Sex and food, a special relationship known for millennia. When it comes to conquering a soul mate, nothing works better than culinary delights. Fortunately, the list of foods with supposed aphrodisiac properties is long and varied, with something for all seasons: from chilli peppers to oysters, from strawberries to lobsters or mussels, perhaps with a pinch of nutmeg, ginger, ginseng or saffron. In short, preparing the perfect dinner for an evening at home is not difficult; perhaps you can keep some popular traditions in mind. But will it really work? Science, on the other hand, is not exactly of this opinion. In fact, most of the analyses conducted do not seem to confirm a biological action of foods that justify an increase in desire. But even if it does not work on the body, food may still act on the mind. This is what many psychologists think: whether it is the power of suggestion or, more scientifically, a placebo effect, or associations with past episodes (the first date?) or perhaps the characteristics of the food such as shape, temperature, texture. Whatever it is, the important thing is that the food evoke the desired thoughts, and the game is won. Chocolate, the prince of aphrodisiac foods, deserves separate mention, and it is not by accident that we have avoided mentioning it until now. For about 30 years now, studies on this subject continue to contradict each other: some research appears to show that chocolate consumption does not increase desire in any way, while others point to substances in cocoa, such as phenylethylamine, flavonoids, or serotonin that may promote sexual activity and genital function in both sexes. Proper nutrition and, in general, a healthy lifestyle, play a crucial role also in fertility. Experts remind us that, for example, vitamin C and other antioxidants in foods help to prevent sperm defects and improve their motility; Zinc and folic acid prevent agglutination and promote vitality; alcohol, on the contrary, can reduce testosterone levels and increase the number of weak sperm. So OK for oysters, oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, beans, tomatoes and dried fruits: bon appétit and enjoy.

Suggested readings

  • Kotta, S., Ansari, S., H., Ali, J., Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs, Pharmacognosy Reviews (2013) 7 (13).
  • Shamloul, R., Natural Aphrodisiacs, The Journal of Sexual Medicine (2010) 7.
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