7 aphrodisiac superfoods to enhance your sex life
‘Certain plants in cultures across the world have played an important role in enhancing libido, lovemaking and fertility,’ says nutritionist and author Juliette Bryant from Juliette’s Kitchen, of foods with aphrodisiac benefits. ‘In researching my latest book, Superfoods & How To Use Them, I looked at their ancient uses and modern scientific research.’
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Juliette has provided us with seven superfoods proved to boost your sex drive naturally. Do any of the below surprise you?
‘Food of love’ chocolate has long been known as the food of love, in fact it is a legendary aphrodisiac. The Mayan king reputedly drank a vat of a special cacao drink to keep him active for his 300-strong harem. Cacao (raw chocolate) is abundant in nutrients such as a chemical called anandamide (the bliss chemical), and theobromine which both enhances brain function helping us to feel good. Being in a good state of mind is something that is vital for joyful lovemaking. Cacao is the most bio-available source of magnesium, making it useful for the heart, brain and hormonal health, and magnesium is a common mineral people are deficient in. We must remember nutrient deficiency leads to poor performance (and ill health). Providing the body with the best fuel is essential if you want to perform at your best.
Please note that many of the beneficial nutrients of cacao are destroyed in the roasting process and when dairy and refined sugar are added. It is best to have it raw, now widely available in powered form, in chocolate creations, smoothies or cakes to get the most out of this amazing food.
This Peruvian superfood is a powerful root vegetable regarded as a natural viagra. When discovered by the Spanish invaders they soon found it gave great strength, endurance and sexual potency, hence its name, ‘the Spanish Viagra’. Nowadays it is taken in powdered form for hormonal health, rich in B vitamins to balance the nervous system and increase sexual function. Great added to a smoothie or in raw chocolates and consumed 30 minutes before lovemaking.
Note: Seek advice before taking if pregnant.
Boosts Stamina, Strength & Performance.
This is the most popular herb in Chinese medicine and is widely used around the world to boost sexual stamina and strength. Ginseng is famous for its ability to increase energy levels, physical stamina, cognitive function and sexual potency. Like many of the superfoods here it relaxes the muscles and improves blood flow to the genitals. It also improves circulation.
Note: Not to be taken if pregnant.
4 Pumpkin Seeds
To enhance lovemaking you need to be like an athlete and make sure you have a full range of nutrients so your body works at its optimum level. Pumpkin seeds (in fact many seeds and nuts) are high in essential nutrients, especially zinc, good fats and protein. Of course these nutrients are essential for everyone, and men especially should consume them regularly, as they are necessary for the function of a healthy prostate gland, which governs the production of sperm. I use them blended in smoothies to make dairy-free milk or blended with cacao and dates to make energy balls.
This powerful medicinal mushroom with thousands of years of use is hailed as ‘the magic mushroom of the bedroom’ and has long been associated with aphrodisiac properties. It is known to increase both male and female fertility as well as enhancing the bodies overall function and performance. It works to support the kidney and urinary function, which is believed in Chinese medicine to be the home of one’s sexual power. I use reishi mushroom to make a tea that is blended into chocolate smoothies. You can also buy it in a powdered form and mix it into foods and drinks.
Food affects us on so many levels, not just in its nutrient profile but also in its taste, texture, colour and flavour. Strawberries are heart shaped, juicy and succulent, and the bright red colour invokes feelings of love and warmth – both in our hearts and lower areas. They are also rich in vitamin C and water content, which are both essential for cellular function. I find strawberries especially sexual when dipped in raw chocolate and shared with your partner.
The only edible orchid, vanilla is the second most valuable spice in the world. I think it’s delicious flavour and medicinal properties make it well worth it for special occasions. It has a long history of use throughout the world where it has been traded for its aphrodisiac properties. It is the compound vanillin, which is used for this purpose and also to treat sexual dysfunction. Vanilla is very calming for the nervous system, helping prepare body and mind for lovemaking.