While a romantic candlelit dinner with soft music won’t hurt to get you in the mood, eating certain foods can indeed foster a desire for intimacy and play a major part in your sexuality.
Research has shown that some of the best-known edible aphrodisiacs contain certain vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy reproductive system—and perhaps a healthy libido. Medical science can’t guarantee that ingesting these foods will increase your desire—and certainly what works for one person may not work for another—but it could be a lot of fun for you and your partner to experiment with these tasty treats.
Barring any food allergies, I highly recommend that your next romantic dinner include some of these items:
Almonds/Nuts: A symbol of fertility throughout the ages, they are a prime source of essential fatty acids, providing building blocks for hormone production. The aroma of almonds is purported to arouse passion in women. For a special after-dinner treat, try serving almond paste, also known as marzipan, in the shape of suggestive fruits.
Asparagus: Asparagus contains high amounts of vitamin E, considered one of the sex hormone stimulants, as well as potassium. Vitamin E increases blood and oxygen flow to the genitals and potassium is important for healthy sex hormone production. The suggestive shape of asparagus can help get you in the mood, too. To achieve the optimal aphrodisiac effect, I always recommend that you include this delicious, healthy vegetable in your diet whenever you can.
Avocado: Because of its shape, the ancient Aztecs named this fruit ahuacatl, or testicle. Virgin Aztec girls were forbidden from going outdoors during the harvest of avocados. Avocados contain high levels of folic acid, which helps to metabolize proteins, providing the body with more energy. They also contain vitamin B6, which increases testosterone production, as well as potassium, which helps regulate a woman’s thyroid gland.
Bananas: This popular fruit contains bromelain enzyme, believed to increase libido in men. It also contains high amounts of potassium and B vitamins including riboflavin, which increases the body’s overall energy levels.
Carrots: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, a nutrient needed for sex hormone production. For men, vitamin A is vital for sperm production.
Celery: Celery contains a powerful substance known as androsterone, which is an odorless aphrodisiac found in male perspiration that has been shown to be a sexual stimulator in certain women.
Chili: Capsaicin, the spicy substance that gives chili peppers their kick, as well as curries and other spicy foods prepared with them, stimulates nerve endings to release epinephrine, a chemical that causes increased heart rate and possibly triggers the release of endorphins, natural opiates released from our bodies that cause a pleasurable feeling and natural high.
Chocolate: If you’ve ever wondered why you receive an ornate box chockfull of utterly decadent chocolates on Valentine’s Day, your partner may know more than you think. Chocolate has been shown to contain a stimulant, phenylethylamine, which induces a sense of well-being and excitement that is conducive to lovemaking. The natural caffeine in chocolate also provides an added boost by giving you more energy.
Eggs: Eggs have long been considered a symbol of fertility. In ancient Greece, the use of sparrow eggs as an aphrodisiac was prevalent, and the sparrow is also associated with Aphrodite. In India, the Kama Sutra lists sparrow eggs as a potency builder. In many Asian countries, fertilized eggs are also thought to strengthen libido. Eggs are also a good source of cholesterol, a needed element in the production of sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. Recent research on eggs suggests that consuming them in moderation does not increase the risk of heart disease.
Figs: A halved fig is thought to resemble a female’s vagina and is traditionally considered a sexual stimulant. Figs are very high in amino acids, which are critical to increasing libido and boosting sexual stamina. For a man to break open a fig and eat it in front of his lover was once considered a powerfully erotic act. In Italy, fresh Black Mission figs are served in a cool bowl of water and decadently eaten with the fingers to “set the mood.”
Garlic: The “Heat” in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Garlic has been used for many centuries to boost immune functions and cure conditions from the common cold to heart ailments. Make sure you and your partner eat it together—and in moderation, to equalize the sometimes strong aroma effused from the skin after consumption.
Mangoes, Peaches, and Strawberries: All of these are high in vitamin C, important for making sex hormones and chemical neurotransmitters for the brain.
Oysters: Oysters have long been considered the food of love. As legend has it, the famous lover, Casanova, ate dozens of oysters a day, once even seducing a vestal virgin by sliding slippery suggestive oyster from his lips to hers. Oysters contain high amounts of zinc, a mineral used in the production of testosterone and sperm production. They also contain dopamine, a hormone known to increase libido.
Pumpkin: Recent neurological research has shown that the aroma of pumpkin pie is a sexual stimulant, increasing penile blood flow in men by 40 percent. (Unfortunately, this same response in blood flow is not seen in women.) Pumpkin seeds are one of the best vegan sources of zinc, which for men is crucial for potency and in preventing prostate problems. Zinc is also a critical factor in boosting the immune system in both men and women.
So, the next time you want to get you or your partner “in the mood,” serve some of these foods to see what the possibilities are!