“Eat your spinach and you’ll grow big and strong!”

We’ve all heard that one before. The benefits of eating certain foods are well-known: eat blueberries to improve your memory,  drink green tea to speed up your metabolism, and eat oranges to strengthen your immune system. We’ve even heard that certain foods can make you lose weight by curbing your cravings and revving up your metabolism. But perhaps the most interesting benefit of all comes from these aphrodisiac foods.

1. Chocolate

Photo by Aurelie Corinthios

Maybe your guilty pleasure isn’t so guilty after all. People have been eating chocolate for its aphrodisiac properties for years. History tells us that the Aztec ruler Montezuma drank 50 cups of chocolate a day to enhance his sexual prowess. Today, studies show that women who consume chocolate on a daily basis report a higher level of sexual satisfaction. If we look at the science behind this, it starts to make sense. Chocolate contains phenylethylamin and serotonin, which are both naturally occurring “feel good” hormones that release dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain. As a result, when we consume chocolate, we increase the body’s normal levels of both hormones, producing increased feelings of pleasure and excitement. Could there be a better excuse to make chocolate cake?

2. Figs

Photo by Aurelie Corinthios

Figs have long held sensual connotations. To the ancient Greeks, figs were sacred fruits associated with love and fertility, which they believed were represented by the hundreds of tiny seeds in the fruit. Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover themselves in the Garden of Eden, leading some historians to argue that the true forbidden fruit was the fig, not the apple. Whether or not the fig was the original temptress leaves room for debate, but the sexiness of the fruit is undeniable. Moreover, figs are a great source of fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper and iron, providing you with all the energy you need.

3. Avocados

Photo by Aurelie Corinthios

Aside from being one of the most delicious things ever, avocados are full of vitamin E, which helps your body produce hormones like testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, huge players in the field of sexual responses.

4. Ginger

Photo by Aurelie Corinthios

This exotic, Eastern root has been known to aid digestion, but it has aphrodisiac properties as well. It increases the body’s blood flow, heightening sexual sensitivity.

5. Bananas

Photo by Aurelie Corinthios

Yes, we all know what it looks like. But phallic shape aside, bananas are a great source of vitamin B and potassium, which play an important role in muscle strength and contractions, as well the production of sex hormones.