When your love life is lacking, you're tempted to try almost anything to reignite the spark. Well one answer may lie as close as what’s on your plate.
Sari Greaves, RD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and co-author of the Cardiac Recovery Cookbook, says, "For centuries, the smell, taste, and appearance of food has been touted as passion-producing."
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Certain foods are reputed to strip away inhibitions, put you in the mood for lovemaking, or improve blood flow to your genitals, all of which could enhance your performance and your pleasure.
In truth, there’s not much scientific proof to substantiate the link between food and passionate sex. But that's no reason why you and your partner should shy away from these so-called natural love potions.
Experts say that most notorious food aphrodisiacs are a treasure trove of nutrients that are needed for sexual prowess and good health. It’s a win-win situation.
Sexually Suggestive Fruits and Vegetables
Some people find produce erotic. Bananas, asparagus, cucumbers, and carrots speak for themselves.
Avocados were prized by the Aztecs, who called them "testicle trees" because they grow in pairs. Ancient Greeks and Romans feasted on figs to promote potency. Pomegranates were also known as "love apples."
Ancient civilizations were on to something. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals required to produce the sex hormones necessary for sexual arousal and pleasure.
Ever wonder where the term "honeymoon" came from?
Centuries ago, newlyweds in Europe drank honey wine during the first month of marriage to improve their sexual stamina. As a bonus, the long-ago lovebirds also got small amounts of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from honey.
The Aztec emperor Montezuma's chocolate consumption is legendary. Rumor has it that he drank 50 glasses of honey-sweetened chocolate a day in the name of virility.
Perhaps Montezuma valued chocolate for its feel-good qualities too. Cocoa beans contain phenylethamine, a compound that triggers the release of endorphins, compounds associated with pleasure.
Cocoa powder processed without alkaline provides the biggest bang for the buck. It contains the highest levels of the antioxidants associated with lower blood cholesterol levels, reduced inflammation in blood vessels, and maximum blood flow. Darker chocolate contains more cocoa powder.
Oysters are dripping with dopamine, a compound that stirs feelings of sexual desire and pleasure. These mollusks are also bursting with zinc, a mineral that fosters the production of testosterone, necessary for arousal and pleasure in men and women.
You may need to resist the temptation to ply your paramour with raw oysters -- your romantic interlude could end with a severe case of food poisoning. Some raw oysters in the U.S. carry a bacterium called Vibrio vulnificus. Healthy people are unlikely to have adverse effects from eating raw oysters. But those with diabetes, liver disease, immune systems disorders, AIDS, and other chronic diseases can end up with a severe infection that may be fatal.