If you’re looking to spice up your sex life, why not give it a go on Valentine’s Day? The holiday is dedicated to romance, after all. Between aphrodisiacs to help set the mood and bedroom essentials such as condoms and lingerie, there are endless ways to add extra excitement in the bedroom. But did you know a plant-based diet can also lead to better, and more frequent, sex?

According to a 2020 survey conducted by British dating site Illicit Encounters, which polled 500 meat eaters and 500 vegetarians (190 of which self identified as vegans), 84 percent of vegetarians reported satisfaction with their sex lives compared to 59 percent of omnivorous eaters. And among vegans, this number is even higher, with 95 percent of participants reporting satisfaction. Furthermore, 57 percent of vegetarians reported having sex three to four times a week while 49 percent of meat-eaters engaged in sex one or two times per week. 


The science behind these numbers isn’t difficult to grasp either. Plant-based diets have been linked to lower instances of erectile dysfunction in men, and in women, research conducted by Stanford University shows libido can increase up to 383 percent when following a vegan diet. In other words, because sexual health is partially dependent on physical health, habits that improve physical health will also improve sexual health, reports Forbes

So, if you’re not already vegan and are looking for ways to add excitement back into the bedroom, consider following a plant-based diet. Longtime vegans, too, could benefit from incorporating more plant-based whole foods into their diet. But, is there a particular type of food that helps increase sexual health?

Here, we break down the science behind aphrodisiacs and share our top picks for some of the sexiest vegan products to spice up your sex life.

Jump to the aphrodisiacs

Jump to the products

What is an aphrodisiac?

The ancient Greeks believed that certain foods, like fruits and herbs, could increase someone’s desire to have sex, boost performance, and even maximize pleasure. This is why the word “aphrodisiac” is derived from the name of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.

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But the concept of an aphrodisiac isn’t unique to one culture. References to foods or remedies that increase sexual desire and performance have been found in ancient Middle Eastern, Egyptian, African, South American, Roman, Chinese, and Indian records.

How well do aphrodisiacs work?

There is some evidence to suggest that certain foods may help to improve sexual performance. Walnuts, for example, contain an amino acid called L-arginine, which may help to increase blood flow to the genitals. But, that said, this will only help those who already have issues with blood flow. 

As for everyone else, there is no real evidence that states any one food can definitely heighten sexual arousal. But research does suggest that a healthy diet can support a healthy sex life


“Much of the lore surrounding the desire- and performance-enhancing effects of certain foods is anecdotal. But a good diet can help boost your libido and ensure your body is working well. A poor diet can lead to a host of health issues, which may negatively [affect] your sex life,” Tara Gidus, MS, RDN, writes for Healthline.

What is the best vegan aphrodisiac?

Following a diet rich in plant-based whole foods may help to boost your sex life, because, as research suggests, it’s one of the healthiest ways to eat. But which is the best vegan food for sex? 

Here, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite foods that have been labeled aphrodisiacs in the past and explain why. And at the end, we also talk you through how to eat them all in one go. A raunchy three-course meal awaits!

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1 Almonds

This nut is one of the earliest-cultivated foods and has been regarded as a symbol of fertility throughout history. In fact, the tradition of having almonds at a wedding began during Roman times—guests would throw the nuts at newlyweds. It is also thought that the smell of almonds incites passion in women.


2 Arugula

A delightfully spicy leafy green that’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family, arugula has been hailed as a powerful aphrodisiac since the first century! Plus, it contains beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support overall health by combating free-radical damage and nourishing our bodies. 


3 Asparagus

Touted as an aphrodisiac as early as the 17th century, asparagus boosts potassium and folic acid, the latter of which is said to boost histamine production—a necessary component in reaching orgasm for all sexes. Bridegrooms in 19th century France were served three courses of asparagus at their prenuptial dinner.


4 Avocado

Avocados are high in omega-3 fatty acids and potassium, as well as vitamin B6, which is known to increase male hormone production. They were thought to be so effective, in fact, that Spanish priests used to forbid their parishioners from eating them.


5 Banana

Regarded as a symbol of fertility by Hindus, the banana has a sensual shape and is chock full of potassium and B vitamins, both needed to produce sex hormones.  Additionally, bananas contain bromelain, an enzyme that can enhance the male libido.


6 Basil

This member of the mint family helps promote circulation and is believed to stimulate sex drive. In Moldavian folklore, a man is destined to fall in love with a woman if he accepts a sprig of basil from her.

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7 Chocolate

Chocolate is a staple gift for a reason—the food is full of compounds including anandamide, a psychoactive feel-good chemical, and phenylethylamine, a chemical that releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and produces feelings of excitement and happiness. Cacao also contains tryptophan, which is essential for the brain to release serotonin, a “happiness” chemical.


8 Fig

Believed to have been in the Garden of Eden, figs were also Cleopatra’s favorite fruit and the ancient Greeks associated them with love and fertility. Figs are a great source of flavonoids and antioxidants, and some research has suggested that figs may even increase sexual stamina.


9 Garlic

This member of the onion family contains allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow. In both Hinduism and Jainism, garlic is considered to increase desire, in addition to warming the body. It is well known, however, that this little bulb creates some strong breath when eaten. Steer clear on a first date.


10 Maca

This ancient starchy Peruvian root is well-studied in terms of its ability to increase sexual desire and is considered a nutritionally robust plant due to its fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, and selenium content. Maca can also help balance hormones in women, alleviating symptoms of menopause while giving sex drive a boost. Most often found in powdered form, it makes for a tasty addition to many vegan recipes, but especially in desserts. Maca’s earthy sweet taste pairs well with raw cacao, which enhances everything from puddings to ice creams.

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11 Walnuts

Rich in flavor and healthy fats, heart-healthy walnuts can help keep arteries flexible, which means better blood flow to certain parts of our bodies … and better blood flow is something we definitely want when it comes to getting in the mood. In addition, with more antioxidants than any other nuts, walnuts support the body’s overall health and vitality, which are all great things when it comes to maintaining and promoting a healthy sex drive!

The Meal

Try out all these mood-boosters in one fell swoop with these tasty dishes. Start out the evening with some Almond Stuffed Mushrooms before moving on to Avocado Salad topped with raspberry dressing. For the main course, treat your date to Walnut, Arugula, and Basil Pesto pasta with sides of Rainbow Chard with Figs and Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Picada. Let’s not forget dessert! Chocolate fondue with figs, bananas, and strawberries and a Chocolate Ganache Torte are two sweet choices for your lucky honey.

Vegan products to heat up your sex life

And post dinner, turn up the heat with these cruelty-free essentials for better sex. 


12 Sliquid lubricant

All Sliquid lubricants are free of glycerin, sugar, parabens, gluten, and are vegan! We enjoy Sliquid Green Apple Tart, a sweet-and-tart way to incorporate lubricant into your time spent with your loved one. If you’re not looking for something sweet, you might want to try Sliquid Silver. Its silicone-based formula makes it longer-lasting and slicker, but it should not be used along with silicone toys. Sliquid lubricants come in a variety of textures and flavors, including Tangerine Peach and Strawberry Pomegranate.


13 Vegan condoms

The origins of condoms go back at least hundreds of years, though historically they were often made from animal-derived products. Today, condoms are still one of the best defenses against the spread of sexually transmitted infections … but there’s no reason an animal needs to be harmed in order for us to use them. Brands such as Sustain, Glyde, Hanx, and Cake all offer vegan-friendly condoms. Check out our full guide to vegan condoms here

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14 The Body Deli eucalyptus rosemary body oil

If you’re taking things slow, massages are a wonderful way to be intimate without going all the way. The Body Deli’s eucalyptus rosemary body oil is made from nourishing plant ingredients including coconut and rice bran oil, and is scented with eucalyptus, rosemary, and verbena. If you don’t use it all up giving (and receiving) massages, the oil also doubles as a body moisturizer or bath oil.

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15 Purrfect Pineapples lingerie

Lingerie is a classic way to spice things up on any day, but especially on a sexy date night. Though there is plenty of lingerie made without animal products, many of us prefer to purchase from all-vegan businesses. If you’re one of these types, Purrfect Pineapples—a “sweat shop and animal free” company offering fun, playful, sexy lingerie in creative patterns and shades—is for you. Perhaps you’ll want to go super-sexy and wear a black lace garter belt or maybe you’ll opt for whimsy with the whimsy cupcake sets, delightfully decorated with desserts. Whatever you choose, Purrfect Pineapples makes it easy to live an ethical lifestyle outside—and inside—the bedroom.

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Here at VegNews, we live and breathe the vegan lifestyle, and only recommend products we feel make our lives amazing. Occasionally, articles may include shopping links where we might earn a small commission. In no way does this effect the editorial integrity of VegNews.

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