Do Aphrodisiac Foods Actually Work?


Many people get pleasure from intercourse and in consequence have lengthy turned to completely different meals to assist get themselves — and their companions — within the temper. Pop tradition tells us meals like oysters and chocolate are purported to make us really feel attractive, however is there any reality — or science — to that? Or does it even matter? (If one thing you eat makes you are feeling extra amorous, does it actually make a distinction why?)


If you requested somebody to call an aphrodisiac meals, chances are high they’re going to go together with oysters first. This is smart given how lengthy the affiliation between this bivalve and intercourse has been round. According to legend (and Drs. Cristian Bosch and John A. Robinson of The Hormone Zone), Casanova and Cleopatra had been followers of this quintessential libido kick-starter. Not solely that, however oysters are additionally anthropomorphic, as they visually remind us of intercourse, mimicking the form of the vulva and vagina, Bosch and Robinson add.

As far because the science, Bosch and Robinson say oysters include B12 and potassium, in addition to an abundance of zinc, which is important for testosterone manufacturing for each women and men.

“Food should tantalize and invigorate the senses, and that is exactly what [an oyster] does when it is swallowed,” they observe.

Can you anticipate a right away increase instantly after ingestion? Not probably, says Kim Anami, holistic intercourse and relationship professional and founding father of the Anami Alchemia sexual wellness product line. But that does not imply the feel of the oyster itself will not get you within the temper.


Aside from oversize drugstore teddy bears and generic greeting playing cards, candies are one other Valentine’s Day staple. But is it merely a near-universally acceptable reward, or does it go deeper than that?

“Chocolate increases a hormone called PEA [phenylethylamine] that is directly associated with experiences of ecstasy, just like sex and orgasm,” Bosch and Robinson clarify. “Dark chocolate also increases dopamine, another feel-good hormone that keeps us positive and happy, all leading to increased libido and sexual satisfaction. Form follows function, and as these substances are imbibed, our physiology shifts towards sexual desire and performance.”

And no, not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate is finest for reaping any well being advantages as a result of it is greater in PEA and decrease in sugar. Not solely is the decreased quantity of sugar higher for you, however, in accordance with Bosch and Robinson, sugar is counterproductive to peak sexual efficiency.

Chili peppers

Eating this spicy phallic meals has additionally lengthy been related to elevated intercourse drive. Bosch and Robinson say that is due to an lively ingredient known as capsaicin, which causes blood vessel dilation and elevated blood circulate.

“Capsaicin also causes the brain to release the feel-good chemicals known as endorphins,” they add. “All of this leads to an external appearance of sexual desire, such as flushed skin, swollen lips and dilated pupils and of course increased blood supply for penile erections and clitoral engorgement. This stimulates your own desire, [and] signals to your partner that you are ready.”


Not solely would watermelon make an awesome post-coital meals (hi there, rehydration), Anami says it may additionally act as an aphrodisiac. The fruit is excessive within the amino acid citrulline, which expands blood vessels very similar to Viagra does, she notes, but it surely’s unclear precisely how a lot an individual must eat to really feel the consequences.


Not solely are bananas suggestive in form, additionally they include bromelain, an enzyme which triggers testosterone manufacturing, Dr. Christopher Calapai, an osteopathic doctor and board-certified household medication practitioner tells SheKnows. On prime of that, the fruit’s potassium and vitamin B elevate vitality ranges and Calapai says that “the high sugar content gives the brain a kick!”


Amy Reiley, writer of best-selling aphrodisiac cookbook Eat Cake Naked and editorial director of Eat Something Sexy notes that some aphrodisiac meals work as a result of they include stimulants. That makes espresso certainly one of her private favorites as a result of it acts as a temper enhancer in addition to a stimulant, which might make your time within the bed room extra pleasing and presumably longer-lasting.


Other meals are thought-about sensual due to their scent. Truffles — the fungi, not the decadent candies — fall into that class (though the scent of chocolate truffles might actually be attractive too). Reiley says truffles are really helpful as being significantly efficient for girls as a result of their aroma resembles that of the male pheromone androstenone.

Aphrodisiac herbs & spices

According to Anami, your finest guess is aphrodisiac herbs, which she says are extra concentrated of their efficiency. Some examples embrace maca, saffron, yohimbe and ginseng, which she says do every part, growing issues like libido, erectile energy, orgasmic potential and hormonal manufacturing.

In addition, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg — generally known as the “warming spices” — elevate physique temperatures, supposedly to the purpose at which it encourages individuals about to have interaction in sexual exercise to take away their garments, Reiley says.

At the top of the day (or meal), no meals impacts everybody in the identical manner. Feeding oysters to somebody allergic to seafood, for instance, could end result within the evening ending in a hospital mattress than your mattress. And opposite to fashionable perception, not everybody likes chocolate. But, relying on the particular person and scenario, sure meals generally is a enjoyable addition to your romantic plans.

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