Natural Aphrodisiacs! The Top 10 Foods To Get You In The Mood

What you eat can have a direct impact on your sex life, affecting your hormones, brain chemistry, energy and stress levels. Some foods have psychoactive properties, others arouse because they are psychologically suggestive, and some can actually increase blood flow to the genitals.

For enhanced sex, natural aphrodisiacs are well worth exploring, especially the aphrodisiac foods in this article which not only serve romantic and erotic purpose but are virtuously healthy. Many of the natural aphrodisiacs in this article are also superfoods due to their superior health-promoting properties. You’ll find they are both female aphrodisiacs and aphrodisiacs for men. Natural aphrodisiacs are safe and fun to experiment with and can act as a catalyst for hotter sex in the bedroom, both due to their physiologicial and psychological effects.

1. Avocado

The Aztecs called the avocado tree Ahuacuatl meaning testicle tree. The ancients likened the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree to male testicles. The Spanish spread news of its stimulating powers on return to Europe and Catholic priests forbade their parishioners to eat them. Avocados are a smooth, unctuous fruit with a sexy consistency. The avocado is also a supremely healthy superfood, very mineral dense, and contains the body’s master antioxidant glutathione, as well as host of healthy carotenoids, heart-friendly monounsaturated oil and superior amounts of fibre, potassium and B6.

2. Chilli

Chillis can fire you up in more ways than one. They contain the chemical capsaicin that can induce the release of endorphins to create a temporary high. Capsaicin also speeds up the metabolism and increases circulation, responses that are similar to those experienced when having sex. It ignites our internal engine and stimulates our energy for passion. Eating large quantities of capsaicin may also work as an irritant to the genitals and urinary tract that can feel similar to sexual excitement.

3. Celery

Celery contains the male hormone androsterone that is said to stimulate sexual arousal in women. Androstenone is believed to be released after eating through perspiration and functions as a pheromone that turns women on, hence a female aphrodisiac. The Swedish author C.E. Hagdahl in his Cooking as Science and Art (1879) says that ‘Celery contributes to a stimulation of the digestion, but is also suspected to be somewhat sexually exciting or even straightforward arousing.’ The Romans also favoured the abilities of this vegetable, dedicating celery to Pluto the ‘god of sex’.

4. Chocolate

Pure chocolate, the king of natural aphrodisiacs, contains a host of compounds including anandamide, the psyochoactive feel-good chemical, and PEA (phenylethylamine), the ‘love chemical’ which releases dopamine in the pleasure-centres of the brain and peaks during orgasm. PEA is said to help induce feelings of excitement, attraction, and euphoria. Cacao also contains tryptophan, a key component of the neurotransmitter serotonin known to promote a sense of wellbeing and relaxation, and ‘nature’s Viagra’ arginine, the amino acid that enhances arousal and sensation in men and women. Arginine is converted into nitric oxide in the body which increases blood flow and relaxes smooth muscle in the gentalia. No wonder Casonova was chocolate fanatic!

5. Fennel

Fennel’s aphrodisiac traits have been upheld by research that has found it to increase the libido of both male and female rats. This is likely due to the hormone-like compounds it contains that mimic the female hormone estrogen. This estrogenic activity is why fennel has been used as a breast enlarger.

6. Figs

This sexy fruit has long been thought of as an arousing stimulant and an open fig is believed to emulate the female sex organs. Figs are steeped in history and are one of the oldest recorded fruits. They are mentioned in the bible (Adam and Eve wore fig leaves to cover their private parts), are reported to be Cleopatra’s favourite fruit and the ancient Greeks held them as sacred and associated them with love and fertility. Following on in some Southern European countries wedding guests would throw figs instead of rice at newly weds as a sign of fertility.

7. Garlic

This hot, pungent herb is said to stir sexual desires and Roman priestesses of old claimed garlic could make ‘women fall in love and men powerful’. It is certainly an immensely healthy food with many disease-protective qualities such as lowering cholesterol, aiding circulation and fighting bacteria, fungi and viruses. The problem with garlic is its potent aroma – if your partner loves it great, if not, it’s a risky choice for an aphrodisiac.

8. Honey

Sweet sticky honey is a great source of boron, a trace mineral that helps the body use and metabolise estrogen, the female sex hormone. Studies have shown that this mineral may also enhance testosterone levels in the blood, the hormone responsible for promoting sex drive and orgasm in both men and women. In addition, honey contains B vitamins needed for testosterone as well as other nutrients, enzymes and phytochemicals.

9. Liquorice (licorice)

Licorice has been used in ancient China for its love and lust provoking properties. Research has revealed that the smell itself is particularly stimulating. In a study by Dr. Hirsch, the neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, black liquorice was found to increase blood flow to the penis by 13 per cent. In China it is also reported to be particularly stimulating to women.

10. Nutmeg

Nutmeg has been lauded as an aphrodisiac across numerous cultures and highly prized by Chinese women. Research supports this use as it has been observed to increase mating behaviours in mice. Large quantities of nutmeg can be psychoactive and produce hallucinogenic effects so don’t go overboard.

Herbs that are also natural aphrodisiacs, some of which are quite powerful, can have side effects and require appropriate dosage instructions (always read the label) include Yohimbe Bark, Centrum Damiana (or just Damiana), Muira Puama, Pregnenolone (Mexican Yam), Maca (Lepidium meyenii), Horny Goat Weed and to a milder extent Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba .

Holiday Dieting: A Sweet Way To Cheat

Holiday Dieting: A Sweet Way To Cheat                                                                                                                                              author:Laura Turner                                                                                                                                                                                                    If your diet is making you a humbug this season, there’s some good news. Turns out dark chocolate, that decadent confection, may actually be good for you! Yes, recently conducted studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that a dose of dark chocolate will heed all sorts of healthy results. And with holiday-time upon us, this news couldn’t have come at a better time. So just for fun, I thought I’d conduct a mini-research project of my own and get the “skinny” on our friend dark chocolate. Here’s some of the interesting factoids I came up with: Cocoa—the precursor to chocolate–has been around a long time. A few thousand years, in fact. It has been thought that cocoa beans were brought to Europe in the 1500’s by Christopher Columbus. Cocoa, later made into chocolate, was given to American Soldiers in WWII. According to historical data, each solider was given a three chocolate bar per day ration, due to it being such a great source of high-energy. Researchers got involved when studies showed that in addition to being a high energy food, chocolate also stimulates elevated moods. Researchers found truth to this, showing that dark chocolate does, in fact, increase levels of mood-altering chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins. Some researchers have also gone on to conduct major studies to prove the correlation between chocolate and a true physiological craving. (Check out “Why Women Need Chocolate,” written by Debra Waterhouse, Registered Dietician in 1999). And, the best news yet. Upon further study, it has been found that the “flavonoids” in dark chocolate are scientifically proven to act as antioxidants, preventing “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in the blood from oxidizing and clogging arteries. So, if you are looking for a healthy way to “cheat” this holiday season, dark chocolate may not be all together a bad option. Facts aside, however, and before you run out to fill your shopping cart full, keep these guidelines in mind: Heed the advice of Aristotle: “Everything in moderation.” Refrain from taking the “chocolate factory tour.” Keep your chocolate fix to a minimum. Enjoy it, but please don’t over do. When you are shopping for chocolate, try to find “dark” varieties with at least 70% cocoa. Also, make sure “sugar” or “butter fat” are not the first items listed. If you’d like to skip the treat but not the fun, send a virtual chocolate postcard from this fun chocolate website (no calories included) : http://www.virtualchocolate.com/index.cfm To summarize my findings; it appears that dark chocolate is in fact our friend (and we will just leave its aphrodisiac qualities to your own private discussion groups, thanks). As for the cravings… Well, do we really need chocolate? Survey says: Dunno. But, with the holidays upon us, a Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate once in a while—now available in the *sugar free” variety, mind you–sounds sweet enough to me. (Research Ref: Eat To Beat Cancer, Hatherill. 1998 St. Martins Press, New York