by Megan Stubbs
What comes to mind when you think of aphrodisiacs? Did you think of chocolate? Maybe oysters crossed your mind? What about strawberries? It’s fair to say that aphrodisiacs have played an important role in society’s history from helping alleviate sexual concerns to boosting vigor. That being said, as of yet, we have not discovered a single food we can ingest that directly influences our sexual organs or desires. Before you turn the page and dash your dreams, hang on! If we broaden the definition of aphrodisiac to include foods or substances that can help us along the way towards erotic enhancement, then we have some contenders.
From Chinese medicine to energetic horses, oats have long been used as a libido enhancer. Studies have shown oats to raise testosterone levels in men and help ease anxiety and depression in women.
It would be difficult to find a culture that didn’t revere honey and all of its beneficial qualities. Honey offers many healing benefits that support sexual wellness; it’s rich in vitamins, enzymes and amino acids, and helps increase production and motility in sperm and can aid in estrogen production in women. Plus, it’s delicious!
Try baking up some almond cookies! The scent of almonds has been a reported aphrodisiac for centuries. Once a symbol of fertility, the almond has a rich history of providing vitamins and fatty acids to those who consume them, which are essential in the production of hormones, fertility and sex drive.
Most infamously known as legendary Italian-lover Casanova’s aphrodisiac of choice, celery is probably one of the most unexpected aphrodisiacs. Celery consumption stimulates the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the release of sex hormones. Celery also contains androsterone, a hormone released in the perspiration of men (think pheromones), and has been known to stimulate sexual arousal in women. Someone pass the crudite!
These humble nuts are more than just a fall decoration. In addition to being psychologically stimulating, the walnuts contain the amino acid arginine that, when absorbed, turns into nitric oxide. This enlarges blood vessels and enhances flow to the penis. It also contains many vitamins and minerals that support sexual wellness.