An aphrodisiac is an agent that effects your mind, causing a state of arousal or sexual desire. The name aphrodisiac comes from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. While sexual desire can be stimulated in many ways, we focus on the so-called natural aphrodisiacs, such as foods, herbs, and exercise.
You cooked a romantic dinner at home, turned down the lights, turned up the music, and lit the candles. You're in the mood for love and a romantic dinner will surely get you there. What you may not realize though is that the foods you choose for your romantic dinner can have a direct impact on the heat of your night. Many foods (and smells) have tantalizing effects on not only your taste buds, but your sexual desires as well.
Different foods have long been associated with love, romance, and the ability to increase sexual desire and passion. Fruits, vegetables, and spices, herbs, sweets, seafood, and alcoholic beverages all have their place on menu's when it comes to romance. Different foods have been considered aphrodisiacs due to their shape, color, spiciness, and aroma.
Many foods are considered aphrodisiacs simply because there suggestive shapes can stir up erotic emotions. A banana, for instance, has a certain resemblance to... well, you know what. These suggestively shaped foods can bring desires for... well, you know what.
While this may be true for a banana or cucumber though, many popular food aphrodisiacs have actually been found to contain certain vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy sex drive and reproductive system, increasing our sexual desires and enhancing our sexual experiences. Oysters, for example, have long been considered the food of love. Casanova supposedly ate dozens each day. It appears though, that oysters work as a food aphrodisiac because of the mineral zinc, which helps to produce testosterone, driving the male (and possibly female) libido. Another popular food aphrodisiac is chocolate. This sexually stimulating dessert contains phenyl ethylamine, which is believed to enhance lovemaking.
Now that you know how the food aphrodisiacs work, check out our complete list of food aphrodisiacs.
Believe it or not, you don't always have to eat foods to get the aphrodisiac benefit. Some smells, including specific foods, have been found to be sexually arousing. Aroma is especially important for men. The smells of pumpkin pie, buttered popcorn, fragrant lavender and deep vanilla all have been shown to increase libido and blood flow to you know where! Women haven't been left out though. It appears that women respond to cucumbers (the smell and the shape!), and candies such as Good & Plenty and licorice. For more information, you may want to check out the book by Valerie Ann Worwood, called Scents and Scentuality: Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Love, Romance, and Sex.
When romance is in the air, remember to keep the meal light. Red meat is actually an anti-aphrodisiac and can actually cause testosterone levels to drop by 30%!
Exercise as an Aphrodisiac
Exercise keeps you healthy and slim, but did you know that it can also act as an aphrodisiac? Research suggests that the release of endorphins during exercise can influence your sexual desire. Scientifically speaking, the same neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) that are released when you engage in activities such as running or extreme sports, such as skydiving, increase your sexual libido. Research also shows that women who exercise regularly tend to have more active sex lives and are more easily aroused than those who don't work out. A full blown workout is not necessary to get the effects either. Simply get your body moving!