Almonds, or any type of nut for that matter, are full of essential fatty acids that help keep your hormones at balanced levels. Prefer them toasted? It will help keep your sex organs in tip-top shape. "They’re also a very good source of energy," says Dr. Michael Aziz, author of The Perfect 10 Diet.
This delectable treat isn’t just for topping your ice cream anymore. High in saturated fats, unsweetened whipped cream-or any kind of full fat dairy-is a great way to boost the production of estrogen and testosterone. "It’s a joke that whipped cream is the aphrodisiac that you spread on the body," says Kaayla Daniel, author of the upcoming Naughty Nutrition: 60 Ways to Feed Your Libido and Fuel Your Lust for Life. "But we should be eating that stuff."
Rich in amino acids that increase your arousal and stamina, figs have been used as an aphrodisiac since ancient times. (The Greeks supposedly enjoyed orgies after the fig harvest!) This delicious fruit is packed with protein, which aids in the production of sex hormones, says Dr. Shawn Talbott, research director at SupplementWatch, a health education company.
"Avocados are full of healthy fats that are good for mood, blood flow and heart health," Talbott says. They’re also high in folic acid, vitamin B6 and potassium, all of which provide women with lots energy to get randy.
This classic aphrodisiac can be fried, baked, smoked, broiled or eaten raw. Oysters have been known to increase libido thanks to the amino acids and dopamine found in shellfish. They’re also high in zinc. "Zinc is very important in supporting the sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone and testosterone," Aziz says. Can’t stomach the thought of indulging in this slimy meal? Chow down on some shrimp or lobster instead—they’re equally high in zinc and other libido boosting vitamins.
Red wine is high in antioxidants, which play an essential part in your overall health and balance of progesterone and testosterone. (Yes, even women need a little testosterone in their bodies.) "When you drink wine with someone, it suggests feelings of love and being happy," Aziz says. However, don’t forget the key component-moderation. Alcohol in excess can decrease your performance.
Turn up the heat under the sheets by adding chili peppers to your next meal. "Chili pepper is a known blood mover in Chinese medicine and is used as a medicinal herb to promote blood circulation," says Jill Blakeway, a clinical herbalist and certified acupuncturist. "Good blood circulation to the genitals helps with arousal and orgasm."
The sinfully shaped fruit contains the enzyme bromelain, which is said to boost one’s sex drive. Bananas are a great source of potassium, riboflavin and other B vitamins that are good for overall health and energy. "You can burn up to 300 calories in a sexual encounter," Aziz says. "Bananas have about 25 grams of carbohydrates and give people the energy they need."
"Vitamin C is essential to balance cortisol, which is a stress hormone," Aziz says. "Nobody can be in the mood to have sex if they’re stressed." Luckily, berries (along with citrus fruits) are jam packed with it. Dip them in chocolate and reap double the reward. Berries are also the richest source of flavonoids, which promote good heart and brain health.
Ever wonder where that euphoric feeling comes from when you eat a Hershey Bar? It’s serotonin being released. Dark chocolate in particular is loaded with phenylethylamine, the chemical that’s said to produce that love like feeling. "Milk chocolate doesn’t have the heart advantages compared to dark chocolate, but both will make us feel happy and in love," Aziz says. White chocolate, however, is just pure sugar.
Throughout the ages, eggs have been used to promote both fertility and libido. "Catherine the Great did enjoy her caviar omelets," Daniel says. The protein found in eggs provides energy, but the yolk is really the star of the show. Loaded with nutrition, one egg yolk is like a multi-vitamin and energy booster all rolled into one. Daniel recommends farm fresh eggs with dark yellow or orange colored yolks. "If you’re getting good eggs they tend to have tougher shells and are harder to crack," she says.