What the heck is a sex-drive food? Research has shown all kinds of habits lead to great sex, from regular exercise to simply being nice. But your diet arguably has the biggest effect on how your body functions, so why not add foods associated with libido benefits to your plate to keep your sex drive happily humming?
We’re not just talking about things that put you in the mood with sensual taste or texture. We’re talking about sex-drive foods that are known to stimulate or support processes in your body (like the release of hormones) that are related to sexual performance and pleasure.
One (probably unnecessary, but awesome) reminder: Having sex isn’t just good for you because orgasms feel good (though they do). It’s also linked to maintaining a healthier weight and a stronger immune system.
Do you really need any more reasons to eat these sex-drive foods regularly?
7 Sex-Drive Foods for a Libido Boost
1. Sex Drive Food: Watermelon
Watermelon is sometimes referred to as “natural viagra” because it contains citrulline, a non-essential amino acid that helps the body relax blood vessels, boosting blood flow. According to one small study in the journal Urology, oral citrulline supplementation helps to improve mild erectile dysfunction in men. Worth noting here: Because watermelon is mostly water (92%, in fact!), the citrulline will be more concentrated in watermelon juice. So drink instead of eat your watermelon to get its full libido-boosting potency.
2. Sex Drive Food: Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are a great source of zinc, which is associated with increasing sex drive. Researchers at Wayne State University studied the zinc status and testosterone levels of nearly 50 men varying in age from 20 to 80 years old. They concluded that zinc may play an important role in modulating serum testosterone levels. While testosterone isn’t the only factor in a man’s libido, it does play a major role. Low testosterone can result in low sex drive and erectile dysfunction. So, boosting testosterone can help. One way to do this is by upping zinc intake.
Add pine nuts to a delish zoodles dish instead of carb-heavy pasta, which would lead to the most un-sexy feeling: bloating.
RELATED: How to Stop Bloating in 5 Easy Steps
3. Sex Drive Food: Grass-fed Steak
Beef is also a great source of zinc, and iron, which helps red blood cells transport oxygen, giving you energy. Plus, beef contains B vitamins and protein for fuel and endurance. Protein will also help stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
4. Sex Drive Food: Dark Chocolate
Yes, dark chocolate does, in fact, belong on this list. It’s not a myth! Chocolate contains a compound called phenylethylamine, or PEA, which triggers the release of endorphins (the same happy-making chemicals released after a great workout) and tyrosine, which is a precursor to feel-good dopamine. These are the very same chemicals that our brains release when we’re happy or in love, so what’s not to love about dark chocolate?
5. Sex Drive Food: Warming Spices
Turns out there’s a reason people refer to “spicing things up” in the bedroom. Cayenne and chili peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which produces heat by increasing circulation and blood flow—things our bodies do in response to sex. Large amounts of capsaicin may also stimulate the genitals, which can translate to actual sexual heat. Other libido-boosting spices include nutmeg and cinnamon, which are used in many cultures as an aphrodisiac. Just the aroma of these spices could improve your mood, soothe nerves, and spark your sex drive.
6. Sex Drive Food: Asparagus
Asparagus makes the list for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s high in folate, a B vitamin that regulates the production of histamine. News flash: That’s a chemical that’s released during an orgasm. Second, the high levels of vitamin E in asparagus may increase blood and oxygen flow to the genitals.
7. Sex Drive Food: Walnuts
Finally, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that boost dopamine and also arginine, an amino acid that increases the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and increases circulation.
May we suggest a steak dinner with a side of asparagus topped with pine nuts … with a spicy chocolate bar for dessert?