One of the most notorious aphrodisiacs, oysters are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility. Researchers recently found that oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones.(Get our free Valentine’s Day guide packed with dozens of quick tips and sweet ideas for an amazing V-Day celebration.)
This invigorating spice has an exotic reputation and a bright red color, which could be why it's considered an aphrodisiac and a symbol of love. But there's scientific backing, too. Chili peppers stimulate endorphins (the brain's feel good chemicals), speed up heart rate and make you sweat, which all mimic how you feel when you're aroused, Dr. Meryl S. Rosofsky told the New York Times.
It could be the sensuous pear shape, or the rich flavor of the fruit that gave avocado its aphrodisiac reputation as far back as the Aztecs. And while the jury is still out on just how lust-ful avocados are, Barbara Klein, professor of food and nutrition at the University of Illinois, told the California Avocado Commission that the fruit's high levels of vitamin E could help keep the spark alive because of its role in maintaining "youthful vigor and energy level."
Chocolate is sensual, from its taste to its aroma, but dark chocolate has also been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure.
With its phallic shape, bananas already look like a feel-good food; but they also contain bromelain, an enzyme which Dr. Oz says triggers testosterone production, and the fruit's potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels.
Honey is made through pollination and is a symbol of procreation. Birds and bees ring a bell? In fact, the word 'honeymoon' got its name from mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the happy new bride and groom. It also contains boron, which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost.
The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that ups the heart rate and makes the blood flow. One study conducted with female rats and published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior suggested that coffee could put women in the mood for sex.
According to sciencedaily.com, this 'lycopene king' may have a Viagra-like effect on the body, as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation.
Pine nutsiStock/Alina Solovyova
High in energizing zinc, which has been linked to a healthy sex drive, pine nuts are also considered aphrodisiacs because of the effort required to procure these oily gems from pine cones. Make a pesto with pine nuts, basil and olive oil, which The Doctors say also helps performance down there.
According to gourmetsleuth.com, this peppery plant has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. The minerals and antioxidants found in dark leafy greens like arugula have also been proven to block environmental contaminates that could negatively harm libido, says Walt Larimore MD, a medical journalist, author, and physician.