F ood H ealth

The 3 best foods to boost sex drive

Pacific oysters on Clitoral Stimulant

This juicy red fruit could be the new sexual star. While watermelon is 92 percent water, the remaining eight percent contains the phytonutrient citrulline, which converts to arginine, an amino acid that relaxes blood vessels, according to 2008 research from Texas A&M University’s department of horticultural sciences. Although not as organ-specific as drugs that treat men’s erectile dysfunction, watermelon may help improve blood flow to erectile tissue (present in the female clit¬oral area as well as the male penis), increasing arousal. Scientists at the university’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center are now working on increasing the fruit’s citrulline content.

But if you are trying to conceive, don’t overdo it! Watermelon, like tomatoes, contains the antioxidant lycopene, which is in the same family as carotene and therefore has the same beneficial antioxidant effects. On the one hand, that’s great since carotene, found in many brightly coloured foods, has been shown to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. But it is also anti-estrogenic, says Dr. Sony Sierra, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Toronto’s LifeQuest Centre for Reproductive Medicine, “so a very high volume may block estrogen and prevent the lining of the uterus from growing and the fertilized egg from implanting.” Some of Sierra’s patients have disordered eating habits and eat massive amounts of high-carotene foods such as carrots or kale. She advises clients to follow Canada’s Food Guide, which recommends a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, in seven or eight half-cup servings daily for women (up to 10 servings for men).


Massimo Marcone, an associate professor of food science at the University of Guelph, used to dismiss aphrodisiacs as mere folklore. In 2011, in fact, he conducted a thorough scientific review of more than 200 international studies on consumable aphrodisiacs, and rejected almost all as invalid. But Marcone was shocked to find that a few studies on one particular spice—saffron—held up to close scrutiny.“Not only does saffron appear to have aphrodisiac properties for both men and women,” Marcone says, “but it helps with anxiety, insomnia, PMS and insulin resistance.”

The seductive spice, whose red-gold threads come from a type of crocus that is native to Mediterranean Europe and Southwest Asia (not the same variety that pokes its pretty head through Canadian snows in early spring), contains antioxidants including crocin, crocetin and safranal. These are believed to be responsible for increasing sexual desire and arousal, according to studies Marcone reviewed that measured blood flow to sexual organs and frequency of sexual encounters after consuming the spice.

The ancients knew saffron’s power: It’s said that Alexander the Great added it to his rice and tea, Cleopatra bathed in it before meeting her lovers, and Romans were known to sprinkle saffron on newlyweds’ beds.

Available in supermarket spice aisles and used in Spanish paella, Moroccan tajine, Italian risotto and many Persian/Iranian dishes, saffron is pricey, running from $50 to $300 an ounce. But a little—a tiny pinch—goes a very long way, says post-doctoral fellow Sanan Wang, who worked with Marcone on the review. ’

What about other spices in your kitchen? Nutmeg, cloves, garlic and ginger also look promising for sexual potency, Marcone says, but more research is needed. Don’t hold your breath, though; none of these natural products can be patented, so drug companies aren’t racing to sponsor such a study.


Skeptics have dismissed the purported aphrodisiac benefits of eating oysters as purely psychological, based on their suggestive shape and slippery texture. But Gloria Tsang, a Vancouver registered dietitian and the founder of nutrition network, says there may be something to the belief. “A lot of shellfish—including oysters, clams, crabs, lobsters and mussels—are high in zinc, which can trigger a surge in the production of sex hormones.”

Tsang adds that these bivalve mollusks also contain two rare amino acids: D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate. Joint American-Italian research in 2005 at Barry University in Miami and the Laboratory of Neurobiology in Naples, Italy, found that giving these amino acids to rats increased testosterone in the males and progesterone in the females—both are hormones associated with greater sexual activity.

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F ood H ealth

10 Foods To Improve Your Sex Life, Revealed


If the Barry White soundtrack and silk sheets no longer add heat to your sex life, then it’s time to fire up your diet.

While it may be tempting to stock up on Victoria’s Secret lingerie, health experts say the key to getting back in the mood is having proper eating habits to increase energy, get pulses racing, and blood flowing in all the right places.

“There is no magic food to increase your libido, but being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, can lead to decreased libido and blood circulation,” says New York City-based nutritionist Cindy Moustafa. “Eating foods that are high in B vitamins, zinc, vitamin E and some others are the best ways of ensuring your libido stays where it should.”

Moustafa adds the secret to getting more physical is implementing a proper meal plan rich in the nutrients needed to improve energy, circulation, and of course, increase one’s confidence.

“When you start to feel food, it changes your perception about everything, including getting your significant other in the bedroom more often,” she says.

And while those Twinkies may make you feel full, they’ll also potentially put a major damper on your evening plans.

Here are 10 must-have foods to rev up your sex life, as recommended by experts:


Popeye may have had a point when he declared, “I’m strong to the finish, ‘cause I eats me spinach.” This dark leafy green is loaded with folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that serves to help the body form red blood cells. But when it comes to the bedroom, spinach can provide a much-needed energetic boost. “Foods rich in folate are perfect for improved circulation, and if you don’t eat enough folate-rich foods, irritability and fatigue can be side effects, which is not going to help you in the sex department,” says Moustafa.  “Make folic-rich foods, like spinach, a part of your daily diet.”


This tangy leaf isn’t just for spicing up bland pizza–and we couldn’t be more thankful. “Basil has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce swelling in the body, making blood flow easier to all body parts, including those sexual organs we want to excite,” says Nikki Sharp, author of “Five Day Detox.” “It has also been known to promote sexual desire in men just by smelling it. It increases blood flow and heart rate.” While Sharp recommends adding basil to smoothies, water, soups, or salads, we think the occasional mouthwatering slice could just as easily drive anyone wild.


This sweet, warm, and comforting spice can be a key ingredient in adding some much-needed zest to your sex life.  JJ Virgin, nutritionist and author of “The Virgin Diet Cookbook,” points to a 2009 study, which reveals cinnamon has the potential to reduce blood glucose levels. “Steady blood sugar equals sustained energy without spikes and crashes that can kill your mood in the bedroom,” she says.


Watermelon is worth eating not onlu because it’s delicions, but it also has the capacity to heat things up in the bedroom.  “Watermelon has the potential to increase libido due to an amino acid called citrulline,” says professional health coach Lori L. Shemek. “Citrulline helps to dilate blood vessels similarly to Viagra used to treat erectile dysfunction.”

A 2008 article published by AgriLife Research maintains that when watermelon is consumed, citrulline is converted to arginine, an amino acid that impacts the circulation system. “The citrulline-arginine relationship helps heart health, the immune system, and may prove to be very helpful for those who suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center. “Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.”

Cayenne Pepper

Consider trading in the black lingerie for red hot cayenne pepper instead. Grown throughout South America, this steamy spice contains the active ingredientcapsaicin, which is proven to increase heart rate, metabolism, blood flow, and sweat, similar to sex. While eating too much cayenne pepper is life-threatening, a little powder in your dish will easily raise temperatures


One of the world’s most beloved desserts has been seducing people for thousands of years. Luscious chocolate was first cultivated in Central and South America where Aztec Emperor Montezuma would reportedly indulge in up to 50 goblets of a chocolaty frothy drink every day before going to his harem. Chocolate still reigns supreme as mouthwatering enough to lure nearly any hungry admirer.

“We’ve all watched a sexy scene in a movie where a man is feeding his woman chocolate-covered strawberries to woo her,” says Moustafa. “But there’s real science to this. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a chemical compound that can produce feelings of euphoria and happiness by releasing dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain that surges during orgasms.”

A 2006 study also concluded that women who’ve consumed chocolate were more likely to have an increased libido than those who didn’t.  However, if you’re willing to indulge, stick to dark chocolate as it’s less processed and won’t pack on the pounds when consumed in moderation.


Garlic can do a number on your breath thanks to its pungent flavor, but surprisingly enough, it can also reportedly add some much-needed spice to sex.

“While garlic may be counter-intuitive to being a food that helps your libido because of the lingering taste in your mouth, body, and skin, it’s actually one of the best,” says Virgin. “This is because of its ability to improve blood flow to organs, due to its compound allicin. Extra blood flow means more sensitivity, a double win for health and sexual benefits.”

Just do your sweetie a favor and make sure to thoroughly wash and rinse your mouth after savoring a dish featuring garlic.


Chocolate, meet your match.  The Totonacan women of Mexico wore vanilla bean pods on their hats to look more desirable and used vanilla bean oil to make their skin glisten.  The Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago also maintains that vanilla is one of the most arousing scents to older men, in particular. Consider whipping up a creamy vanilla dessert to serve for a romantic dinner for two…drizzled in chocolate, of course.


There’s a reason why oysters have always been considered an aphrodisiac. Apparently, this seafood has more zinc than any other food (76.7 mg in 6 medium oysters).

According to a 1996 study, the essential mineral is key not just for overall good health, but for potentially boosting testosterone levels in men.

“Zinc is essential for the release of sex hormones, such as testosterone, so each zinc-rich foods, like oysters,” says Shemek. “Zinc is very important and a zinc deficiency can show itself in reduced testosterone and sperm count–not good for the bedroom.”

Not a fan of slurping on this raw dish? Shemek says zinc can also be found in meat and pumpkin seeds. Heads up: Doctors recommend no more than 40 mg a day of zinc to avoid unwanted side effects, like nausea and vomiting. Talk about a serious mood killer!


Bananas highlight potassium, an essential mineral no one can live without. Not only is it crucial for keeping your brain, nerves, and heart, in tip-top shape, but it’s also required for excellent muscle health. And nutrition experts say strong muscles are important for more intense contractions during orgasms.

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F ood H ealth

7 Foods for Better Sex


Enough about oysters, already!

If you want to put some sizzle back into your sex life, food can help you set the mood. There’s nothing better than a romantic, home-cooked dinner, featuring some R-rated foods to help turn up the heat. “There’s a growing body of evidence that some of the vitamins and components in foods can enhance sexual function and sexual experience,” says Jennifer R. Berman, MD, the director of the Berman Women’s Wellness Center, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Here are some of the food ingredients (and my own favorite recipes) that have been major players in aphrodisiac history and lore, and also have modern-day science to back up their claims.

green-avocado-antioxidants Avocados
The Aztecs referred to avocados as, ahem, testicles, because of their physical shape. But the scientific reason why avocados make sense as an aphrodisiac is that they are rich in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fat, making them good for your heart and your arteries. Anything that keeps the heart beating strong helps keep blood flowing to all the right places; in fact, men with underlying heart disease are twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED).

almond Almonds
Topping my list of feisty foods, almonds have long been purported to increase passion, act as a sexual stimulant, and aid with fertility. Like asparagus (another one of my favorite sexy foods), almonds are nutrient-dense and rich in several trace minerals that are important for sexual health and reproduction, such as zinc, selenium, and vitamin E.  “Zinc helps enhance libido and sexual desire,” says Dr. Berman. “We don’t really understand the mechanisms behind it, but we know it works.”

The color red is known to help stoke the fire: A 2008 study found that men find women sexier if they’re wearing red, as opposed to cool colors such as blue or green. Strawberries are also an excellent source of folic acid, a B vitamin that helps ward off birth defects in women and, according to a University of California, Berkley study, may be tied to high sperm counts in men. This Valentine’s Day, try making dark-chocolate-dipped strawberries. And while we’re on the subject, there’s a reason we give chocolate on Valentine’s Day: It’s full of libido-boosting methylxanthines.

Despite their slippery and slimy texture, oysters may be the most well-known aphrodisiac. They’re also one of the best sources of libido-boosting zinc. But other types of seafood can also act as aphrodisiacs. Oily fish—like wild salmon and herring—contain , which are essential for a healthy heart.


Arugula has been heralded as an arousal aid since the first century. Today, research reveals that the trace minerals and antioxidants packed into dark, leafy greens are essential for our sexual health because they help block absorption of some of the environmental contaminants thought to negatively impact our libido.

These funny-shaped fruits have a long history of being a fertility booster, and they make an excellent aphrodisiac because they are packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is important for heart health. Plus, high-fiber foods help fill you up, not out, so it’s easier to achieve that sexy bottom line—or belly.

Any member of this tropical fruit family is super-rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and folic acid—all of which are essential for men’s reproductive health. Enjoy a romantic salad that incorporates citrus, like pink grapefruit or mandarin oranges, or use a dressing made with lemon and lime.
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