7 Real Aphrodisiacs That Will Seriously Turn You On
Sex-starved humans have been hunting grub that will get them in the mood for thousands of years. Romans slurped shellfish while splashing around public baths, and the Marquis de Sade downed untold quantities of Spanish fly as he boinked his way through 18th-century France. Of course, finding a libido enhancer with scientifically proven positive effects on sexual health is a different story (oysters, yes; Spanish fly, no). We tracked down seven aphrodisiacs that will increase hormone levels and get your blood pumping — just in time for hump day. Bon Appetit!
If 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 Dr Hilda Hutcherson, author of Pleasure.
Serve your guy celery sticks and he may suddenly seem more irresistible than Michael B Jordan in Creed. “Raw celery contains the male hormone androsterone, which can act as a pheromone to trigger female attraction,” says Dr Ava Cadell, 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 three feet underground.
Wondering what to cook for a romantic supper? 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 metabolise and use eostrogen — 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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