5 Surprising Foods that Spark Passion + Recipes

Everyone’s heard anecdotally that oysters, chocolate, and strawberries boost the libido—but is that claim fact or fiction?

The appeal of being able to eat our way to a better sex life is undeniable. American women have distressingly high rates of sexual dysfunction, which get gradually worse as menopause hits. Research shows that more than 40 percent of premenopausal women have a less than ideal sex life with a new study revealing that sexual dysfunction jumps by nearly 30 percent during perimenopause.

Though the jury is still out on whether specific foods can improve your sex life, there is a lot of scientific evidence indicating that there is a connection between diet and libido. Research shows that eating healthy, nutritious whole foods is one of the keys to an active sex life.

While scientists haven’t proven that there is a direct correlation between an improved sex life and oyster consumption, there is some evidence that the following specific foods contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fats, and amino acids that may, indeed, spark passion between the sheets.

1. Fruits Like Avocado

Avocados have a long-held reputation as an aphrodisiac—it was the Aztecs who first identified the fruit as a libido booster. Maybe it’s the creamy texture or its sensual shape that makes avocados so tempting. Or it could be that the fruit’s high percentage of mono-saturated fats and vitamin B-6 give us the energy to keep going. Avocados are also rich in potassium and folic acid, which supports stamina and fertility.

This Kale Salad with Apples, Avocado & Grilled Maple Tempeh would make a great lunch and also includes other nutritious foods like kale and apple that may ramp up the sex drive.

2. Nuts Like Walnuts

Nuts like walnuts and seeds like sunflower and pumpkin are chock full of zinc and L-arginine to get you in the mood. A recent study has shown that regularly taking zinc mineral supplements increases testosterone levels and improves the frequency and potency of sex for both men and women. The amino acid L-arginine may help women have better orgasms and reach them more quickly by stimulating vaginal blood flow and smooth-muscle relaxation. One study showed that 60 percent of women increased their sex drive by taking L-arginine in conjunction with ginkgo, damiana, and other vitamins and minerals.

If you are a fan of burgers, try this scrumptious recipe for Walnut-Mushroom Burgers. Mushrooms also support cardiovascular health, which may also help with erectile dysfunction by encouraging better blood flow throughout the body.

3. Spices Like Cinnamon

Eating spices like cinnamon heat up your body, so it’s no surprise that they can also stimulate sexual desire. Like avocados, cinnamon has been long prized as an aphrodisiac ever since traders introduced the exotic Eastern spice to the West. In addition to short-term libido stimulation, cinnamon may also help balance blood sugar levels, as high blood sugar may cause erectile dysfunction and loss of libido.

Try this recipe for Breakfast Crêpes with Cinnamon-Orange Honey to help get your partner in the mood early in the day!

4. Roots Like Maca

Maca root has been cherished by Peruvians for its medicinal properties for ages. In addition to being highly nutritious (maca contains high levels of vitamin C, potassium, copper, and B-6), there is strong scientific evidence that the root legitimately boosts libido in both men in women. One study from 2010 found evidence that maca improves sexual desire after six weeks of consumption. Another study even claims it may improve semen quality!

As a sweet treat for your sweet, try this yummy recipe for Maca Brazil Truffles, which contains coconut, Brazil nuts, and Medjool dates.

5. Leafy Greens like Spinach

Spinach can trigger arousal and may render sex even more pleasurable because it is rich in the mineral magnesium, which can decrease inflammation in blood vessels and increase blood flow. This can stimulate orgasms in women and enable men to get an erection more easily and maintain it for longer. Spinach is also one of the highest sources of folic acid around, which studies show increases fertility and boosts libido.

This recipe for Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto contains a good amount of spinach and makes for a delicious dinner.


Originally published on Spirituality & Health magazine.

Image by Adina Voicu/ Pixabay

Valentine’s Day: 7 Unique Gifts for a Wellness and Self-Care Lifestyle

In a sea of chocolates and roses, it can be hard to choose a Valentine’s Day gift the speaks to the unique passions of your chosen recipient. When your significant other, friend, or family member craves green smoothies rather than a box of chocolates or prefers essential oils over roses, try one of these gifts targeted toward their wellness lifestyle.

 

Goodnight Darling Starter Set

Goodnight Darling Co. Starter Set

The mission of beauty and wellness company Goodnight Darling Co. is to “bring sleep back.” This four-piece starter set comprised of vegan and cruelty-free products includes the Deep Detox Bath Soak, which blends Pink Himalayan and Dead Sea salts with rose petals, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils, and Fade to Black Herbal Tea, which is made of stress-relieving clove, catnip, passionflower, lavender, pink rose petals, and Valerian root, and is designed to promote a good night’s sleep. $75

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Varietal Honey Flight

Bee Raw 04 Wildflower Varietal Honey Flight

What better gift for your honey than a flight of wildflower varietal honey? Bee Raw, which also supports a foundation to help save the bees, offers this set that comes with four hand-corked vials of either Maine Raspberry, Colorado Star Thistle, Colorado Sweet Yellow Clover, California Wild Black Sage, or New York Basswood honey. $40

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Pocket Farmacy Black 704165 A01

Pocket Farmacy

Husband and wife team Jean-Pierre LeBlanc and Kate Ross LeBlanc founded Saje Natural Wellness almost 30 years ago after Jean-Pierre was faced with a series of health challenges and chronic pain following a serious car accident. Seeking a more effective and natural solution to aid his recovery, he leveraged his background in chemistry to formulate his first essential oil blends. The Pocket Farmacy is their most popular set and includes roll-ons of essential oil blends to ease your headache, joint pain, cough, digestive issues, and stress. You can also buy individual blends to customize your own pocket pharmacy. $20-$65

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Birch Love Cuff

Personalized Love Birch Cuff

Birch trees traditionally represent protection and resilience. This personalized cuff was cast from real birch bark and is designed to “evoke the romantic tradition of carving lovers’ names into a tree,” according to Nancy Nelson, the jewelry artist who created the bracelet. $100

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Tease Tea Calming Tea Set

Tease Tea Self-Care Elixir

Give a gift that your beloved can incorporate into a daily wellness routine. This calming tea set includes an herbal tisane that blends moringa with other Ayurvedic medicinal herbs to promote a calm focus, and includes a tea strainer. $30

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Satya Lotus Necklace

Enchanted Beginnings Necklace

This charming lotus pendant can be a symbol of new beginnings and full potential for a recent love. Satya, the company that sells this necklace, donates a percentage of all sales to its Satya Foundation, which has raised more than $1 million for children’s charities across the world. $119

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Eco Herbal Garden

Modern Sprout Eco Planter Herb Kit

If your beloved likes to use herbs both in the kitchen and for medicinal purposes, gift this four-piece herb planter kit. It includes basil, cilantro, mint, and parsley, and the best part is that the frosted glass jars comes with a clever self-watering system so you can’t over- or under-water your indoor herb garden. $25-$100

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Image: Bruno /Germany/Pixabay

Originally published at Spirituality & Health