When was the last time you actually made love?
While some happy couples can answer this in less than three seconds, some may have a hard time recalling the last night they kissed ’til they’re naked. Oftentimes, it’s not just about the lack of time, but the lack of sex drive. Luckily, science says you can find some help in your kitchen.
Named after the Greek goddess of love and desire, aphrodisiacs are agents believed to boost the libido (sex drive) since the beginning of time. Some of the foods we eat are claimed to be natural sex boosters.
What makes a particular food aphrodisiac, you may ask?
Foods with arousing aromas, suggestive shapes (which often resemble the genitalia), and sensual mouthfeel often count as aphrodisiac foods. Aside from the ability to caress the tongue, these foods are packed with nutrients which help trigger feelings of love or sexual arousal. A majority of aphrodisiac foods can raise the body temperature, speed up heart rate, provide energy for sex, and even support sexual hormone production.
Though the FDA claims these non-medicinal approaches are ineffective, some people, who are in search of the perfect catalyst for love, still turn to these arousing foods to reignite the cold nights.
Why don’t you eat up and see if science holds true?
When we talk about aphrodisiacs, oysters often come first in mind. Oysters, as well as other mollusks, lay claim to aphrodisiac qualities due to their shape and texture. Most experts believe that it is the intimate way of eating (or slurping) the seafood that actually gets us going.
Taking the arousing mouthfeel aside, oysters are high in zinc, which can boost semen production and amino acids which can trigger the production of sex hormones.
2. Chili Peppers
Due to their bright red hue and their reputation of heating things up, there’s no surprise why chili peppers are considered sexual stimulants. Capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers, can stimulate the endorphins (the body’s feel-good chemicals) and cause some physiological response, like increased heart rate and sweating, which both mimic how you feel when you’re aroused.
3. Chocolate/ cocoa
The link between cocoa beans and sexual desire has been first drawn ages ago when a chocoholic Aztec Emperor Montezuma was said to have consumed large amounts of cocoa beans to fuel his romantic rendezvous.
Today, scientists associate the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate to its two active chemicals, tryptophan, (which produces serotonin that is involved in sexual arousal) and phenylethylamine (a stimulant released in the brain when people fall in love). Dark chocolate, which has a stronger sensual aroma, tends to cause a spike in dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
Your bittersweet stimulant can keep you up all night for all the right reasons. When you drink coffee, you’re in the mood for everything – including sex. Caffeine ups the heart rate and increases blood flow, which is crucial if you plan to take that energy rush all the way. Like dark chocolate, coffee increases levels of dopamine, which is associated with the brain’s pleasure system.
This juicy red fruit can boost your libido as if you took that little blue pill. Dr. Bhimu Patil and the Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center studied citrulline, one of the watermelon’s phytonutrients. It’s suggested that citrulline, like viagra, has the ability to relax blood vessels that increase your sex drive.
No, it’s not just about its phallic shape. Underneath that peel, bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin B, which delivers muscle strength and elevates energy levels. They also contain bromelain, an enzyme that triggers testosterone production.
There must be a good reason why you call your partner “honey.” The sticky, thick and addictingly sweet liquid contains boron, which helps regulate the estrogen and testosterone levels, and provides a natural energy boost just when you need it.
8. Red Wine
Aside from protecting you from free radicals and soothing you after a long day, sipping a chilled glass red wine also sparks sensors of attraction. Its mere scent can be arousing especially to women, said the late Dr. Max Lake, a prominent Australian winemaker, and surgeon. In his book Scents and Sexuality, Dr. Lake discovered that the compounds in wine replicated those of human pheromones, which helps in the game of seduction.
These aphrodisiac foods, of course, may not beat certain medicinal approaches designed to improve your sex life. They also can’t beat the power of good communication in reviving a cold and dull relationship, but they can help.