The ten most aphrodisiac foods

by Redazione Fine Taste

Over the centuries, history has developed a vast collection of folklore, mythology and superstition around the sexual nature of food. Upon closer inspection, virtually every food has been touted as an aphrodisiac at one point or another in history. The association between food and pleasure is a primary need, somewhat similar to excitement. While most aphrodisiac mythology comes from foods with symbolic colors or shapes, some foods actually contain properties that stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain. Whether these foods can actually improve romantic feelings is another matter.

Let us try to delve deeper into this "spicy" culinary tradition of aphrodisiacs with the ten most aphrodisiac foods.


Many argue that the forbidden fruit of the Bible was not an apple, but a pomegranate fruit. The word aphrodisiac originates with the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and is credited in Greek mythology with the planting of the first pomegranate tree. Because of their many seeds, pomegranates are often associated with fertility and abundance. Drinking pomegranate juice daily lowers cortisol levels, which can correspond to an increase in testosterone in both men and women and therefore an increase in sexual desire.


For centuries, cultures around the world have praised the aphrodisiac qualities of asparagus. The Greeks spoke about it in love poetry and even the Kama Sutra recommended its widespread consumption. Asparagus is rich in calcium, vitamin E and potassium, which help cleanse the kidneys and urinary tract and give you an extra dose of energy. The aspartic acid present in asparagus helps neutralize excess ammonia in our body, which can lead to tiredness and sexual disinterest.


Beets have long been considered an aphrodisiac in many cultures. The ancient Romans believed that beets and their juice promoted romantic feelings. Beetroot frescoes decorate the walls of the Lupanare brothel in Pompeii. In Greek mythology Aphrodite ate beets to increase her charm. This picturesque folklore has but some basis in reality. Beets are a natural source of tryptophan and betaine, both substances that promote a feeling of well-being. They also contain high amounts of boron, a mineral that increases the level of sex hormones in the human body.


We don't normally think of coffee when we talk about aphrodisiacs, but its ability to give us extra spice can't be denied. Caffeine increases heart rate and increases blood flow, while its alkaloids can help maintain sexual performance while also increasing stamina.


The heart-shaped strawberry was once known as a symbol of Venus, goddess of love. For a time, the ancient Greeks prohibited eating strawberries and all other red foods, leading many to believe that the mysterious berries held great powers. While they may not hold any magical secrets, the antioxidants and phytochemicals in strawberries help reduce joint inflammation. Their beautiful color, sweet flavor and shape make them the perfect treat to share with your loved one in an enticing meal.


It's not hard to understand why honey has been considered an aphrodisiac for centuries. The word honeymoon itself comes from the hope of a sweet marriage. Some say honey's romantic reputation stems from an ancient custom in which newlywed couples drank mead, a fermented honey-based drink, until the first moon of their new union. Hippocrates prescribed honey for sexual vigor. Honey contains boron, which can regulate hormone levels, and nitric oxide, which is released into the blood during arousal. It is also a symbol of fertility and procreation in some cultures.


Greek mythology holds Zeus responsible for the creation of the artichoke. After being rejected by a beautiful young woman, the god transformed his object of affection into a thorny, leathery thistle. Catherine de' Medici, known for her insatiable appetite for both food and romance, brought artichokes to France when she married Henry II. Whether or not you believe in the romantic power of the artichoke, eating one certainly won't hurt. They're full of healthy antioxidants and they're delicious too!


When Montezuma shared avocados with Cortez and his fellow conquistadors, the Aztecs explained that their name, ahuacatl (also meaning testicle), came not only from their physical appearance, but also from their ability to incite sexual passion. The Aztecs believed in the aphrodisiac power of ahuacatl so much that they did not allow virgin women to leave the house while they were harvested. When Louis XIV found his aging libido needed reviving, he turned to the exotic avocado for help, dubbing the fruit la bonne poire (the good pear). Avocados are rich in vitamin E, which strengthens the immune system and helps give skin a youthful appearance.


Figs, whose leaves became clothing in the biblical story of Adam and Eve, are full of antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber and potassium. They are the ultimate paradox in sensual food; their numerous seeds represent fertility while their leaves are associated with modesty. Said to be Cleopatra's favorite fruit, the erotically shaped fig has been associated with sexuality in almost all cultures. In ancient Greece, where they were believed to be a symbol of love, the arrival of a new crop of figs sparked a copulatory ritual. Try them seasoned with honey for an aphrodisiac flavor sensation!


Throughout history chocolate has played many roles, most notably as a symbolic aphrodisiac. Cocoa bean pods, the source of chocolate, grow on Theobroma cocoa trees, which translates to cocoa, food of the gods. The Aztecs and Mayans used the beans found inside the pods as a form of currency. The Mayans were known to trade a few beans for a night of passion at the brothel, while the Aztec emperor Montezuma is said to have consumed 50 cups of chocolate every day to satisfy his many wives. Our Casanova also mentions chocolate in his memoirs, often discussing his habit of consuming cups of chocolate to support his lustful endeavors. So what are the components that induce a passion for chocolate? Mainly two: phenethylamine and tryptophan. The former is a stimulant that is released in the brain when we fall in love, while the latter helps produce serotonin, a brain chemical associated with elevated moods and sexual arousal. On top of all this, the sweet taste and velvety texture of the chocolate make it a very satisfying and appealing dessert!

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