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10 delicious (and surprising) foods that can help spice up your sex life

Aphrodisiac foods: Eat these 10 things to really get the blood flowing . . . everywhere it needs to go

Food and sex have long been connected, in both obvious and subtle ways. Many foods just feel sexy, like champagne, strawberries, and chocolate. Then there are the foods that are supposed to get us in the mood — aphrodisiac foods, if you will. The most famous example, of course, is oysters. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why aphrodisiacs exist? The truth is wildly unsexy and scientific.

Our bodies are made to function in certain ways. Nourishing ourselves with a healthy assortment of vitamins and minerals helps different parts of our bodies thrive in every way. If we aren’t getting enough of any certain nutrient, our bodies can fail us with fatigue, soreness, apathy, illness, or any number of annoying hindrances. Our body’s sexual mechanics are no exception. In order to keep all the proper juices flowing, so to speak, we must be sure we’re nurturing our sexual health with the vitamins and minerals it needs with the best foods for sex. Oysters, for example, are very high in zinc, a mineral that gets the blood flowing exactly where it needs to go when it comes time for a little lovin’.

No one wants their sexual health to, uh, underperform, so let’s take a look at some of the foods that will help keep that from happening. This is how to increase sex drive.

Nuts

Piles of mixed nuts

We’re going to be mature adults here and pass on the low-hanging fruit that is a “nuts” joke in an article about sexual health and how to increase sex drive. This time. We can’t promise it’ll last.

In a 2019 study, researchers found that men who consumed a handful of mixed nuts daily saw huge improvements in their sex lives, including increased libido and more intense orgasms. Like salmon, nuts contain L-arginine and omega-3 fatty acids, which help sexual function tremendously. While a varying mixture of nuts is a good idea, go heavy on the almonds and cashews especially because they also have a heavy dose of zinc. Zinc is great for numerous sexual issues, including ejaculatory control for those who suffer from premature ejaculations.

Salmon

raw salmon fillets.
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Fatty fish like salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which elevate the body’s production of dopamine, the hormone released during an orgasm. They also contain L-arginine, an amino acid that’s often used to treat erectile dysfunction. This protein aids in blood flow and circulation, making it a sort of all-natural Viagra, no prescription required.

Strawberries

chocolate strawberries

While strawberries are probably the most obviously sexy food on our list, it turns out there’s a pretty good reason behind their sultry reputation. These ripe little berries are full of sexual health boosters. Firstly, they’re very high in vitamin C, which has been shown to increase libido. The high level of antioxidants in strawberries also helps aid in directing blood flow to all of the crucial parts where you may want the blood flowing after champagne and strawberries time.

Beets

Raw red and yellow beets.
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Not only are beets rich in antioxidants and vitamins, but they also contain a high number of dietary nitrates that expand the blood vessels. This helps with blood flow, which, again, is crucial for optimal sexual performance. Studies on these nitrates have also suggested that they may very well help assist in sexual stamina as well. Let’s face it: That’s always a welcome quality for both parties involved.

Red wine

Bastian Lizut/EyeEm/Getty Images

This one comes with an obvious “duh” attached. We get it. But why? Apart from the social lubrication and courage drinking alcohol can provide, there are many reasons red wine in particular can help get the juices flowing. In addition to its antioxidants, red wine also contains quercetin, a plant pigment that, you guessed it, gets the blood flowing. Are we sensing a theme here?

More than any other alcoholic beverage, red wine has been shown to increase libido. According to a 2009 study, this is especially true for women. So if it’s a lady you’re out to seduce, maybe uncork a bottle or two (but drink responsibly and always keep informed consent in mind).

Of course, as with any alcoholic beverage, too much of a good thing can have the opposite effect and may cause your big plans to go . . . limp. So use this one with caution.

Lobster

how to cook lobster

Just like oysters, lobster is absolutely packed with zinc. So if it’s a less slimy but just as sexy seafood option you’re looking for to boost your sex life, give yourself permission to splurge on the lobster. Zinc not only increases blood flow but also helps regulate hormone and testosterone levels, which is crucial for male fertility. Plus, it’s arguably the most delicious item on our list, so now you have a good reason to indulge.

Hot peppers

Handful of fresh red chili peppers on a wooden table.

If you’ve ever wondered what makes hot peppers hot, it’s a magical little component called capsaicin. The more capsaicin, the hotter the pepper. Capsaicin is also packed full of health benefits, including everything from joint lubrication to heart health to weight loss. If that wasn’t enough to get you hot and heavy, it also increases testosterone, endorphin, and dopamine levels, all of which contribute greatly to a healthy sex drive. Capsaicin also thins and circulates blood, helping the body get and maintain strong erections. Talk about spicy.

Avocado

A whole avocado behind a sliced avocado on a wooden surface.

Avocados provide the body with very healthy fats. Sure, that doesn’t necessarily sound all that sexy, but it’s very important for hormonal health. They also contain magnesium, which boosts energy — a very important factor when sexy times are on the agenda. A mineral called boron is also found in avocados, which some studies have found can boost testosterone. So between the healthy hormones, energy boost, and shot of testosterone, these little fruits just got a whole lot sexier.

Watermelon

A close-up of a watermelon slice balanced on a wooden surface.

According to several studies, including one from Medical News Today, watermelon could be somewhat of an all-natural Viagra. Watermelon naturally contains a big dose of citrulline, an amino acid that may directly support better, longer-lasting erections. Through a natural process in the body, citrulline is thought to be converted to nitric oxide, which expands the blood vessels and therefore increases blood flow. Interestingly, the rind of the watermelon is where the most citrulline is contained. A good way to consume this bit of the fleshy fruit is to blend the rind into a smoothie. Sounds like a delicious way to start the day, any way you slice it.

Coffee

A cup of coffee photographed from above.
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Coffee is an essential start to the day for most of us, and now, it seems that caffeine kick can wake up a whole lot more than just our minds. Like many of the foods on this list, caffeine helps get the blood flowing, which, we’ve learned is a crucial part of men’s sexual ability. Studies have also shown that caffeine can relax smooth muscle tissues, like those in the penis, making it easier to get and maintain an erection. In a study documented by the National Library of Medicine, results showed that men who drank two to three cups of coffee had lower rates of ED than non-coffee drinkers.

The best part of waking up, indeed.

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