The Skinny on Aphrodisiacs

People have been turning to aphrodisiacs to increase and enhance sexual desire for hundreds of years, and many claim they really do work. Here are five that have science backing them, including two you probably know about, and three that might surprise you.


Oysters are one of the most famous aphrodisiacs – and Casanova was famed for eating them by the dozen. Closely associated with Aphrodite (who was said to have sprung from an oyster shell and for whom aphrodisiacs are named) this shell food contains massive amounts of zinc, which increases sperm and testosterone production in men.


While chocolate was originally considered an aphrodisiac because it was so rare, the chemical effect this sweet treat can have on your brain may well contribute to loved-up feelings. Chocolate can increase your serotonin levels, which makes you feel happier, and it also contains caffeine, for a natural boost of energy.

Pumpkin Pie

You might not immediately conjure up an image of pumpkin pie when you think about foods that can increase your desire, but research by the scientists at Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation have found that the smell of pumpkin pie can increase blood flow to the penis by as much as 40 percent, and can increase sexual desire in women. Containing cinnamon and vanilla, which are also known for their aphrodisiac qualities, pumpkin pie may be a fun sweet treat for lovers looking to increase their… appetites.


It’s probably better known for making your pee smell funky, but asparagus was served to grooms in 19th century France for good reason. Not only it is a great source of vitamins and potassium, but asparagus is also rich in folic acid which boosts the histamine production necessary for both men and women to orgasm.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranates are full of antioxidants, which make them great for your health – but they may also help lovers feel friskier. Researchers have found drinking pomegranate juice can lift testosterone levels by as much as 30 percent, which can increase sexual desire in both men and women.

Is there a feel-good food you think should be added to our list? What aphrodisiacs work for you?

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