12 Natural Aphrodisiac Foods

 

Can food actually fire up your sex drive? All of these foods have reputations as libido-boosting aphrodisiacs — some simply have history on their side while others have the science to back up their sex-positive prestige.

Since they're all whole, healthy foods, it wouldn't hurt to have a bit of a taste test and judge for yourself. Happy Valentine's Day!

Avocado

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Everyone's favorite healthy fat is actually a love drug from way back. The Aztecs referred to them as ahuacuatl (translation: "testicle tree"), which they believed influenced fertility.

Their high vitamin E content helps keep hormones circulating properly, which stimulates blood flow. And if they keep you looking and feeling good, that can't hurt either.

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Chili Peppers

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This heat-producing food can "quicken the pulse and induce sweating, mimicking the state of sexual arousal, as well as stimulating the release of endorphins, which play a role in sexual pleasure," says Meryl S. Rosofsky, a doctor and adjunct professor in the department of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University.

Chai Tea

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The combo of warming spices including cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves was thought by Asian cultures to increase both physical and sexual appetites.

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Arugula

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Native to the Mediterranean, this leafy green was a symbol of fertility to both the Greeks and Romans. It has vitamins A and K, along with potassium and calcium, and may have cancer-fighting properties.

Chocolate

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One of the most popular aphrodisiacs, it was a favorite of the Mayans and the Aztecs. Cocoa is known to have positive effects on mood, which is always a plus.

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Honey

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The ancient Greeks loved this one, too. Hippocrates was said to have prescribed honey for sexual vigor.

The word honeymoon stemmed from the tradition that newlyweds would share mead (made from fermented honey) on their wedding night.

Honey also contains boron, which helps regulate hormones — and let's face it, well-functioning hormones are what it's all about.

Coffee

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In medieval Turkish culture, law mandated that a woman could divorce her husband if he didn't supply her with a daily amount of coffee.

More recently, the University of Texas produced a study that said two to three cups of coffee could reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.

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Strawberries

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Once known as the symbol of Venus, goddess of love, these berries have a lot going for them. Their heart-shaped, vibrant red exterior holds antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they taste exceptionally good when combined with fellow aphrodisiac chocolate.

Olive oil

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We know this healthy fat is good for your heart, but that same circulation boost was rumored by the Greeks to make men more virile. It was also used as an ancient form of contraception, according to Aristotle.

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Figs

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Rumored to be Cleopatra's favorite, as well as a symbol of love to the Greeks, figs are historically linked with sexuality across the world.

Their seeds are thought to symbolize fertility, while the fig leaves represent modesty. Figs are high in potassium and antioxidants, too.

Oysters

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Possibly the most well-known of the aphrodisiacs, and rightfully so. Scientists say this one's legit, and raw oysters contain an amino acid that releases sex hormones.

Pomegranate

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Another ancient fertility symbol, this truly awesome fruit can actually increase testosterone levels in both women and men, which can increase sex drive and mood.

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