Throughout history different foods have been associated with boosting the libido and improving sexual performance. So on this day of love and romance we’ve rounded up a selection of our favorite aphrodisiacs to help you along your way...
History's most famous lover, Giacomo Casanova, purportedly ate 50 oysters for breakfast each morning to increase his sexual stamina. He wouldn't have known this about his slimy breakfast but what made it work is that oysters are rich in zinc, a mineral that increases the production of testosterone which has been linked to a higher sex drive in both males and females.
Though scientists have found that to have any real sexual benefit you would need to eat in excess of 25 pounds of chocolate in one sitting (thereby probably negating the need for aphrodisiac qualities) there are small amounts of tryptophan and phenylethylamine in chocolate, both loosely associated with arousal and stimulation.
The pomegranate was sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and in mythology it was she that planted the very first pomegranate tree on the island of Kypros so that the tender fruit could spread throughout the world. With its abundant and staining red juice and many seeds, the fruit is associated with the loss of virginity and female fertility.
Aside from the obvious allusions to their appearance, walnuts appear to stimulate more than your taste buds. Touted as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction, the walnut is packed with nutrients, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids to keep the body and heart healthy, an essential element to a vigorous sex life.
The pulse quickens, palms sweat, lips tingle and swell, endorphins release – eating chili pepper results in the same symptoms as sexual arousal and can act as the perfect kickstart to foreplay.
The Aztecs called the avocado ahuacuatl – the testicle tree – as the fruit hangs low and in pairs. It's said Spanish priests once forbade avocados because of their provocative, sensual form. But their distinctive growing patterns and sensual shape aside, avocados are full of beta carotene, magnesium, vitamin E (also known as the sex vitamin), and potassium – all nutrients to do the romancing body good.
There is a reason Cleopatra bathed in rose water and covered her bed in their soft, pungent petals. Rose has been used since ancient times for love potions, sensual elixirs, and sexual tonics. Rose contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical produced by the brain when you’re falling in love, and can reduce stress and anxiety, calming pesky emotions that get in the way of arousal.
Umm...no explanation necessary. (Is it hot in here??) Everyone's favorite suggestive fruit is chock-full of potassium and vitamin B, important in our production of sex hormones, and chelating minerals and enzymes that boost the male libido.