I’m sure you’ve heard of aphrodisiacs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a complete understanding of them.
Aphrodisiacs are foods that create sexual desire.

How do they do that?  There are several ways.  Your body creates a hormone called testosterone, which is directly correlated to sexual desire.  Without getting into too much detail, you need certain chemicals in your body to produce this.  You also have to have good blood flow, and certain foods increase blood flow.  There is also the association we make between foods and certain body parts, for example, the oyster or the banana.

Let’s talk about the different foods associated with aphrodisiacs.  While there are many, here is a list of some common ingredients:

Asparagus, Chocolate, Pine Nuts, Oysters, Artichokes, Saffron, Bananas, Strawberries, Garlic, Coffee, Honey, Figs, Fish, Chiles, Black Beans, and Avocados.

Foods of love

Yes, all common ingredients you can find at any local grocery store.  There are also some not so common ingredients.  It is said that Aphrodite considered Sparrows to be sacred because of their amorous nature.  That ultimately meant they ended up in more than one stew or brew.  In my opinion, I don’t think a sparrow would be very nourishing or appetizing.  In fact, a sparrow served up to me on a plate my just do the opposite for my sexual desire.

Keeping it simple is the key here.  You don’t want to eat something too heavy or something that is going to cause you to fall asleep.  While I love a steak dinner, complete with a loaded baked potato, something there just doesn’t leave me feeling like I want to be too mobile after.

Is there REALLY a link between food and sexual desire?

While very few (if any) western studies show a link between food and sexual desire, let’s do a little dissecting.  First of all, being of the appropriate weight means you are producing the correct amount of the correct hormones.  Let’s look at the foods above — vegetables, antioxidant rich foods, balanced protein and carbs. . . sounds to me like a balanced diet.  So, if you’re eating a lot of these foods, you probably maintain a healthy weight.

Second, your body breaks down everything that goes into it and uses it for something else.  Carbs are broken down into sugar, protein is broken down into amino acids, and fats are broken down into lipids.  Nutrients are sent where they are needed.  Let’s think about it.  If your body needs Vitamin D and Magnesium to create Testosterone, and you’re not eating enough Vitamin D or Magnesium, how is your sexual desire going to be?  High?  Low?  Average?  The question is, how quickly it works.  The effects may not be instant, but overall important.

Third, your strongest sense is your scent of smell.  If you always prepare the same meal (or ingredients — such as garlic) for your lover just before you engage in sexual activities, soon your lover will associate that scent with sexual activities.  You will have created your own “Pavlov Dog”.

My fourth and final argument is that if you believe it, it will work.  A placebo effect, if you will.  There have been numerous reports of all sorts of scientific anomalies occurring just because people believed they would.    So much of sexual desire is mental and psychological.  Just seeing my man in the kitchen is a turn on.  Minus sparrow, I don’t think there’s much that couldn’t be cooked for me to create a response.  It tells me I’m loved.  Feed me with your hands, and it’s over.  They also say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  So yes, maybe it’s time to suck it up and go make him a sandwich.

Along those lines, many foods of love throughout history were banned because of their association with sex.

Nuns were forbidden to eat black beans, and Aztec virgins were required to stay indoors during the harvest of the avocado.  Just one more piece of evidence that shows the power of food.

So, what would I recommend for a Valentine’s Day dinner to give you that extra edge?  I would start out with a simple appetizer, perhaps some bruschetta with figs or artichokes, or some oysters.  I would then move on to some kind of fish, like salmon with a honey glaze served with a side of saffron rice or rice with pine nuts and some asparagus, and of course, champagne (which is NOT an aphrodisiac, but that’s another blog to be written).  For dessert, I would go with an oldie but a goodie — chocolate covered strawberries.  If that’s not your thing, perhaps a light chocolate cake with a cup of coffee, or even just a mocha.

And if all else fails, have some edible body paint or whipped cream hanging out.  It can’t hurt. . .

A special thanks to Stephanie Agakian, one of our speakers at Beyond the Bedroom for writing this blog.

 Aphrodisiacs are the foods of love and help to increase sexual desire in both men and women. If you liked this article consider signing up for our newsletter and our Facebook page to learn more.