First things first, lets define aphrodisiac. There is no food that will instantly turn the consumer into a ball of sexual energy, unable to control your passion until you “attack” the first person you see. Aphrodisiacs are foods that promote well being within the body, and help stimulate reproductive health.
Oysters – The apocryphal stories of Cassanova eating 50 raw oysters a day have helped drive the belief that raw oysters help promote drive. However, there is no scientific evidence to support they are anything other than “Sympathetic Magic,” meaning their properties are only a result of visual similarity to “romance parts.”
Basil – Not tonight, I have a headache. In addition to having incredible scent (history suggests it was used as a perfume), it’s also a common ingredient in homeopathic treatments for headaches. ALL headaches. However, science takes a skeptical approach to Basil as an aphrodisiac. It certainly has properties that relax the body thereby allowing room for the mood to enter your relationship, but doesn’t necessarily increase passion.
Strawberries- Bright red berries, covered in life bringing seeds have been considered a romance. Loaded with vitamin C, folic acid and potassium, they help provide essential nutrients to keep your body at the top of its game. However, the interesting part about strawberries is their color. Psychologists have found that the red promotes a feeling of passion!
Almonds – The scent of an almond is said to promote feelings of lust. They’re loaded with vitamin E which acts as one of nature’s antioxidants. However, there is no scientific evidence that almonds actually promote excitement. Healthy when eaten in moderation, absolutely! Aphrodisiac, hardly.
Garlic – Who among us hasn’t been turned off by the pungent smell of our partner’s breath loaded with garlic. Surprisingly, it has an interesting effect on older gentlemen. Evidence from a study by Dr Jeorg Gruenwald, suggests that ingredients in cooked garlic help widen blood vessels in men’s nether regions, helping them to perform better as they get older. If the smell bothers you, cook the garlic before slicing to reduce the amount of allicin, the compound that creates funky garlic smell. (Either that or wear a nose plug).
Dark Chocolate: Nature’s wonderfood! In addition to being incredibly delicious, and surprisingly healthy (assuming 70% cocoa content or greater), consumption of dark chocolate causes serotonin to release in the brain. Serotonin promotes an overall sense of comfort and well being.
Chili Peppers: Hot peppers are loaded with a chemical called capsaicin. This is the part of the pepper that causes your mouth to BURN when you eat it. Capsaicin cause a flood of endorphins to hit your brain, giving you a temporary high. It also increase blood flow.
Honey: Honey has a LONG history in the world of romance. In Persia, newlywed couples drank fermented honey liquor for one month after getting married as a means to get properly acquainted to married life. Thus the phrase, “Honeymoon.” While there IS evidence to suggest that eating honey increases the level of testosterone in the blood stream (vital for the libido), the studies that have been completed thus far lack the sophistication and merit to classify honey as a legitimate aphrodisiac.