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Foods That Have Been Known To Boost Your Sex Drive - Can Diet Affect Libido?

What food can get you in the mood..? ;P

What affects sex drive?

When it comes to the highs and lows of sex drive, it's not just about what's on your dinner plate. Loads of other factors can turn the heat up or cool things down in the bedroom. Let's break it down:

  • Stress is a major mood killer. When you're frazzled from work, wound up about finances, or just plain exhausted, your libido often takes the first hit. It's like your body's way of saying, "Sorry, love, we've got bigger fish to fry right now." Finding ways to chill out and cut down on the stress can really help get your groove back.
  • Depression is a beast that affects everything in your life, including your desire for intimacy. It's like trying to start a car with no fuel; it just isn't going to happen. Tackling depression head-on, with support from professionals, can light a spark in areas of your life that felt dimmed, including your sex drive.
  • Hormones are another big player. Think of them as the conductors of the orchestra that is your body, including the symphony of your sex drive. As we get older, and especially during menopause, the levels of key hormones like estrogen and testosterone can dip, causing your libido to take a nosedive. Keeping tabs on your hormonal health can help keep the music playing.
  • Oh, and alcohol. Sure, a glass of wine can help you relax and get in the mood, but overdoing it is like throwing water on the fire of desire. Drinking too much can lead to a loss of libido, making those romantic evenings a bit more challenging to navigate. Moderation is key here; you want to be relaxed, not zonked.


Can Your Diet Affect Libido?

Ever wondered if what’s on your plate can spice things up in the bedroom? Well, it turns out, your diet and your libido are more connected than you might think. Simply put, certain foods can give your sex drive a bit of a nudge, while others can dial it down.

Think of your body like a car; to get it revving up and ready to go, you need the right fuel. Foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients are like premium unleaded for your sex drive. For example, the Mediterranean diet, which is all about fruits, veggies, whole grains, and good fats like olive oil, isn't just great for your heart; it could also give your libido a boost. Why? Because it improves blood flow, and better blood flow means better arousal.

On the flip side, eating on too much junk food is kind of like putting sludge in your tank. Diets high in processed foods and sugar can mess with your energy levels and blood flow, which isn't exactly what you want when you're trying to get in the mood. And let's not forget about booze – while a little might loosen you up, too much can be a real buzzkill for your sex drive.

4 Foods That Increase Libido: Here's The Evidence

If you're keen on keeping things lively in the bedroom, paying attention to your diet could be a game-changer. Below, we've examined four foods and assessed whether (or not) they have what it takes to get you in the mood.

1. Chocolate:

Chocolate | Food to boost libido

Chocolate has long been thought of as a sensuous food associated with desire, but is there evidence to back the libido-boosting claims?

Some research suggests that chocolate may promote the release of the chemicals phenylethylamine and serotonin which are thought to produce some aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects.1

However, not all studies have been so positive. One study, in particular, looked at the effects of sexual function in women who consumed chocolate daily. The study found no significant differences in sexual arousal or desire in between those who consumed chocolate daily and those who did not.2

Due to the conflicting reviews, firm conclusions cannot be drawn on whether chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

2. Wine 

Wine | Foods that boost libido

Historically, there has been an association with alcohol and romance which is especially true when it comes to advertising. Reduced inhibitions is one of the most significant short term side effects that comes with alcohol consumption and can increase sexual behaviour.

However, in men, both short and long term alcohol consumption have shown in some studies to lower testosterone levels which can negatively affect sex drive. Since testosterone is a vital sex hormone involved in the sexual arousal and desire, alcohol consumption may have deleterious effects on male libido and sexual performance.

In females, however, some studies suggest that alcohol consumption may increase sexual desire, arousal and pleasure, however may also lower physiological arousal. Despite this, the evidence of alcohol consumption in females and libido are mixed and whilst enjoying a glass or two is fine, binge drinking is linked to risky sexual behaviours such as unprotected sex.

In truth, many mistake alcohol as an aphrodisiac, but it’s more likely to be alcohol’s inhibition-lowering effects that are linked to increased sexual behaviour.

3. Oysters

Oysters | Foods that boost libido

Oysters have long been dubbed as an aphrodisiac because they are an extremely rich source of zinc. In fact, just one oyster contains as much as half our daily recommended intake. Zinc is a critical mineral for the production of sperm and testosterone, therefore it would seem obvious to link oysters with increased sex drive.

Unfortunately, in reality, there aren’t many studies directly linking zinc to sexual health. One study did find that zinc supplementation increased testosterone production, the main hormone linked to sex drive, however, it had limited effects on helping to alleviate sexual dysfunction in men.


In reality, there is limited research to suggest that supplementation with zinc may help to increase sex drive, but this doesn’t automatically mean that consumption of oysters will have the same effect. Therefore, if you’re not a fan, you may be pleased to hear that there’s no need to rush straight to the oyster bar!

 4. Strawberries

Strawberry | Foods that boost libido


Many claim that no other fruit inspires thoughts of sensuality like strawberries do. But what does the science say?

Strawberries are an extremely rich source of vitamin C. One study has shown that supplementing with vitamin C may help improve vascular function and increase oxytocin release, both of which are relevant to sexual behaviour and mood.

But it’s important to note that this was one study, carried out 15 years ago on a small sample size and on an isolated nutrient. Therefore it’s too early to say whether strawberries can really be crowned the sexiest fruit.


Unfortunately, there is little evidence linking edible aphrodisiac to libido and more research is needed before making conclusions. It’s highly likely that the majority of funding will be going to chronic disease prevention rather than research on foods to improve our sex drive!
Despite this, it’s important to choose foods which genuinely makes you feel good. Whether that’s strawberries dipped in chocolate or a glass of red wine, foods that put a smile on our face tend to be the sexiest foods! 


  1. Afoakwa, E. O. (2008). Cocoa and chocolate consumption - are there aphrodisiac and other benefits for human health? : invited review. South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 21 (3), 107-113.
  1. Salonia, A., Fabbri, F., Zanni, G., Scavini, M., Fantini, G. V., Briganti, A., Naspro, R., Parazzini, F., Gori, E., Rigatti, P. & Montorsi, F. (2006). Chocolate and women's sexual health: An intriguing correlation. The journal of sexual medicine, 3 (3), 476.
  1. Halpern-Felsher, B. L., Millstein, S. G. & Ellen, J. M. (1996). Relationship of alcohol use and risky sexual behaviour: A review and analysis of findings. Journal of Adolescent Health, 19 (5), 331-336.
  1. Beckman LJ & ., A. K. (1995). Women, alcohol, and sexuality.: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
  1. Jalali GR, Roozbeh J, Mohammadzadeh A, Sharifian M, Sagheb MM, Hamidian Jahromi A, Shabani S, Ghaffarpasand F & ., A. R. (2010). Impact of oral zinc therapy on the level of sex hormones in male patients on hemodialysis. US National Library of Medicine  National Institutes of Health, 32 (4), 417-9.
  1. Brody, S. (2002). High-dose ascorbic acid increases intercourse frequency and improves mood: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Biological Psychiatry, 52 (4), 371-374.




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