Pleasure and food are a lovely duo! Certain foods have traditionally been known to be aphrodisiacs, meaning that they increase libido, potency or sexual pleasure. Many different cultures have a history of using these substances found in natural foods to energise, vitalise and improve sexual function and physical performance. Below are some of my favourite nourishing foods to enjoy that may also come with libido-boosting benefits.
Probably the most well-known aphrodisiac food! Oysters are a delicacy from the sea, which contain a substantially high level of the essential mineral, zinc. A deficiency of zinc in human beings has been shown to cause fertility issues through preventing the production of sperm and influencing testosterone levels. The level of zinc in seminal fluid is also linked with good quality sperm.
Maca is traditionally used by the Andean region for its aphrodisiac and fertility enhancing properties. A study conducted a 12 week double blind placebo-controlled trial in which treatment with different doses of maca were compared to placebo. An improvement in sexual desire was demonstrated with maca after 8 weeks of treatment. It’s easy to get your daily dose of this powerful root by adding it to a smoothie or warm tonic.
Not that we need an excuse to enjoy quality dark chocolate, but this is definitely a good reason to add to the list of why you should always let yourself indulge in cacao-based foods. Chocolate is known to be an aphrodisiac. Cacao powder and chocolate contain a group of fatty acids which in combination with other components in chocolate such as caffeine produces a transient feeling of well-being and euphoria. This euphoria can produce serotonin (our feel-good neurotransmitter) and serotonin has been found in some regions of the female genital tract, and therefore may be involved in the process of sexual arousal.
Try this Chilli Chocolate Bark recipe – thank me later!
Grab a handful of these delicious nuts as an easy snack with plenty of perks. Pistachio nuts are rich sources of plant protein, fibre and antioxidants. They are relatively high in the amino acid, arginine, which shows to enhance blood flow by boosting a certain compound that relaxes blood vessels. A study conducted, showed that a 3 week diet that included pistachios, adhered to by those with erectile dysfunction showed an improvement in erectile dysfunction parameters.
I also love to add pistachios to a simple, healthy granola recipe.
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Montagna MT, Diella G, Triggiano F, et al. Chocolate, “Food of the Gods”: History, Science, and Human Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(24):4960. Published 2019 Dec 6. doi:10.3390/ijerph16244960
Leonti M, Casu L. Ethnopharmacology of Love. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:567. Published 2018 Jul 3.
Aldemir, M., Okulu, E., Neşelioğlu, S. et al. Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res 23, 32–38 (2011).