Aphrodisiacs: reality or fiction?
The food can really put you in the mood; find out how
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Weight loss clinic WebMD – Column of experts
Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Can certain foods really stimulate sexual desire, or is it all in our heads? Research shows us that it is mainly the latter, but when it comes to aphrodisiacs, we should never underestimate the power of sensual suggestion.
Between 25% and 63% of American women (many of them postmenopausal) have some type of sexual dysfunction. And recently several important news articles have been published that show a disturbing picture of how many married couples are lucky if they end up "getting lucky". (It seems that the demands of work, stress and busy schedules are responsible).
Enter aphrodisiacs. Basically, the foods considered aphrodisiac are those that have the objective of stimulating the senses of love (sight, smell, taste and touch). But can food, or even the simple act of eating, put you in the mood to love? The answer is YES, but not the way you might think.
No food has been scientifically proven to stimulate the human sexual organs. But food and the act of eating can suggest sex to the mind, which in turn can help stimulate desire in the body. And it certainly does not hurt to stack the sexual probabilities in your favor by enjoying foods that you and your partner find sensual!
The 5 types of aphrodisiacs.
Historically, most aphrodisiacs have fallen into five general types, all based on unproven theories:
Are you "hot" yet? It was thought that foods that generate heat and humidity (such as chili or curry) awaken the passion "heated", while cold foods (such as lettuce and Persian leaves) are supposed to "cool" the passion. If it looks like a sexual organ … It is believed that foods that resemble male or female genitals increase desire. The infamous oyster is an example, as are some fruits and root vegetables like carrots. The remarkable hypothesis of reproduction. It was thought that the reproductive organs and eggs (fish roe and eggs of birds, genitals of animals) increase sexual desire and potency. If it is exotic, it must be erotic. Foods considered rare (and therefore expensive) were believed to be sexually exciting. When many of these foods, such as potatoes and cocoa, became more accessible, their reputation as sexual stimulants decreased. Stimulate the senses, stimulate desire. It was thought that foods that stimulate the senses (sight, smell, taste and touch) in a pleasant way stimulate passion.
Erotic edibles through history
Throughout history, it was thought that vegetables such as onions, turnips, leeks, squash, asparagus, artichokes and cress not only stimulate desire, but also increase sperm count. Well-turned fruits such as apple and curvilinear pear were considered as erotic edibles. And the very sown fruits such as pomegranates and figs were compared with the "seeds of Fertility. "
And what about those notorious oysters? Unfortunately, despite the sexual exploits attributed to their powers, oysters are composed of elements that can not chemically stimulate the genitals of either sex: water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, some salts, glycogen and small amounts of minerals like potassium and fat. calcium. Apparently, the oyster can thank its shape and its soft texture for its aphrodisiac acclaim.
Chocolate It is one of the favorite "comfort foods" of the United States, but for the ancient Aztecs, it offered much more than comfort, it was considered a powerful aphrodisiac.
(In the early 1980s, researchers thought they had solved the mystery of our love story with chocolate.They detected the chemical phenyl ethylamine (PEA) in chocolate.) PEA is a stimulant of the central nervous system, usually present In the human brain, it is believed, to help arouse emotions, but the human body actually absorbs very little PEA from chocolate, anyway it is not enough to affect our emotions, so the hottest thing about chocolate is its taste and its texture that melts in your mouth, which, in my opinion, is not so bad!)
In the fourteenth century in Europe, the Asian spice trade added herbs and spices to the aphrodisiac equation. Historical accounts suggest that many of these foods, such as clove, anise seed, cinnamon, ginger, white pepper, cardamom and thyme, had an excellent aphrodisiac reputation in their native regions.
The fact that potatoes (both sweet and white) were new in Europe in the sixteenth century helped to perpetuate the belief that they possessed sexual powers. Other vegetables joined their aphrodisiac ranks in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, namely, carrots (vegetables, juice and seeds) and the juice of asparagus.
In the eighteenth century, the influence of phallic-oriented foods, such as eels, carrots and asparagus, had taken shape (pun). It was thought that several bulbous vegetables that resembled the testicles, such as onions, affected a man's potency.
Apart from its appearance and shape, there are five other qualities of food that are thought to provoke sensuality. The foods considered sexy are generally those that are:
Soft Rich Creamy Exotic Spicy
So if you're planning a romantic dinner, take a note. Why not try to serve a dish that fits each of those categories?
"He can also capitalize on the foods of his sexual past, perhaps those he ate before or during a particularly pleasurable sexual encounter."
And speaking of the characteristics of food, remember that the subtle is more sexy than in your face. Phallic and well-proportioned meals, as well as exotic and rare ones, will probably always be in aphrodisiac form. But these days we appreciate foods that suggest sex with a whisper instead of a scream. So, instead of serving a dessert to your partner, that makes you think: "Yes, it seems a part of the male body", try something more discreet, a banana half brandy, sprinkled with chocolate sauce.
Let's not forget the placebo effect.
A placebo is an inactive substance, like a sugar pill: administered to a research participant who has the impression that it is a medication. So the "placebo effect" is when the belief that something is helping has as much or more therapeutic effect as the substance itself.
Therefore, if a person believes that eating raw oysters will affect their sexual desire and sexual vigor, their anticipation of this powerful effect can help make it come true.
Memories of past meals
You can also capitalize on foods from your sexual past, perhaps those you ate before or during a particularly pleasurable sexual encounter. Or go one step further and start making a new record with your spouse or partner. If it is hand-fed grapes to your partner, or if your favorite dish is served in good dishes during a romantic dinner, the bedroom door is open so you can create your own repertoire of "aphrodisiacs".
To understand the powerful connection between mind and body, just think about the phallic and phallic foods that were in favor in the 18th century. Because they suggested sex to those who used them as "aphrodisiacs," they could have had the desired effect. So let the sight and smell of certain foods take you back to that sexy and provocative moment you shared together.
With alcohol, less is more
Already in the latter part of the sixteenth century, scientists documented the properties of inhibition and sexual enhancement of alcohol. One wrote that "excess alcohol is a sexual depressant instead of a stimulant, and wine that is taken moderately does the opposite." They even knew 400 years ago that a small amount of alcohol can help our sexual desire, while too much can hinder it!
How much is too much? The amount of alcohol that would prevent us as a driver also seems to prevent us as a lover. This can be more than two drinks per night for men, and one drink per night for women.
The nose always knows
Finally, do not underestimate the suggestive power of the aroma. Certain scents, such as chocolate chip cookies, bread or apple pie, fill our minds with visions of favorite foods while tormenting our taste buds in advance. Scents can also bring back memories or feelings of past pleasant experiences associated with that scent.
You may remember a study a few years ago that discovered that men responded more powerfully to the aroma of baked cinnamon buns than any other perfume. (A combination of the aroma of pumpkin pie and lavender was also a success). For women, the most attractive aromas included licorice, caramel, cucumber and banana nut bread.
How to stimulate the 5 senses on Valentine's Day
Now, here's the way to put it all together and set the stage for that romantic night tonight:
View. Light those candles or the fireplace for a relaxed and seductive atmosphere. And keep your romantic scene as orderly and clean as possible. As for the food, select the dishes that visually suggest sex and seduction for you and your partner. Consider the color and shape, as well as the texture and taste. Sound. Set the mood instantly with the music. This could mean concerts for piano, torrid jazz, even a CD with the sound of waves breaking on the shore. And do not forget the sound of your own voice. On this special night, express your feelings to your loved one. Do not just say "I love you" (although it's a good start). Share what you love, your favorite things of your partner (physical and not physical). You get the picture! Smell. Avoid smelly foods such as cooked cauliflower or cabbage. If you choose garlic, keep it subtle or try to roast it (it will taste delicious and will not be overwhelming). You can also fill the room with romantic aromas of scented oils or candles. I touched. There are many ways in which touch comes into play during a romantic evening. If you have food to eat with your fingers, eating is about touching. The texture of the rug or blanket in front of the fireplace, the feeling of having sheets under the skin, send sensual signals to your brain. But perhaps the best way to stimulate this sense is by touching each other. Not only is it stimulating to receive a massage, but it can be truly tempting to give one. Try one of the wonderful scented massage oils and creams available at stores like Bath and Body Works. Or wash your hair and / or the bodies of others, a very special way to touch your loved one. Taste. Serve small portions of foods that stimulate your taste buds without overwhelming them. Very strong or spicy foods can be counterproductive, so serve them with caution. And a dessert that is subtly sweet (try the semi-sweet chocolate) beats a very sweet one. Remember, you want to leave your mouth wanting more.
Originally published on February 6, 2004
Medically updated on May 3, 2018.
Reference: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/holiday_appetizers_tips_and_recipes_to_lighten_upYou May Also Like: