Aphrodisiacs and (Hot) Recipes to Get You in the Mood
Sex has a slew of health benefits, like keeping your immune system in check, lowering your blood pressure, and it totally counts as exercise. But sometimes we're just too tired to make the effort. Enter aphrodisiacs. The science is mixed on whether they alone can get you in the mood but some foods have long been considered the antidote to a lost libido. (Herbs like basil, mint, and saffron were banned in medieval Spain because they were used in "love potions," for real!) We say it couldn't hurt. Here are 13 foods to make your next meal a frisky one.
Asparagus is high in vitamin E, which can increase blood and oxygen flow to your privates (ahem), and also high in potassium, which can increase your body's production of sex hormones. Make it with garlic (another rumored aphrodisiac) in this Keto Cheesy Garlic Roasted Asparagus Recipe or any one of these asparagus recipes.
Salmon (and Walnuts)
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for your heart and your libido (it creates the building blocks for estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone production). Walnuts are also an excellent source of omega-3s, which make this Walnut-Crusted Salmon recipe a win-win.
Give this mild-tasting summertime veggie a try with blackeyed peas or on pizza in our roundup of Okra recipes. Okra, AKA gumbo or ladies' fingers, is rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which can help you naturally relax (and perhaps get in the mood), while nutrients like iron, folate, zinc, and vitamin B are also beneficial to the health of male and female sex organs.
Cherries contain anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation and help keep your sex drive healthy — in which case, we'll have two of these Mini Heart Cherry Pies!
One study found that pistachios could help the male sex drive. Serve up this Chocolate Orange Cake With Pistachio Mascarpone Filling And Chocolate Ganache from Wyldflour (chocolate is another aphrodisiac) for your next celebratory or romantic night. And if you're just in the mood for pistachios, try more sweet and savory recipes in our pistachio recipe roundup.
As if we needed a reason to eat up these gluten-free avocado fries it turns out avocados also contain high levels of energy-lifting folic acid and vitamin B9, as well as vitamin B6, which helps increase testosterone production. Avocado dessert recipes anyone?
Cayenne contains capsaicin, which can cause a physiological response similar to what you experience during sex: increased heart rate and metabolism, even sweating. Get that loving feeling with these Cayenne Churros.
Oysters are high in zinc, which can improve the overall health and sex drive of someone deficient in it. They also contain dopamine, the brain chemical that boosts desire. These Deep Fried Oysters are perfect as an appetizer or dessert to (ahem) the main course.
Saffron has been used to reduce stress, enhance mood and has been shown to act as an aphrodisiac in men and women who take antidepressants. Learn how to use saffron in the kitchen and try out recipes like paella (mmm…) in our saffron recipe roundup.
Figs are high in amino acids, which can boost sexual stamina and libido. Drop them in your next cocktail with these fancy fig cocktail recipes..
There are many more foods that could get you in the amorous mood (ginseng, apples, honey and more), but in general if you're happy and healthy (and well-rested!) your chances of getting it on are quite good. Still, tasty foods and drinks never hurt for a fun night in!
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Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.