We've all heard that love goes through the stomach, and it’s easy to see why: food is the fuel we need, and without it, frustrations can arise. But what about sexual relations? Does it also apply here? Well, yes, as long as we're talking about aphrodisiac foods.
You've probably heard of oysters as aphrodisiacs by now. It is not the type of food that most people would try, even if it claims to increase sexual desire. Because if you don't like something, you're unlikely to try it no matter how many benefits it's said to have.
The good news is that the aphrodisiac food options do not end here, and there is something to suit every particular taste.
What’s The Deal With Aphrodisiac Foods?
Aphrodisiacs have been known for thousands of years. In the ancient world, there was always a link between fertility and the prosperity of the land. Food was scarce back then, and the lack of it demonstrates how it can lead to abnormal body functioning.
Certain foods have always been considered aphrodisiacs in this context, especially due to their shape, and thus beneficial for increasing libido, intensifying sexual pleasure, and even fertility. Carrots, asparagus, figs, and artichokes are examples of such foods.
Food, particularly cooking, stimulates several senses, including taste, smell, and touch. And it was precisely this stimulation that helped to establish a link between certain foods and an increase in libido.
Since then, other factors have emerged - in addition to the shape - that have transformed some foods into aphrodisiacs. As a result, individuals frequently believe that eating delicacies like caviar or animal testicles, which are associated with the reproductive system, can increase libido, as well as spicy foods, which are known to make you feel hot.
Regardless of the reasons for associating certain foods with sexuality, do aphrodisiacs work or are they merely placebo?
Aphrodisiacs: Placebo or Science?
There have been few studies on foods thought to be aphrodisiacs. And, while there is some truth to the claim that aphrodisiacs increase libido, in general, they act as a placebo.
The Placebo effect occurs when a food or substance that has no medical basis produces certain positive changes in the body because the person who consumes it believes it can produce such effects.
And there is a two-way street with aphrodisiacs, because, even though there are few or no associations with increased sexual desire, many foods considered aphrodisiacs bring benefits when it comes to blood vessels, which can eventually lead to the improvement of blood flow in the genital area.
However, aphrodisiacs primarily rely on the placebo effect. If you see a certain food and think it's sexy - perhaps because of the taste or shape - there's a good chance that the sexual tension in your body will increase simply because your brain makes an association for you.
Regardless of the studies, no food has ever been discovered that has a direct connection with performance or sexual desire, but the benefits have most often been manifested in the blood flow.
Except for one notable exception: alcohol. However, this is not the ideal most people have in mind when they think of aphrodisiacs because alcohol has fun by decreasing sexual performance while increasing sexual desire. There is no way to win here!
We can say that aphrodisiacs can deliver on their promises as long as the person consuming them believes there is a link between those foods and sexual desire. If skepticism arises, or if a person is not attracted to a particular food but consumes it in an attempt to increase their libido, no perceptible effect will be produced.
Aphrodisiacs That Have Withstood Time
Okay, regardless of whether or not they affect sexual desire, some foods have stood the test of time and are still considered aphrodisiacs. For some, there are specific reasons for this, whereas, for others, their resistance over time is primarily due to their shape or texture.
Chocolate has long been thought to be an aphrodisiac. Because it was initially inaccessible to everyone, cocoa was considered the food of the gods in some cultures, such as the Aztecs and Maya.
In general, chocolate has retained its status as an aphrodisiac not only because it aids blood circulation, but also because it has long been associated with romance.
Furthermore, chocolate contains two chemicals involved in sexual stimulation. Tryptophan, a serotonin building block known to enhance delight, and Phenylethylamine, a stimulant released by the brain usually when people fall in love.
With a significant increase in popularity in recent years, avocado is regarded as a food that millennials have brought to the spotlight. However, this is not true in the context of the Aztec culture, which frequently referred to the Avocado as a food that can aid in sexual desire and fertility, due largely to its shape, which resembles a testicle.
Of course, avocado has some advantages, even if they have never been proven to increase libido. Instead, this food is high in vitamins E and D, which are not only necessary for genital health but also contribute to energy.
A type of herb that entered the culture as an aphrodisiac thanks to Chinese medicine, was frequently referred to as a food that can contribute to sexual well-being. In reality, ginseng has been shown to have established benefits for relaxation and vasodilation, which helps us to understand how it came to be connected to libido.
Given that it boosts the production of luteinizing hormone, which can raise testosterone and estrogen, honey is among the foods that are most likely to improve libido. However, the majority of research has demonstrated that honey has advantages, particularly in terms of its anti-inflammatory qualities, which support the cardiovascular system's health.
Just recall the occasions when you saw advertisements for strawberries on Valentine's Day - this is because they are often associated with romance and sexuality. Generally speaking, this belief came out as a result of how strawberries look. They can't help but be connected to romance, intimacy, and love between two individuals, even when it comes to sex because they are red and heart-shaped.
Strawberries are undoubtedly healthy since they contain vitamin E, and as a result, they have several advantages that cannot be disregarded, such as supporting healthy immune function or blood vessels, ligaments, gums, teeth, and skin. Even so, the only association that can be drawn between strawberries and boosting libido is that they are good for blood flow.
The placebo effect is a common theme in aphrodisiacs. Foods with shapes resembling genital organs, an intriguing texture, or benefits for healthy blood flow are commonly thought to increase sexual desire.
Although the science behind aphrodisiacs is pretty much nonexistent, we cannot deny that there have historically been some factors that have led people to assume that certain foods can increase sexual desire. So, even though their advantages have more to do with how we relate to them, we have every reason to celebrate, consume, and enjoy them.And if the food won't help with the libido, you can always try a sex toy!