Aphrodisiacs: Fact or Fiction

It has been said that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  Is there really any truth in that?  Sure, most men would love to get their hands on a woman that is a culinary master, and most women that I know wouldn’t mind being married to a chef either…  but is there any truth in that what’s on the plate can actually matter when it comes to sex?  Can certain foods make us amorous?

 The word aphrodisiac was derived from the mythological Goddess of love, Aphrodite.  An aphrodisiac is a food, drink, drug, or scent that can arouse or increase sexual desire, or libido. It has been believed through the centuries that by eating certain foods we can actually get in the mood for romance and sex.  Some notable aphrodisiacs like bananas, asparagus, celery, cucumbers and carrots have a phallic shape.  Avocados resemble testicles as they hang in pairs on the tree.  Resembling the female anatomy are figs, strawberries, almonds, and oysters.  Raspberries are described as “fruit nipples”.  Not only will these tasty treats remind us of each others bodies, but they have great benefits for the body as well.

 Here are a couple of foods from a long list that I chose to highlight their supposed intoxicating powers:

Ginger root raw, cooked or crystallized is a stimulant to the circulatory system. For thousands of years, ginger has been used in drinks to excite the senses. Whether raw, pickled, or candied, this root is said to increase sensitivity in the erogenous zones. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger can stir something spicy up in the bedroom later. If used in small amounts, it causes hot flushes. (And in large amounts, it irritates intestines.) 

Nutmeg was highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac.  While nutmeg is not as effective on women, its powers definitely are not wasted on men. In quantity nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect.  A light sprinkling of the spice in a warm pumpkin soup can help spice up your evening.

So, now it’s time for the million dollar question:  Would including these delectable delights in our diet really make us more virile? The short answer, according to the  FDA would be a big, fat negative.  In reference to their study, there is no evidence that these foods absolutely contain potent ingredients to increase or instigate heightened sexual experiences.  However, instead of writing off these foods, we should still embrace them for what they are… nutritional parts of our dietary needs.  Most of the foods on the list of libido lifters will improve the physical wellness of the body.

Although the FDA says “nay” to thousands of years of believing that food can affect the sexual appetite, why not try some out just for the heck of it.  Light those vanilla, lavendar or sandalwood candles. Cook up some sexy recipes. Then gauge the fireworks of passion for yourself.  Placebo affects or not, folklore or truth, you can be the judge.  It never hurts to try something different.  And just in time for Valentine’s Day!

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