Banana with chocolate syrup

The 7 Most Effective Natural Aphrodisiac Foods

Although at times aphrodisiacs are only placebos, many people benefit from their consumption

Banana with chocolate syrup
The 7 Most Effective Natural Aphrodisiac Foodstuffs | iStock

Very often the aphrodisiac properties of some natural products are mentioned, not least in relation to foodstuffs such as chocolate or strawberries. However, the term is somewhat ambiguous since the processes through which different substances may exert an influence on the libido vary and on occasions are associated with placebo.   

In the following, we’re going to set out the factors that make a foodstuff to be aphrodisiac and to show what the most powerful aphrodisiac food in the world is. Moreover, we’re going to talk about its culinary use and the way it may be added to our dishes.

What makes a foodstuff to be an aphrodisiac?

The term ‘aphrodisiac’ comes from Greek mythology, more specifically the name would be used to refer to the goddess of love, Aphrodite, who subsequently would be Venus for the Romans. Hence the fact that aphrodisiac food is associated with that which has properties that contribute to the increase of sexual desire or libido.

Natural aphrodisiac food, therefore, is that which given its smell, flavor or the nutrients they contain make that people are more likely to engage in sexual intercourse following the increase in sexual desire and ‘attraction.’

That said, research undertaken to demonstrate the sexual potential of some foodstuffs isn’t conclusive; in fact, several studies point to the fact that a placebo effect is produced with aphrodisiac food.

Be that as it may, it’s conspicuous that some foodstuffs succeed in easing or leading to the fueling of our sexual desire at least in some of us.

Types of food of this sort

There are different types of aphrodisiac food according to the characterization of this ‘arousing function;’ In this context, a foodstuff may be aphrodisiac due to the fact that it contains a specific substance, due to its likeness to sexual organs, due to the stimulation it produces in other ways that foster attraction or due to the specific cultural history of each people.

1. Aphrodisiacs of central action

The foodstuffs that belong to this group contain a substance, normally a hormone, that exert a disinhibiting effect in your organism.

These effects are associated with an increase in either dopamine or testosterone, as well as in MSH (the hormone stimulating the melanocytes).

2. Aphrodisiacs by association

As it has been previously said,  these foodstuffs have similar shapes to the male or female sexual organs, which facilitates the association of these with sexual practice.

The phallic shape of bananas or the round shape of apples or pears makes that many people associate these with shapes in the male body and the female one, respectively.

3. Aphrodisiacs that excite in other ways

Smell, touch or taste are other senses that may be stimulated and can lead to an increase in our sexual desire.

A fragrance with a good smell or gently touching your partner’s back with a feather activates the senses and makes that the libido increases, thereby increasing the desire towards the other person.

4. Cultural aphrodisiacs

Depending on the culture where each individual develop themselves, a different kind of information is developed as to what the foodstuffs are that in a ‘mythological’ way have been considered as an aphrodisiac  even if they aren’t from an objective point of view.

Some of these are seafood or ginseng, which, although they may have beneficial properties and nutrients for the organism, don’t contain enough or necessary ones to be catalogued as aphrodisiacs of central action.

The 7 most common aphrodisiac foods used

Taking into account the previous classification, we’re going to show you what the aphrodisiac foodstuffs are that are most commonly used in western culture and what uses we can give to them to boost our sexual desire so that a dinner can become an incredible night.

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is one of the aphrodisiac scents per excellence. Its sweet smell together with the special taste that so conspicuously characterizes it, makes of cinnamon a very commonly used product in both cooking and the elaboration of cosmetics. However, ingesting it is also beneficial for our organism.

It seems that cinnamon stimulates blood irrigation, which translates into a more intense and satisfactory arousal. It may be consumed as either cinnamon tea or added in pastries or in liquors nowadays made popular such as ‘Fireball’.  

2. Chocolate

This is another foodstuff with a longstanding tradition as an aphrodisiac and even as a replacement for sex. Its flavor, smell and properties cocoa contribute to the organism with make it ideal to go with a romantic dinner.

Cocoa contains phenylethylamine, a substance that assists in the production of dopamine and in the release of endorphins, thereby endowing our organism with wellbeing and energy. All this contributes to a greater arousal and an increase in sexual desire and a decrease in stress.

3. Almonds

Traditionally it’s been said that almonds are a natural aphrodisiac for women since they foster fertility and give energy due to its high content of beneficial nutrients for the organism.

Most nuts contain high levels of arginine and vitamin B3; its intake makes that the blood flow be more fluid due to the expansion of the blood vessels, which leads to the arousal and the erection of the male’s penis.

4. Maca

The beginning of the use of the maca root in Spain is quite recent, although its use was already very extended in Latin America. It’s a plant original from Peru.  It’s been used as a natural aphrodisiac since ancient times.

Given the variety of nutrients it contributes to the organism with, the maca was not only used as an aphrodisiac but also to protect the higher cognitive functions. As such, it facilitates the secretion of sexual hormones and makes possible the arousal of those who take it.  

5. Strawberries

Strawberries, besides being an excellent fruit, prove very palatable both visually and in relation to taste. They contain high levels of vitamin C and contribute with potassium and magnesium, these being substances involved in sexual desire thereby fostering the libido.

6. Bananas

The suggestive shape of a banana, that is reminiscent of the erected male sexual organ, as well as its sweet taste and high content of potassium it contributes to the organism with, makes a banana an extremely sexual fruit, which can help, together with chocolate, to spend a night of unforgettable pleasure.

7. Oysters

Oysters make one think of Aphrodite. Oysters, moreover, are a type of seafood that contribute to the organism with one of the highest levels of zinc. Zinc helps the human body to secrete testosterone, a hormone closely linked up with sexual desire, its consumption, therefore, being of great help in the increase of sexual appetite.

Moreover, culturally, the consumption of oysters is related to ostentation and power, which to some proves as even more arousing. A dish of oysters together with a good wine may turn out to be key to spend one of the most romantic nights.


  • Shamloul, R. (2010). Natural Aphrodisiacs. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7(1), 39-49.