Aphrodisiac Foods: Real or Bogus?

Aphrodisiac foods

Passion comes easily when you and your partner first get together. In those halcyon years where everything your new beau does seems captivating and precious, and you’re getting to know one another in every sense. But over time when you and your partner grow more and more accustomed to one another it’s all too easy to take each other for granted. As such, even couples in the strongest, happiest and healthiest relationships need a helping hand when it comes to reigniting the flame of their passion. They may choose to undergo couples therapy together, book a romantic weekend away together or in some cases resort to medical intervention.  

But over the centuries, many couples have used their passion for food to reignite their passion for one another. There are many foods on the supermarket shelves that have historically been known to have aphrodisiac qualities. But are they the real deal? Or are they bogus myths whose properties have been exaggerated by generation after generation? 

Let’s take a look at some aphrodisiac foods and see if they live up to the claims…

Sweet love

Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s the world’s most beloved comfort food, but could it help to reignite the stirrings of passion. The ancient Aztecs believed so. The Aztec Emperor Moctezuma (c. 1466-1520) swore by its loin-invigorating properties and would drink a cup of bitter chocolate before spending time with his many partners. 

But was the ancient emperor onto something? Or was this merely a placebo effect?

Scientists are split on the matter. Studies carried out in the ‘80s discovered a psychoactive stimulant in chocolate that was found to stimulate emotions. This chemical is called phenyl ethylamine (PEA), however very little of it is actually absorbed by the body.

So unless you’re indulging in a full on chocco-binge you’re unlikely to feel much more amorous. Besides, after chomping your way through a dozen chocolate bars you’re likely to feel more sick than sensuous. 

Oyster? I hardly know ‘er!

The Ancient Romans were firm believers in the aphrodisiac qualities of oysters. The famous 18th century ladie’s man Casanova apparently used to dine on a breakfast of 50 of them. And, let’s face it, any excuse to enjoy these delicious maritime treats together has to be worth exploring. Could cracking open a few Barilla Bay Oysters together help you to reignite your lust? 

A 2015 study would seem to indicate that it could.

It found that amino acids in oysters could have an aphrodisiac quality while potentially boosting testosterone in men. They’re also high in zinc which can help to bolster flagging energy levels after a long, hard day at work. 

Whether your findings tally with the data or not, why the shuck not give it a go?

Spicing things up

When we talk about getting experimental with our significant other, we call it spicing things up in the bedroom. But did you know that the term originates in 14th century Europe where the exotic new spices that were flooding the market from Asia were attributed to a reignited libido. 

White pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and star anise were all prized for their passion-stimulating properties as well as their exotic tastes. Now, it’s possible that the phenomenon was as much psychological in nature as medicinal. History has shown time after time that we often find the erotic in the exotic. But can a liberal dose of spice in your Valentine’s Day dinner lead to long and lusty nights?

There are certainly studies to suggest so.

A study by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences found that 30mg of saffron a day for four weeks helped to reduce erectile dysfunction in men while studies with mice found that nutmeg directly led to an increase in libido. Chilli has been found to raise endorphin levels thereby increasing sexual pleasure. Great news for those who love a little bit of chilli in their chocolate!

Food looks like a thingy!

There are some famously aphrodisiac foods that aren’t quite as nuanced in their aphrodisiac effects. In the 18th century, for instance, it was widely believed that anything that looked remotely like male or female naughty bits was a potent aphrodisiac. And who knows, in those days maybe it was. We’re talking about an era where chair legs needed to be covered up lest they be seen as too suggestive. 

Carrots, asparagus and onions were all believed to increase male potency. But… they’re all nice healthy foods anyway so it certainly couldn’t have hurt!

With Valentines Day on the way, we hope the information above will help you to cook up something special as you celebrate your love for one another. 

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