Aphrodisiacs – myth or reality?

This week I wanted to share with you my findings about aphrodisiacs and about how our diet and lifestyle are directly linked with wellbeing, libido and positive attitude. With holiday festivities and lots of dinner parties, stay healthy with delicious and nutritious aphrodisiacs.

A low libido is a common syndrome in twenty-first-century society. Many men and women who juggle busy work schedules and family lives often experience issues with healthy intimacy. Lack of sexual desire and difficulty maintaining arousal or achieving orgasm have become epidemic in our modern society. A global survey called ‘Sexual Wellbeing’, sponsored by Durex in 2011, found that people don’t have enough sex in the United States and UK, and Japan had one of the lowest ratings of intimacy.

There are many connections between libido and our lifestyle choices. Poor self-discipline and dietary ignorance can damage both health and sex life. Our health is in our hands, and it’s not too difficult to stay in shape and boost libido naturally, by following a few simple rules: healthy nutrition, exercise, stress management, and proper rest. However, for some people, those simple rules seem to be challenging, due to a sedentary lifestyle, laziness, and addiction to junk foods.

People wonder why they lose their libido and what causes it to decline. Stress, fatigue, and low sexual energy are all commonplace in modern times. Libido is also directly linked to levels of sex hormones. Reduced sex drive occurs in people with low levels of testosterone, which can be boosted through certain nutrients without drugs. Lack of zinc can cause infertility and impotence; it’s also proven that caffeine in coffee and tea is a libido killer. Issues with health have a direct link to issues with sex.

George Bernard Shaw once said, ‘There is no love sincerer than the love of food’. Love for food and food for love come from ancient times. There are many natural libido boosters that can improve the sex life of sexually deprived people. Physical activity, good-quality rest, a positive attitude, and certain foods can enhance sexual desire. Food and sexuality have been linked in various ways throughout history, as recorded in art and literature. Many herbs, nuts, and fruits have been used for medical purposes and in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. Other foods, known as aphrodisiacs, are shown to increase libido, due to their compounds and chemical composition.

Food historians say that the ancient Greeks loved foods which gave hope and promise to improve sexual performance and prolong pleasure. Foods which were known to have aphrodisiac effects were spoken of in mythology.  The word aphrodisiac comes from the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who was the goddess of love. The ancient list of ‘sexy foods’ included anise, basil, carrot, salvia, pistachio nuts, and fennel. Hippocrates, Greek philosopher and man of medicine, who lived in Greece between 460 and 380 BCE, is known for his recommendations to eat certain foods to maintain sexual stamina. He suggested that lentils and honey could keep a man energetic and virile at any age. He believed that a traditional Greek soup made from beans could keep libido levels up, and artichokes could ensure the birth of males. Some of his other advice included, ‘Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food’.

Food and sexual prowess have been linked for thousands of years. Chinese emperor Huang-Ti wrote Handbooks of Sex five thousand years ago, in which he claims that ‘spice and food are active sexual stimulants’. You can even track down the connection between sex and food in the Old Testament. ‘I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning’, says King Solomon in one of the Scriptures. English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper discovered in the seventeenth century that asparagus ‘increases lust in man and woman’. An interesting article from Forbes shows that: ‘For as long as humans have been having sex, they’ve been struggling to get in the mood. In ancient India, a young man who proved passionless in the sack might have tried goat testicles boiled in milk. The Roman satirist Juvenal was the first to note the seductive qualities of oysters. In “The Arabian Nights,” coriander was a quick fix for a merchant who’d gone childless for 40 years’.

European folklore suggests that in the nineteenth century, French men were served asparagus before their wedding, as it was known to ensure sexual endurance. Asparagus is full of potassium, fibre, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. This magic combination of vitamins and minerals produces histamine, which helps to reach orgasm in both genders. Certain vegetables, fruits, herbs, and nuts have been used in ancient times in medicine, religious rituals, and esoteric practices, often symbolising the sexual power of these foods. Old wisdom proves that there are foods and drinks that make sex more attainable, lasting, and pleasurable.

Food and sex are things that many people find most enjoyable on a basic level. The silky texture of melted chocolate and slices of exotic fruits can spice up both a dinner date and an erotic imagination. Some foods are considered aphrodisiacs because of their shape, some for their smell, and some for their ‘magical’ composite of vitamins and minerals. Food items also conjure up symbolism; many people equate the apple as ‘forbidden fruit’, while the cherry represents virginity. The ancient Aztec name for avocado was ‘testicle’, because of the fruit’s shape. It’s easy to imagine why certain foods could remind people of sexual body parts; for example, bananas and carrots have a strong phallic resemblance. Some foods have a smell which could be sexually arousing. It’s been found that pumpkin pie can increase lust in men, and chocolate can stir up desire in women. Some foods can be described erotic or sensual because of their consistency and sweet taste. Whipped cream and strawberries are often used in intimate games. A variety of sexual and erotic games with food have enhanced the concept that food is sexy. The scene from the movie 9½ Weeks, in which John feeds Elizabeth various kinds of food while her eyes are closed is sexually intense. John uses milk, honey, and red chilli pepper to seduce Elizabeth.

There is a simple explanation why certain foods directly enhance libido. It comes from eating a well-balanced diet, which improves physical and mental health. The right nutrition can increase libido because a healthy body is sexually attractive and ‘body-delicious’.

About Alina


This article was written on 06 Dec 2013.

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