Chocolate covered strawberries to get you in the mood? Ever reached for oysters and champagne to spice up your love life? The quest for sexual satisfaction and enhancement is as old as civilization itself, yet although the idea itself is a lovely one, do aphrodisiacs actually stand up to their reputation?
So, what actually is an aphrodisiac?
It is said that an aphrodisiac is any ingredient, from herb to plant, that can stimulate the senses: sight, smell, taste, and touch. Whilst no specific ingredient has been scientifically proven to stimulate the sex organs themselves, certain components may potentially promote sex hormone production, reduce stress, contribute to happy/pleasure hormone secretion and if you are the seductive type, the act of eating can be the source of much arousal…
We have rounded up our most loved ‘aphrodisiac’ foods to get you in the mood this Valentine’s Day 2020.
The reputation of the oyster goes far beyond its slippery and some may say slimey composition. Oysters are arguably one of the best-known aphrodisiacs available on our plates, and this is largely thanks to their rich amounts of Zinc (one of the most abundant food sources of zinc out there), a mineral that can influence testosterone production and sperm production. Additionally, Zinc contributes to the release of dopamine, one of our neurotransmitters responsible for pleasure.
Ah, the beloved Chocolate. Loved by many worldwide, chocolate is given in times of love, sadness, stress and happiness and we mustn’t forget, in times when romance needs a helping hand. Compounds found in chocolate have been shown to promote the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin. Phenylethylamine is a nervous system stimulant that provokes excitement and serotonin, ‘the happy hormone’, boosts your mood and energy. Excitement, mood and energy = a better chance for your libido to perform! Chocolate also contains caffeine which might trigger a sensory response and if nothing else, give you a kick of energy for stamina…
The compound capsaicin found in chilli peppers can promote the release of chemicals that have been shown to trigger physiological responses such as an increased heart rate and sweating…. Some would say these are both similar responses to those experienced during sexual intercourse. Capsaicin also sparks the release of endorphins which give you a natural high and consequently may help you feel more energetic, lifted in mood and confident.
Figs are fleshy, sweet and intricate to eat, which is why they are sometimes compared to the female sexual organ. Figs are rich in magnesium, a fundamental nutrient needed for the production of sex hormones testosterone and estrogen that can contribute to the health of your libido.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Panax Ginseng herb, found in MEDA’s Focus is considered an aphrodisiac and has gained quite a reputation for its suggested influence on men’s sexual…. function. According to the National Institutes of Health, Panax ginseng can moderate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, provide men with firmer, longer-lasting erections and potentially help with impotence. However,… before you order boundless boxes of MEDA’s Focus, the NIH reports that more well-designed studies are needed to establish Panax ginseng’s safety and efficacy as a treatment for this common sexual dysfunction.
For more information read our spotlight piece on Panax Ginseng here.
Tempted to try out some aphrodisiacs this year? Before you run down to your local grocers (with a pit stop to the fish mongers) remember that a well-balanced diet, stress management and exercise are all parts of a healthy lifestyle and can contribute to healthy sexual appetite and general wellbeing.
*The information and content of this article is provided only for informational purposes. It is not meant in any way as a substitute for the professional advice provided by your physician or any other healthcare professional.