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11 Summer Foods to Boost Your Libido

written by Carrie Borzillo - Jun 21, 2021
medically reviewed by Dr. Christine Bishara, MD - Jul 15, 2021

Studies show that a healthy sex life is key for a happy relationship. But many people’s sex drives took a hit this past year as the COVID-19 pandemic waged war on our mental health and overall happiness. It’s time to jumpstart your libido and get ready for what some are predicting to be the summer of love. One way to do this is to stock your refrigerator with summer foods that are known to boost your libido and share some sexy meals with your significant other.

But, first, a little history lesson — Did you know the word “aphrodisiac” stems from the Greek Goddess of Sexual Love and Beauty named, of course, Aphrodite? Aphrodite goes by another name to the Romans, though, which is Venus — the Latin word for love or sexual desire. Another fun fact: Venus is the root word for venereal, as in venereal disease or just relating to sexual desire or sexual intercourse. The story goes that many of the foods that Aphrodite and Venus indulged in were known to give them their sexual prowess. And, for many of these foods, modern science actually backs it up.

Check out these 11 foods to get you in the mood and one sexy recipe that features eight aphrodisiacs on this list!


Almonds aren’t usually the first food you think of when you think of aphrodisiacs, but they’ve long been seen as a symbol of fertility. It’s because they are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which helps to boost hormone synthesis and brain power which can lead to an increased libido and improved sexual health. One study showed that eating 60 grams of almonds (that’s about 40 almonds) a day boosts desire and orgasm quality, while another study showed that the scent of almonds is especially arousing to women.


Arugula, the peppery lettuce that’s actually an herb, has been considered an aphrodisiac since the first century. The story goes that arugula was associated with Priapus, a Roman God of fertility. Its trade minerals and antioxidants in the leafy greens are good for sexual health because they help to block environmental contaminants that are said to be bad for the libido. One study showed that arugula leaf extracts helped to boost testosterone levels and sperm activity in mice, but like with most of these aphrodisiacs, there are little to no human studies.


Ever look at an avocado and think, “Hmmm. That looks like a testicle?” Yeah, neither did we… until now. Around 500 BC, the Aztecs first named this fruit after their word testicles, āhuacat, because of its shape. There’s another reason the Aztecs might have had sexual organs on their mind when naming the avocado. It’s because it’s chock full of testosterone-inducing nutrients such as folic acid, Vitamin B9, and B6, as well as Vitamin E, which is associated with increased fertility.


Many herbs are natural antidepressants, but some are also aphrodisiacs, such as basil. Some claim that the uplifting and sweet aroma of basil stimulates and promotes blood flow to the erogenous zones making the areas more sensitive to touch. According to the book, “Erotic Cuisine: A Natural History of Aphrodisiac Cookery,” the aroma of basil was thought to guide the body and spirit into a “unity of perception and acceptance.”

Photo Credit: by Carrie Borzillo
Photo Credit: by Carrie Borzillo


The Mighty Aphrodite is also said to have eaten beets to amplify her sex appeal. Of course, myths are myths, but science is science and science says that beets are a great source of the mineral boron, which reportedly contributes to the production of sexual hormones. Additionally, beetroot has methoxypyrazine, which is a compound that produces a highly stimulating aroma. According to Healthline, beet juice has been known to help with erectile dysfunction because beet juice lowers blood pressure, and high blood pressure is one cause of erectile dysfunction. As for libido, high blood pressure in both men and women can cause a lower sex drive so eating beets or drinking beet juice can help increase libido.


Mmm, chocolate. Just the thought of it makes you feel good. It’s not just because it’s indulgent and yummy. It’s because chocolate features compounds such as anandamide (a neurotransmitter that is named after the Sanskrit word for joy, bliss, and delight) and phenylethylamine (the “love chemical” that triggers endorphins in your brain that help you feel pleasure).

Goat Cheese

This one might be surprising, but like chocolate, cheeses also contain the chemical phenylethylamine (a.k.a., the love drug). Fresh cheeses, such as young goat cheese, are actually reported to have more than 10 times as much phenylethylamine as chocolate. Additionally, protein-rich foods like cheeses also promote dopamine production and dopamine is another brain chemical that leads to feeling good.


Oysters top the list for aphrodisiac foods and for a good reason. The infamous Italian lover Casanova and Egyptian goddess Cleopatra, both known for their insatiable sexual and romantic appetites, were known to indulge in this salty mollusk. While the shape and texture of the oyster is said to make some think of sex, it’s actually the high concentration of zinc that really helps to get people in the mood. Zinc is known to increase blood flow — and blood flow to the sex organs is vital for a healthy libido.


The pomegranate has long been associated with fertility because of its bounty of seeds. But today this fruit rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants is considered an aphrodisiac for its ability to boost your libido. A 2011 study by researchers from Queen Margaret University revealed that pomegranate juice can lower cortisol levels. In turn, lower cortisol can lead to an increase in testosterone, which is one of the hormones responsible for your sex drive.


In Roman mythology, strawberries symbolized Venus, the Goddess of Love, due to its heart-like shape and vibrant red color. That aside, strawberries are also rich in Vitamin C, which helps bolster blood flow and estrogen production.


This favorite summer fruit contains citrulline, which relaxes blood vessels and promotes blood flow to erogenous zones. To stay sexy, hydrated, and cool this summer, make a batch of watermelon ice cubes that you can pop into any drink. Try this recipe: 5 Refreshing & Healthy Summer Drinks to Beat the Heat.

Here's an easy recipe that just screams summer and is full of not one, not two, but eight aphrodisiac ingredients...

Sexy Summer Salad for 2

Salad Ingredients:

● 2 cups Arugula

● 1/2 avocado

● 1 cup sliced beets

● 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

● ¼ cup almonds

● 2 sprigs of fresh basil for garnish

● 2 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles

● 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Photo Credit: by Carrie Borzillo
Photo Credit: by Carrie Borzillo

Pomegranate Vinaigrette Ingredients:

● ¼ cup olive oil

● ¼ cup pomegranate juice

● ¼ cup rice vinegar

● Juice of ½ lemon

● 1 tablespoon chopped shallots

● ½ tablespoon chopped garlic

● ½ teaspoon pepper

● ½ teaspoon salt


1. Whisk the Pomegranate Vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl or shake them together in a jar

2. Divide the salad ingredients onto two salad plates or bowls

3. Drizzle on the dressing and enjoy!

Photo Credit: by Carrie Borzillo
Photo Credit: by Carrie Borzillo



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