Top Aphrodisiacs: 10 Amazing Foods

BananasIf you want sex to go the extra mile, fuel up for foreplay just as you would for a marathon. A big banana is the perfect food for bedroom endurance: Bananas contain B vitamins, which are key for converting carbohydrates into energy and are believed to help manufacture sex hormones such as testosterone. Munch on one a few hours before getting busy to make the most of your monkey business, says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., author of Pleasure.

Serve your guy celery sticks and he may suddenly seem more irresistible than Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed. “Raw celery contains the male hormone androsterone, which can act as a pheromone to trigger female attraction,” says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of Passion Power. After a few bites, his sweat glands start releasing the pheromone. If you’re feeling too cranky to fool around, nibble a stalk yourself — androsterone has mood-elevating effects in women, according to the Journal of Fertility and Sterility. Your man not a celery fan? Add a few truffle shavings to his meal. Truffles boast even more androsterone — enough for female pigs to detect the precious mushrooms growing as deep as 3 feet underground.

Dark Chocolate
A recent Italian study found that women who report eating chocolate on a daily basis claim to have more satisfying sex lives. Coincidence? We think not. Willy Wonka’s favorite raw material contains a cocktail of chemicals linked to relaxation, intoxication, and pleasure, Dr. Hutcherson says. Like other sweets, chocolate triggers the release of feel-good endorphins. It also provides small amounts of anxiety-quelling tryptophan, arousing caffeine, and a few substances — anandamide and theobromine — that, in large quantities, work like a psychedelic drug and an opiate, respectively. You’d have to down several pounds of chocolate to feel the funky effects, but simply nibbling a few squares after dinner will help transform your mood from stressed to saucy.

Just 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds a day helps increase testosterone — the chemical with the most direct libido-boosting effect, according to Helen Fisher, Ph.D., author of Why We Love and a WH advisor. Besides enhancing sex drive, these nutty-flavored seeds contain essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, which are the major building blocks of all sex hormones. “If you don’t have enough fatty acids, your hormone levels may decrease, and so will your desire,” Dr. Hutcherson says. Flaxseed oil has twice the omega acids of fish, and 2 tablespoons of the seeds deliver 140 percent of your RDA. To rev your engine, either swallow a teaspoon of flaxseed oil or sprinkle a tablespoon of flaxseeds on your cereal and salads every day. Since both can spoil fast, get oil in opaque bottles and seeds in vacuum-sealed packs, which have longer shelf lives. If seeds aren’t your thing, opt for walnuts, which contain about 90 percent of your omega RDA.
Wondering what to cook on February 14? Make it an Asian stir-fry with loads of fresh ginger. The powerful root stimulates the circulatory system, increasing blood flow to the genitals. “Fresh ginger has a more pungent smell” than the stuff in a jar, Cadell says. So? Smelling ginger has a stronger effect on penile and vaginal blood flow than actually eating it. When a food or aroma raises blood pressure, vessels in the genitals admit a rush of blood that inflates erectile tissue. The vessels then close off, preventing blood from exiting the erogenous zones, keeping sensitivity levels high. Only powdered ginger on hand? It will also boost blood flow a bit, but the effect won’t be as intense.

No wonder newlyweds’ sweaty getaways are called honeymoons. The sticky sweetener contains simple carbohydrates that provide instant energy and fuel for working muscles. “Honey is rich in B vitamins, which are needed for testosterone production, and it contains boron, which helps the body metabolize and use estrogen — an important part of blood flow and arousal,” Dr. Hutcherson says. Use a few teaspoons as a natural sweetener in tea or spread it on toast with peanut butter.

Nutmeg and Clove
Researchers have found that nutmeg and clove, both from evergreen trees, bolster the sexual activity of rats. Each stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system — helping the little critters, and you, relax — but the effects were greater with nutmeg. Just don’t eat too much of the magical spice, as it also has hallucinogenic properties, Cadell says. A sprinkle on your cappuccino or hot cocoa should do the trick — as with chocolate, you’d have to eat a lot (about 2 tablespoons’ worth on an empty stomach) before the walls would start melting.

Ancient Romans pegged this shellfish as a sex-spurring food, and they were definitely onto something. Oysters contain high levels of zinc, a mineral required for the production of testosterone. A team of American and Italian researchers recently found that mussels, clams, and oysters deliver two types of amino acids that spark a rush of sex hormones. Be sure to chew your shellfish thoroughly before swallowing — you’ll extract more of the mojo-cranking mineral.


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