The Top Aphrodisiacs Proven to Spark Romance
Do aphrodisiacs really work? Sample these aphrodisiac foods with your sweetie and find out.
By Alyssa Jung
One of the most notorious aphrodisiacs, oysters are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility. Researchers recently found that oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones.
This invigorating spice has an exotic reputation and a bright red color, which could be why it's considered a symbol of love. But there's scientific backing, too. Chili peppers stimulate endorphins (the brain's feel good chemicals), speed up heart rate and make you sweat, which all mimic how you feel when you're aroused, Dr. Meryl S. Rosofsky told the New York Times.
It could be the sensuous pear shape, or the rich flavor of the fruit that gave avocado its aphrodisiac reputation as far back as the Aztecs. And while the jury is still out on just how lust-ful avocados are, Barbara Klein, professor of food and nutrition at the University of Illinois, told the California Avocado Commission that the fruit's high levels of vitamin E could help keep the spark alive because of its role in maintaining "youthful vigor and energy level."
Chocolate is sensual, from its taste to its aroma, but dark chocolate has also been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure.
With its phallic shape, bananas already look like a feel-good food; but they also contain bromelain, an enzyme which Dr. Oz says triggers testosterone production, and the fruit's potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels.
Honey is made through pollination and is a symbol of procreation. Birds and bees ring a bell? In fact, the word 'honeymoon' got its name from mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the happy new bride and groom. It also contains boron, which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost.
The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that ups the heart rate and makes the blood flow. One study conducted with female rats and published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior suggested that coffee could put women in the mood for sex.
According to sciencedaily.com, this 'lycopene king' may have a Viagra-like effect on the body, as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation.
High in energizing zinc, which has been linked to a healthy sex drive, pine nuts are also considered aphrodisiacs because of the effort required to procure these oily gems from pine cones. Make a pesto with pine nuts, basil and olive oil, which The Doctors say also helps performance down there.
According to gourmetsleuth.com, this peppery plant has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. The minerals and antioxidants found in dark leafy greens like arugula have also been proven to block environmental contaminates that could negatively harm libido, says Dr. Walt Larimore MD, a medical journalist, author and physician.
Packed with antioxidants, olives and their oil have been used for centuries for health. The Greeks believed they made men more virile as well. Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are critical for a healthy heart, blood flow and hormone production, says Beverly Whipple, of the World Association of Sexology.
Used by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the fig paradoxically symbolizes both sexuality (the ripe fruit with seeds representing fertility) and modesty (the fig leaf). They are full of potassium and are an antioxidant powerhouse.
Feed them to each other for a healthy, vitamin C-packed dessert that helps keep blood flowing to all regions of the body.
This veggie's aphrodisiac reputation comes mostly from legend and the intimacy of eating it with another, pulling off the leaves to reach the center. But it is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are critical to proper body function and blood flow.
Skip the coffee after dinner and reach for a cup of chai tea. The typical spices in this brew-ginger, cloves and cinnamon-will get the blood flowing but the caffeine effect is less so you'll still be able to drift off to sleep after your meal.
This superfruit is packed with feel-good vitamins (A, C, and E), potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and more. It also has melatonin, an antioxidant to help regulate your heart.
Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium--156 mg in just an ounce! According to Dr. Oz, magnesium helps raise testosterone levels by making sure more enters the blood stream.
Decadent yet light as air, it just isn't dessert without this rich topping. While there's no evidence that whipped cream will boost libido, it's sure to put you in the mood.
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