25 Foods that are Natural Aphrodisiacs

Looking for a little boost in the bedroom? Life can get to you sometimes, and we often become so bogged down in everyday stresses that the last thing on our mind is sex. Still, physical intimacy is important and a healthy part of a committed relationship. If, during the stress of day-to-day life you let intimacy with your partner take a backseat, then you could be neglecting an important way to reconnect with one another.

Furthermore, feeling sexy and sensual is part of the overall human experience, and contributes to feeling attractive and confident. It’s normal to experience lulls, but feeling asexual and unbalanced for long stretches can produce some negative energies.

For centuries, certain foods and substances have been rumored to have aphrodisiac properties. By definition, an aphrodisiac (named for the goddess Aphrodite) is a food, drink, or substance that increases sexual desire. How do these foods accomplish that task? They may reduce stress, increase blood flow or positively affect neurotransmitters. All of these effects can improve libido.

If you’re feeling a little blah in the bedroom, try one of these 25 foods to give you a little boost. What you do with it is entirely up to you.

1.Basil: You can use this sweet, pungent herb to liven up your meals and your sex life. Sprinkle a little chopped, fresh basil over tomatoes or top off a homemade vegetable soup with it. It not only adds fresh flavor, but it could also enhance sexual desire by increasing heart rate and improving blood flow.

2.Cinnamon: Eating cinnamon heats up your body and, in turn, your sex drive. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, and can help normalize blood sugar. Try this warming spice sprinkled on a warm glass of almond milk.

3.Pine Nuts: Loaded with zinc, which is essential for producing testosterone, pine nuts have reportedly provided men with sexual stamina since the Middle Ages. Grind them up with basil, garlic, and olive oil for a delicious pesto.

4.Cardamom: In the Arabian Nights, you can read of the use of this ancient spice as an aphrodisiac. The spice comes in pods, which you can grind for use as needed. Cardamom is warming and pungent, and can increase blood flow, which probably accounts for its aphrodisiac properties. It is also an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent. You can macerate ground pods in hot water to make a tea, like a classic Indian chiai, or sprinkle it over a stir-fry or soup.

5.Celery: This crunchy, aromatic vegetable serves as a flavor base for soups and stews in cuisines around the world. It is also high in essential nutrients necessary for great sex, and it contains two chemicals — androsterone and adrostenol — which serve as a sexual attractant when ingested. If that’s not enough to get you drinking your Glowing Green Smoothie every day, then consider this: celery also makes you more physically attractive.

6.Garlic: It may not make your breath smell all that great (but is it weird I like the smell on my hands after chopping it?), but garlic contains allicin, which increases blood flow. The result may be improved stamina and sexual energy.

7.Avocado: This silky, mild fruit has a reputation as an aphrodisiac extending back to ancient Aztec times. In fact, the Aztecs called the avocado tree “Ahuacuatl,” which translates to “testicle tree.” Slice half an avocado and eat it alone or as part of my taco salad recipe.
8.Almonds: These nuts are an ancient symbol of fertility extending back to Biblical times. The sweet fragrance may also serve as a sexual attractant. Avo’s are also high in beneficial fats, fiber, and vitamin E.

9.Chili peppers: The capsaicin in peppers heats up the body and increases blood flow. They also cause the brain to release endorphins, which are a feel-good chemical. Along with the internal effects leading to sexual desire, they have temporary external effects that cause the outer appearance of sexual desire, such as flushed skin and swollen lips. This creates a powerful one-two punch that just may cause sexual desire, and many cultures throughout history have used peppers as an aphrodisiac. Sprinkle cayenne on avocados, or add a little to zip up soups and stir-fries.

10. Honey: Rich in B vitamins, organic raw honey supports testosterone production, which can increase desire. It also contains the boron used in estrogen production, which is important for female desire. Use honey to sweeten a cup of tea. Be sure to purchase local if possible and from an ethical source.

11. Carrots: It may be the shape that does it for some people, but carrots also contain vitamins that are important in hormone production.

12. Ginger: Just like chili peppers, ginger spices things up and increases circulation and body temperature. In fact, legend says famous French courtesan Madame du Barry provided ginger to all of her lovers to increase their desire and improve their pleasure. Mix up a batch of Detox Tea, or add ginger to stir-fries.

13. Coconut water: The water from coconuts contains the same level of electrolytes as your blood. It is also a metabolism booster that increases blood flow, and thus, may serve as an aphrodisiac. Along with minerals, coconut water is high in vitamin C.

14. Arugula: Ancient Romans used this peppery, leafy green vegetable as an aphrodisiac. Along with aphrodisiac properties, arugula promotes digestion and is a great source of vitamins A and C. Add a little arugula to your salad greens.

15. Watermelon: Rich in citrulline, watermelon increases nitric oxide, opening blood vessels and speeding up circulation, which may increase arousal.

16. Chocolate: Pure, dark chocolate has a centuries old reputation as an aphrodisiac. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which stimulates the same hormone your body releases during sex. It also sparks dopamine production in the brain. It doesn’t take much. Try a square or two of low-sugar, vegan dark chocolate.

17. Asparagus: While the shape may contribute to the belief in this vegetable’s aphrodisiac properties, it also increases circulation in the genitourinary system, leading to increased sexual desire.

18. Truffle: This expensive, earthy fungus has a pungent flavor with an aphrodisiac reputation extending back to ancient Roman times. The scent is believed to mimic androstenone, which serves as an attractant to the opposite sex. If you can’t afford a truffle to shave over your veggies, then try a few mushrooms, instead.

19. Vanilla: This sweet pod is a mild nerve stimulant, which can enhance sexual sensation.

20. Nutmeg: This sweet spice’s aphrodisiac reputation dates back to early Hindu cultures, where it was believed nutmeg’s warming properties stimulated sexual appetites while its ability to sweeten breath increased attraction. Try grating a little fresh nutmeg into your tea.

21. Sea vegetables: Many cultures value sea vegetables for their aphrodisiac properties. This may because sea vegetables are high in vitamins B1 and B2, which aid in production of sex hormones. It is also a source of manganese, iodine, and selenium, which may all have an effect on metabolism and mood. Sprinkle a little dulse on your salad for some salty flavor.

22. Red wine: In moderation, red wine increases blood flow, relaxes you, and lowers inhibitions. Have a few ounces of red wine, but don’t overdo it.

23. Coriander: Also used in the Arabian Nights as an aphrodisiac, the seeds of the cilantro plant offer a pungent bite to foods. The spice has warming properties, which is the most likely source of its aphrodisiac characteristics. It also serves as an anti-inflammatory and expectorant. To use, sprinkle a little ground coriander in guacamole or add to soups.

24. Pomegranates: The seeds of this luscious red fruit improve blood flow and are rumored to increase genital sensitivity.

25. Aniseed: Girls, this one is for you! With a sweet licorice flavor, ancient Greek and Roman civilizations believed anise strengthened female sexual arousal.



Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • http://thegrassskirtblog.com Erin

    Wow! I knew about chocolate and wine but had no idea about the others. By the way, I love the new look of your site, Kimberly!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Thank you so much! Much cleaner right?

  • Debra

    What about maca?

    • http://xao-d.deviantart.com Esop

      Maca works dangerously well…. I’ve heard *ahem*, as do Goji berries.

    • Kimberley H

      Hi Kimberly!
      Thank you for all your postings- I love every one of them! I have an unrelated question that I’m hoping you can clarify. I have type O blood and have been told by many (even holistic nutritionists) that I can not be vegan and have to eat meat because of my blood type. I’m naturally drawn to a vegan diet with no plan to have this label, so I barely eat meat (probably around one meal a week), but it worries me to go 100% because of this “eat right for your type” idea. What do you think about the blood type diet?
      Thanks for your help!

      • Donna DeGeorge

        Kimberley H- That whole eat meat if your type O thing is a bunch of hooey! Check out some of the discussions on The Kind Life website, there has been much chatter on the topic.
        Also, read The China Study by Dr. Campbell. He makes some great points in there about why eating vegan and mostly raw is good for everyone, and how blood types and metabolisms have no bearing on that conclusion.

      • Sarah

        Hi Kim!
        I’m familiar with the blood type diet, and you’ll be pleased to know that David Rainoshek of juicefeasting.com is a type O! and he looks fantastically healthy!
        good luck!

        • Kimberley H

          Thanks Donna and Sarah! I actually just started reading “The China Study” yesterday and I can not put it down! Finally a book I can give to my loved ones with information that is impossible to deny! Glad to throw out the blood type idea for good too! :)

      • Sophie

        Hi Kim

        I am new to the BT diet but I have been following the Blood Type Diet for a long time! I am an o as well, and just curious if you have had any luck on transitioning to a vegan diet?

        Thanks for your thoughts!

        You can email me or reply on here:)


        • Kimberly Snyder

          Hi Sophie,

          Great! For transitioning, focus on eating more salads and greens, start working towards making the GGS part of your daily lifestyle, and start cutting out dairy and back on meat.

          We all have the same digestive tract, anatomy and organs, regardless of blood type. I am not an advocate of the blood type diet.
          xx Kimberly

  • http://conceptuelle.tumblr.com Rache

    You left out the most powerful one of all: the DURIAN!!!

    I can attest that it’s no joke. They say it’s due to the tryptophan which increases seratonin. In Southeast Asia they even have a saying…”when the durians fall down the sarongs fly up.” lol

  • Chloe

    Hi Kim! I am allergic to banana’s and avocado’s are there any suggestions on replacements? I know these seem to be staple ingredients in your book. Thanks!

  • http://xao-d.deviantart.com Esop

    Fantastic post yet again!

  • Kimberly Snyder

    Maca may be beneficial…I’ve tried it in the past more for its purported endocrine benefits.

  • Nicole

    Great post, and I love the look of your new site. Thank you for continuing to educate and inspire with the blog. Although I have finished reading BDS and have drastically changed my diet to be healthier, there is still so much to learn!

    I would love to see a future post about sea vegetables, I’m interested to know more about what’s out there, what they can do for me, and how they can be incorporated into my Beauty Detox Lifestyle.

  • Jennifer

    Kim, please tell me what you think of these nutrition bars! They are organic,vegetarian, soy, dairy and gluten free. Along with superfoods! I just wonder about the dried fruit in them knowing the food pairing rules…Id love your advice b/c if you look at the nutrition these seems incredibly healthy for your body! Thanks so much. Blessings,

  • Lee

    Kim used excellent wording when she wrote “but feeling asexual and unbalanced for long stretches can produce some negative energy.” Kim- if an individual does not have sex for a long period, how does this affect a person? Do they just feel like something is missing, or is there a chemical change in the brain and/or body as well?

  • http://peacelovenutrition.wordpress.com/ Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition

    Thanks for the recommendations! Along with eating these great foods I find exercise is the key to feeling good in bed! : )



  • Sara

    Hi Kimberly,

    I took the NCLEX for nursing yesterday and received a little bulletin about it afterwards. I opened it up and there was a picture of someone inside of it. Was that you?? I definitely did a double take when I opened it! If not, you have an identical twin somewhere in this world!

  • http://www.kristenpeters.net Kristen @ kristenpeters.net

    OK so tonight I will be making a pesto pasta with chili peppers and for dessert vanilla, cinnamon, and pomengranate something or other, and to drink lots of red wine. Thank you for this very insightful post. I’m sure we can all use some help one way or another. Now if only you can recommend the top 25 babysitters. 😉

  • Tina

    What’s your opinion about this? http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/fructosedangers.htm
    – eating fruit and what happens with high fructose levels in the body? How much fruit a day is okey?

    • Carla

      I can’t answer for Kimberly about how much fruit is okay, but Dr Mercola ( search his site) has written a lot on this topic. I think he says keep fructose grams low ( below 25) and even lower for some people. It includes a chart of which fruits are highest, etc…hope this helps!

  • Lauren

    Hi Kimberly, great post & i loved your book.
    What is your opinion on BCAA supplements? I have noticed an increased interest, and talk about them on a fitness board I check out sometimes. Posters on the board recommend Scivation Xtend. Could you write a blog post about this?
    Thanks !! Lauren

  • Nicole

    Hi Kim!

    I was wondering if the cashews for your key lime bars have to be soaked first? Also what specific brand of cocunut oil do you recommend? Thanks 😉

  • http://revealgreatskin.com Victoria

    Wow, would my husband love to get his hands on this post :) All of the foods you mentioned are great, but I have to admit that I have never tried sea vegetables. Where do you find them and do they taste similar to sea weed?
    As always I LOVE the information you provide!

  • andi

    I have been trying the seafood vegetables in your book, but I cannot get past the sea taste…unfortunately it is unappealing to my palate Are there any substitutions I can make when it is called for in your recipes, such as dharma’s kale salad?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Try the whole dulse leaves instead of the flakes. I made the switch and now the flakes seem too fishy to me too! the whole leaves are awesome- try them out! xx

  • Douglas Addy

    wow it’s good to know that avocado is one of the sexually enhancing foods thank you.

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    Nice post, can you please provide me with some links where i can learn more on this topic?

  • http://www.facebook.com/donaust Austin

    Nice Lesson I luv dis

  • http://agelessmalenow.blogspot.com/ john

    Here’s hoping that some of these foods work for you! But if nothing seems to be working, try Ageless Male. It’s a supplement containing fenugreek seed extract that stimulates the body to trigger more testosterone and improve libido! And be careful if you come across Ageless Male scam reviews – don’t believe a word of any of them! The product is genuine and fenugreek is a proven testosterone booster. So use it to spice up your sex drive, you won’t be disappointed!

  • Jude

    itls a nice tips. Keep it up.

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  • Jim

    There is no proven magic bullet for boosting sexual desire but the use of aphrodisiacs can be beneficial because of their nutrients. Examples include oysters with their high zinc content; chocolates with their abundance of antioxidants; and herbs like yohimbine and gingko biloba, which are considered as natural Viagra.