In the age of Viagra, it's easy to forget that many foods can enhance the sexual experience. But which foods make the best aphrodisiacs? Keep clicking as Dr. Nicholas Perricone, the author "Forever Young" and other books, shares his top 10 picks.
Asparagus is rich in folate, a B vitamin that helps increase the production of histamine. The correct levels of histamine are important for a healthy sex drive in both men and women.
Avocado is rich in folic acid for increased energy production, along with healthy fats to improve mood and sense of well-being.
When it comes to boosting dopamine levels, blueberries rule. Blueberries give the body a greater ability to release dopamine, an energizing, stimulatory neurotransmitter. They also protect us from the loss of dopamine cells normally seen with aging. By increasing brain energy production and maintaining youthful brain function, dopamine exerts an extremely important antiaging effect. Since dopamine levels decrease with age, blueberries become even more important as we get older.
Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and other cold-water fish are high in omega-3 fats. If you want just one food group that is guaranteed to help increase sexual stamina, these fish are for you. Omega-3s are critical to the brain and nervous system. They also improve your mood, increase your sense of well--being, fight depression, give you glowing, radiant skin, and improve your memory and brainpower.
Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a chemical believed to produce the feeling of being in love. We all know how good chocolate makes us feel. In fact, a study published in "The Journal of Sexual Medicine" found that women who enjoyed a piece of chocolate every day had a more active sex life than those who didn't.
Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, an amino acid that helps improve blood flow. L-citrulline supports the body in optimizing blood flow when it converts to L-arginine and then to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is involved in vasodilation (dilation of the blood vessels). Low levels of nitric oxide are associated with mental and physical fatigue and sexual dysfunction. Like Viagra, L-citrulline increases blood flow to the sexual organs but without any negative side effects.
Some experts are asking, "Is watermelon the new Viagra?"
Garlic contains allicin, a compound thought to increase blood flow to the sexual organs. Some experts believe that garlic is a very powerful aphrodisiac. But it doesn't work overnight. It is necessary to take capsules or eat garlic daily for about a month to reap its remarkable benefits.
Oysters are extremely rich in zinc, which is essential for testosterone production and maintenance of healthy sperm. And even though women have much less testosterone than men, it also plays a key part in the female libido. Oysters also boost dopamine, a hormone that increases libido in both men and women.
Studies show that the amino acid L-arginine is helpful for improving sexual function in men. L-arginine is used to make nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels. Preliminary studies have found that L-arginine may help with erectile dysfunction. Peanuts are a rich natural source of L-argininie.
Like oysters, pumpkin seeds are extremely rich in zinc and promote the health of the male prostate gland. And don't underestimate the power of zinc when it comes to a woman's sex drive. One study found that pumpkin seeds are a great libido booster. Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which act as a precursor of prostaglandins - hormonelike substances important for sexual health.