Food, like sex, is a fully sensory experience, so it's no mystery why certain foods are thought to have aphrodisiac properties. Since the beginning of time, humans have been using food to help "get in the mood" and make their love life a little more spicy!
Aphrodisiac foods usually fall into one of two categories: visual representation or biochemical activators. Foods that look like human genitalia are often thought to act as a simple reminder of the fun to come and thereby put people in the mood. Other foods may have nutrients that stimulate the body or mind through biochemical pathways, increasing blood flow or hormone action. Below is a quick list of the most popular foods thought to have aphrodisiac properties.
Oysters - Oysters are said to resemble female genitalia and have long been used to represent sex. Not only are oysters visually stimulating, but they also contain a high amount of zinc, which is said to stimulate testosterone production.
Asparagus - Asparagus are a clear phallic symbol and the simple act of eating it is said to stimulate lust. This theory about asparagus flies back hundreds of years and they were even included in traditional pre-wedding meals in France. Today, scientists know that asparagus are high in potassium and other nutrients that may heighten stimulation.
Figs - Figs are soft, sweet, and are said to resemble female sex organs. Even the ancient Greeks associated this highly prized fruit with love and fertility.
Bananas - Bananas are another popular phallic symbol, in both ancient times and modern pop culture. Not only do bananas resemble male genitalia, but they contain a mix of potassium and other nutrients that may help boost libido.
Hot Peppers - Capsaicin, the spicy compound found in hot peppers, can dilate blood vessels and get the blood pumping, both of which are needed for arousal. Spicy foods are often thought of as exciting, which furthers its connection to sexual arousal.
Chocolate - Chocolate is often joked about as being "better than sex" because of its biochemical effects on the brain. Chocolate contains compounds that cause a release of dopamine, or pleasure hormones, in the brain, which is similar to the release of hormones during sex. Chocolate is one of the most popular aphrodisiac foods consumed on Valentine's Day.
Truffles - The scent of truffles is very similar to human pheromones, which are chemicals that our body releases for the purpose of sexual attraction. Simply smelling truffles can put many people in the mood.
Red Wine - Not only is red wine good at lowering inhibitions, it also contains reservatol and other antioxidants that promote blood flow.
Vanilla - The scent of vanilla is said to have a calming and comforting effect on the brain, which can heighten amorous interactions.