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Aphrodisiac Foods

Dr E Suneetha
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Aniseed:
Also known as anise, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that you could increase desire by sucking on anise seeds. Aniseed does include estrogenic compounds (female hormones), which have been reported to induce similar effects to testosterone.
 
Avocado: Avocados are voluptuous and have been associated with male sexuality. The Aztecs called the avocado tree “Ahuacuatl,” or “testicle tree.” The ancients thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male’s testicles. The Spanish, in fact, found avocados so obscenely sexy, that Catholic priests forbade them to their parishioners. The creamy fruit is especially good for pregnant women due to its high content of folic acid, as well as vitamin B6 and potassium. They are also said to boost immune function.
Bananas: In addition to the phallic shape of the banana fruit and flower, bananas are loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. The fruit also contains chelating minerals and the bromelain enzyme, said to enhance the male libido - maybe that’s why Central Americans drink the sap of the red banana as an aphrodisiac, while Hindus regard it as a symbol of fertility.
Basil (sweet basil): For centuries, people said that basil stimulated the sex drive and boosted fertility as well as produced a general sense of well being. The scent of basil was said to drive men wild - so much so that women would dust their breasts with dried and powdered basil. Basil is one of the many reported aphrodisiacs that may have the property of promoting circulation.
Cardamom: Cardamom is an aromatic spice. Certain cultures deem it a powerful aphrodisiac and also claim it is beneficial in treating impotence. It is high in cineole, which can increase blood flow in areas where it is applied.
Chocolate: Chocolate has forever been associated with love and romance. It was originally found in the South American rainforests. The Mayan civilisations worshipped the cacao tree and called it “food of the gods.” Rumour has it that the Aztec ruler Montezuma drank 50 goblets of chocolate each day to enhance his sexual abilities. According to some studies, chocolate, rather than increasing sexual desire, makes you feel good because of the presence of “feel good” chemicals like phenylethylamine, serotonin and anandamide.
Carrots: The phallus-shaped carrot has been associated with sexual stimulation since ancient times and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction.
Chilli peppers: Eating chilli peppers generates physiological responses in our bodies (e.g., sweating, increased heart rate and circulation) that are similar to those experienced when having sex. The capsaicin they contain is responsible for the effects and is also a good pain reliever. Another reported effect of eating large quantities of chilli peppers is an irritation of the genitals and urinary tract that could feel similar to sexual excitement.
Cucumbers: Aside from its phallic shape, the scent of cucumbers is believed to stimulate women by increasing blood flow to the vagina.
Figs: Figs are another fruit that claims aphrodisiac qualities based on its appearance. An open fig is thought to look similar to the female sex organs.
Garlic: Essential oils have antibiotic and cell-activating effects. Used as an aphrodisiac since the Egyptians, the Romans consecrated it to Ceres, the goddess of fertility. Long ago, Tibetan monks were not allowed to enter the monastery if they had been eating garlic because of its reputation for stirring up passion.
Ginger: People have deemed ginger root an aphrodisiac for centuries because of its scent and because it stimulates the circulatory system.
Nutmeg: In ancient China, women prized nutmeg as an aphrodisiac, and researchers have found it to increase mating behaviour in mice. There is no evidence to prove the same happens in humans. In quantity, nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect.
Oysters: Romans documented oysters as aphrodisiacs in the second century A.D. They are known to be high in zinc, which has been associated with improving sexual potency in men. (An additional hypothesis is that the oyster resembles the female genitals.) Recently, mussels, clams and oysters have been found to contain D-aspartic acid and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) compounds that may be effective in releasing sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen. Scientists have not determined whether there are enough of those compounds in the shellfish to make any difference.
Papaya: Papaya (like aniseed) is estrogenic, meaning it has compounds that act as the female hormone estrogen. It has been used as a folk remedy in promoting menstruation and milk production, facilitating childbirth and increasing the female libido.
Peach: Peaches are seductive fruits by virtue of their shape and other characteristics. Scientifically, it may be due to the vitamins and minerals present in the fruit, which contributes to the body’s well-being.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate is a symbol of fertility with its abundant seeds. For the Chinese, the pomegranate symbolises prosperity in an abundant household.
 

Dr E Suneetha
is a Research Officer with Lifetime WellnessRx International Limited
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