Written by Natasha Lawrence
Food and sex. Two things you wouldn’t necessarily put together, but two things that go hand in hand. Romantic dinners, chocolate covered strawberries and a box of chocolates, all are foods of romance. Aphrodisiacs, named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, have been around throughout history. We don’t always have aphrodisiacs at the top of our minds when it comes to sex, but I was curious as to whether or not there was some truth behind the idea of foods that increase your libido. For one day, I decided to eat only aphrodisiacs and see happens.
Breakfast: Fruit Salad Consisting of Pomegranate Seeds, Watermelon and Banana, with Coffee
Not your average breakfast bowl, but I was trying to cram as many aphrodisiac fruits into one meal.
Pomegranate is known as the ‘love apple’. It’s high in anti-oxidants, which boosts blood flow and therefore increases genital sensitivity. Watermelon is high in citruline, a phytonutrient that increases the amount of nitric acid in the body, which then increases blood flow, blood vessel relaxation, and sexual arousal. Bananas are embarrassing to eat in public for a reason. Not only are they phallic in shape, the potassium delivers muscle strength, which in theory intensifies orgasms. They also contain a bromelain enzyme which is believed to increase your sex drive. I capped off the breakfast with a cup of coffee. The caffeine increases stamina and can elevate your mood. It also increases dopamine levels in your brain, which in turn increases desire and pleasure.
We all know this one has something to do with love. Chocolate contains the chemicals anandamide and phenylethylamine, which boost serotonin levels, aka the feel good hormone. There is also natural caffeine in the darker chocolates that, as we discussed, increases stamina and dopamine levels in your brain.
Lunch: Raw Oysters and Arugula Salad with Apple
Oysters are an obvious menu item. They are possibly the most popular aphrodisiac food. Not only are they phallic in look, but they also pack a sexual punch. They are packed with zinc, which can boost semen production, regulate sexual hormones and boosts sex drive. They also contain amino acids that trigger increased levels of sexual hormones. The main trigger though, is in the way you slurp an oyster down. It’s a sexual act that arouses a partner. Unfortunately for me, I was alone when eating them.
The Roman’s first discovered the aphrodisiac purposes of arugula and even included it in their love potions. The leaf is rich in vitamins A and C, both essential for sex hormone production, and it’s a source of zinc, which is excellent for promoting good blood flow to the nether regions. It’s also a source of magnesium and potassium, which, as we discussed delivers muscle strength. Apples, other than being the temptation of Eve, contain a compound called phloridzin, which is similar to the female sex hormone estradiol, which plays a huge part in female sexual arousal.
Dinner: Spicy Brick Chicken with Asparagus
Don’t worry, chicken has nothing to do with your sex drive. What I was after here was the spice. Spicy food get your heart pumping, stimulates nerve endings and increases blood flow. Particularly, the spice stimulates nerve endings on the tongue releasing adrenaline, which in turn increases your heart rate and releases endorphins. Asparagus is a good source of Vitamin E, which helps to stimulate the production of sex hormones.
Dessert: Chocolate Covered Strawberries
This is a dessert typically shared with a partner, so I shared a tray with my boyfriend at the end of my aphrodisiac day. Again, chocolate boosts serotonin. Strawberries are said to have originated from the heart-shaped tears of Aphrodite after she learned of her lover, Adonis’s death. They’re loaded with vitamin C, which aids in the production of sex hormones.
So did I feel super horny at the end of all this? Not really. While aphrodisiac foods have vitamins and minerals that effect our mood and energy levels, there really isn’t a proven link between, say oysters, and a high sex drive. Realistically, any peaked sexual arousal would be from the placebo effect. Were these meals delicious and fun to eat? Absolutely. One aspect of aphrodisiacs is that eating them is sexual in itself – eating a banana, slurping an oyster, wrapping your lips around a chocolate covered strawberry…you get the idea. All in all, I just really enjoyed the food, and if they make me think my sex drive had increased, why not?