Aphrodisive foods science or fiction

 
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For Valentine's Day, the cooks feature in their menu some foods with aphrodisiac properties. However, are there really foods that can impact libido?

The answer to this question is that no particular food has been scientifically proven to stimulate the reproductive organs. However, eating certain foods could promote mood and desire for love.

Aphrodisiac foods belong to the following categories:

  • Foods that create heat and moisture
  • Foods that look like female or male genitals
  • Foods that are rare and expensive such as exotic foods
  • Foods that stimulate the senses

Look a little science behind some aphrodisive foods

oysters

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The stories tell that Giacomo Casanova, the famous lover of the eighteenth century, ate each morning 50 oysters for breakfast to increase his sexual stamina.

Oysters are known for their aphrodisiac properties because of their high zinc content. A 100 g portion contains about 38 mg of zinc. The recommended dietary allowance for men is 11 milligrams of zinc. It is an essential mineral for spermatogenesis (sperm production) and plays an important role in testicular development. In addition, zinc is often added in fertility supplements for men who aim to increase their sperm count.

In addition, oysters naturally contain dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in brain activity and affects desire in men and women.

Red peppers

 c.c. Jean Weber

c.c. Jean Weber

The red color of peppers may explain why some people consider it an aphrodisiac food. However, there is a scientific explanation. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, the effects of which on the body tend to mimic sexual desire. They tend to speed up the heart rate and increase sweating. They also release endorphins, a group of hormones that play an important role in the sensation of pleasure.

 

chocolate

The Aztecs were the first to establish a link between chocolate and sexual desire. They believed that the chocolate drink was medicinal, provided energy and stimulated libido. Lower class society used to enjoy the "divine drink" on special occasions such as weddings. The stories tell that their emperor consumed large quantities of cocoa beans before his romantic conquests.

 
 c.c. Tanya PW

c.c. Tanya PW

 

Nowadays, science attributes the aphrodisiac properties of chocolate to tryptophan and phenylethylamine. Tryptophan is a constituent of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes a good mood. Phenylethylamine helps the release of endorphins. However, it appears that the amount of tryptophan and phenylethylamine in chocolate is not enough to affect desire. Therefore, the aphrodisiac properties of chocolate are limited.

To conclude, there is no magic potion for a romantic evening. Including foods known as aphrodisiacs on the menu brings a festive aspect to the evening. However, no matter what the menu is, the best ingredient for a romantic dinner is a pinch of love!

 

Happy Valentine's day !


 
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Céline Saloumi

celine.saloumi@provigo.ca
Nutritionist


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