It’s often said that the way to the heart is through the stomach, but can food really put you in the mood for love?
Since the time of the Romans and Egyptians, people have believed that food has aphrodisiac powers, consuming bizarre and peculiar dishes such as cobra blood and rhino horn in an effort to spice up their love life. While we can’t say they were on the right track with the cobra blood, modern science has since proven that certain foods can in fact boost your libido, imitate the feelings of love and intensify sexual pleasure.
Here are our top foodie aphrodisiacs to turn up the heat:
Often associated with romance, its no secret chocolate is one of the major feel good foods. This is because it contains the chemical phenylethylamine, which stimulates the production dopamine in the pleaser centres of the brain, the same chemical that is released when you are in love.
The colour of love and passion, red hot chilies contain the chemical capsaicin, which is what gives it their heat. Capsaicin will also get your heart pumping, increase perspiration and stimulate nerve endings, which mimics the feeling of being aroused.
Ever felt turned on by your avo on toast? Used as an aphrodisiac by the ancient Aztecs, the vitamin E found in this curvaceous breakfast favourite helps your body to produce sex hormones such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, which stimulate arousal.
Considered an aphrodisiac for thousands of years, the ancient Romans would offer celery to Pluto, the all-mighty god of sex. Celery contains a pheromone called androsterone, which is the same hormone released by men to attract women.
Oysters are a well-known aphrodisiac, but do they live up to their reputation? Well it turns out the cliché is well founded as oysters contain very high amounts of zinc, a mineral that ramps up the production of testosterone and is linked to higher sex drive.
A few glasses of red wine can be all it takes to loosen your inhabitations, boost the ego and make you open to new experiences. But what you might not know is that red wines backs up these effects with a chemical boost. Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which increases blood flow and circulation for better sex.
Aside from the obvious phallic suggestiveness, bananas are also power packed with an arsenal of sexy chemicals. The enzyme bromelain found in bananas is thought to prolong a man’s stamina, while trypotophan metabolises as feel-good serotonin.
The Viagra of fruits, watermelons contain high levels of the nutrient citrulline which works to relax the blood vessels and increase circulation throughout your entire body, much in the same way as a Viagra pill!