You know the drill: Fill up on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains—and lay off the stuff that clogs your arteries. But beyond these best-practice basics, by incorporating a few key foods into your meals, you can optimize your diet for some truly Aphrodite-level libido boosting. And chances are, you already have many of them—oatmeal, bananas, spinach, canned tuna—in your pantries and fridges at this very moment. So read on and eat on—and watch the sparks fly. And for more ways to make the most of your diet, learn the 20 Best Foods For Your Thyroid.
For Him: Pomegranate Juice
Heads up, fellas. A study in The Journal of Urology found that pomegranate juice slashed the risk of erectile dysfunction in rabbits. See the bartender at the Playboy Mansion for cocktail recipes. Or just learn the 20 Cocktails Everyone Should Know How to Make.
For Her: Red Wine
Ladies, rejoice. Scientists have pinpointed the perfect amount of wine for an instant libido boost: Two glasses, per research in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. More than that didn’t prove to bring on additional arousal—and in same cases actually had a diminishing effect. And for more reasons to kick back with a glass or two (as if you needed any), learn the 80 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Wine.
Shrimp is full of zinc, and leafy green vegetables are full of folate. Together, they can boost testosterone levels; your libido will rise with it. Put another one on the barbie, and turn the heat up—way up. And while you’re at the grill, learn the 15 Best Steak Marinade Recipes on the Planet.
Oats produce a chemical that releases testosterone into the blood supply, increasing sex drive and orgasm strength. Mix in some honey (see number six on this list) for an added boost. And if you’re piqued about the additional benefits of a testosterone boost, learn everything you need to know about low-T therapy.
Spinach is a potent source of magnesium, which helps dilate blood vessels, according to Japanese researchers. That means you can count on smooth blood flow—which means men will experience stronger erections and women will find it easier to have an orgasm.
For Him: Citrus Fruit
Men who consume at least 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C a day improve their sperm counts and motility. Vitamin C also keeps sperm from clumping, so they have a better chance of reaching their destination.
For Her: Grass-Fed Beef
Among the main reasons couples cut back—or, heaven forbid, stop—having sex is the age-old, “Not tonight, I’m tired.” For women, a common cause of chronic fatigue is iron deficiency. Increase your iron levels by eating more steak and burgers. Stay healthy by only dishing out for grass-fed beef wherever possible: It has less fat and more heart-healthy omega-3s.
For Everyone: Honey
Honey’s B vitamins aid the production of testosterone, and its boron content helps the body use estrogen, which is a key factor in proper blood flow and arousal. Sweet. And to add even more sugar to your life, be sure to check out the 10 Best Everyday Libido Boosters for Men.
For Everyone: Blueberries
The soluble fiber in blueberries ushers cholesterol through your digestive tract before it chokes your arteries. What’s more, men will find compounds that improve circulation for a natural Viagra-like effect.
For Everyone: Pine nuts
Like shrimp, pine nuts are loaded with zinc‚ which helps boost testosterone and sex drive. Break out the pesto. Put it on your pasta. Throw it in your eggs.
For Everyone: Apples
Apples are full of an antioxidant called quercetin, which helps improve endurance in bed among men. But women can also reap the sex-boosting benefits of apples, thanks to high natural levels of phytoestrogens, a compound that’s been shown to increase pleasure during sex.
For Everyone: Oysters
Yes, the myth holds up: Oysters are indeed an aphrodisiac. Like shrimp and pine nuts, nature’s pearl is chock full of libido-boosting zinc.
For Everyone: Dark chocolate
Sweeten your love life by indulging in this sweet. Dark chocolate—anything 70-percent cacao or higher—is full of antioxidants that have been shown to slash stress and boost mood. What’s more, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dark chocolate relaxes arteries for increased blood flow. You do the math.
For Everyone: Ginger
According to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology, just one teaspoon of ginger per week can help improve artery function—meaning that you’ll get blood moving to all the right parts. So, next time you get sushi, don’t skimp on the ginger.
For Everyone: Bananas
High sodium levels will restrict blood flow to your nether region, ultimately dampening (and not in the good way) sex drive. The best way to reduce your sodium levels without culling your diet? Eat more potassium—a nutrient that bananas happen to be loaded with.
For Everyone: Sweet Potatoes
Like bananas, sweet potatoes are also a great source of potassium—which, again, helps spark fires between the sheets. But increasing your potassium intake can also help you look better naked by reducing the inevitable bloat that comes from consuming too much sodium.
For Everyone: Canned Tuna
Per research out of Harvard, Vitamin B12 deficiency reduces libido, causes chronic fatigue, and, among men, can bring about bouts of erectile dysfunction. Thankfully, you can get your B12 through a common grocery aisle item: Canned tuna, which happens to be among the top five sources of the stuff.
For Everyone: Spicy Peppers
Whether it’s a jalapeño or a habanero, spicy peppers are an excellent source of capsaicin, which replicates feelings of arousal—your heart rate increases, you start sweating—to the point where that replicated feeling could turn into the real deal. Just be sure to wash your hands after handling.
For Everyone: Garlic
Getting a healthy, regular dose of garlic can help prevent the build up of plaque among artery walls, leading to improved blood flow. Small wonder that, according to legend, ancient Egyptians used the stuff as a ceremonial aphrodisiac.
For Everyone: Avocados
Yes, avocados are a tried-and-true source of Vitamin B12 (and other B vitamins), but they’re also full of healthy, monounsaturated fats. Both nutrients will help aid blood flow—all over your body. And for more ways to make your diet work for you, start eating the 30 Best Foods For Maximizing Your Energy Levels.
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