The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), may be skeptical of so-called aphrodisiacs but that doesn’t mean they aren’t without their merits. Some of the foods thought to have aphrodisiac-like powers are excellent sources of healthy compounds that may help improve your libido.
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If your love life is in need of some extra oomph, try changing up your diet and give some of these foods a try.
Ancient Greek poetry, French folklore and the Kama Sutra all speak of the romantic powers of asparagus. In addition to being a good source of several vitamins, asparagus also contains aspartic acid, a compound that helps our bodies neutralize excess ammonia. Having excessive amounts of ammonia in your system can cause fatigue and sexual disinterest.
Asparagus makes for a tasty side dish. Try grilling it during your next barbecue or adding it to a stir-fry.
According to Greek myth, Aphrodite ate beets to amplify her sex appeal. She may have been on to something! Beets are an excellent source of the mineral boron which is thought to contribute to the production of sexual hormones. Beet-root also contains methoxypyrazine, a compound which produces a highly stimulating aroma.
Beets and goat cheese make an excellent topping for any green salad. Try this great recipe for Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts and Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette from the food blog Once Upon a Chef.
Throughout history, the pomegranate has been associated with love. Its abundant amount of seeds have lead many cultures to associate the red fruit with fertility.
Pomegranates are certainly a nutritious food; they’re a rich source of vitamin C and several antioxidants. In 2011, researchers from Queen Margaret University discovered that a daily dose of pomegranate juice can lower cortisol levels. In turn, lower cortisol can lead to an increase in testosterone: one of the hormones responsible for your sex drive.
Pomegranate juice blends well into fresh berry smoothies, and pomegranate seeds are a tasty topping for Greek yogurt. Yum!
4. Sea Vegetables
In Caribbean cultures, seaweed is widely considered to be an aphrodisiac. A traditional concoction made from Irish moss (a variety of seaweed) and milk is enjoyed there still today.
The romance enhancing powers of seaweed and other sea vegetables could be attributed to their high vitamins B1 and B2 content. B1 and B2 aid in the production of sex hormones. Sea vegetables are also a great source of many valuable minerals like iodine, which is important for thyroid health.
You can get a healthy dose of seaweed from a sushi dinner or by incorporating it and other sea vegetables into your salads.
The Ancient Greeks thought honey was the very nectar of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Not only is honey sweet, sticky and decadent, but it also has nutrients that can contribute to your sexual health.
The B vitamins found in honey aid in testosterone production, which can boost libido in males and females. Honey also has a nutrient called boron which aids in estrogen production. Estrogen affects female sex drive.
The next time you need sugar for a recipe, try using honey instead. One cup of sugar can be replaced by a half cup of honey.
6. Chili Peppers
According to legend, the great Aztec ruler Montezuma drank a drink made of chili and cocoa in preparation for rendezvous with his beautiful concubines.
Capsaicin, a phytochemical found in chili peppers, is known to have positive effects on both our moods and our circulation. Capsaicin heats up the body and increases blood flow and causes the brain to release endorphins, which is a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of well-being.
You can try Montezuma’s spicy cocoa drink for yourself: try this recipe from cdKitchen.
The gift of choice for Valentine’s Day has a reputation for sparking desire. Science has revealed that there is some truth to this romantic notion. Chocolate contains several compounds that stimulate romantic impulses from our brains. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which stimulates the same hormone your body releases when falling in love. And the sweet stuff also spikes our brain’s production of dopamine, a brain chemical that makes us feel good.
Enjoy an ounce of high-quality dark chocolate as an after-dinner treat, or mix cocoa nibs into your morning smoothie.
Aphrodisiac foods may be the stuff of legend, mythology and folklore, but a nutritious diet can do wonders for your health and your libido. If your love life could use a boost, try adding these seven foods that feed your sex drive to your menu. Eat right, exercise, and a healthy sex life will follow!