For centuries, we mortals have obsessed over aphrodisiacs–those naturally occurring sexual stimulants we could enjoy before (you know) enjoying. It turns out it’s not some fools errand, and there’s actually some legitimate science at work here. Oysters? (The secret is zinc.) Kale? (Yes, really!) Here, we break down 10 foods to help boost between-the-sheet performance. Let us know how they work for you in the comments section. Then again, maybe don’t.
There’s an 80s nostalgia kick happening in fashion and film, and it extends all the way to the cupboard with wheat germ, a secret sexual booster. Not only is wheat germ high in fiber (good for your heart and stamina), it’s rich with the amino acid L-arginine (the same substance found in energy supplements like N.O. Xplode). “Arginine is a vasodilator,” explains Dr. Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh. “We call it ‘athlete’s Viagra.’ It increases oxygen delivery to all organs of the body.” (We get it.) It doesn’t hurt that arginine–also found in granola, cashews, and root vegetables, if you’re not feeling the germ–is involved in the production of certain anti-aging hormones. What makes you feel randier than looking young?
“Dark chocolate puts you in the cuddling mood,” says Dr. Eric Amaranth, a sex therapist in private practice in Manhattan. “I don’t keep track of science. I keep track of what works.” Thankfully, we’re on top of both (so to speak). While we always assumed chocolate was one of those Valentine’s Day clichés–an allegedly boner-ific aid–we stand corrected. Dark chocolate is high in anti-oxidants and phyto nutrients, explains Dr. Bonci. “It helps prevent LDLs–the bad cholesterol–from adhering to the artery.” And better blood flow leads to better sex. Chocolate is also rich in magnesium (which soothes nerves), methylxanthines (boosts libido) and phenylalanine, an amino acid that produces dopamine (the feel-good chemical). “Magnesium is important for muscle contraction and relaxation,” Dr. Bonci adds. “The electrical charge that lets muscles expand and contract.” Translation: Ba da bing.