Aphrodisiac foods are named after Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love and desire. In essence, people patronize aphrodisiac foods in the hopes of enhancing sexual performance and experience. These foods increase sex drive and are available in wide varieties, from aphrodisiac fruits and herbs, to even seafood. Furthermore, many of these are everyday foods that you could already be enjoying!
Libido boosting foods have emerged over the centuries in different parts of the world, and yes – there’s an array of simple recipes for you to whip up a meal with this category of foods. You can incorporate aphrodisiacs into your daily meals to keep your erogenous zones in check, or indulge in them during special occasions shared between you and your partner.
Take your pick at our list of 40 natural aphrodisiac foods to enhance your libido, and complementing recipes. For even more romantic meal ideas, check out our recommended list of Valentine’s dinner recipes.
List Of Aphrodisiac Foods And Recipes To Try
There is a multitude of available aphrodisiac foods. Hence, we’ve sorted them into familiar food categories below for a more organized reading (and note-taking) experience.
Aphrodisiac Herbs And Spices
Herbs and spices are plant-based ingredients packed with flavor and scent. We typically don’t eat them on their own. Rather, we add them in small amounts to enhance the taste, color, and aroma of a dish.
While we primarily use them in cooking, some herbs and spices have also been used for medicinal and aphrodisiac purposes in the past and in modern-day dishes! Here are some of the most well-known libido-enhancing herbs and spices to keep in mind:
Anise is a sweet and aromatic spice. The estrogen compounds in anise aid in piquing women’s desires. Jazz up your date nights with a tall and fragrant glass of apple margarita spiced with star anise.
Arugula was once associated with Priapus, a minor Roman God of fertility. This peppery herb’s desire-provoking quality is linked to trace minerals and antioxidants which help in keeping reproductive organs healthy. Add a bit of freshness to your menu with a bowl of bright and spicy arugula salad that’s drizzled with sunshine dressing.
People have claimed that the distinct aroma of basil stimulates and promotes blood flow to erogenous areas. Hence, making these bodily areas more sensitive to touch. Take a gander at this aphrodisiac herb with a bowl of pasta smothered in a bright and refreshing pesto sauce.
Chili peppers have the chemical capsaicin which gives off heat. This natural chemical stimulates libido and boosts testosterone levels. For a unique experience, have a dose of capsaicin with cocoa and chili pork chops.
Garlic has a spicy quality due to a chemical called allicin. Like capsaicin, allicin gives off heat that’s both arousing and beneficial in producing testosterone. Prepare a show-stopping roasted garlic herb rack of pork for a gastronomic dining experience.
People from different parts of the world have used ginger to cure impotence in the past due to its ability to improve blood flow. It’s also said to have an arousing scent. Enjoy this aphrodisiac by making a cup of ginger tea, or with this salmon glazed with honey and ginger recipe.
Ginseng is a well-known aphrodisiac that’s been used to treat sexual problems in males by people of the past. Besides that, it has also been used to improve sexual desire for both males and females. This tuber has the ability to relax the muscles in the male gonads which allows blood to flow better.
Saffron is another traditional aphrodisiac. Claims are, it uplifts your mood and lowers stress. However, dried saffron is usually part of a dish as a complimenting ingredient, as opposed to being eaten on its own. If you’re looking to try this exotic floral spice, try making some Halibut fillet with creamy saffron sauce.
While vanilla extract is commonly added as a flavoring, its scent is what truly makes it an aphrodisiac. The comforting and cozy scent of this aromatic spice is said to be both relaxing and arousing especially for men.
Fun fact: the aroma of vanilla is shown to be the most arousing among all other scents. On occasion, have some vanilla with this recipe for vanilla bean angel food cake.
Because eating vegetables is so ingrained in our daily lives, we don’t really notice what else they have to offer. We’ve listed some vegetables considered as aphrodisiac foods that you might not be aware of:
In mythology, Zeus turned his hard-to-get lover into an artichoke, represented by the vegetable’s tough exterior that envelops the pleasurable heart within. It was also considered immoral for women to eat artichokes in the past because of their titillating reputation.
Lucky for us, we’re not living that legend but in a modern and liberated 21st century. Enjoy this antioxidant-rich veggie with a plate of tangy spinach and artichoke lasagna.
This vegetable is infamous for its phallic appearance. Moreover, some also attribute the aphrodisiac quality of asparagus to nutrients like vitamin E and folate which increases blood flow to the genitals and boosts arousal. It also has potassium for hormone production. Try a refreshing version of this aphrodisiac with this recipe for lemon asparagus couscous salad with tomatoes.
Long ago, the Romans believed that this ruby-red bulb possessed aphrodisiac and feel-good qualities. Several present-day studies have found that beets contain trace amounts of boron which aid in hormone production. Have some of this unassuming aphrodisiac with a batch of crostini with beets, arugula, goat cheese, and honey for a flavorful libido-boosting appetizer.
Celery is another phallic veggie that contains nutrients that assist in hormone production. More than that, celery is also believed to smell like the male pheromone called androsterone that is particularly enticing for women. Try some of this crisp libido food with a bowl of shrimp and celery salad.
Okra, also known as ladyfingers, is packed with magnesium that helps you relax. It also contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your reproductive system’s health. Keep your drive going with a regular serving of grilled okra.
Pumpkins have been used to treat impotence in the olden days. It is said to contain trace minerals like fiber, potassium, and magnesium which are both invigorating for the senses and relaxing for the muscles. It also has antioxidants to keep you feeling young. Have your hit of healthy nutrients with a warm plate of baked pumpkin pasta.
The early Egyptians believed that radishes had aphrodisiac abilities because they saw that the vegetable resembled the male genitalia. Their sharp taste is also considered to be erotic by some. See for yourself with a bowl of yummy Mediterranean tuna and radish salad.
The appeal of white truffle also lies in its extravagance and rarity. Truffle has a long history of being known as one of the many exotic libido foods. Truffles are best eaten whole to enjoy their aroma and taste. However, due to its lavish price, most would shave raw truffles finely to be sprinkled over pasta or salads. Truffle oil is also used in fragrant dishes. To impress your date, drizzle a good amount of opulent truffle oil in a plate of mushroom barley risotto.
Fruits also have the potential to be the star of a dish. Because of their sweet nature, fruits are often prepared in the form of desserts. Although, they can also be enjoyed by themselves as a healthier alternative to sweet treats that are high in calories.
For the most part, fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Below is a list of fruits that are claimed to help ignite intimacy:
When consumed regularly, apples are also believed to be one of the foods that increase female libido. This fruit’s cultural significance as the symbol of Eve’s corruption and its suggestive shape also help cement its status as one of the many aphrodisiac fruits. Indulge in this delicious fruit with a serving of rich and creamy apple crumble cheesecake.
The Aztecs named avocados after testicles because of the fruit’s sac-like appearance. If this isn’t enough to earn its aphrodisiac title, it has an energy-boosting ability, too. Plus, it’s packed with testosterone-inducing nutrients like folic acid, vitamin B9, and B6. Savor a piece of this libido-booster with some fresh avocado bruschetta on the side of some grilled salmon.
Banana is also an infamous phallic symbol. This fruit contains a testosterone-inducing enzyme called bromelain, as well as potassium and vitamin B which help boost stamina. Try this aphrodisiac fruit in the form of warm and toasty upside-down banana cake.
Cherries contain vitamin C and antioxidants that make you feel good, as well as potassium to give you endurance. Even more, it’s believed to rouse your production of pheromones. The seasonality of this fruit also adds more to its captivating quality. Use this aphrodisiac to make a pink perfection cherry dessert to tantalize your taste buds and senses.
Yet another fruit suggestive of male private parts. The scent of this summer fruit can also trigger arousal for some. More than that, cucumbers have manganese and vitamin C which are beneficial to reproductive health. Juicy cucumbers are a common salad ingredient. Check out this recipe for a summer salad with cucumber, blueberry, and feta.
The sensual reputation of figs stems from their nutrient content and sweet musk. They’re also rich in fiber to help you feel good. Some also consider halved figs to be suggestive of the female genitalia, which some find particularly provoking. For an elegant rendition, try making some fig balsamic pork tenderloin to rouse up your date.
Past civilizations believed that pomegranates symbolized Aphrodite and fertility because of the fruit’s many seeds. In today’s time, some attribute the pomegranate’s aphrodisiac qualities to its ability to lower the stress hormone cortisol and improve testosterone levels. Have a glass of crisp pomegranate champagne for special occasions.
Apparently, these berries have a suggestive nipple-like shape that some find especially arousing. Aside from that, these berries have a plump texture that gratifyingly bursts when bitten. The bright red color of raspberries adds to its appeal as a romantic fruit.
Raspberries are one of the most ideal aphrodisiac foods for men as it contains trace minerals like manganese, which is good for men’s health. It also contains feel-good vitamins and antioxidants. For a heightened experience, have these indulgent berries in a mixed berry tartlet with dark chocolate.
In Roman mythology, strawberries symbolize Venus. Apart from this, it’s also rich in vitamin C that helps in bolstering blood flow and estrogen production.
Strawberries are some of the best aphrodisiac foods for women because of their nutritional benefits. Why not surprise your lover with a box of homemade chocolate-dipped strawberries as a token of appreciation?
This summer fruit contains the substance citrulline that relaxes blood vessels and promotes blood flow to erogenous zones. Have a slice of succulent watermelon or have it in a bowl of watermelon, lime, and jicama salad.
The deep blue sea may not be the most unusual place to find aphrodisiac foods. If you’re looking for a libido booster that isn’t plant-based, then this shortlist is for you. The answer to your sex woes might just be lurking beneath the surface of the ocean. Take a look at some of the most popular aphrodisiac seafood below:
History books tie the opulent caviar to the romantic endeavors of Casanova. Some have claimed that caviar has a good amount of healthy fats that are beneficial to testosterone production. Additionally, the high price point of caviar makes this fish egg delicacy a symbol of both status and fertility. Treat your partner to a luxurious spread of salty, tangy, and creamy black olive caviar bites.
One of the most well-known foods that increase libido, oysters are a great source of zinc for sperm and testosterone production. It boosts dopamine, which stimulates the sensuality of both men and women. Eating shucked oysters are also deemed erotic as they replicate the female genitalia. Savor a serving of juicy oysters with chardonnay for an amorous dining experience.
Pufferfish, better known as “fugu” in Japan, contains the chemical tetrodotoxin which is incredibly poisonous to humans. This fish can only be prepared by highly-trained fugu experts.
Fugu leaves a tingly mouthfeel that some find arousing. This fish’s aphrodisiac appeal lies in its hefty price tag and the thrilling brush with death. Our suggestion? Don’t try (making) this at home.
Salmon has a high Omega-3 content, which is valuable in keeping a healthy and fully-functioning body. It carries trace minerals that are beneficial to your overall health and mood, as well as protein for stamina. Have a plate of grilled salmon for a nutrient-packed mood booster.
Passion stimulants exist in liquid form, too! Have these to pair with your favorite dishes (aphrodisiac or not) to set the tone. If you aren’t up for dinner dates, you can also invite your beau over for coffee or booze. Another great idea is to elevate your dishes by infusing them with liquor. Check out some of our picks below:
Champagne is an extravagant drink, which makes it appealing. Some have also claimed that this fancy drink contains trace minerals that are essential for hormone production, like zinc and magnesium. Its smell is compared to female pheromones, too! The right amount of alcohol can be relaxing, too. For a twist of summer fun, you can try making champagne sangria using your favorite bottle of champagne.
Coffee is another natural source of the stamina-boosting chemical, caffeine. Some have also claimed that this chemical can help scale down erectile dysfunction. Coffee also raises the pleasure chemical dopamine in the brain. Give this aphrodisiac a shot with a cold glass of cappuccino coffee martini.
Red wines are sultry and seductive, with masculine notes that replicate the male pheromone. More than that, alcohol has the ability to strip inhibitions and initiate bolder actions. It also increases blood flow, giving your erogenous zones a heightened sensitivity. For something unconventional, try having red wine in the form of a dessert with this red wine chocolate cake recipe.
In this section, we included aphrodisiac foods that don’t belong to any of the categories mentioned. Mankind has patronized a lot more foods for their supposed ability to improve experiences in bed. We might just not be aware of it! You might want to lay your hands on more of these widely and easily available foods:
It may sound a bit unusual, but almonds have been considered a symbol of fertility in the past. There have been claims that almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals that boost sexual health and function. Some have also claimed that the scent of almonds is particularly arousing for women. Have your dose of this natural libido stimulant in a decadent slice of almond cake soaked in caramel.
Some studies have claimed that chocolate contains happy chemicals like tryptophan and phenylethylamine which induce the feeling of arousal and falling in love. This sweet treat is also a natural source of caffeine to give you energy. Make a snack out of this cloying aphrodisiac with a serving of quintessential gourmet chocolate mousse.
Aside from being a symbol of fertility, eggs are also a great source of protein that can sustain you for physical activities. Amino acids in eggs also help prevent erectile dysfunction and other diseases. Among the many ways to prepare eggs, we recommend making a serving of buttery and tangy eggs benedict.
History has dubbed honey as “the nectar of Aphrodite.” Ancient civilizations used honey to stimulate libido and reverse the effects of impotency in men. It’s also one of many popular sex drive foods as it contains vitamins and minerals. Have this gooey aphrodisiac in a scrumptious plate of grilled chicken with honey balsamic dressing.
Did you know that pine nuts are known as the “vegan oysters?” This is because of its high zinc content that works the same way as oysters in keeping ideal reproductive health. In ancient times, people used pine nuts in love potions because of their aphrodisiac qualities. Though we do not have a recipe for those ancient love potions, we’d recommend trying out our bean salad with pine nuts and feta for a serving of this crunchy sensuality-enhancer.
Pistachio nuts contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats for the upkeep of your privates. In the past, people have used pistachios to curb the effects of erectile dysfunction. They’re said to be beneficial in improving the flow of blood to the area. For a romantic take, try this pistachio rose madeleines recipe ideal for a picnic date.
Whether you’re looking for foods that increase sex drive or you’re looking to maintain and improve your sexual health, make sure to try our picks for the multitude of recipes that make use of aphrodisiac foods. There is no harm in trying them out. Mix and match according to your liking!