20 Foods That Will Supercharge Your Sex Drive (and Your Performance)
Food — and the occasional glass of liquid courage — has long been used to increase sexual desire. But did you know there are foods that can actually improve your performance?
As if you need another reason to love food...
And you don't need to resort to any exotic foods from faraway lands; these common foods will all but ensure you satisfaction in more ways than one.
For His and Hers Sex Drives
Some foods are more effective on the opposite sex; these do wonders for both of you.
Eating spinach puts you in the mood by increasing blood flow below the belt.
“Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow,” explains Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of Healthy Simple Life. “Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable.”
Chocolate increases both serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, making us happy and lowering our stress level — both “mood” boosters if you know what we mean.
Another theory is that cocoa increases blood flow through the arteries and relaxes blood vessels — sending blood to all the right regions.
The hotter they are, the better.
Hot peppers increase your metabolism and stimulate endorphins, making you sweat, plumping your lips, and speeding up your heart rate. That gets the blood flowing to all the essential areas. The net result? Better sex and a more memorable finale.
(If you’re planning on handling habañeros, however, make sure that you wash your hands before getting near sensitive body parts.
Green tea is rich in compounds called catechins, which have been shown to blast away belly fat and speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy. But that’s not all: Catechins also boost desire by promoting blood flow to your nether regions.
“Catechins kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels, increasing their ability to transport blood,” Bjork said. “Catechins also cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow.”
Oysters are brimming with zinc, a mineral that elevates testosterone while simultaneously boosting growth factor hormone — both of which enhance muscle growth and physical performance (in and out of the bedroom).
Research has also shown deficiencies in zinc to be a risk factor for infertility caused by low testosterone levels.
Pine nuts are full of zinc (like oysters, above!), and people with higher levels of zinc in their system have been shown to have a higher sex drive than those with lower levels.
Ginger is another food that can improve your sex life by aiding blood flow and improving artery health.
According to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology, consuming a mere teaspoon of the stuff a few times a week is all you need to reap the heart-healthy benefits.
They’re like crunchy little nuggets of Prozac and one of the best food sources of an amino acid known as tryptophan, which helps the production of serotonin in your brain.
Antidepressants help the brain to circulate serotonin, so if you’re taking them now, these little pumpkin pick-me-ups may make them even more effective.
Bananas are one of the top sources of potassium, which helps to counteract the effects of foods high in sodium.
Salty foods can not only diminish blood flood to the genitals, which can make it more difficult to reach orgasm, but they can also make you bloated.
Nobody feels sexy when they’re bloated.
Whether they’re the white or the sweet variety, potatoes are a great source of potassium.
This nutrient counteracts salt’s bloating effects and boosts circulation, which can help you look better in bed and also boost your bedroom pleasure.
It can also improve your mood: Studies have linked low potassium levels with depression.
It’s no secret that oily cold water fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here’s something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart but also raises dopamine levels in the brain.
This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal, Bjork and Nelson explain.
There’s more: “Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun,” added Nelson.
But out the Starbucks because coffee may just be the best libido booster around. It contains a stimulant that has been shown (in animal studies) to put females in the mood.
Women who drank one to two glasses had heightened sexual desire compared to ladies who didn’t down any vino, a Journal of Sexual Medicine study found.
What makes the elixir so beneficial is a rich antioxidant profile that triggers nitric oxide production in the blood, which relaxes artery walls.
As with many of the foods on this list, that increases blood flow down south.
Steak and Burgers
One of the causes of fatigue in women is iron deficiency. The condition can sap energy, which may result in a low sex drive, explains Nelson.
Bjork concurs, adding, “Iron deficiency is common and can result in feelings of exhaustion, weakness and irritability, which doesn’t make anyone feel like getting intimate.”
A recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research and performed at the Male Clinic in Beverly Hills found that pomegranate juice, like POM Wonderful, had a positive effect on erectile dysfunction.
Pomegranate has been linked with antioxidants that support blood flow. Just be sure to water your juice down a bit: One cup of POM Wonderful has 31 grams of sugar.
Watermelon has even more lycopene than tomatoes, and lycopene rivals Viagra in its ability to relax blood vessels and improve circulation to certain, ahem, areas of the body.
According to a joint study from the University of East Anglia and Harvard University, eating flavonoid-rich foods is associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction in men.
Of the six main types of flavonoids, three in particular — anthocyanins (found in blueberries), flavanones and flavones (both found in citrus fruits) — offer the greatest benefits in preventing ED.
Pistachios, peanuts, and walnuts all contain the amino acid L-arginine, which is one of the building blocks of nitric oxide — a naturally occurring gas that helps guys maintain their erections.
Plus, nuts also help reduce cholesterol levels.
According to historians, ancient Egyptians used garlic to boost their stamina, and researchers have confirmed that consuming the plant helps stop the formation of new fatty deposits, called nanoplaques, inside arterial walls.
Yes, that includes the arteries leading to your penis, too.
The popular breakfast cereal is a good source of l-arginine, an amino acid commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Plus, whole grains like oatmeal also help lower cholesterol levels.
Having high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition that clogs and narrows arteries, impairing blood flow. This could eventually lead to heart problems, but you’ll likely notice issues below the belt first.
The arteries surrounding the genital area are narrower than coronary blood vessels, so they’re more susceptible to clots. Simply put, the better your cholesterol levels are, the better your erection will be, too.