Aphrodisiac Foods For Valentines
It’s the month of love with Valentines day round the corner, and with plans or no plans, opting for a few aphrodisiac foods can give you a helping hand when it comes to your sex drive and libido.
What is an aphrodisiac food you ask? An aphrodisiac food is a substance thought to encourage and help increase your libido, arousal and sexual desire. Thinking all things physical changes, this could include increased heart rate, blood pressure, respiration or erection.
But do aphrodisiac foods actually exist?
Despite Aphrodisiac’s long-standing reputation, there sadly isn’t one food that will fire up your libido or spice up your sex life overnight.
Whilst there is a great deal of information on the single foods referred to as “aphrodisiacs”, more research and scientific evidence is required. However, consuming aphrodisiac foods can also implement a placebo effect. The act of simply eating can be a sexual enhancement, as eating can suggest sexual thoughts to the mind, which can trigger a sexual desire throughout the bodty.
In addition, foods that are rich, creamy, smooth, exotic or spicy can also stimulate sexual thoughts, making them suitable for date night.
The below foods are fun to include in the run up to Valentines day, whilst also being rich in numerous nutrients that may contribute to an increased sex drive if used long term and in the right quantities.
Read on to discover my top picks..
Jam packed with zinc, the mineral key for the production of testosterone and healthy sperm production. Not just for men, zinc plays an important role in women’s libido as oysters have been shown to help boost dopamine, which is vital for improving libido in both men and women. (1) (2)
Oysters are one of the highest zinc sources on the planet, with an 85 gram serving of raw oysters (2 medium or 3 smaller oysters) packing in 33 mg of zinc, more than 300% of the recommended daily intake.
Salmon is known for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, with the pink flesh not only being helpful when it comes to keeping your skin glowing, it plays a key role in keeping your sex life punchy too. Omega-3’s provide the building blocks for the production of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone- so keeping your fatty acids topped up can be helpful in the bedroom too! Aim to eat oily fish 2-3 x per week, or if fish isn’t your jam, opt for plant based sources such as walnuts, chia and flax seeds. Alternatively reach for a supplement- I like bare biology and you can use the code CLARISSA10 for 10% off
Known as one of the sexier fruits- cherries are rich in potassium, vitamin C and anthocyanins- these are all powerful antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation whilst decreasing oxidative dress. Oxidative stress can be damaging for sperm development, hindering their capacity to meet their full potential and negatively impacting their function. (3). Studies have shown that vitamin C may boost sexual appetite and increase men’s sperm concentration and mobility. (4) Dip some cherries in dark chocolate for a bedroom treat.
Cinnamon is known to help control blood pressure, overall alertness and the warming tones can stimulate heat throughout the body. Cinnamon has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac herb and is thought to help improve overall sex drive (5), so get sprinkling it in your coffee, adding it into your porridge bowl or seasoning your veggies with it.
The warming spicy tones of ginger can help to increase blood flow and circulation, which can be some of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction. Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural stimulant to increase sexual arousal and libido (6). It has also been known that ginger may boost semen quality by improving the motility, concentration and viability of sperm cells (7)- get sipping that ginger tea!
Chocolate can help with many things, including boosting that sex drive.
Chocolate encourages the body to release happy hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine. Phenylethylamine is a stimulant in the nervous system that helps to produce excitement and serotonin, boosting energy and mood. Boosted mood, high energy and improved levels of excitement results in an increase in libido. As dark chocolate also contains caffeine, this may give an additional energy kick for stamina and adrenaline.
Not only can a glass of red help to get you in the mood, it also contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, which helps to decrease inflammation and can get your blood pumping (8). Resveratrol can help to facilitate sexual engagement, increasing the flow of blood to musles for stamina and performance in the bedroom. (9)
Made from the Peruvian maca root plant, Maca has been used for centuries to help increase fertility and libido. A 2002 study discovered that maca may improve sexual desire in men (10), whilst a 2008 study revealed that maca may decrease sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. (11) Maca has also been shown to decrease anxiety, improve mood and boost energy (12).
Try adding maca to your morning smoothie or yogurt bowl- this super powder has a caramel-like malt taste, so blends well with anything sweet.
A root that has long been used in traditional chinese medicine to enhance vitality- Research has shown that ginseng may increase sperm count in addition to supporting sexual performance. (13) Studies have also demonstrated that ginseng may be effective when it comes to treating erectile dysfunction, with one study showing that those who took ginseng experienced significantly better penetration and maintenance of their erection compared to a placebo group. (14)
It’s important to note that there are different types of ginseng, with Panax ginseng being effective when it comes to erectile dysfunction and sperm count. Panax ginseng has unique properties whilst Siberian ginseng comes from a different plant altogether so be vigilant when stocking up.
*It’s important to check in with your doctor or nutritionist when changing your routine, implementing new supplements or if you are on any medication.
A LIBIDO BOOSTING VALENTINES DINNER FROM START TO FINNISH:
Starter- Raw oysters with a glass of organic red wine
Main course- Ginger and soy baked Salmon, cinnamon roasted sweet potato and wok fried greens
Dessert- Dark chocolate, Cherry and Maca nice cream topped with cacao nibs