and future.

The promise of an aphrodisiac is to enhance one’s desirability and/or increase their libido. When it comes to food, there is a range of characteristics believed to signify a certain fare might be stimulating. Having a suggestive shape, being a product of the reproductive process (like eggs and caviar), or just being rare or exotic are all qualities of foods widely thought to possess aphrodisiacal properties.

And even though some foods have proven to spice things up in bed, their magic is nothing more than their healthy characteristics combined with eating an overall healthy diet. Here, a list of some well-known and some surprising aphrodisiac foods.

1. Apples 

Bright red apples hanging from a tree.

Unbelievable, but true. Apples, although not-so-exotic and not really erotically-shaped, are considered an aphrodisiac food. The reason is quercetin, a compound that apples have in significant amounts.

Quercetin is an antioxidant, a certain type of flavonoid that presents a host of health benefits. When it comes to sexual health, quercetin enhances blood circulation, manages the symptoms of prostatitis for men, and even contributes to erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment. 

On top of that, quercetin normalizes high blood pressure, which sometimes causes lower libido and fatigue in women.

Aside from apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, dark-colored grapes (or red wine) are also rich in quercetin.

2. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts piled to make a heart shape.

Nuts and seeds overall are known to be rich in zinc, a key component in producing the sex hormones testosterone and prolactin. In addition to that, zinc is also actively involved in creating prostatic fluid. 

Eating nuts like peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds, as well as pecans, can help you increase your zinc levels. Not only are nuts rich in zinc, but also in omega-3 and L-arginine, also known to improve sexual function.

3. Salmon 

Cooked salmon on a cutting board.

Another source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids is salmon. Omega-3s are critical for preventing the creation of plaque in the arteries and eventually contribute to healthy blood flow. 

This blood regulatory function, promoted by omega-3 fatty acids, gradually reduces the risk of diseases that undermine sexual function, such as heart disease. This happens due to decreased triglycerides (fats) in one’s blood. Similar to nuts and seeds, salmon contains zinc. So, don’t be afraid of fatty fish – it’s good for your health, from your head to your toes and everywhere in between.

4. Meat

Sliced meats on a cutting board.

You must’ve expected some meat to be on this list. But which one is the right one? Overall, eating meats that traditionally contain lots of amino acids, is said to help improve sexual health. Meats such as chicken, pork, and beef, contain high-protein compounds that enhance your blood flow, improving your sexual function.

At the same time, amino acids like L-arginine are responsible for creating the gas nitric oxide (NO) in your body; this gas is fundamental for healthy erectile function as it helps blood vessels relax, letting more oxygen-rich blood circulate throughout the body.    

Moreover, meat is also rich in carnitine – a chemical that is derived from amino acids and said to improve sexual performance and satisfaction, especially in men.

5. Cacao

Chocolate pieces laid out in the shape of a heart.

Now, for something more “exotic”. Used medicinally and ceremonially for centuries by cultures all over the world, cacao is the forebear of modern chocolate as we know it. In fact, cacao is chocolate in its most pure, unprocessed form. 

We all love chocolate, and the reason is physiological. The feeling of joy and complete contentment we feel eating chocolate is caused by phenethylamine – the chemical, known for releasing the endorphins, same as those released when we fall in love. Dopamine, considered a key mediator of sexual behavior, is one of these endorphins.

On top of that, cacao is a food naturally rich in magnesium – a mineral highly important for healthy hormonal function, and thus sex drive and performance. Aside from magnesium, cacao also contains arginines and antioxidants that can improve libido, especially in women.

6. Ginseng 

Bootle of extracted ginseng next to a root.

The legends of ginseng being a product of vitality and sexual energy have been told for a long time. The ginseng plant has been widely used to improve immunity, release stress, and help improve sexual performance. 

A rooted plant usually grown in North America and Asia, ginseng is rich in the compound ginsenoside, which is helpful for regulating the nervous system, as well as sexual functions. 

Furthermore, a study on the effectiveness of Korean red ginseng in increasing hormone functions has shown that this specific kind of ginseng is effective in improving postmenopausal conditions in women and stabilizing their sex drive.

7. Reishi 

Reishi mushrooms growing on a tree.

Probably the most exotic item on the list, the reishi mushroom holds significant benefits for your health, such as reinforcing the immune system, improving sleep patterns, as well as decreasing fatigue and stress. Calm nerves and a relaxed state make it easier to get in a romantic mood with your partner.

It takes around ten days to two weeks for mushrooms’ effect to kick in, so if you’re interested in supplementing with reishi you’ll want to talk to your health practitioner to determine the best dosage for you.












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