Aphrodisiac Foods — Secret To Better Sex Or Just Myths?

| Expert Author , Consultant in Sexual Medicine & Counsellorℹ️
Updated On: November 24, 2022
aphrodisiac foods
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A healthy sex life is one of the most important things in life. In fact, having sex regularly can strengthen the connection between couples. It’s one of the most important elements for happiness in long-term relationships. If you or your partner are struggling on the front, the idea of aphrodisiac foods that can help in increasing sexual arousal and improving sexual performance can definitely sound promising. 

But are these foods really the secret to a more fulfilling sex life or just another hyped-up myth? In this article, sexologist Dr. Rajan Bhonsle (MD, MBBS Medicine and Surgery), Head of the Department of Sexual Medicine at K.E.M.Hospital and Seth G.S.Medical College, Mumbai, writes to give you clarity on the role aphrodisiacs can play in your sex life.

Types Of Aphrodisiacs 

Before we get into the different types of aphrodisiacs, let’s address another important question to make sure we’re on the same page about what exactly it is that we’re talking about: what are aphrodisiacs? Aphrodisiacs are substances that help in increasing one’s desire to have sex.

Foods categorized as aphrodisiacs acts like a sexual medicine that leads to increased libido and better performance during sexual activities. According to historical accounts and studies, the word aphrodisiac is derived from the name of the Greek goddess, Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love and beauty.

Now that we’re clear on the aphrodisiac meaning, let’s look at what kind of foods fit this bill. From green leafy vegetables to fruits and spices, there are many natural aphrodisiac foods that you can try to increase your blood flow and sexual stamina. These items also improve your sex drive. Kickstart your exciting sexual health journey with these food items: 

  • Natural food-based aphrodisiacs: Natural food items like ghee, pomegranate, and banana are some of the natural aphrodisiacs that promote a healthy libido. These items have other health benefits as well 
  • Herbs and spices-based aphrodisiacs: This includes spicy substances like hot chili peppers and hot sauce that are known to induce sexual urges 
  • Reproductive organs of certain animals: Items like eggs and animal testicles have been consumed from ancient times to increase potency and fertility 
  • Psychoactive aphrodisiacs: Alcohol and marijuana. According to studies on foods that turn female on sexually, it was found that marijuana enhances their sexual functioning, both by boosting their sex drive and improving satisfaction, resulting in orgasm
  • Synthetic aphrodisiacs: Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, Synthetic testosterone, MDMA (3,4- methylenedioxymethamphetamine) 
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Reasons To Try Aphrodisiac Foods 

People don’t just turn to these aphrodisiac foods when they have sexual health problems such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, or to improve female and male fertility. Having sex is healthy for both men and women and with the help of these aphrodisiac qualities, you can make sex more desirable, exciting, and pleasurable. Some of the common reasons to use aphrodisiac foods include:

  • Low desire to have sex
  • Lack of arousal
  • Lack of lubrication
  • To enhance sexual pleasure and sexual vigor 
  • To increase potency 
  • To promote blood flow to genitals 

Related Reading: Crazy Things Couples Do When No One Is Watching

16 Aphrodisiac Foods That Can Boost Your Libido

Centuries ago, people believed that aphrodisiacs had magical powers to open the gates of divine sexual pleasures and fantasies. In almost every corner of the world people still use aphrodisiacs to rev up their sex lives. All kinds of common and peculiar foods, beverages, drugs, magical potions, and chemical concoctions have been tried as aphrodisiacs to enhance sexual pleasure, energy, and drive. In this list, we share some of the most powerful aphrodisiacs that may work wonders in helping you achieve a good orgasm and sexual satisfaction.

1. Olive Oil 

Who would’ve thought that an ingredient we use on a daily basis could be one of the aphrodisiac foods? In ancient Greece, olives and olive oil were considered the food of love. According to studies, the oleic acid and monounsaturated fats in olive oil are credited with reducing stress and enhancing sexual desire. It also inhibits nitric oxide in the blood vessel lining. 

2. Cinnamon 

Cinnamon is one of the natural aphrodisiacs known to increase sexual vigor. It also improves the blood supply to the male and female genitals and facilitates sexual arousal. A cinnamon-based oil is what the Queen of Sheba is said to have used to seduce King Solomon, circa 950 B.C. If you are looking to spice things up with your partner, then cinnamon is one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs you just cannot miss out on. Add it to your coffee, dessert, and even in your salad. 

3. Ginger 

Ginger is another everyday ingredient that is believed to reduce oxidative stress. Research shows that ginger can increase blood flow, which may help enhance sexual arousal and libido. Add ginger to your diet if you are looking to improve fertility. 

4. Maca

Maca has risen in popularity around the world as a natural remedy for certain health issues, including infertility and low sex drive. A study involving 45 women who were experiencing sexual dysfunction found that taking 3,000 mg of maca root per day for 12 weeks significantly improved sexual function and libido. 

5. Wine and champagne 

Champagne helps in relaxing the blood vessels and may help in increasing blood flow. It can turn females on sexually. Even men become sexually aroused after having a glass of sparkling wine. Always keep in mind that alcohol must be consumed in limited quantities. Larger amounts or chronic consumption can reduce libido and cause overall health concerns.

Related Reading: What Is The Difference Between Making Love And Having Sex?

6. Ginseng

Ginseng has always been known as the king of all herbs. In Asian cultures, it is often used to treat erectile dysfunction. Research found that the use of Ginseng demonstrated an increased rate of spermatogenesis, which is important for treating male reproductive diseases or disorders. 

7. Sweet potato

Rich in potassium, sweet potato is another aphrodisiac food that not only helps with sexual dysfunction but also boosts sexual performance. A study conducted to assess the aphrodisiac potential of sweet potatoes found that this root vegetable stimulated sexual behavior, elevated sperm production and viability, and increased testosterone production in men. 

8. Figs 

Fig is the natural viagra you can consume before a romantic night. This exotic fruit has been used as a remedy for sexual weakness since Roman times. They are loaded with antioxidants that can regulate hormone levels and help in treating erectile dysfunction. Just exercises for better sex aren’t enough to increase libido in people. Aphrodisiac foods such as figs also help in increasing sexual vigor.

9. Chocolate 

The Aztecs considered chocolate as a royal aphrodisiac food. It is one of the main aphrodisiac foods that has several effects on human sexuality. It contains an amino acid called L-arginine that acts as a natural sex enhancer for both men and women. These days, several types of dark chocolates designed especially to increase arousal are also available in the market.

10. Strawberry 

Next to chocolate, strawberries are widely recognized as aphrodisiac foods. That’s why chocolate-covered strawberries – a combination of two of the world’s most popular aphrodisiacs – became the symbol of romance and sensuality. Because of its color and shape, it was considered a symbol of Venus, the Goddess of love. 

Related Reading: 21 Common Sexting Codes And Meanings

11. Fenugreek 

Fenugreek is used in libido-boosting food. The herb contains compounds that help the body make sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. According to research, regular consumption of fenugreek extract can lead to increased sexual arousal and more orgasms. Fenugreek, coupled with zinc supplements, is a known solution for boosting male fertility. 

12. Saffron 

Cleopatra was known for bathing in saffron-infused mare’s milk before meeting her lovers because of its aphrodisiac properties. It is also said to boost male fertility. Add saffron to your milk and sip it if you want to ride a man like a pro.

13. Nutmeg 

According to studies, the dried kernel of the widely ovoid seeds of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt), a member of the Myristicaceae family, are useful in the treatment of male sexual dysfunction. 

14. Oysters 

Oysters are not just an exotic delicacy but have also played a part in increasing sex drive since Roman times. They’re an essential part of a romantic dining experience. They surely are aphrodisiacs because they have unique amino acids that are known to stimulate passion in both men and women. 

15. Pomegranates 

A study has found that drinking pomegranate juice daily lowered cortisol levels, which can correspond with increased testosterone. Elevated testosterone can lead to heightened sexual desire. It has sex enhancement properties and is a natural remedy to sexual disorders.

Related Reading: How To Be A Better Lover – 11 Pro Tips By A Sex Therapist

16. Avocados

Yes, avocados have many nutrients that are key to maintaining good sexual health. It has vitamin E, which is commonly known as the “sex vitamin”. It also promotes the production of sex hormones that support attraction, mood, and desire. 

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The psychological effects of aphrodisiacs 

The association of aphrodisiacs with enhanced sexual life gives people hope. This is known as the placebo effect. Psychological effects include:

  • Feelings of satisfaction
  • Enhanced performance 
  • Increase in the intensity of the sexual urge
  • Confidence in one’s ability to pleasure one’s partner 

A chain of events starts in our bodies whenever we come into contact with something sexually stimulating. The limbic lobe of the brain sends signals to the pelvic region as a result of a neuronal reaction. Both males and females experience erection as a result of the neural signals expanding blood vessels. (The female erection, of course, is not similar to the male. However, the clitoris does become firmer and erect when a woman is sexually aroused.) The blood vessels then contract, maintaining the erection of the erectile tissues.

Do Aphrodisiacs Really Work?

Along with erection, a sexually stimulating event causes the release of the pleasure hormones norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, signaling the body that the experience is positive and pleasurable. Regardless of whether or not aphrodisiacs work on the body, the power of suggestion, psychologically, is the key.

Although countless studies are being done the world over about aphrodisiacs and their effect, nobody has been able to prove successfully that aphrodisiacs stimulate sexual desire in human beings. No scientific confirmations have been made yet about chemicals permeating the hypothalamic region of the brain. It is the hypothalamus, a complex region in the brain, that controls sexual appetite. Thus, the answer to this is both yes and no. No food has been scientifically proven to stimulate sex organs. However, the power of aphrodisiacs is all in our heads. 

If someone believes that using a particular substance, alleged aphrodisiac or not will help enhance his or her sex life, then it can help bring about sexual desire and arousal, at least in the short term. However, this is more psychogenic and a self-suggestion, and the substance merely works as a placebo. Of course, a well-rested body, adequate time, privacy, a conducive environment, confidence in your contraception, a relaxed state of mind, and attraction to the partner may do exactly the same thing.

Love is the greatest aphrodisiac that never fails, and that has been proven time and time again. What drugs cannot do, love can. True love is the most powerful stimulant and aphrodisiac. If the couple does not feel for each other, they could consume all the world’s oysters, tiger penis, or Spanish Fly, but it will be in vain.

Other Ways To Improve Your Sex Life

Whatever is good for your heart, is also good for your genitals. If you are in good health without any blood pressure or cholesterol problems, you will enjoy romantic times without having to worry about taking any other agent to get sexually aroused. To not solely rely on aphrodisiacs, here are other natural ways to improve your sex life because aphrodisiacs don’t perform miracles: 

  • Follow a healthy and balanced diet with equal protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates 
  • Regular exercise can increase your stamina and energy
  • Doing Keegal can improve sexual fitness by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. You can try various sex positions if you regularly do the kegel exercises
  • Stress management therapy because stress plays a direct role in how you perform in the bedroom 

Don’t trust those ads that appear in papers because all of them are desperately trying to woo their customers with promises of sexual bliss. Effective drugs like viagra and Forzest are available all over the world. However, these drugs are futile if you have fertility problems or any other sexual health issues. 

Key Pointers

  • Aphrodisiacs act like a sexual medicine that leads to an increased libido and better involvement during sexual activities
  • Food items like eggs, cinnamon, hunger, and even animal testicles have been consumed from ancient times to increase potency and fertility
  • The association of aphrodisiacs with enhanced sexual life gives people hope, thus improving their sexual function

If you still want to give these aphrodisiacs a try, you need to start with small amounts and then gradually increase the dosage based on your capacity and tolerance. Always contact your healthcare provider before directly consuming these foods because you may never know which edibles cause an allergic reaction. 

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