Oysters are among the oldest food-based aphrodisiacs. The 18th century lover Casanova was rumored to have eaten 50 oysters every morning for breakfast. Oysters are rich in zinc, a compound that boosts sexual activity in male animals, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences. Other foods high in zinc, that also might boost libido, include beef, lamb, pork, crab, turkey, chicken, lobster, clams and salmon.
Vitamin E-Rich Foods
Vitamin E is thought to improve sex drive, according to the website Women to Women. Foods rich in this vitamin include wheat germ, sweet potatoes and almonds.
Spicy foods may also boost desire. Chili peppers contain a molecule called capsaicin, which boosts your heart rate and causes your body to release endorphins, the same chemicals that your body produces after exercise. They leave you with a high that could be conducive to lovemaking, according to the website Discovery Health.
Few sweets have been associated with sex drive, but chocolate is one major exception–hence why it is such a popular gift on Valentine’s Day. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2006 by Andrea Salonia and colleagues found that , women who consume more chocolate are more sexually functional and active. For one thing, chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a compound that engenders a sense of well-being and excitement, which could boost sex drive.
Although foods can boost sex drive, eating too much–and not getting enough exercise–may actually dampen desire. That’s because sex drive has a lot to do with how you feel about your body. Exercise not only improves self-image, it also increases the production of libido-enhancing endorphins.