When you hear “aphrodisiac,” do you immediately think chocolate and oysters?
If so, you’re right–dark chocolate causes a spike in dopamine, the “pleasure chemical,” and oysters contain amino acids that increase sex hormones–but there are plenty of other foods that can also do the trick.
Chickpeas. Legumes, like chickpeas, contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds with estrogen-like effects. Estrogen affects sex drive and helps increase sensation. Toss some chickpeas on top of arugula (rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, which increase blood flow) for a fun salad.
Fish. Halibut is a good choice, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, because it’s rich in magnesium, which raises testosterone levels. Pair it with a watermelon salsa to give your libido an extra kick. Studies show that watermelon has a Viagra-like effect; chiles are high in capsaicin, a chemical that increases blood flow and triggers mood-enhancing endorphins; and cilantro contains folate, which regulates the production of histamine, a chemical that is key to sexual health.
Blueberries. This superfood is not only rich in antioxidants, but also increases circulation. Drizzle with a little honey for a natural energy boost and pour over vanilla ice cream, since vanilla raises dopamine and adrenaline levels, which in turn increases blood flow.