Sunday, February 14, 2010
Throughout human history people have sought out foods believed to increase potency, fertility, and sexual desires. Encyclopedia Britannica defines aphrodisiacs as “any of various forms of stimulation though to arouse sexual excitement. Aphrodisiacs may be classified in two principal groups: (1) psycho-physiological (visual, tactile, olfactory, aural) and (2) internal (stemming from food, alcoholic drinks, drugs, love potions, medical preparations).In celebration of Valentine’s Day, let’s take a look at some foods commonly known as aphrodisiacs.
Although many foods are believed to be aphrodisiacs, few have been proven to actually increase sexual desire. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t add a little excitement in the bedroom. One thing to avoid is certainly heavy foods—if you have the itis (the drowsy feeling after a large meal), getting aroused won’t be exactly easy. Another thing to remember is that while a glass or two of champagne or wine can increase blood flow and lower inhibitions, too much can make you, well, wasted, and unless you’re a freshman in college, overindulging in alcohol is probably not the best way to heat things up with your partner.
There are a few main reasons why certain foods have been identified as aphrodisiacs. One is the visual aspect of the food—some foods, such as asparagus, avocado, oysters, and figs, have long been associated with the shape of male and female genitalia. Other foods were believed to increase fertility, and still others to enhance sexual desire. Some foods simply feel and taste sensual.
Basil is one food believed to both increase sexual excitement and fertility. It is also believed to create a general sense of wellbeing.
Chocolate is one the most famous of all aphrodisiacs, and it was referred to by the Aztecs as the “nourishment of the Gods.” Women around the world fall head over heels for chocolate, making it a classic Valentine’s Day and anniversary gift. It has been proven that chocolate releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, and in large doses is supposed to mimic the emotions of being in love. Unfortunately, the dose needed to create this sensation is much more than is physically possible to ingest. Well, we can dream. Dark chocolate, which has less sugar and dairy than milk chocolate, is definitely the better choice as an aphrodisiac. It also pairs nicely with a sexy red wine.
Despite garlic’s association with causing odorous breath, it is also known as an aphrodisiac. This particular food earns a spot on the list due to its intense flavor known to “heat” up sexual desire. The key with this one is that both partners should eat, and only in small doses.
Ginger, another stimulating flavor, is known to add a kick to your circulatory system, which increases blood flow to all the best regions of the body. Try making a cup of ginger tea with a little honey for sweetness or feed each other slices of crystallized ginger to stimulate the senses.
Oysters—my favorite aphrodisiac—have been known as a sex enhancing food since at least the second century by the Romans. They are believed to resemble the female genitalia, and legend has it that Casanova ate 50 oysters a day. And oysters simply feel sexy sliding down the throat. While oysters have not been scientifically proven as an aphrodisiac, sharing a plate of oysters and a glass of champagne with your honey can certainly add a little romance to any date.
Wine is another classic aphrodisiac. It increases blood flow, stimulates the senses, and relaxes the mind. Bringing a bottle of wine into the bedroom is certainly sexy, but again, try to avoid it in excess, unless, of course, you actually want to fall asleep.
In addition to the foods described above, other aphrodisiacs include almonds, vanilla, bananas, carrots, pineapple, truffles, raspberries, nutmeg, licorice, and fennel, among others. However you choose to spend this Valentine’s Day, I hope you get a chance to indulge in some of these sexy treats. And remember, bringing food into the bedroom can only add to the romance!
Check out this video for more commentary on aphrodisiac foods: