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14 Natural Aphrodisiac Foods That Could Spark Romance

Do aphrodisiacs really work? Sample these aphrodisiac foods with your sweetie and see if they light a spark.

Chili peppersiStock/dziewul

Chili peppers

This invigorating spice has an exotic reputation and a bright red color, which could be why chili peppers are considered natural aphrodisiac foods and a symbol of love. But there’s scientific backing, too. According to experts at Northwestern University, chili peppers stimulate endorphins and dopamine, your body’s two feel-good chemicals, and boost circulation (which is important for a rocking sex life).

avocado toastiStock/Elenathewise

Avocado

It could be the sensuous pear shape, or the rich flavor of the fruit that gave avocado its aphrodisiac reputation as far back as the Aztecs. And while the jury is still out on just how lustful avocados are, the fruit’s vitamin E could help keep the spark alive because of its role in helping your skin maintain a “youthful appearance,” say experts from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).

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Chocolate

Chocolate is sensual, from its taste to its aroma, but dark chocolate has also been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure, according to UCSB. Here are 9 ways you can improve your sex life in just one day.

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Bananas

With its phallic shape, bananas already look like a feel-good food, but UCSB points out that these aphrodisiac foods also contain bromelain, an enzyme which triggers testosterone production, and the fruit’s potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels.

honeyiStock/Chris Gramly

Honey

Honey is made through pollination and is a symbol of procreation. Birds and bees ring a bell? In fact, the word ‘honeymoon’ originates from mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the happy new bride and groom. It also contains boron, a mineral that’s associated with high testosterone levels, says Protstate Cancer 911. It’s also a rich source of blood-vessel-boosting nitric oxide. Find out the reasons you might have low sex drive.

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Watermelon

Researchers at Texas A&M discovered that this “lycopene king” may have a Viagra-like effect on the body, as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation. (Discover the myths about sex that everyone thinks are true.)

pine nutsiStock/Alina Solovyova

Pine nuts

According to Piedmont Healthcare, pine nuts are high in arginine, which your body converts into nitric oxide (that helps dilate your blood vessels). Make a pesto with pine nuts, basil and olive oil.

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Arugula

Leafy greens are a good source of nitric oxide, which foodrevolution.org says is renowned for its ability to increase blood flow. (Ever wonder what happens to your body when you stop having sex?)

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Olive oil

Packed with antioxidants, olives and their oil have been used for centuries for health. The Greeks believed these aphrodisiac foods made men more virile as well. Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, and a study published in the Natural Product Communications have discovered that it may boost testosterone levels.

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Strawberries

Feed them to each other for a healthy, vitamin C-packed dessert that helps keep blood flowing to all regions of the body. Harvard School of Public Health says berries also contain the magical triumvirate when it comes to erectile function: anthocyanins, flavanones, and flavones. Discover other bedroom-enhancing miracles in these natural sex drive boosters.

 

sliced pomegranateiStock/NoDerog

Pomegranates

These bright gems enclosed in a thick rose husk are filled with antioxidants which support blood flow. One study by The Male Clinic in California found that, although the results weren’t significant, pomegranate juice had a positive effect on erectile dysfunction.

cherriesiStock/Anna Yu

Cherries

This superfruit is packed with feel-good (and erection-boosting) anthocyanins, flavanones, and flavones, says Harvard School of Public Health. (Check out some more surprising things that boost your libido.)

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Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium—74 mg in just an ounce! Magnesium helps raise testosterone levels, according to a study published in Biological Trace Element Research.

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Whipped cream

Decadent yet light as air, it just isn’t dessert without this rich topping. While there’s no evidence that whipped cream will boost libido, it’s sure to put you in the mood. Next, find out 31 natural libido boosters to increase your sex drive.

Sources
Medically reviewed by Elisabetta Politi, CDE, MPH, RD, on October 13, 2019
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Alyssa Jung
Alyssa Jung is a writer and editor with extensive experience creating health and wellness content that resonates with readers. She freelanced for local publications in Upstate New York and spent three years as a newspaper reporter before moving to New York City to pursue a career in magazines. She is currently Senior Associate Editor at Prevention magazine and a contributor to Prevention.com. Previously she worked at Reader's Digest as an editor, writer, and health fact checker.