The Better Sex Diet

Can you eat your way to a better sex life?

Combining food with sex may sound too good to be true, but new research suggests that a little erotic nutrition may be just what the doctor ordered.

Don’t worry about shucking those oysters, as a Canadian review of 150 international studies found that a few simple spices may enhance sexual performance and satisfaction. Small amounts of saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, can be easily added to a healthy chicken curry or quick couscous dishes to improve overall sexual functioning.

Other spice rack staples like cloves, sage and nutmeg may also enhance sexual stimulation and they’re quite versatile working well with everything from healthy vegetables to rich and comforting mac n’ cheese dishes. Yum! And though the lab experiments with these three spices with rats have yet to be replicated in humans, I’m now beginning to understand why sage seems to fly off the shelves at my local grocer…somebody has been doing her research and stocking up for a rainy day!

For an oral approach to boosting your libido, you may also want to check out the muira palma plant and the maca root, which apparently help to increase desire in both men and women. Korean ginseng may also be worth a shot, as it is linked with helping to relax the smooth muscle tissue associated with erections and heightened sexual satisfaction.

If you’re looking to have a bit of fun with everyday foods, you may want to play with peppermints for their cool tingly sensation, whipped cream for the sake of its sweet, delicious mess and chocolate, which is associated with elevating your mood and improving blood flow. As if we need another excuse to eat chocolate.

But do beware of the hype and marketing around “natural” products: the finding that the traditional aphrodisiac Spanish fly (made from blister beetles) can be lethal is a reminder that “all-natural” is not necessarily synonymous with safe or healthy.

Until next time, here’s to happy and healthy eating in the name of great sex!

Dr. Jessica O’Reilly is a board-certified sexologist committed to helping clients enjoy healthy, pleasurable sex lives. She has completed her PhD in human sexuality with a focus on training teachers to deliver effective sex education. She loves her work (obviously!) and splits her time between public speaking engagements, freelance writing, program development and consulting in the field of sexual health. Learn more at

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