If we said that your diet can boost your sex appeal, what would you think? You’d probably imagine the positive cumulative effect of thoughtful choices on your waistline, abs, skin, hair and mood. All that, of course, is true. But certain foods can also play a role in your attractiveness in a much more immediate way — we’re talking about food’s effect on pheromones: the chemicals we excrete in our sweat, saliva and other body fluids that have a social or sexual effect.
Yes, by eating certain foods, men may invisibly broadcast that they’re worth getting to know, in the biblical sense. The hormones androstenone and androstenol, which give off scents that may attract others, exist in a handful of foods that can be found at any supermarket or restaurant. If you’re a man, try eating the following three, and see if anything interesting happens. If you’re a woman who finds a man inexplicably irresistible, check what he just ate.
Nutritionally, there’s a lot to be said for celery. It’s high in fiber, and digesting it causes your body to work harder and expend more calories than most foods. It’s also a great source of vitamin K, folate, potassium and manganese. But beyond all that, every stalk is packed with androstenone and androstenol. “When you chew a stalk of celery, you release androstenone and androstenol odor molecules into your mouth. They then travel up the back of your throat to your nose," says Alan Hirsch, MD, author of Scentsational Sex. "Once there, the pheromones boost your arousal, turning you on and causing your body to send off scents and signals that make you more desirable to women." Men, you could do worse than ordering a Bloody Mary at brunch, and you won’t have to wait long before the celery takes effect. The pheromones are released immediately, says Hirsch.
Pardon the visual, but there’s a reason that pigs hunt for truffles: They’re especially affected by androstenone and androstenol. In 1981, German researchers discovered that androstenol is produced by many varieties of the subterranean fungus considered a delicacy. (In fact, The New York Times reported that people who use sows to hunt for truffles “often find it hard to prevent a sex-crazed animal from eating the truffle she has found, and may lose fingers in the attempt.”)
Truffles themselves are devilish pricey — selling for about $100 per ounce — but truffle oil also contains the pheromones, and it’s part of the esteemed Mediterranean diet. Give it a whirl yourself, but be warned: 25% of people can’t detect androstenone, and 40% of people are too sensitive to androstenol and find it foul smelling. The remaining 35% may find you wildly attractive. Research from Rockefeller University, revealed that this is mostly due to to genetic variations in a single odorant receptor called OR7D4. So now you know.
The third food with high concentrations of androstenol are parsnips, the long, ugly, light brown veggies that taste like a carrot-potato hybrid. Far cheaper than truffles, parsnips have the added advantage of containing boron, which has been shown to help the body metabolize and use estrogen and enhance blood levels of testosterone. Plus, root vegetables like parsnips are rich in folate, as well as vitamins A and C, and studies have found they boost blood flow to the brain.
And Four More Scents That May Have an Interesting Effect:
Lavender and Pumpkin Pie
Neither of these items contain androstenone or androstenol, but the aforementioned Dr. Hirsch found that their combined scents increased penile blood flow in study participants by 40%. The second most arousing scent combo was black licorice and doughnut, which increased penile blood flow by 31.5%. (We can’t recommend the last two, but pumpkin is a legitimate superfood: Here are 8 amazing ways to eat it this fall.
Guys, don't miss out on the secret to a strong sex drive and knock-your-socks-off bedroom performance. Here’s a list of the best foods for virility. The pleasure is all yours.
A cup of morning coffee certainly has its, er … perks. Men who consumed between 85 and 170 milligrams of caffeine a day — the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee — were 42 percent less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Researchers attribute the benefits to caffeine's relaxing effect on the arteries, which improves blood flow to the penis. Make it two cups of joe tomorrow morning. How hard is that?
The secret to healthy sperm? Carrots! Or so suggests a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that analyzed the effect of various fruit and vegetables on sperm quality discovered carrots had the best all-round results on sperm count and motility — a term used to describe the ability of sperm to swim towards an egg. Men who ate the most carrots saw improved sperm performance by 6.5 to 8 percent. The Harvard researchers attribute the boost to carotenoids, powerful antioxidative compounds in carrots that help the body make vitamin A.
Double down on the marinara to protect your manhood. Men who eat over 10 servings of tomatoes each week have an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer — the result of lycopene, an antioxidant which fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage — a study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found. A previous study found the garden vegetable could also improve sperm morphology (shape); men with the highest tomato intake contributed to between 8 and 10 per cent more ‘normal’ sperm.
Some like it hot, and the guys that do tend to be more virile, or so suggests a recent study by French researchers. They found that men who eat the most spicy foods tend to have higher testosterone levels than those with milder palates. Study authors attribute the T-boosting effects in part to capsaicin, a compound in chilies that previous research has associated with increased testosterone levels. Seriously spicy serrano peppers are also packed with quercetin, a nutrient shown to boost testosterone levels in the body by reducing the amount that's otherwise flushed out by the kidneys.
Forget the meet market and the meat market. Men looking to boost their sperm quality should head to the fish counter instead, research suggests. Sperm size and shape — one marker used to evaluate male infertility — was better in men who ate the most white meat fish as compared to men who ate the least, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed. And total sperm count was about 34 percent higher among men who ate the most dark meat fish, like salmon and tuna, than men who ate the least amount of fish. Meanwhile, men who reported eating one to three servings of processed meat had worse sperm morphology (shape) than men who ate the fewest servings.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best dietary sources of zinc and magnesium—essential minerals shown to boost testosterone levels and growth factor hormone, especially when combined. In fact, college football players who took a nightly zinc-magnesium supplement showed a 30 percent increase in testosterone levels and a 13 to 16 percent increase in leg strength, one eight-week trial found. The seeds are also a rich source polyunsaturated fatty acids shown to boost prostaglandins — hormone-like substances that play a key role in libido.
Watermelon just got juicier. Researchers say the summer staple contains an ingredient that can trigger blood vessels to relax much like Viagra does. It’s called citrulline, a compound found in both the flesh and rind of the melon that, once ingested, is converted into an amino acid called arginine that’s shown to widen the blood vessels and improve circulation. Experts say you’d have eat quite a lot to reap the benefits — at least six slices. But Dr Bhimu Patil of Texas A&M University who led the research believes that the juicy fruit could serve as a novel and natural antidote for erectile dysfunction.
We couldn’t run a list on virility foods without at least one aphrodisiac. And it turns out celery, of all things, is one seriously sexy stalk. “Celery contains the androsterone, a male sex pheromone released through perspiration, which limited research has shown to increase flirty behavior among females,” explains registered dietitian Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. Ingesting the androsterone can boost also boost male arousal, and cause a dude’s body to send off scents and signals that make him more desirable to women, according to Alan Hirsch, M.D., author of Scentsational Sex. Me-ow. Crudités, s’il vous plait.
Now check out our full report on the 50 Best Foods for Your Penis!
And make your little guy look bigger by flattening your belly! Here are the 28 best foods for your penis.
Eating spinach, a green rich in appetite-suppressing compounds, can not only make you look better naked but increase blood flow below the belt. “Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow,” explains Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of Healthy Simple Life. That may not sound sexy, but you’re sure to enjoy the effects. “Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable,” says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson Ph.D. Spinach is also rich in folate, which increases blood flow to the nether regions, helping to protect you against age-related sexual issues. For 150+ recipes that will make your belly flat—and your member look bigger—buy the brand-new book from Abs Diet creator David Zinczenko: Zero Belly Cookbook!
Recent University of Texas findings suggests that men who drink two to three cups of java a day—or 85 to 170 milligrams of caffeine from other beverages—are 42 percent less likely to have erectile dysfunction than those who consume up to seven milligrams of the stimulant daily. And those who throw back four to seven cups were 39 percent less likely to have the condition than their less jittery counterparts. The trend holds true among overweight, obese and hypertensive men, but not for those with diabetes, a condition that often causes the issue. So, how exactly does drinking coffee keep things going strong? The scientists say that the stimulant triggers a series of reactions in the body that ultimately increase blood flow to the penis. And get the abs you want—quickly—and melt up to 10 pounds in one week with our new diet plan, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost up to 4 inches from their waist! Available now—click here!
Hard men have healthy hearts, so eat bananas for potassium, which is great for your heart and circulation. Getting enough potassium helps keep your sodium levels under control, stopping your blood pressure from hitting the roof and reducing your risk of heart problems. If you eat too much salt and don’t like bananas, get your potassium from oranges or jacket potatoes (the mineral’s in the skin).
Double down on the marinara to protect your manhood. Men who eat over 10 servings of tomatoes each week have an 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer — the result of lycopene, an antioxidant which fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage — a study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found. A previous study found the garden vegetable could also improve sperm morphology (shape); men with the highest tomato intake contributed to between 8 and 10 percent more ‘normal’ sperm.
How alpha are you? Well, how many shakes of hot sauce can you handle? A recent study from France found men who have a taste for spicy foods tend to have higher testosterone levels than those who can’t handle the heat. Of the 114 male participants surveyed, researchers saw a clear correlation between frequent hot-sauce usage and higher T-levels. Study authors suggest the findings may be due in part to capsaicin—the fiery compound in chili pepper that previous studies have associated with increased testosterone levels. In animal studies, capsaicin has also shown to increase the size of sex organs, while simultaneously decreasing belly fat. Speaking of getting hot, don't miss the 8 Foods For Her Better Than Female Viagra!
Watermelon is one of the richest natural sources of L-citrulline, an amino acid that can help make your erection harder. Once it’s in the body, it converts to L-arginine, stimulating the production of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the penis, strengthening erections.
If you like your food like you like your lovers—sweet and spicy—you're in luck. Ginger is another food that can improve your sex life by aiding blood flow and improving artery health. According to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology, consuming a mere teaspoon of the stuff a few times a week is all you need to reap the heart-healthy benefits. The spice has also been shown to boost levels of testosterone and sperm viability. So go ahead and place that second order of sushi this week—just don’t leave the ginger on your plate.
Some scholarly minds believe it wasn't an apple, but a pomegranate with which Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden. She was smart: A recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research discovered that pomegranate juice, rich in antioxidants that support blood flow, can help improve erectile dysfunction. Though this study was funded by POM Wonderful, animal studies have also shown that the elixir improves long-term erectile response, so it’s definitely worth a shot–literally. Knock a shot back or water your juice down a bit: One cup of tart POM Wonderful packs 31 grams of sugar.
The brew is rich in compounds called catechins, which have been shown to blast away belly fat and speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy. But that’s not all: Catechins also boost desire by promoting blood flow to your nether region. “Catechins kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels, increasing their ability to transport blood,” says Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of Healthy Simple Life. “Catechins also cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow,” she explains. Blood flow to the genitals = feeling of sexual excitement, so sipping the stuff will, well, make you want to get it on. Bjork suggests drinking four cups a day to feel the full effects. Pick up one of our 5 favorite teas for weight loss.
There's a reason chocolate became a gift given before amorous activity. Cacao increases levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin, which can lower stress levels, boosting desire and making it easier to reach orgasm. And that’s not all: Cocoa also increases blood flow through the arteries and relaxes blood vessels, sending blood to all the right regions, which can boost sexual pleasure.
If you want to go long enough to help your date reach the big O, reach for some oatmeal. The popular breakfast cereal is a good source of l-arginine, an amino acid commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Plus, whole grains like oatmeal also help lower cholesterol levels. Having high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, a condition that clogs and narrows arteries, impairing blood flow. This could eventually lead to heart problems, but you’ll likely notice issues below the belt first. The arteries surrounding the genital area are narrower than coronary blood vessels, so they’re more susceptible to clots. Simply put, the better your cholesterol levels are, the better your erection will be, too.
These underrated kernels are rich in zinc, and people with higher levels in their system have been shown to have a higher sex drive than those with lower levels. They’re also a good source of magnesium, which boosts testosterone and keeps sperm healthy and viable. Pine nuts are the primary ingredient in pesto, so go Italian on your next date night, or sprinkle them on a salad with libido-boosting avocado, tomatoes and salmon.
Nature's candy can be a cherry bomb for your sex life. Cherries are rich in anthocyanins, plant chemicals which clean your arteries of plaque, keeping them open for business. That has a direct effect on blood flow below the belt. So make them a regular snack: One cup clocks in at fewer than 100 calories and boasts B vitamins, cancer-fighting flavonoids and three grams of fiber. For more essential fat-blasters for your kitchen, stock up on these 9 Best Flat-Belly Superfoods!
If you’re looking for a way to simultaneously boost your libido and calm those pre-date jitters, pour yourself a glass of red wine. According to a study printed in Nutrition Journal, vino could elevate your testosterone levels. In lab tests, researchers found that quercetin, a compound in wine, blocks an enzyme that causes the body to excrete testosterone, thereby increasing the amount of T circulating in the blood. Wine’s rich antioxidant profile also triggers nitric oxide production, which relaxes artery walls. This increases blood flow down south, creating feelings of sexual excitement. For some great picks for your next tipple, check out our 16 best wines for weight loss.
This Amazonian aphrodisiac comes from a tree native to Brazil, where tribes traditionally use it to remedy a lagging libido, impotence and nervousness (a well-known mojo killer). The plant’s active compounds, catuabine A and B, appear to act on sex centers in the brain, says Kilham, so you may experience erotic dreams while taking catuaba.
It’s no secret that oily coldwater fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here’s something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart but also raises dopamine levels in the brain. This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal. There’s more: “Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun,” says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson. Just make sure you're ordering the right kind by reading this special report: 8 Mistakes You're Making When Buying Salmon!
Bikinis, models, nuts … Is there anything Brazilian that’s not sexy? Selenium is a trace mineral found in Brazil nuts that plays an important role in hormone health. You only need a tiny bit for healthy sperm, but a tiny deficiency can be catastrophic for reproductive health. In one study, men who had lower testosterone and were infertile also had significantly lower selenium levels than the fertile group. Supplementing with the mineral improved chances of successful conception by 56 percent. And a second study that included 69 infertile men with low levels of the mineral, found selenium supplementation could significantly improve sub-par sperm motility associated with testosterone deficiency. Moreover, 11 percent of the men successfully impregnated their partners during the trial!
Potatoes—whether they’re the white or the sweet variety—are a great source of potassium. This nutrient boosts circulation, which keeps blood flowing where it needs to go and boosts your bedroom pleasure. (It also counteracts salt-related bloating, so you’ll look better naked too.)
Ancient Incans consumed this energizing Peruvian plant before battle or a bout of sex, says Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Maca increases sexual appetite, stamina, endurance and fertility. One 2008 study conducted at the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that maca helped people with antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction to regain their libidos. Check out 25 more Secret Superfoods for Weight Loss right here!
A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that analyzed the effect of various fruit and vegetables on sperm quality discovered carrots had the best all-round results on sperm count and motility — a term used to describe the ability of sperm to swim towards an egg. Men who ate the most carrots saw improved sperm performance by 6.5 to 8 percent. The Harvard researchers attribute the boost to carotenoids, powerful antioxidative compounds in carrots that help the body make vitamin A.
Quien és mas macho? A recent study by French researchers found that men who eat the most spicy foods tend to have higher testosterone levels than those with milder palates. Study authors attribute the T-boosting effects in part to capsaicin, a compound in chilies that previous research has associated with increased testosterone levels. Seriously spicy serrano peppers are also packed with quercetin, a nutrient shown to boost testosterone levels in the body by reducing the amount that's otherwise flushed out by the kidneys. Capsaicin, the compound that makes tabasco sauce hot, releases chemicals that increase heart rate, mirror signs of arousal and rev your libido.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best dietary sources of zinc and magnesium—essential minerals shown to boost testosterone levels and growth factor hormone, especially when combined. In fact, college football players who took a nightly zinc-magnesium supplement showed a 30 percent increase in testosterone levels and a 13 to 16 percent increase in leg strength, one eight-week trial found. The seeds are also a rich source polyunsaturated fatty acids shown to boost prostaglandins — hormone-like substances that play a key role in libido. Grab some, or choose any of these 50 Best Snacks for Weight Loss!
Classic dietary staples, like the chicken breast, may not have the Instagram presence of say, maca, but they earn a place on plates much longer. Simply put, their health benefits continue to stack up. In addition to a hefty amount of arginine — only turkey has more — a 3-ounce cooked chicken breast contains only 142 calories and 3 grams of fat, but an impressive 26 grams of protein. That’s more than half of the day’s recommended allowance. Plus, it's rich in B vitamins to rev your metabolism and energy levels. (And if you’re looking to treat erectile dysfunction, those B vitamins definitely don’t hurt.)
It turns out celery, of all things, is one seriously sexy stalk. “Celery contains androsterone, a male sex pheromone released through perspiration, which limited research has shown to increase flirty behavior among females,” says dietitian Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. Ingesting the androsterone can boost also boost male arousal, and cause a dude’s body to send off scents and signals that make him more desirable to women, according to Alan Hirsch, M.D., author of Scentsational Sex.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a less sexy-sounding food, but liver is loaded with zinc, which is essential for keeping testosterone levels up and prevents your body from converting T into estrogen. Beef liver is also high in Vitamin B12, a deficiency of which has been lined to erectile dysfunction.
The boner-boosting ingredient in eggs is choline, a powerful natural chemical that not only burns fat but can help set your pants afire. Choline triggers the production of nitric oxide (NO), which relaxes arteries in the penis and enables blood flow to do its thing. Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which controls sexual behavior through its activity in the brain; having a higher level of AcH has been associated with more frequent sex and more intense, longer orgasms. Bonus: Eggs are high in vitamins B5 and B6, which help balance hormone levels and fight stress, two undoubtedly helpful factors in the bedroom. To pack on more muscle, eat these essential 20 Foods With the Highest Amounts of Protein!
Honey, unlike table sugar, is packed with beneficial compounds like quercetin, which has been shown to aid athletic endurance and ward off depression—two very good things for your penis. Honey also has a less dramatic impact on your blood-sugar levels than regular sugar, so it won't send your body into fat-storage mode the way the white stuff can. Try adding some honey to your afternoon tea or morning bowl of oatmeal, but don't go overboard; the sweet nectar has 17 g of sugar and 64 calories per tablespoon, so too much honey can make you heavy, rather than horny.
These unassuming fungi are a libido-boosting triple threat: They have the highest level of choline of any vegetable—one serving has almost double the amount found in an egg yolk. They’re also rich in zinc and Vitamin D, which keeps testosterone at a healthy level and your libido humming.