Aphrodisiacs might be a myth, but certain foods could actually boost your sex life according to a new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Researchers found that couples who ate at least two portions of seafood per week had more sex and got pregnant faster than those who ate less seafood.
The study followed 501 couples who were planning to conceive until they became pregnant for up to a year. Participants recorded their intake of seafood daily in a journal.
The couples who ate the largest amounts of seafood — two or more servings per week — had sex 21 percent more often. All couples involved in the study were 39 percent more likely to have sex on a day they’d eaten seafood such as fish or shellfish.
Within the year, 92 percent of the most frequent consumers of seafood had gotten pregnant. Only 79 percent of the rest of participants successfully conceived.
What’s so sexy about seafood? The researchers aren’t sure, but there are a few plausible explanations.
“The original reason why shellfish such as oysters were linked to increased libido was due to their high zinc content,” co-author of the study, Audrey Gaskins, Sc.D, explained to The Daily Meal, “However, given that we did not measure zinc intake in our study and zinc is found in many other foods other than seafood, we felt uncomfortable making this link.”
Though oysters are widely accepted as an aphrodisiac for their nutritional properties, there’s little scientific evidence that shellfish have any real biological effect. And this study surveyed all types of seafood — not just those that are rumored to put you in the mood. The researchers noted that the source of the seafood was also left unaccounted for, which could affect the nutrition and therefore biological impact of the seafood each couple consumed.
“It is also possible that couples who consume higher amounts of seafood together share more meals and thus more time together (including nights),” said Gaskins, “which may be a behavioral explanation for the association we observed with sexual activity.”
Gaskins acknowledged that seafood might not be the only cause of the correlation — couples who eat seafood may be more likely to eat a healthier diet in general.
“Our results stress the importance of not only female, but also male diet on time to pregnancy and suggest that both partners should be incorporating more seafood into their diets for the maximum fertility benefit,” Gaskins concluded. “Furthermore, we saw no detrimental effect of high seafood intake, suggesting couples may see benefits of seafood intake above and beyond the two servings per week suggestion.”
So if you’re trying to conceive, eating more seafood couldn’t hurt. But avoid these other foods — they could actually kill your sex drive.