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The Food of Love – An A to Z of Aphrodisiacs

Aphrodisiacs are anything that is consumed that increases sexual desire. Named for Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, they constitute a wide range of drugs, medicines and food. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we have done the homework for you and put together our A-Z of foods that will get you in the mood. We aren’t scientists though so we won’t be accepting any complaints!

almondsAlmonds provide high doses of vitamin E, magnesium and fibre which improve your general well-being and give you stamina. Apparently Samson used them to seduce Delilah.

Artichokes are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are important for proper body function and blood flow. The symbolic peeling of the layers should get you in the mood!

Top Valentine’s Day AphrodisiacsAsparagus is another great source of vitamin E which helps production of testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone, which stimulate sexual responses. It is also full of potassium, fibre, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, thiamine and folic acid.

Avocado is rich with vitamin B6, vitamin e, potassium and folic acid. This boosts histamine production which is necessary for orgasms. A great reason to eat more guacamole!

bananaBananas. It might look obvious why they are included but bananas have potassium which is key for muscle strength, magnesium and B vitamins for energy and bromelain, an enzyme which triggers testosterone production.

Basil has a pungent aroma that is said to have an aphrodisiac effect but it is also very stimulating when eaten. That’s probably why the Italians use so much of it!

CeleryCelery is a surprising one. It contains phyto-androgens, which acts like testosterone and can increase sexual desire in women. It’s also negative calories so there’s another bonus.

Cherries are packed with feel-good vitamins (A, C, and E), potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and more. They also have melatonin, an antioxidant to help regulate your heart and maintain that all important blood flow.

ChiliesChilies contain capsaicin, a chemical found in fiery peppers which increases circulation and stimulates nerve endings. When it comes to chilies, the hotter the better to get you hot under the collar.

Chocolate has long been linked to romance and it’s not hard to see why. The cocoa in it contains anandamide, a psychoactive feel-good chemical, and phenyl ethylamine which releases dopamine. It also produces serotonin and endorphins to make you happy.

CinnamonCinnamon will get your blood pumping and makes everything spicy.

Coffee is the king of caffeine and we know that puts a pep in your step. The stimulant increases heart rate and circulation and keeps you awake for longer. Which is a good thing.

Durian is a Chinese fruit that promotes the production of oestrogen and increases fertility.

figsFigs were apparently enjoyed in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve and you should be eating them too, they are full of potassium and antioxidants to give you strength.

Flaxseeds are a tasty little addition in breads and salads but you might be surprised to learn they contain omega-3 fatty acids which stimulate sex-hormone production.

garlicGarlic gets a bad rep and is probably blamed for a lack of amorous activity but it is actually really good for your circulation and blood flow because of the allicin and arginine in it. Another ingredient loved by Italians!

Ginger heats up dishes and drinks and will heat things up in the bedroom too. It helps circulation and increases your heart rate.

honeyGinseng is a handy root and good for both sexes. It has been known to aid erectile dysfunction and improve sexual arousal in menopausal women.

Honey is another surprising aphrodisiac. It is a great source of boron which helps regulate oestrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost.

olive oilMaca is a big trend now and is being used as a health supplement in loads of dishes and drinks. It’s good for your sex drive because it contains sterol which increases production of sex hormones.

Olive Oil is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for a healthy heart and hormone production. No wonder it is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet!

Oysters CasinoOysters are a renowned aphrodisiac because they are associated with luxury. They have amino acids and a high zinc content which boost testosterone levels, sperm production and libido.

Pine Nuts are high in zinc too so they have the power to improve your sex drive. Get amorous and eat with your fingers by making a punchy pesto and dipping breadsticks in it.

pomegranatePomegranates are full of antioxidants which protect the lining of blood vessels and help blood flow. This leads to increased sensitivity. Enough said.

Pumpkin seeds have lots of magnesium which helps raise testosterone levels and omega-3 fatty acids which help increase sex hormone production.

red wineRed Wine puts you in the mood not only because of the alcohol but because of an antioxidant called resveratrol that helps the blood (and the romance) flow.

Rocket protects your libido because it is full of minerals and antioxidants that block negative contaminates from damaging your system.

strawberriesSalmon is not exactly a sexy fish but it works! It has lots of omega-3 fatty acids which boost sex-hormone production so is perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner.

Strawberries are really seductive, especially when smothered in chocolate. Their health benefits improve your general well being and give you an energy boost.

vanillaVanilla is like basil, it has a great smell and it stimulates the nerves. Whip up some vanilla cream to go with your strawberries for extra aphrodisiac power.

Walnuts have the same omega-3 fatty acids as seeds and salmon so chop some up in a salad or a walnut cake for extra sex-hormone production.

watermelonWatermelon is another food that increases blood flow. It has a phytonutrient called citrulline that produces nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels. It’s basically the Viagra of the fruit aisle.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

ARTICLE BY ALISON DALY

BioAlison has been writing since she could hold a pen, which came in handy for her degree in English, Media and Cultural Studies. She has been working in media since graduating and is the latest features writer for TheTaste.

Writing for TheTaste allows her to combine her passion for the written word with her love of food and drink. Find her on Twitter @AliDalyo

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