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Would you like to discover foods that will improve your romantic life? Then keep reading!

We’ve all heard of the aphrodisiac powers of oysters and chocolate. Old wives’ tales? Well not really.  The keys to enhancing romantic and sexual performance in men and women include improving your blood circulation, your ability to experience pleasure, and your drive. You may be surprised to learn that five nutrients found in a variety of foods have been scientifically proven to give you a better sex life. And, just so you know, these include the nutrients found in oysters and dark chocolate.

What are these elixirs of passion? Let’s start with those that improve your circulation:  nitrates and arginine

#1: Nitrates: Sounds like a bad chemical that might be put in processed foods, but nitrates in natural foods are incredible for your health. Your body uses them to make nitric oxide, the master compound that regulates the function of your arteries. If you increase nitric oxide levels, your arteries will dilate, your blood vessel function will improve, and along with it, you will enhance your athletic, sexual, and blood vessel performance. When men consume foods with “good nitrates” they have better romantic performance. When women eat these foods, they feel more aroused and receptive.


Foods that are rich in nitrates include:

  • Cooked spinach (You need at least one cup of cooked spinach to make a difference. Raw spinach is mostly water. It takes 7.5 cups of raw spinach to equal 1 cup of cooked spinach).


Not surprising then that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and rapture, recommended beets as an aphrodisiac.

#2: Arginine: Arginine is another compound the body uses to make nitric oxide. Clinical studies have shown than arginine improves romantic and sexual function. Increase arginine, and you will increase blood flow for men and women. Arginine is a simple amino acid (protein building block), so I don’t see any safety issues or side effects with the moderate dosages I am suggesting.

Foods that are rich in arginine and contain about 3,000 mg per 5 ounce serving include:

  • Oysters 
  • All shellfish (shrimp, lobster, crab)
  • Turkey


Studies show that when men take 1000 mg of an arginine supplement 1-2 capsules twice daily, they report improved sexual performance. A very good quality form of arginine comes under the brand name Perfusia. To order Perfusia, click here. https://drmasleystore.com/product/perfusia-sr-l-arginine/

Next, foods that increase your ability to feel physical pleasure.

The brain requires a chemical compound called dopamine for romantic desire and fulfillment. Endorphins are other compounds that increase relaxation and the sense of fulfillment. Endorphins allow us to feel relaxed, calm, and satisfied.

#3: Tyrosine: To make dopamine, you require a couple nutrients. The most important is an amino acid called tyrosine.

Foods that are rich in tyrosine include:

  • Shrimp
  • Lobster
  • Caviar
  • Turkey
  • Soy protein

#4: Endorphin precursors:  A variety of foods including salmon, vanilla, and bananas have been reported to increase endorphin production, but by far the top rated is:


  • Dark chocolate. We are not talking milk chocolate; the chocolate has to have at least 74% cocoa mass to qualify.

Finally are foods that improve your libido.

#5: Zinc: Foods that enhance adrenal function stimulate sex drive and libido. To have drive, you need good adrenal function, and in particular you need zinc. Food rich in zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Dark chocolate

What undermines romantic performance? Well that would be too much alcohol. You need hydration, so enjoy sparkling water and iced green tea, but keep your alcohol intake moderate. Since you won’t be over-indulging, you might as well splurge and buy a special bottle of red wine or champagne. Just stick to one to two servings per person.

I hope this helps you to make the best choices to improve your romantic life!

Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS