This Valentine’s Day, couples across the nation will be cozying up to their sweethearts for a romantic night in. But sometimes, getting in the mood can be easier said than done — and for those folks, turning to the medicine cabinet may be the first solution that comes to mind.
“Many lovers may think it’s easiest to pop a pill like Viagra or Addyi (aka ‘female Viagra’) to boost their libido, yet these drugs are costly and come with serious side effects,” Su Robotti, founder and president of the MedShadow Foundation, an online nonprofit that aims to raise awareness of medicine’s side effects, told Fox News.
But Robotti said there’s a less costly and risky antidote to help increase your sex drive: food.
To help heat things up between the sheets, consider incorporating the following foods into your Valentine’s Day meal:
“The superfood is not only an antioxidant, but it can also improve blood pressure, which increases circulation to those important nether regions,” Robotti said. “[Past] research [has] found that drinking pomegranate juice daily for two weeks led to increases testosterone in both men and women.”
You might hesitate to get anywhere near garlic on Valentine’s Day for fear of bad breath, but the fact of the matter is, the vegetable is a wise choice if you’re seeking arousal. “Garlic — as well as onions — can increase sperm production in men and raise levels of sex hormones," Robotti said. A 2016 study in the journal Appetite suggested women found men who ate garlic had more attractive body odor than men who didn’t eat the veg.
Blackberry and raspberry seeds have the potential to turn your libido from cool to hot. “Chock full of phytochemicals (naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants), this food enhances libido and sexual endurance,” Robotti noted. She recommended eating 10 blackberries or raspberries a day, or a tablespoon of their seeds, several hours before getting frisky.
“The simple taste of this spice is said to increase blood flow to the genitals by dilating blood vessels and improving circulation,” Dr. Sonjia Kenya, a clinical sexologist and the author of “Sex in South Beach," told Fox News. “The heat you feel when ingesting ginger mimics heat felt during sexual arousal.” Ginger also can help keep your immune system in tip-top shape — enjoy it in natural or supplement form to ward off the common cold or flu, Kenya added.
Try adding natural ginseng root or ginseng tea to your diet to help improve your performance in the sack. “Researchers at the University of Hawaii found that women who took a ginseng supplement significantly increased their libido in a month; 68 percent [saw] their overall sex life [get] a boost,” Robotti said. But beware of “ginseng-infused” energy drinks, as added chemicals and sugar can have the opposite effect on your libido.
Incorporating this sweet extract into your diet can help make your sex life anything but “vanilla,” research suggests. “Vanilla has historically been eaten, drank and smelled as an aphrodisiac," Kenya said. "Science shows that vanilla is the most arousing scent for aging men because it relaxes them and gets the juices flowing."
Protein-rich eggs can help boost stamina, which makes them a great choice for boosting your libido. “They’re also an excellent source of amino acid and L-arginine, which has been proven effective in treating erectile dysfunction and certain types of heart ailments,” Robotti said.
“You may think that iceberg lettuce is lacking in nutrition, but it actually contains an opiate that activates sex hormones,” Robotti said. Serve lettuce in a big bowl with a little oil and vinegar dressing, and you and your sweetie will be rearing to get busy before turning in for the night.
Cloves have been used to treat sexual dysfunction in men for centuries, and animal research has found that clove extracts may aid sexual performance. “Whether you brew it in hot apple cider or infuse your chai tea latte with it, cloves are a ‘super spice,’” said Robotti, who added they can also help ward off bad breath. Pucker up!