Arugula, or rocket as it is called in Britain, was a popular aphrodisiac among the ancient Romans and ancient Egyptians. This mildly peppery green was quite often associated with Priapus, a minor Roman god of fertility.
Today most proponents of arugula downplay the natural aphrodisiac properties, promoting the lettuce instead as an aid for digestion. But you might be surprised to discover that there are some fantastic benefits of arugula – including arugula benefits for sex.
Some surprising arugula health benefits
Arugula is also said to help clear the mind. And although neither a clear mind nor healthy digestion specifically improves or supports sexual hormones, they are both attributes that promote the right mood for romance. This leafy vegetable from the cruciferous family, (in other words, it’s a relative of broccoli), is also noted for its ability to freshen breath.
Arugula benefits for sex
But arugula is also a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to the nutrients necessary for a thriving sex life. It is rich in vitamins A and C, which are essential for sex hormone production. In addition, it delivers many minerals that are important to put the body in its sexual prime. Rocket is a source of zinc, excellent for promoting good blood flow to the nether regions, as well as sex-aiding minerals magnesium and potassium. In addition to promoting sex hormone health and blood flow, the antioxidants in arugula are recognized for helping to block environmental toxins that can have a negative impact on your sex drive.
Arugula for fertility
According to myfooddata.com, this nutritious greein is also a source of folate, which is important for fertility. This is primarily true for women. Although at one time it was thought that folic acid could improve sperm counts, further investigation revealed that folate appears to have little influence over men’s fertility.
Arugula benefits for men
Although the folate in arugula may not be vital to men’s health, this leafy green does show the potential to support men’s sexual health in a very important way. A 2013 study found that arugula leaf extract boosted testosterone levels in mice. Though it doesn’t appear that much follow-up on the impact on humans has been recorded, the implication of this study is that arugula may help men maintain healthy testosterone levels.
Benefits to brain and heart health
In addition to its potential to support both fertility and sexual health, arugula contains beneficial polyphenols. These polyphenols are linked with brain health. (This might help explain the leafy vegetable’s reputation for clearing the mind.)
And the polyphenols found in arugula leaf are also thought to benefit heart health. So eating this leafy green could potentially keep your mind nimble and your heart pumping. Isn’t that reason enough to nosh on this tender green? Just taste this delicate yet spicy lettuce and there should be no question of its natural aphrodisiac abilities.
Arugula is an easy green to use and it also happens to be an incredibly easy green to grow yourself. All you need is a sunny windowsill and you can even grow your own arugula inside a city apartment. Here are some arugula gardening pointers from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Popular in Italian cooking, this peppery green can be used lightly cooked or raw. (It is suspected that the antioxidant benefits of arugula are more potent in the raw green. But even sautéed, this leafy green offers a vast number of health benefits.) One of my favorite aphrodisiac arugula recipes is this fennel and tangerine salad with arugula and sweet onion. And my smoked salmon egg salad isn’t complete without the peppery bite of this nutritious leafy green.
This article was written in 2012 and most recently updated in 2023.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and not to replace medical care. It is important to consult your physician before making dietary changes. More information
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