Aphrodisiac Food: Five recommendations by Dale PinnockValentine's day is getting closer and we could not avoid writing about truly aphrodisiac food. As you guys know here at Honestly Healthy the last thing we want to do is to publish stereotyped and non-scientific info about food, so we call for the help of our Honestly Healthy Hero - Dale Pinnock - to tell us the scientific truth about aphrodisiac food.
We have all heard tales of mysterious compounds like powdered rhino horn etc, that are supposed to offer incredible aphrodisiac powers. Oysters are also top of the list when we think of things to nibble on to heighten the mood. But, believe it or not, there are some common foods that really CAN have aphrodisiac properties. Here is the what, the where, and the why.
This seemingly boring and innocuous salad vegetable seems to share about as much in common with a romantic night in, as George Formby does with thrash metal! Nothing quite says ‘hello darling’ like a bunch of celery! However, celery contains a chemical that we call a ‘phyto-androgen’. This means that it is a plant chemical similar to male ‘androgen’ hormones. To this end, it is believed that celery can offer subtle but effective aphrodisiac properties for women. It is after all testosterone (the primary androgen) that causes sexual desire in women.
There is no arguing over the fact that chillies can heat things up a little bit. But, aside from numbing our taste buds for a fortnight, chillies actually have some interesting effects upon other ‘areas’ ….or more appropriately organs of the body. They contain a powerful chemical called capsaicin (the bit that gives its spicy flavour), that can actually help to widen the blood vessels and stimulate circulation to all the right places (have you ever become flushed after chilli). Improved blood flow to..where it is needed…heightens both pleasure and…sustainability. Nuff said!
This beautiful spice is magical. Not only is it one of the most powerful medicines on Earth, it is also incredibly sensuous. Some of the oils found in ginger, that give it its zingy smell, are actually aphrodisiac due to a stimulation to the central nervous system. Ginger is also diaphoretic - meaning it warms our bodies up. Ginger is also another wonderful circulatory stimulant so can further enhance those attributes of chilli.
This slightly less common that the other foods, but its powder can be found in any health food store these days. It is a relative of the sweet potato, with an aphrodisiac history spanning hundreds of years. It is known to increase stamina, heighten alertness, and drastically increase sexual desire.
Chocolate and romance have been a blissful pairing for centuries. Cacao contains two powerful chemicals - Anandamide and PEA (phenyethylamine). Anandamide is released in our brains during times of intense creativity and inspiration, and PEA surges through our brain and nervous system when we fall in love (why do you think women have a special bond with chocolate - possibly less problematic than him indoors?). These two compounds together (only found in high % cocoa chocolate or raw chocolate powder and products) can make us feel in the mood for love, and chocolates inherent cousin of caffeine - known as theobromine - can give our energy a boost too. My favourite cocktail is making a raw chocolate bar or dessert with maca and chilli. A combination that is both blissful and functional.