The pairing of food and sex is nothing new. Ancient civilizations classified a range of foods as aphrodisiacs – some for their shape, appearance, and texture, and others for their taste, color, and nutritional value.
Food and sex have long been celebrated as indulgences with much in common. From the rush of dopamine in response to the anticipation of pleasure to the cascade of chemicals in the brain and body that we experience during a great meal or during great sex, it’s no surprise that gustatory pleasure often leads to erotic pleasure.
Over the years, however, research has challenged the existence of aphrodisiacs; and rightfully so, as diet is only one factor that affects sexual desire and response. The relationship between food and sex isn’t linear. It’s not as simple as eating oysters, blueberries, or almonds and suddenly finding yourself in the throes of desire or passion. It’s important to note that hormones, mood, sleep, relationships, and a range of other influences play roles in the relationship between food and sex.
This doesn’t mean that diet doesn’t affect your sex life. Your diet affects how you feel, how you sleep, cognitive function, physical health, and energy levels, so you may find that adjusting your diet can affect your desire for sex and your sexual response. So, if you’re looking for foods, herbs, and supplements to support your overall sexual health, check out our top picks.
Watermelon juice has been celebrated as nature’s Viagra. It’s high in lycopene and citrulline – both are associated with cardiovascular health and support blood flow to the genitals and erections. Though the research is relatively new, findings suggest that the body may convert citrulline into arginine, which converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide supports the opening of the blood vessels, increasing blood flow and improving sensation and erections (and don’t forget that both the penis and the clitoris get erections!).
Figs have historically been associated with fertility and pleasure (perhaps for their beautiful bright fleshy interior). Research suggests that they may also support libido and sexual response, and their magnesium content has been linked to sex hormone production. They’re also a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, which support overall mental, physical, and sexual health.
Cherries are a good source of melatonin, the hormone that helps to regulate the circadian rhythm and facilitate a restful night’s sleep. We all know there’s no better aphrodisiac than waking up calm and rested. When you’re well-rested, your energy levels, mood, and libido are more likely to experience a boost. Sleep can also improve your sex life by reducing anxiety, regenerating cells, relieving tension, and improving your capacity for communication. In addition to promoting healthy sleep, cherries are a good source of zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Oysters may be practical aphrodisiacs because of their indulgent symbolism and the sensual way they’re consumed, but their nutrients also have the potential to enhance sexual performance. They’re rich in zinc and amino acids, which are associated with the production of testosterone and other sex hormones. So, it’s no surprise that Casanova was rumored to eat them by the dozen.
Spinach contains magnesium, which can help decrease inflammation and promote blood flow, and is essential to sexual response, arousal, and pleasure. As circulation improves, you may find that arousal, erections, and orgasms flow more freely. With diet changes that support well-begin and circulation, you may also find that your body is more responsive to touch. Lucky for us, sexual pleasure has the potential to span across the entire body from head to toe.
Avocados are more than just a superfood. They’re also loaded with nutrients and vitamins that increase oxygen and circulation to enhance the sexual response cycle.
Blueberries are rich in flavonoids, which are associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction. However, you don’t need to overhaul your diet to reap the rewards; add berries to your cereal, yogurt, pancakes, or smoothies each morning to increase your intake of anthocyanins.
Ginger is good for your overall health and sex life! One study found that even small amounts can help to regulate body temperature and improve cardiovascular functioning. And since heart health is correlated with sexual frequency, you might want to follow your workout with a warm cup of ginger tea.
Pumpkin Seeds are high in zinc, vitamins, and minerals and contain tryptophan, which promotes serotonin production and boosts your mood. Since mood is an essential predictor of libido, you might want to look at what you’re stocking in your fridge and pantry if you’re hoping to promote change in the bedroom.
Maca is the 21st-century sex supplement, as it is believed to support the adrenal glands, which work overtime in response to stress. Since stress squashes libido, anything you can do to reduce stress hormones will ultimately support a healthy sex life.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one supplement to support sex drive and sexual response, you’ve come to the right place. ASTROGLIDE recently launched Rocket Fuel, which contains many ingredients found on this list of foods that support sexual health, including maca.
Rocket Fuel also contains ashwagandha root extract, which is associated with the production of testosterone and is tied to libido, sexual functioning, and stamina.
You may have also heard of another Rocket Fuel ingredient, Tongkat Ali. This herbal remedy is associated with increases in testosterone and is accordingly linked with supporting libido, stamina, and sexual response.
Of course, sexual health is highly personal and complex. Your levels of desire, sexual response, pleasure, erectile function, and orgasm intersect with lifestyle, medical, personal, relational, and emotional factors. Diet alone is not a panacea.
If you’re looking to take action to improve your sexual health today, diet and supplements can be a meaningful and simple way to get started. So, commit to one change right now – perhaps replace your sugary breakfast cereal with a cherry and blueberry salad once per week, or consider trying ASTROGLIDE Rocket Fuel to see how your body responds to herbs and supplements that have long been used to support sexual health and pleasure.
 Henkel, Ralf & Wang, Ruxiang & Bassett, Susan & Chen, Tao & Liu, Na & Zhu, Ying & Tambi, Mohd. (2014). Tongkat Ali as a Potential Herbal Supplement for Physically Active Male and Female Seniors-A Pilot Study. Phytotherapy research : PTR. 28. 10.1002/ptr.5017.