Sexy topic on the menu today, folks: Aphrodisiac foods! These little darlings can get you in the mood, transport you to love-making beast mode, and help you have the hotter sex life you desire.

Experts tell us that “aphrodisiacs” contain nutrients that stimulate sexual desire. In case you didn’t know, sex is enhanced when the body can improve circulation and send more blood to erectile tissue — that’s the clitoral area in women, and the penis in men. The foods listed below are rich with the super-nutrients to help get that done!  Ready to get your groove on? OK, let’s dive in.

Watermelon

watermelon

And you thought this was just a refreshing, summertime treat! It is. But what you might not know is that watermelon contains a potent ingredient called citrulline. Our bodies convert this bad boy to amino acid arginine, which works to relax blood vessels and increase arousal by improving blood flow to erectile tissue. Some compare its potency to Viagra!

Note: Women wishing to conceive should not eat massive amounts of watermelon. Research shows that the fruit, ingested at a very high volume, could block estrogen. This could prevent development of the uterus lining and deter fertilized egg from implanting.
Try: Watermelon Salsa

Pepper

red hot pepper

Continuing the theme of torrid blood, hot peppers also increase blood flow and improve circulation. Capsaicin is the ingredient in peppers that makes them hot. It also makes your heart beat faster, makes you sweat, and swells your lips. Wow, sound familiar? Capsaicin boosts the release of endorphins, and increases testosterone levels in men. All this pepper action leads to better sex and a more intense orgasm. Just don’t get carried away and use it for a body rub.
Try: Southwestern Turkey Burgers

Avocados

Avocado

Avocados boost both energy and sex drive. Two for two! Apparently, the Aztecs referred to them as testicles…you can ponder that resemblance on your own. This super fruit is rich in vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin E, and mood-enhancing omega-3 fatty acids. High in unsaturated fats (good) and low in saturated fats (bad), avocados are good for your heart and arteries. Like their fellow aphrodisiacs, this means that they are effective at improving circulation and increasing blood flow to your official particulars.
Try: Avocado Dressing

Oysters, clams and other shellfish

oysters

Suggestive shape and slippery texture aside, oysters and clams are high in zinc, a nutrient found to be effective in triggering sex hormones; so, too, are crabs, lobsters and mussels.  Bivalve mollusks contain amino acids D-aspartic and N-methyl-D-aspartate, which one study found increased levels of testosterone (in males) and progesterone (in females), both associated with more frequent sexual activity. This experiment worked in humans and rats so there must be some truth to it. Unless you’re allergic, eat up!
Try: Grilled Oysters with Spiced Tequila Butter

Saffron

saffron

This spice, hailing from the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia, contains crocin, crocetin, safranal and other antioxidants widely believed to be responsible for increasing arousal and sexual desire. A scientific review revealed that subjects given antioxidants found in saffron showed measurable increases in blood flow to sexual organs and increased frequency of sexual activity. Saffron is relatively expensive, but worth it! Just a sprinkle can go a long way.
Try: Saffron-Pear Lollipops

Ginger

ginger

And all-around favorite, ginger is high in copper, magnesium and potassium, and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. As you are now readily aware, less inflamed and therefore less obstructed blood vessels can supply more blood to your erogenous zones, considerably revving up sensations in those areas. Bonus: ginger makes everything taste better and you can add it to almost everything edible. This root’s slightly sweet taste also warms you up much more gently than pepper. And in case you overdo things a bit, helps to cure nausea.
Try: Ginger Hot Chocolate

Berries

mixed berries

Strawberries and the like all contain high levels of zinc in their seeds. Zinc is important in regulating testosterone and sperm production in men and helps women’s bodies more quickly prepare for sex. But that’s not all: berries are rich in bioflavonoids, which strengthen blood vessels and increase circulation, therefore enhancing sexual endurance while boosting heart and organ health. And blueberries? A bonus is that they help his soldier stand at attention.

Studies show the soluble fiber in these little purple poppers deter cholesterol from depositing along the walls of arteries leading to clearer, less constricted arteries and improved circulation. Strawberries and blueberries are also high in dopamine, which enhances feelings of well-being and pleasure and boosts energy levels. Improved circulation AND feel-good hormones running around in your brain? We know where this is heading!
Try: Dark Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

So the good news about aphrodisiacs is that they are also invariably good for you. This seems like the ultimate win-win scenario: eat good stuff, get healthier, and enjoy better sex. Somebody please pass the ginger-covered strawberries!

Ann McLarty Jackson readily admits she’s never met a carb she hasn’t called friend, and thinks chocolate is its own food group. She remains committed, however, to the joy of a healthy life and constantly searches for the perfect balance between fitness and diet.

Trying to eat better? Start here.