Sexologists, cardiologists, and psychologists agree: how much (and what) you consume has a huge impact on your sexual health. Exactly what you eat is critically important, too. “Essentially, what’s good for your heart is good for better sex,” declares Steven Lamm, MD, a faculty member at New York School of Medicine, and author of The Hardness Factor: How to Achieve Your Best Health and Sexual Fitness at Any Age.
And what exactly are those sexy eats? We’re glad you asked. In this slideshow, you’ll find a well-balanced menu to prepare your body and brain for the bedroom. Building more of these super sex foods into your daily diet is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to improve your health for optimal sex.
The antioxidant catechin found in tea promotes blood flow all over the body for sex power and brainpower; it enhances memory, mood, and focus.
Spinach and Other Green Vegetables
Spinach is a potent source of magnesium, which helps dilate blood vessels, according to Japanese researchers. Better blood flow to the genitals, as you’ve learned, creates greater arousal for men and women. Spinach and other green vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, Swiss chard, and bok choy are also good sources of our favorite sex nutrient—folate.
Peaches and Other Fruit
Men who consume at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day improve their sperm counts and motility.
Eggs are rich in vitamins B6 and B5, which help balance hormone levels and ease stress, and are important for a healthy libido.
Red Wine and Meat
The antioxidants and alcohol in the wine may trigger the production of nitric oxide in the blood, which helps artery walls to relax, increasing blood flow to the genitals.
Seeds and Nuts
Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and other nuts all contain the necessary monounsaturated fats with which your body creates cholesterol—and your sex hormones need that cholesterol to work properly.
The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA found in fish help to raise dopamine levels in the brain that trigger arousal.
Oatmeal and Other Whole Grains
Eating oatmeal is one of the few natural ways to boost testosterone in the bloodstream. The male hormone plays a significant role in sex drive and orgasm strength in both men and women.
Oysters and Other Shellfish
In addition to their reputation as the ultimate aphrodisiac (thanks to their resemblance to female genitalia), raw oysters actually do have a connection to sexual function. Oysters hold more zinc than most any other food, and it is believed that this mineral may enhance libido by helping with testosterone production–higher levels of the hormone are linked to an increase in desire. Zinc is also crucial to healthy sperm production and blood circulation.
Dark chocolate, in particular, contains a compound called phenyl ethylamine that releases the same endorphins triggered by sex, and increases the feelings of attraction between two people. The brains of both men and women showed greater stimulation while the chocolate melted on their tongues than when their tongues were tied in a passionate kiss.
Male sexual health is an important part of having a happy life. Natural supplements such as herbal alternatives to Viagra may take a little longer to start seeing the affects, but they are healthier for the body.