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Natural Aphrodisiacs: Eating Your Way to Better Sex

Created: 03/13/2012
Last Updated: 01/08/2016

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If you're happy with your sex life but occasionally get bored or have a somewhat difficult time getting aroused, you may want to consider turning your attention to the kitchen. We're not talking about sex on the dining room table (though that's not such a terrible idea to spice things up). Rather, there are a number of foods that are believed to stimulate sexual desire.

One such treat is chocolate, a traditional go-to gift for women from their partners, and perhaps for good reason. In addition to being rich, delicious and having a silky texture, chocolate contains a chemical called phenylethylamine, which researchers believe is the same compound that induces that warm tingly, feeling of falling in love. Additionally, studies have shown that consuming cocoa-based produces stimulates the production of endorphins in the brain.

The aphrodisiac powers of raw oysters have been debated recently. Some have suggested that the effect stems purely from the seafood's suggestive appearance, while others believe that a certain compound stimulates the production of estrogen and testosterone.

Tomatoes are sometimes referred to as the "apple of love," perhaps because of the texture of the fruit or the fact that the acids they contain stimulate blood flow to the lips and mouth. Additionally, some research has shown that tomatoes can enhance sexual performance as well as improve muscle control.

Good news for guacamole-lovers: the vitamin E in avocados is a natural antioxidant that does more than promote healthy skin—it also may increase arousal and make orgasms more intense.

The beauty of these edible treats is that they are a safe, non-pharmaceutical way to help get blood flowing to desired areas. In this vein, they may even be thought of as alternative medicines. However, supplements claiming to enhance arousal or performance should be avoided.

For instance, Spanish fly, which is the extract of a particular beetle, may cause kidney damage or gastrointestinal bleeding. Additionally, some supplements that are labeled "all natural" may not be so truthful in their claims, as the active Viagra ingredient sildenafil has been detected in them.

Always consult your health care provider before taking any over-the-counter treatments for sexual enhancement.