Food for Your Libido: A Valentine’s Diet to Boost Your Sex Drive

A couple out to dinner and drinking wine on a deck

Imagine this: It’s Valentine’s Day. You’ve bought your partner flowers or chocolates, had a night out together at the movies...and now your partner wants to continue the celebration in the bedroom. But you don’t really want to.

Most people have days when they’re just not in the mood. But if it’s not just Valentine’s Day—if low sex drive is year-round—it could put some strain on a relationship.

Fortunately, there are several ways to increase your sex drive. And one may be as close as your plate.

Officially, the science is still out on whether certain foods can increase libido. But many researchers suspect that some foods do have those qualities. For example, some might work by increasing your level of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to libido and sexual functioning.

Foods to Reach for

These foods could help boost your libido.


Why You Should Eat Them

Strawberries are high in vitamin C, a vitamin that might boost libido. This healthy vitamin can also provide an “indirect” benefit to a man’s sex life: Studies suggest that vitamin C, when ingested as food (not supplements), protects men against prostate cancer.

For men, strawberries might also be beneficial if you are hoping to conceive—they have folic acid, which the body uses to create sperm cells.

How You Should Eat Them on Valentine’s Day

Chocolate-covered strawberries are a perfect way to get in the mood. Not only will you get the benefits of strawberries, you’ll also get the romance that’s associated with this dessert.

Then there are the benefits of chocolate. The science is out on just how much chocolate can increase libido, but chocolate does contain phenylethylamine, a substance thought to boost several “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.

Raw Oysters

Why You Should Eat Them

Oysters contain zinc, which some research suggests can raise testosterone levels and sperm production.

How You Should Eat Them on Valentine’s Day

If you’re making oysters at home instead of going to a restaurant, keep the oysters on ice, and scrub the shells to make sure they are free of dirt and bacteria. When you’re about to pry them open, wear gloves or use a towel, and make sure you use an oyster knife (a paring knife might cause injury).

When serving them raw, add a small amount of a vinegared shallot sauce to enhance their flavor. If you’re cooking them, consider a light batter, or adding them to a stew or chowder.

Special tip for Valentine’s Day: Pearls come from oysters. If you’re looking for a nice gift and you’re going to be serving up oysters, a bracelet or a set of pearl earrings may be the perfect pairing.


Why You Should Eat It

Avocado contains the vitamin B6, which some studies show can decrease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (such as fatigue, bloating, and irritability). This might make it easier for women to “get in the mood.”

For men, avocado can also increase libido a little more indirectly. In order for blood to get to his sex organs, a man needs a healthy, properly functioning heart. Monounsaturated fats are a type of fat that reduce bad cholesterol levels, and can lower the risk of stroke or heart attack. And avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat.

How You Should Eat Them on Valentine’s Day

Avocado isn’t the most romantic food to eat on Valentine’s Day. However, it can certainly be a fun and tasty one. Spice it up a little, and schedule your Valentine’s dinner at a Mexican restaurant where you can order plenty of guacamole.

Foods to avoid

Just as certain foods can increase libido, others can make it worse.


For more suggestions on foods to increase libido—or for more information on treating low sex drive — talk to your primary care provider.

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