Natural aphrodisiacs - 10 of the best

Looking to spice up your sex life?

Kate McKee shows you how to eat and drink your way to an enhanced performance in the bedroom… Now that’s food for thought!

An aphrodisiac is something that is considered to increase sexual desire. Aphrodisiacs can come in the form of supplement, scent, food, drink or drug.

Sydney based naturopath and nutritionist, Lisa Guy ( www.artofhealing.com.au) believes that diet has a definite impact on sex drive. “Eating a nutrient poor diet of processed take away foods containing high levels of saturated fats and sugars and too much alcohol will lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which has a negative effect on libido,” says Lisa.

“Eating a wholesome, nutrient-rich diet will improve your libido and sexual performance as well as your general health and well-being. Regular exercise, sleep and managing stress levels are also important for a healthy libido.”

Certain nutrients found in natural foods are beneficial for general wellbeing and the health of reproductive organs needed for hormone production. Eating foods rich in zinc, essential fatty acids (omega-3 fats) and B vitamins will have a positive effect on your libido as well as fertility and testosterone production. Foods rich in vitamins A and E, such as eggs, cod liver and carrots are also said to increase sexual desire due to the positive effects the vitamins have on reproductive organs.

Whether natural libido enhancers work in a physiological or purely psychological way, there’s no denying that they have been used for centuries to increase desire and heighten the sexual experience.

Natural foods and beverages are a safe and fun way to introduce something new to your sex life. Experimenting with a range of different tastes and scents is a cost effective and harmless way to heat it up in the bedroom and as a bonus, all these delicious aphrodisiacs are healthy – in moderation of course!

The top 10 (in no particular order)...

  1. Avocado: The Aztecs called the avocado tree Ahuacuatl, meaning ‘testicle tree’ as the pairs of avocados hanging from the tree reminded them of male testicles. It turns out that the ancient Aztecs were definitely onto something as avocados are high in minerals and contain the powerful antioxidant glutathione. They are also dense in carotenoids, fibre, potassium, vitamin B6 and Vitamin E content, the former of which is said to heighten the state of arousal and the intensity of orgasm.
  2. Oysters: Rich in zinc –
  3. an important mineral for testosterone production, sperm production, fertility and reproductive health as well as libido.
  4. Spices: Spicy foods increase our heart rate, causing us to perspire. This is due to the chemical capsaicin, which stimulates the metabolism and increases circulation. Chilli is seen as an aphrodisiac as it can induce the release of endorphins to create a temporary high – producing a similar affect to sexual arousal. Put a tingle on your tongue by adding fresh chili to your favourite dishes.
  5. Celery: Way back when in ancient Rome, celery was offered to Pluto who was widely known as the all-powerful god of sex. Celery contains androsterone, said to stimulate sexual arousal in women by acting as an enticing pheromone secreted through sweat.
  6. Almonds: Almonds are one of the oldest known aphrodisiacs and fertility symbols. Almonds are a rich source of essential fatty acids (omega-3 fats), which are needed for the production of hormones (testosterone), reproductive function, fertility and healthy libido. Almonds are also known for there alluring scent. Treat your lover to a sensual massage with sweet almond oil and amplify the love making experience.
  7. Figs: Figs are loaded with manganese, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc, all essential for sexual health. In ancient Greece, the fig was considered to be a sacred food that was associated with fertility and love. Breaking open a fig and eating it in front of a lover is also thought to be a powerful erotic act.
  8. Bananas: Bananas are rich in B vitamins and potassium, which are needed for testosterone production. Testosterone is an important hormone in men and women for a healthy libido.
  9. Chocolate: Thank goodness for chocolate. Not only does it taste divine, it’s also packed with compounds that can help us reach a heavenly high. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which releases dopamine in the pleasure centres of the brain and is said to encourage feelings of desirability and excitement. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, known to promote a sense of wellbeing and relaxation and arginine, the amino acid that enhances arousal and sensation in both men and women.
  10. Pumpkin seeds: According to Lisa, the humble pumpkin seed is a great source of zinc and essential fatty acids, needed for testosterone production and a good libido. Pumpkin seed oil is also proven to improve men’s health and lower the risks of prostate cancer. Perfect for a mid-afternoon snack, pumpkin seeds are a no-fuss way to boost the libido at anytime of day.
  11. Asparagus: According to traditional Indian medicine, asparagus increases circulation in the genito-urinary system and enhances vitality. It is rich in phosphorus, potassium, calcium and vitamin A and just perfect for feeding to your lover over a romantic dinner for two. NH

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