Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods

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Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods
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To be honest with you, there are no miracle ingredients to stimulate romantic desire in so-called aphrodisiacs. There is no such thing as an aphrodisiac. There is no scientific evidence that any food can act as aphrodisiac – reliably increases libido and takes effect in a short time.

What is considered an aphrodisiac?

Classically, to be considered an aphrodisiac, a substance should have 3 qualities:

  • Can be taken orally
  • Can act assuredly (you can rely on it)
  • Take effect in a relatively immediate time frame (minutes or hours, not days or weeks)

In ancient times, when food was not readily available, undernourishment creates a loss of libido as well as reduces fertility rates. Back then the key issue was nutrition; people had to search for anything that could be used as food. Better nutrition meant better romantic drive. Substances that “by nature” represent “seed or semen” such as bulbs or eggs were considered inherently to have romantic powers. Other types of foods were considered stimulating by their physical resemblance to testicles.

Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods

“Love Potion Number Nine”

Bottom line, aphrodisiac food is more likely a “Love Potion Number Nine” – the song written in 1959 by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller describes it exactly to the point.

Love Potion Number Nine

  • I took my troubles down to Madame Rue
  • You know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth
  • She’s got a pad down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
  • Sellin’ little bottles of Love Potion Number Nine
  • I told her that I was a flop with chics
  • I’ve been this way since 1956
  • She looked at my palm and she made a magic sign
  • She said “What you need is Love Potion Number Nine”
  • She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
  • She said “I’m gonna make it up right here in the sink”
  • It smelled like turpentine, it looked like Indian ink
  • I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink
  • I didn’t know if it was day or night
  • I started kissin’ everything in sight
  • But when I kissed a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
  • He broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine

Aphrodisiac foods are more about belief than science. But scientists do agree that if you think chocolate is aphrodisiac then eating it inspires an appropriate psychological response that will get your heart beating faster. Just thinking about these foods could kick-start a chemical reaction that leaves you emotionally aroused. If you believe in it, then you are well on the way to making it happen, and who cares about all this biochemical mumbo-jumbo.

Nutrients to improve your romantic drive

Scientifically and actually, lots of foods can improve your romantic life. In a while.

Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods

 

Vitamin E

Regarding sex, vitamin E plays an important role in the production of sex hormones. It protects them from oxidation and degradation, and also shows a protective effect on sperm cell membranes. Vitamin E deficiency can cause a decline in the formation of enzymes responsible for sperm production and ovarian health and reduce sperm motility. Several studies have shown that vitamin E can assist in easing hormonal imbalances during menopause, hot flashes, and low libido in women. Most plant seed oils are very good sources for Vitamin E.

Boron

Although, the exact physiological role of boron in the animal kingdom is poorly understood, it is suggested that boron helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost. Many plant-based foods offer decent to wonderful amounts of boron. Some of the best include: chickpeas, almonds, beans, vegetables, bananas, walnuts, avocado, broccoli, prunes, oranges, red grapes, apples, raisins, pears, and many other beans and legumes.

Zinc

Zinc enables the male body to produce testosterone and because of this may affect erectile dysfunction. Median intake in the U.S. around 2000 was 9mg/day for women and 14mg/day in men. Oysters, lobster and red meats, especially beef, lamb and liver have some of the highest concentrations of zinc in food.

Lycopene and Citrulline

These two amino acids are both found in a newly discovered natural aphrodisiac – watermelon. They work by relaxing blood vessels, improving blood circulation in the genitals. Lycopene and citrulline play key-roles in the process.

Kidneys convert citrulline into arginine that will then convert into nitric oxide. This means supplementation with citrulline is a solid way to increase nitric oxide levels naturally. Watermelon’s diuretic properties can also help keep your urinary tract in healthy working order. Lycopene is an antioxidant that could possibly help ward off prostate cancer.

Try spritzing your watermelon rind with lemon juice and sprinkling some chili powder on it. Both additives also are good for your heart, and for the organ in question.

Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods

Aphrodisiac is about belief: you might believe in it or might not, but it will not hurt to try.

Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods

Oysters

Oysters have been considered the most notable aphrodisiac for ages, but only recently it was found that they are rich in zinc and amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones. Oysters are our best-known food source of zinc, an essential mineral for mental health, immune function, and fertility: 100g of oysters contains 16.6mg, or 111% of Daily Value. Their impressive zinc content is the reason for oysters’ reputation as an aphrodisiac (which, unfortunately, is probably a myth, but it can’t hurt to try!).

Chocolate

Besides being an excellent source of riboflavin, vitamin B12, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, flavonoids and alkaloids (such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine), chocolate has also been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure. From its taste to its aroma, chocolate is sensual and sexual, that’s why on Valentine’s Day chocolate reigns supreme.

The stimulant activity of cocoa comes from the compound theobromine, which has been identified as one of the compounds contributing to chocolate’s reputed role as an aphrodisiac. Theobromine and caffeine are similar in that they are related alkaloids.

Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods

The cacao tree is native to Mesoamerica and cocoa beans were an important commodity in pre-Columbian time. A Spanish soldier who was part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day reportedly may have been consumed by Moctezuma II in order to satisfy his many wives, and 2,000 more by the nobles of his court.

Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, and became a popular beverage by the mid-17th century.

The notorious Italian womanizer and author Giacomo Casanova mentions chocolate in his memoirs, frequently discussing his habit of consuming cups of chocolate in order to sustain his lustful exploits.

Honey

Although, honey is associated with love and sex in both the Bible and the Karma Sutra, there are no scientific facts linking together honey and sexuality. But then again, some questions arise. Why at traditional Indian weddings, the groom is often offered honey to boost his stamina? Why an alcoholic beverage made from honey and named mead is given to the happy bride and groom in many cultures? Where the “honeymoon” got its name from? Hippocrates prescribed honey for sexual vigour. According to an old French wives’ tale, a bee sting was supposedly like being given a shot of pure aphrodisiac. Also, honey is made through pollination and is a symbol of procreation. Maybe there is some truth in it? Maybe due to honey contains boron? Although, the exact physiological role of boron in the animal kingdom is poorly understood, it is suggested that boron helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost. Anyway, it won’t hurt to try! And try the most potent types of honey from bees that gather nectar from aphrodisiac flowers such as jasmine, orchids or marjoram – reputedly the favourites of Aphrodite (smile).

Avocado

The word Avocado comes from an Aztec word “ahuácatl” meaning testicle. Legend says that it could be due to the avocado’s shape or the fact that it was considered to possess aphrodisiac qualities by the Aztecs. When Montezuma II shared avocados with Hernán Cortés and his fellow conquistadors, the Aztecs explained that the fruit had a great ability to incite sexual passion. The Aztecs believed in the aphrodisiac power of the ahucatl so much that they would not allow virginal women to leave the house while they were being harvested. When Louis XIV found his aging libido in need of reviving, he turned to the exotic avocado for help, nicknaming the fruit la bonne poire (the good pear).

Avocado is a health treasure chest. Its buttery, nutty flesh is rich in all good things including zinc that plays a key-role in testosterone production – hormone responsible for sexual desire. Avocado contains 0.65mg/100g of zinc which is 7% of Daily Value. The fruit’s decent levels of vitamin E could help keep the spark alive because of its role in maintaining “youthful vigour and energy level.”

Myth and truth about aphrodisiac foods

Coffee

One can hardly count the number of scientific studies on coffee. Recently more good things have been discovered about this drink loved by many. One of them is that coffee could put women in the mood for sex, actually, the scent was found to be a key-player. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that ups the heart rate and makes the blood flow, while alkaloids can help to maintain sexual performance and increase stamina. A word of caution: coffee recently marketed to enhance your sex life may in fact be dangerous to your health.

Watermelon

A newly found natural aphrodisiac, watermelon works by relaxing blood vessels, improving blood circulation in the genitals, just like Viagra but without many side effects associated with the drug. In its content, watermelon has two amino acids – lycopene and citrulline – that play key-roles in the process. Kidneys convert citrulline into arginine that will then convert into nitric oxide. This means supplementation with citrulline is a solid way to increase nitric oxide levels naturally. Watermelon’s diuretic properties can also help keep your urinary tract in healthy working order. Lycopene is an antioxidant that could possibly help ward off prostate cancer.

Try spritzing your watermelon rind with lemon juice and sprinkling some chili powder on it. Both additives also are good for your heart, and for the organ in question.

 

Artichokes

Artichoke is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are critical to proper body function and blood flow. Tough on the outside and soft on the inside, artichokes are well versed in the game of hard-to-get, but their history as an aphrodisiac is mostly due to mythology and the intimacy of eating it with another, pulling off the leaves to reach the center.

Greek mythology holds Zeus (King of Gods) responsible for the creation of the artichoke – botanical name Cynara cardunculus. Zeus fell in love with a beautiful young mortal woman called Cynara and wanted to make her a goddess. But her behavior was not goddess-like and furious Zeus turned her into spectacular flower and at the same time a thorny and difficult thistle – as stunning as she but untouchable.

Whether or not you believe in the romantic power of the artichoke, to include it into your diet is a great idea.

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