Forget Cupid and his arrow, the only weapons you need if you want to boost performance in the bedroom is a knife and fork! For the most part, scientific research into foods as edible aphrodisiacs is rare, but folklore abounds with tales about what you should eat if you want to relight the spark in your love life.
Oysters are all about the innuendo. Oysters’ texture - their smell, taste and shape - are very woman-like. You slurp oysters and lick your fingers and your lips. Eating them can be very arousing. In addition to this they have traditionally been expensive and not easy to come by – so there is a lot of symbolism of luxury about them and that makes us feel good!
In terms of nutrition, oysters have a high concentration of zinc and Vitamin B12. B12 enlarges blood vessels, keeping your man stronger for longer, while Zinc is necessary for the production of testosterone and is found in healthy semen. Research has also identified two unusual amino acids—D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate—in oysters that were found to increase sex hormones in rats.
Truffles have a musky, earthy smell. They contain androstanol, a pheromone secreted by male pigs (and humans, but at lower levels) to induce mating-like behaviour in females that appeals to our baser instincts.
Figs contain magnesium which aids in the production of sex hormones such as androgen and oestrogen, as well as an amino acid that increases the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps expand blood vessels and increases blood flow to where it’s needed. Again, figs feel female when you eat them - fleshy, sweet and full of seeds – they’re the ultimate nod to fertility.
Go nuts for nuts! Full of protein, they boost energy and stamina. They’re also a prime source of infertility-fighting selenium and they get the blood flowing with the help of omega-3 fatty acids.
Strong male symbolism where asparagus is concerned, but they also contain lots of folate and vitamin B6, which can boost your arousal and your orgasm. It also contains high levels of "sex vitamin" E and foliate, which is necessary for histamine production. Histamine is related to easy sexual orgasm, both male and female.
Avocado rev up your libido and boost your energy because they contain healthy monounsaturated fats, libido-boosting vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin E (the "sex vitamin"). Vitamin E has youth-boosting antioxidant properties and increases oxygen and blood flow to all regions of your body when you need it.
Watermelon is full of the lycopene, citrulline, as well as beta-carotene. These relax blood vessels and boost your sex drive. Peaches are similar. They’re full to bursting of vitamin C, which studies show can increase libido in women. Both peaches and watermelon are tactile foods. You eat them with your hands and the juice drips all over your fingers and chin. Cut them up and have fun feeding chunks to someone else.
For a great all-rounder, why not try sweet potato? Sweet and potato are full of beta carotene (which gives them that rich orange colour), which lends your body infertility-fighting vitamin A, and vitamin C for anti-aging collagen. Sweet potato also gives you iron for energy. Sprinkle it with cinnamon, a sexy spice, and get your blood pumping and your tongue tingling.
Red meat is a great source of zinc, especially where it has been grass fed. It contains the same libido-boosting nutrients found in oysters and therefore increases testosterone and reduces the production of prolactin, a hormone that can impair sexual function.
Eggs are full of protein which boosts energy and focus, and they’re a great source of Vitamin B6 which you need for balanced hormone levels and a well-regulated libido. Breakfast in bed, anyone?
Cranberry juice is known to help prevent urinary infections, and it is also a natural diuretic that helps you de-bloat, helping you feel sexier.
Everyone knows that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. It contains magnesium, and a compound called phenylethylamine, which has been shown to release the same endorphins that are triggered by sex, according to a study in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association. Before you reach for your glass and a half, remember we are talking about good quality dark chocolate, preferably above 70% cocoa solids. The magnesium contained in good quality chocolate helps to relax muscles and ease tension in the mind, and supports the production of serotonin, which makes us very happy! Given that low mood and stress are linked to a lower sex drive, a few squares of dark chocolate will pump up the passion.
For a bright bedroom boost tuck into beetroot. Beetroot is a good source of tryptophan, a chemical that contributes to wellbeing, and nitric oxide that naturally helps to increase blood flow by causing blood vessels to dilate. It therefore supports sexual performance. Ancient Romans used beetroot to improve their sex drive and look what they did for the world!
Another food high in zinc is pumpkin seeds. Loaded with libido-supporting vitamins B, E, C, D and K and minerals they contain calcium, potassium, niacin and phosphorous, as well as arginine which research continually shows is essential for sex drive.
Basil has a naturally uplifting scent that has long been recognised as an aphrodisiac. It can be consumed, or basil oil can be rubbed into the skin.
Porridge or oats, contains testosterone that kick-starts the libido. According to Rory McCann, the former lumberjack model, long seen on boxes of Scott's Porridge Oats, "Porridge keeps me frisky."
Our final tip is this. Often it’s less about what you’re eating and more about the context of your meal that can set the world alight. Eating pizza on the sofa on a Saturday night may be less erotically inspiring than a candle-lit dinner for two using your best china, drinking sparkling wine and gazing into each other’s eyes. So jazz it up and good luck!
Sexual desire is a complex interaction of hormones, emotions and well-being. When your partner is not as interested in sex as you are, it’s rarely a rejection of you as a person. So it’s essential to be as empathetic as you can regarding your differing libidos.
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