Health Curiosities

Libido Increasing Munchies

Food Aphrodisiacs That Affect the Libido

A romantic dinner can put you in the mood for love; not just because of the intimacy created by candlelight and soft music, but because foods have historically played a part in our sexuality. The silkiness of melted chocolate, the sweet juice and delicate fuzz of a ripe peach, the spicy bite of a hot pepper; all tantalizing to both the taste buds and an erotic imagination.

Additionally, several cultures regard foods like bananas, asparagus and carrots as erotic stimulants because of their phallic resemblance. The ancient Aztec name for avocado was "ahuacatl," or testicle, because of the fruit's appearance and virgin girls were forbidden from going outdoors during harvests.

Today, research has discovered that some of the best-known edible aphrodisiacs do in fact contain certain vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy reproductive system if not a healthy libido. Oysters have long been considered the food of love and legend has it that Casanova ate dozens of oysters a day, once even seducing a vestal virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips to hers.

Whatever the case, the truth is that oysters are high in zinc, a mineral used in the production of testosterone. Asparagus, instantly recognized by its own suggestive shape, happens to be high in vitamin E, considered one of the sex hormone stimulants. Chilies may heat up your sex life too, due to capsaicin - the substance that gives kick to peppers, curries and other spicy foods. Capsaicin stimulates nerve endings to release chemicals, raising the heart rate and possibly triggering the release of endorphins giving you the pleasurable feeling of a natural high.

Finally, no discussion of erotic foods would be complete without chocolate. Still the traditional lover's gift, research suggests the stimulant phenylethylamine, found in chocolate, engenders a sense of well being and excitement conducive to lovemaking.

Even the smells of certain foods have been found to be sexually arousing, according to studies at the Smell and Taste Foundation in Chicago - notably pumpkin pie and buttered popcorn for men and licorice candy for women.

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