15 Science-Backed Foods that Boost Sex Drive
Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” and his words make perfect sense.
Food is a fuel necessary for an energy boost, but it also supplies our body with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, and other nutrients vital for our health and wellbeing.
Everything you eat can either improve all aspects of your health or make things worse. Not only can food do wonders for your health, weight, brain power, but it also has the tremendous potential to heighten your libido for better sex life. Curious?
Here are 15 foods, backed by science, to give your sex drive a boost. These are the best natural testosterone boosters:
Oysters have been associated with increased sex drive for many years, but that is also the reason people are reluctant to try them. You’ve probably thought their libido-boosting benefits are just a myth or something we see in Hollywood movies, right? Oysters are incredibly healthy thanks to their rich nutritional value containing potassium, calcium, iron, protein, magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc.
Consumption of these mollusks protects heart health, strengthens the immune system, increases blood flow, maintains bone health, and exhibits aphrodisiac properties. Scientists found that oysters are rich in amino acids (d-aspartic acid and n-methyl-d-aspartate) which trigger production of testosterone in men and progesterone in women, thus increasing sex drive.
Plus, oysters are rich in zinc which is strongly linked to sexual competence that also includes one’s libido. It’s needless to mention that the entire act of eating oysters is incredibly sexual and gets the blood flowing to all the right areas, so low testosterone levels can be improved by adding oysters to your diet.
Let’s face it; everyone loves chocolate and now you have a valid excuse to eat it – chocolate is a powerful aphrodisiac. Of course, we’re talking about dark chocolate with more than 70% of the cocoa content. Dark chocolate is considered superfood thanks to an abundance of nutrients such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, copper, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
As seen above, sufficient intake of zinc is strongly related to a sexual function which is one of the multiple mechanisms of action that chocolate takes to boost libido. A study of 163 women found that chocolate has both psychological and biological benefits for female sexuality and it is associated with higher female sexuality function index which involves libido too. Other health benefits of chocolate include better heart health, antioxidant effects, blood pressure management, skin health, just to name a few.
Saffron belongs to the group of the most powerful spices on the market. It is somewhat more expensive than other spices, but its health benefits justify the costs. Saffron is a rich source of potassium, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
A growing body of evidence confirms that supplementation with saffron has the potential to alleviate symptoms of depression. This is particularly important because stress, anxiety, and depression have a negative impact on sex drive. Men who take saffron experience stronger and harder erections, according to a study from the Psychopharmacology. Women who take saffron experience improvements in libido, lubrication, and decreased pain during intercourse.
4. Pistachio nuts
Pistachios are a perfect snack. They are tasty, yet healthy at the same time. Pistachio nuts are abundant in nutrients such as protein, fiber, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, thiamin (Vitamin B1), copper, antioxidants, and manganese. Thanks to high fiber and protein content, pistachios suppress the appetite and promote weight management.
They can be very helpful for persons who are trying to lose weight. This is also important because being overweight or obese has a negative effect on sexuality and sexual function. One study found that men who consumed 3.5 ounces (100 g) of pistachios per day for three weeks experienced improved blood flow to the penile tissues and firmer erections.
Although fenugreek doesn’t seem like a romantic type of food, you should definitely include it in your diet for better libido and sex life. Fenugreek is an annual herb in the pea family. For thousands of years, the plant has been used in the traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for a number of health conditions. Nutritional profile of fenugreek is outstanding and it includes fiber, protein, iron, manganese, magnesium, and other nutrients.
In one study, participants were asked to take 500mg of fenugreek a day combined with weightlifting program. Findings showed that men who took fenugreek had higher testosterone levels and 2% reduction in body fat compared to subjects from the placebo group. In men, libido is closely tied to testosterone. The decline in this hormone leads to lower sex drive while higher testosterone causes bigger libido.
One research found that women who took 600mg of fenugreek extract per day experienced significant improvement in sexual desire and arousal.
Summer staple food can be of huge help for libido-boosting efforts. Watermelons are low in calories and abundant in potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and other nutrients. Health benefits of watermelons are numerous ranging from improved hydration, cancer prevention, to heart health and lower inflammation and reduced oxidative stress.
Most sources you find online don’t include watermelon into the list of foods that enhance sex drive, but they should. Scientists from the Texas A&M University discovered that watermelons have Viagra-like effects. How? The fruit owes these properties to high levels of antioxidants such as lycopene, beta-carotene, and citrulline. The latter is converted to l-arginine which improves blood flow, boosts your libido, but also helps men get stronger erections.
7. Red wine
Here’s good news for red wine lovers – your favorite alcoholic drink can improve sex drive. Before we go on, it is important to clarify you should never use alcohol to improve sexual function. Also, you shouldn’t engage in heavy red wine drinking sessions thinking it will heighten your libido.
So what can you do then? A study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that moderate intake of red wine (one to two glasses) is associated with enhanced desire and lubrication in women. Red wine owes its libido-boosting effects to an active compound called resveratrol which acts as a potent antioxidant. Resveratrol increases blood flow to the genital area and helps you get aroused. Other health benefits of red wine include heart health, cholesterol, and diabetes management, supports weight loss, and much more.
Asparagus is a vegetable that is low in calories, but abundant in fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins K, C, A, B1 or thiamine, and folate. The vegetable reduces the risk of depression and maintains heart health while improving digestion and preventing osteoporosis.
What many people don’t realize is that asparagus can also improve libido and overall sexual function. Folate in asparagus aids in increasing production of histamine which is important for healthy sex drive of men and women.
Figs are not only delicious but healthy at the same time. The fruit originated in Arabia and grows best in areas with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Figs are a good source of fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamins K, B6, A, C, and thiamine, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. These delicious fruits have strong antioxidant properties, prevent different types of cancers, and exhibit antibacterial and antifungal effects.
It is the substantial zinc and magnesium content that makes figs beneficial for your libido. Both minerals are important for the production of sex hormones. For example, one study found that magnesium supplementation increases testosterone levels and you already know this hormone is vital for sex drive.
10. Pomegranate juice
Pomegranate is a popular fruit and its juice benefits your health in many ways. The juice is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and other nutrients. Pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants. What’s more, there are three times more antioxidants in pomegranate juice than in red wine.
Improved digestion, cancer prevention, and protection from Alzheimer’s disease are just some of many health benefits of pomegranate juice. Evidence shows that people who drink this juice experience a surge in testosterone levels which intensify sexual desire. It’s also important to mention pomegranate juice lowers stress and improves mood, thus making you more willing to engage in sexual activity.
Popeye ate spinach to get bigger muscles, but it can do much more than that such as manage diabetes, prevent asthma, lower risk of cancer, manage blood pressure, improve bone health. Spinach is high in niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E, and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and many others.
What makes spinach good for your libido? It is a rich source of l-arginine, an amino acid that improves blood flow and plays a role in sexual function. For example, studies show that oral administration of l-arginine causes a significant improvement in sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction without side effects. Spinach is considered a superfood that is used in the treatment of Prostate Enlargement.
Ginger is a frequently used ingredient in cooking and now you have yet another reason to add it to your diet. The spice is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin B6, iron, and other nutrients. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help people with arthritis, but it also reduces heart disease risk while managing blood sugar levels.
Ginger boosts libido through increased testosterone levels. For instance, one study found that ginger root improves antioxidant and androgenic reproductive function of male diabetic rats. A separate study found that testosterone levels in rats almost doubled with the ginger administration.
Are you a meat lover? If so, you’ll be happy to know that meat belongs to the group of foods that boost sex drive. But, how? Meat is an abundant source of zinc, the same libido-boosting nutrient found in oysters and other foods mentioned in this article. In addition, meat is one of the richest sources of protein which is important for your sex life too.
Scientists from Singapore followed 31 abdominally obese men and discovered that subjects who adhered to high-protein diet experienced significant improvements in their weight, erectile function, urinary symptoms, and sexual desire. Plus, meat is an excellent source of l-citrulline which your body converts to l-arginine in order to improve blood flow. As seen above in the post, l-arginine is important for getting more blood to genital area which leads to arousal.
14. Chili peppers
Chili peppers are a popular ingredient used to make meals around the globe. Not only they add spiciness to your meal, but they also supply your body with fiber, vitamins C, B6, K, A, minerals like potassium and copper, active compounds such as capsaicin, among other nutrients. Peppers have the tremendous potential to alleviate pain, support weight loss, but they can also boost your libido.
Chili peppers improve sex drive similarly like other foods – by enhancing production of testosterone. Believe it or not, a study from the Physiology and Behavior found that men who eat spicy foods (primarily peppers) have higher testosterone than their counterparts who don’t.
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, but it has been demonized recently. While it doesn’t contain significant amounts of macro- and micronutrients like other foods on this list, coffee can still have a positive influence on your brain, weight, and other aspects of your health. A little-known fact is that coffee is also good for sex drive, particularly in women.
Scientists from the Southwestern University found that caffeine increased female libido and it shortened the amount of time it took to the females to return to the male rats after sex for another mating session. If you think the more coffee you drink, the better you should know that animals had no caffeine before. People who don’t drink too much coffee may experience most benefits, so keep it moderate.
Sex drive fluctuates, goes up and down, mainly because it is influenced by different factors. Healthy lifestyle indicated by regular physical activity and a well-balanced diet can improve your libido too. This article listed 15 foods which act as top natural testosterone boosters to be include in your diet, but always bear in mind moderate consumption is crucial.
Dwayne Austin is a multi-faceted blogger. Through his meticulous and informative blogging, Dwayne hopes to contribute articles for curious readers. He aims to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle.