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Oysters

These are loaded with zinc, which helps your body make testosterone. That's a hormone that plays a big role in your mood and sex drive. Zinc may also help men make more sperm. It might also help those sperm move better. Not a fan of shellfish? Load up on other foods high in zinc, like beef, pork, fortified cereal, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and yogurt.

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Pomegranates

Throughout history, this fruit has been known as a symbol of fertility and a sex enhancer. Turns out that there’s some truth to these tales. Experts say that drinking pomegranate juice can boost your mood, improve your blood flow, and raise your testosterone levels. Those are all things that can turn up the heat in the bedroom.

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Chocolate

It's no wonder that chocolate and romance go hand-in-hand. This sweet treat is linked with the release of serotonin, a hormone that encourages feelings of happiness and well-being. The mood boost that chocolate can bring may raise your sex drive, too. This indulgence also has lots of phenylethylamine, a brain chemical associated with lust and love.

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Spinach

This usually isn’t thought of as a sexy vegetable. But it can rev up your sex drive in more ways than one. This leafy green is rich in magnesium, a mineral that can boost your testosterone. It also has iron, which can help desire, arousal, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction, particularly in women.

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Watermelon

This juicy fruit serves up plenty of an amino acid called citrulline. Your body turns it into arginine, another amino acid that helps relax your blood vessels. That can get the blood pumping in your sex organs in the same way Viagra works to treat erectile dysfunction.

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Avocado

This creamy green fruit is packed with heart-healthy fats and fiber that can deliver lasting energy in the bedroom. Avocado also has vitamin B6, which experts say can play a part to ease PMS symptoms like fatigue, bloating, and crankiness. All of that might help make it easier for women to get into a romantic mood.

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Strawberries

Whether they’re dipped in chocolate or topped with whipped cream, strawberries are a romantic favorite. They're high in vitamin C, which may help rev up your sex drive, boost blood flow, and ease stress and anxiety. It also helps your body release more of something called oxytocin, known as the “love” hormone because of its link to sexual arousal and orgasm.

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Coffee or Tea

These drinks deliver a dose of caffeine, which perks up your nervous system. This may help men perform better in the bedroom. Caffeine may lower your chances of erectile dysfunction, too. Coffee and tea also give you antioxidants that can help keep you healthy. Skip it close to bedtime, though. It could mess with your sleep.

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Maca

Native to the Peruvian mountains, the maca plant has been used for centuries to boost fertility. Today, research suggests that its root can improve sexual desire. Phytonutrients in the plant may raise sperm count and sexual function as well. Maca root is often sold as a powder. It has a nutty, earthy flavor. You can add it to your yogurt, smoothies, salads, soups, or baked goods.

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Fatty Fish

Fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel have plenty of omega-3s. These healthy fats ease inflammation in your body. That can help your sexual health.  If you’re not a fan of seafood, you can also get omega-3s in flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

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Skip: Heavy Alcohol Use

One adult drink may help you relax. But knocking back a few or more may take a toll on your sex life. That’s because alcohol lowers testosterone and dampens your nervous system, which affects circulation and nerve sensitivity. So it might be harder for you to become aroused. Drinking too much can also make you dehydrated. That can lead to fatigue, headaches, and vaginal dryness.

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Skip: Saturated Fats

Foods high in these, like fatty beef and butter, can hurt your circulation over time. This may slow blood flow to your sex organs. In the short term, a diet containing meat may be a turnoff, too. Eating it can lead to an unpleasant body odor.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 03/20/2020 Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on March 20, 2020

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SOURCES:

Biological Psychiatry: “High-Dose Ascorbic Acid Increases Intercourse Frequency and Improves Mood: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.”

BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine: “Maca (L. Meyenii) for Improving Sexual Function: A Systematic Review.”

Chemical Senses: “The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness.”

Endocrine Abstracts: “Pomegranate Juice Intake Enhances Salivary Testosterone Levels and Improves Mood and Well Being in Healthy Men and Women.”

Food & Nutrition: “4 Facts to Know About Peruvian Maca Powder.”

Harvard Health Publishing: “Testosterone -- What It Does and Doesn’t Do.”

IsHak, W. The Textbook of Clinical Sexual Medicine, Springer International Publishing, 2017.

Journal of Reproductive Infertility: “Zinc is an Essential Element for Male Fertility: A Review of Zn Roles in Men’s Health, Germination, Sperm Quality, and Fertilization.”

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Iron,” “Magnesium,” “Omega-3 Fatty Acids,” “Zinc.”

Nutrients: “Effect of Nut Consumption on Erectile and Sexual Function in Healthy Males: A Secondary Outcome Analysis of the FERTINUTS Randomized Controlled Trial.”

Nutrition: “Watermelon Consumption Increases Plasma Arginine Concentrations in Adults.”

Penn Medicine: “Foods for Your Libido: A Valentine’s Day Diet to Boost Your Sex Drive.”

PLoS One: “Research of Caffeine Intake on Erectile Dysfunction in US Men: Results from NHANES 2001-2004,” “The Relationship Between Iron Deficiency Anemia and Sexual Function and Satisfaction Among Reproductive-Aged Iranian Women.”

SexInfo Online: “The Neurobiology of Romantic Love.”

The BMJ: “Why a Pomegranate?”

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism: “Seafood Intake, Sexual Activity, and Time to Pregnancy.”

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on March 20, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.