“Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
Harriet Van Horne, Vogue 10/1956
It’s often said that way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and this is true of both sexes. Around the world food often forms the very core of the courting process between couples, whether it’s the all-important first date, or a Sunday lunch with her family – food and love are emotionally and scientifically linked.
Asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamins A, B6, C and E, and folic acid. The folic acid is said to boost histamine production to heighten the ability to orgasm in both sexes, and vitamin E, which is used amongst other things in the production of sexual hormones.
In 19th-century France, bridegrooms were served three courses of asparagus at their prenuptial dinner. The fact asparagus is easy to cook, and tastes great as an accompaniment to many dishes ensures its one of the most well known aphrodisiacs.
Despite not being popularly known as an aphrodisiac, the benefits have long been known; Samson (Of long haired fame!) wooed Delilah with these tasty nuts. Almonds provide high doses of vitamin E, magnesium and fiber to improve your general well being too.
The creamy fruit is especially good for pregnant women due to its high content of folic acid, as well as vitamin B6 and potassium. The vitamin B6 contained in the avocado is said to increase male hormone production.
The Aztecs called the avocado tree "Ahuacuatl," or "testicle tree", thinking the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled a man's testicles. The Spanish, found avocados so obscenely sexy, that Catholic priests forbade them to their parishioners.
With a history like this it’s no wonder why avocado is worthy of being in this round-up.
This shapely and nutritious fruit is a complete meal, loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. It 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.
This herbs inclusion might surprise some people, but in some parts of Italy, basil is a love-token. Basil has a warming effect on the body and promotes circulation – which is likely to come in useful should the meal go very, very well.
Ensure temperatures rise in any event; chillies contain capsaicin, a chemical that stimulates our nerve endings and raises our pulse – it’s also the chemical that gives chillies their heat. This aphrodisiac food is also thought to release endorphins, which give our bodies a natural high.
This one won’t surprise anyone – kids love it, women have been known to resort to it at times of distress.
So why does eating chocolate make us so happy? It's a chemical thing. Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulating alkaloid similar to caffeine. Chocolate also helps the brain produce feel-good serotonin.
For maximum enjoyment, go for a high quality, antioxidant rich, dark chocolate – its taste is unspoiled by the copious amounts of sugar and milk added to milk chocolate.
Said to be Cleopatra's favourite food, the sweet, purple fruits are sexy in both appearance and texture. For obvious reasons, they've been a synonym in erotic literature for female sexual organs. To the ancient Greeks, they were "more precious than gold" and many cultures associated figs with fertility.
The classic aphrodisiac, and it’s backed by: raw oysters are very high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production, thus increasing libido. Like some fish, oysters contain omega-3 fatty acids, considered to increase one's overall well-being and even fight depression. No wonder Casanova ate 50 raw oysters every day.
These are perfect aphrodisiac foods to hand feed your lover. They are red, the colour associated with love and passion, and are high in vitamin C.