Why Eating Apples Is an Aphrodisiac

Just when you thought oysters and candlelight might lead to something pleasurable under the sheets, a certain common fruit has made headlines for sexual arousal and satisfaction.

Eve in that biblical garden knew a thing or two after all.

A new study published in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics finds that eating more apples leads to better sex for women. For the most part, I do crunch on an apple every day—it’s easy, portable and perfect in the car en route to work or the playground with my son—but now I’ll aim for two and see how I feel about after-hours activity.

Ahem, sexual activity, that is. It’s not something we North Americans are terribly open about, but we do want to feel satisfied and fulfilled in all aspects of our lives. My bet is that when it comes to sex, women and men will want to read about how “Granny Smith” is here to help.

Here’s how the study went down. From September 2011 to April 2012, researchers in Italy (the land of romance and great wine) analyzed 731 sexually active Italian women aged 18 to 43. (Too bad I wasn’t flown to Italy to participate, but…) These study participants had no history or difficulty with sex, suffering from depression or taking prescription drugs.

They were separated into two groups. One for regular apple consumption of one to two apples a day, and the other for no apples eaten, so zero to 0.5 per day. The women completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), a survey with 19 questions about sexual frequency, function, lubrication, orgasm and overall sexual satisfaction. The main outcome measure was the FSFI questionnaire result.

Ambrosia or Pink Lady, anyone? The researchers concluded that eating apples daily made for higher FSFI scores in the study participants who noted increased lubrication and overall sexual function and satisfaction.

Oysters have a high zinc content, which has been linked to increased libido. Red wine and quality dark chocolate contain antioxidants and polyphenols that stimulate blood flow and help with arousal. All three in a meal might have you skipping dessert and heading straight to bed—but what about some applesauce to seal the deal? Apples, the researchers say, also contain antioxidants and polyphenols that promote blood flow.

Interestingly, they also have something very much akin to a female sex hormone. Phloridzin is a common phytoestrogen that is similar to estradiol. That’s the kicker: Estradiol is a female sex hormone that affects vaginal lubrication and female sexuality.

Well now! The study, to be fair, is limited because of the small sample size, and researchers do not know if the apples are the direct cause of better sex or a correlation.

But we do know apples are good for us, especially with the skin intact. One large apple with the peel gives us zero fat but 5.4 g of fiber, which is great for digestion. It also has potassium, a mineral crucial for heart and muscle health, and vitamins C, A and K. In fact, swapping out daily statin prescription medication for apples is a good primary prevention method for vascular disease, according to the University of Oxford’s Comparative Proverb Assessment Modelling Study published in the British Medical Journal. One more point in favor of food as preventive medicine.

Sex is good for us, too, building relationship harmony, boosting immunity and lifting our moods.

So munch more of those juicy, delicious apples. We’ll all have better circulation, doting partners—and sex that satisfies!

Also read:

Cai, T., et al., “Apple consumption is related to better sexual quality of life in young women,” Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics July 2014, doi: 10.1007/s00404-014-3168-x; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24518938.
Hillin, T., “New Study Says Eating Apples May Increase Sexual Pleasure In Women,” Huffington Post website, July 8, 2014; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/08/sex-study_n_5568877.html.
Briggs, A., et al., “A statin a day keeps the doctor away: comparative proverb assessment modelling study,” British Medical Journal December 17, 2013, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7267; http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7267.