Is your sex life just ho-hum?  Feeling a bit bored?  Consider trying certain foods to reignite the spark. Edible aphrodisiacs can turn up the heat in more ways than one.  While it’s true there's more folklore than scientific proof to substantiate the link between food and passionate sex, that's no reason why you and your partner should shy away from these so-called natural love potions.

For centuries, the smell, taste, and appearance of food has been touted as passion-producing.  Some foods are reputed to strip away inhibitions. Others claim to put you in the mood for lovemaking, and still others boast of improving blood flow to your genitals, enhancing performance and pleasure.  So go for it! Increasingly experts are acknowledging that the most notorious food aphrodisiacs are a treasure trove of nutrients necessary for sexual prowess and good health.

Erotic Fruits and Vegetables

Some people find produce erotic. Bananas, asparagus, cucumbers and carrots speak for themselves.  Avocados were prized by the Aztecs, who called them "testicle trees" because they grow in pairs. Ancient Greeks and Romans feasted on figs to promote potency.  And let's not forget pomegranates, also known as "love apples."
Those ancient civilizations were onto something. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals required to produce sex hormones necessary for sexual arousal and pleasure.

Honey

Ever wonder where the term "honeymoon" came from?  Centuries ago, newlyweds in Europe drank honey wine during the first month of marriage to improve their sexual stamina. As a bonus, the long-ago lovebirds also got small amounts of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from honey.

Chocolate

The Aztec emperor Montezuma's chocolate consumption is legendary. Rumor has it that he drank 50 glasses of honey-sweetened chocolate a day in the name of virility.  Perhaps Montezuma valued chocolate for its feel-good qualities, too.  Cocoa beans contain phenylethamine, a compound that triggers the release of endorphins, compounds associated with pleasure.
Nowadays, cocoa powder processed without alkaline provides the biggest bang for the buck. It contains the highest levels of the antioxidants associated with lower blood cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation in blood vessels, and maximum blood flow. Darker chocolate contains more cocoa powder.

Alcohol

Nothing says seduction like popping the cork on the best bottle of bubbly money can buy, if that's what you enjoy.  A drink a day may help reduce the risk of heart disease in healthy people, but more than that may turn your tryst into a snooze fest.  Alcohol is a central nervous system downer.  Chronic drinking is linked to erectile dysfunction, which will put a damper on lovemaking.

Salmon

Salmon harbors an abundance of omega-3 fats, which qualifies it as a natural mood booster.  We all know, you can't “get down” when you're uptight. Eating salmon can help brighten your disposition.  Salmon also supplies large amounts of vitamin D.  Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that vitamin D appears to work in the brain like many antidepressant medications do: by raising levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of calm and banishes bad moods.

Oysters

Oysters are dripping with dopamine, a compound that stirs feelings of sexual desire, and pleasure. These mollusks are also bursting with zinc, a mineral that fosters the production of testosterone, necessary for arousal and pleasure in men and women.
You may need to resist the temptation to ply your paramour with raw oysters, however, as your romantic interlude could end with a severe case of food poisoning Some raw oysters in the U.S. carry a bacterium called Vibrio vulnificus.  Healthy people are unlikely to have adverse effects from eating raw oysters, but those with diabetes, liver disease, immune systems disorders, AIDS, and other chronic diseases can end up with a severe infection that may be fatal.

Garlic

Rich in antioxidants that protect against cell damage, garlic is said to stir sexual desire and increase blood flow.  Just be sure to eat as much as your bed partner,…..as the effects of garlic can linger on your breath for hours.

The Couple that Eats Together, Sleeps Together

If you enjoy foods with a reputation for making you hot to trot, you may be thinking about whipping up meals that will knock your socks off, and your partner's.  We all know a delicious meal can be a prelude to sex.  The act of cooking together can be a form of foreplay, and the smell of food can ignite intimacy, too.
On an interesting side note, research has shown that the aroma of pumpkin pie, cheese pizza, and buttered popcorn induced blood flow to the penis, and the combination of pumpkin pie and lavender did the best job.  Women, on the other hand, responded to a combination of Good & Plenty and cucumber.  The smell of vanilla is particularly alluring.  Consider adding vanilla extract to whole grain French toast or drop a vanilla bean into your champagne for some desirable results.

Looking to spice up your sex life?  Have any food stories you would like to share with us?  Please comment below.

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com