Human food intake is driven by necessity - we eat to live, but as Brillat-Savarin (a famous author on the physiology of taste) and others have noted throughout history, in affluent societies eating is pleasurable, and more than just a means to an end.
Nutritionists today suggest that the most important consideration when it comes to your love life and diet is to eat plenty of foods which improve your blood circulation, making sure a good blood supply reaches your important organs. And some foods have gained their aphrodisiac status for that reason.
Aphrodisiacs and the power of the mind
It's important to consider the power of the psyche when it comes to lovemaking. According to John Renner, founder of the Consumer Health Information Research Institute (CHIRI), the mind is the most potent aphrodisiac there is. He states that it is extremely difficult evaluating something someone has eaten for aphrodisiac effects because if you tell them it's an aphrodisiac food, the hope of a certain response might actually lead to an additional sexual reaction. Such scientific studies are difficult to blind test. And besides how do you begin to test for sexual ‘side effects’?
So therefore, if aphrodisiacs are based not on their physiologically active components but indeed by the thought processes of people consuming then foods they presume to be aphrodisiacs, then there is still something to be said for those willing to believe!
Top 5 aphrodisiac foods
In preparation for Valentine’s Day here’s a list of the top 5 purported aphrodisiac foods. Although unsupported scientifically, history provides many examples of foods which may help you to get in the mood this Valentine’s. Worth a shot at least, even if it is all in the head!
- Chocolate – Consuming chocolate, dark chocolate in particular, may have positive effects on the circulatory system. Plus, out of all the foods listed, it is the only one that melts at body temperature and definitely scores highly on the sexy food scale. Try some sensual Chocolate dipped fruits.
- Oysters – as long ago as the 2nd Century AD, the Romans documented oysters, resembling the female genitals, as an aphrodisiac food. This is based on the idea that Aphrodite, the goddess of love and sexuality, was born from the sea. Hence many shellfish have been classified as aphrodisiacs. Try out our Rockerfeller oysters.
- Avocado – A symbol of fertility resembling the female shape, these fruits have long been considered aphrodisiacs. Aztecs used to refer to the avocado trees as ‘Ahuacuatl’ or ‘testicle tree’ due to the way the fruits hung on the tree, often in pairs. The fruits are especially good for women just before and during pregnancy due to high levels of folic acid and vitamin B6. They are also an excellent source of vitamin E, the ‘skin’ vitamin. Break out the Guacamole!
- Strawberries – Another ‘sexy food’, strawberries are a great food for hand feeding to your lover. They are a good source of vitamin C and flavonoids and even more fun can be had with strawberries if they are dipped into melted chocolate, or a glass of bubbly, slathered with whipped cream or moulded into a gorgeous Strawberry semifreddo.
- Garlic – The ‘heat’ in garlic is said to stir up sexual desire. Research shows it can improve blood flow and so could be particularly of benefit to men who have restricted blood flow in the groin area. Just make sure you are both eating it otherwise the lingering odour of the garlic could have the opposite of the desired effect in the bedroom. Try this Cheesy garlic roll and get some garlic into the mix!
Other foods that have been considered aphrodisiacs, perhaps due to their shape or way that they are eaten, are bananas, almonds, figs and caviar. Also we can’t ignore that a glass of champagne or sparkling wine will help set the mood. But don’t go overboard. Too much alcohol dulls the senses in addition to the obvious implications for most men.