Chocolate and oysters are said to be aphrodisiac foods and claim to make things hot and steamy in the bedroom. But is there any evidence to anchor these claims? Let’s dig into what science have to say about this.
What we eat has a tremendous impact on how we feel and on our mood. Foods such as oysters, chocolate, honey, chilli and strawberries are all claimed to have the ability to increase sexual desire and boost libido. But can they really put you in the mood?
Oysters are said to boost sexual virility and libido. They’re rich in zinc, which is important for testosterone and sperm production. Consuming zinc can minimise anxiety which may improve sexual desire. However, there are no studies that show that oysters have any aphrodisiac properties. But they are very nutritious and contain nutrients that can help to boost your mood, so if you like them, go ahead and eat them!
Chocolate is often anecdotally claimed to boost your mood and make you feel better. But is it an aphrodisiac? Chocolate is packed with bioactive compounds such as tyramine, phenylethylamine, methylxanthines and cannabinoid-like fatty acids which are linked to increased serotonin levels and also believed to give chocolate its aphrodisiac properties! But studies have failed to show a link between chocolate consumption and sexual drive. But eating palatable food can induce feelings of pleasure and can make you feel better for the moment. Also, who doesn’t get happy when receiving a box of chocolate?
The word “honeymoon” is said to derive from the tradition of newlyweds drinking a honey fermented beverage called mead, and honey has been a popular aphrodisiac for a long time. But there are no studies that support this. However, there is a type of honey called “mad honey” that is claimed to increase sexual desire as it contains compounds called grayanotoxin which can improve vagal stimulation – however, it’s toxic and should be avoided at all cost! Honey may not have any aphrodisiac properties, but it does not take away the fact that it’s truly delicious!
Chilli is said to be an aphrodisiac as it can make you hot and sweaty. Chilli contains capsaicin, and when you eat chilli, the capsaicin will attach to the same receptors in the body that react to scalding heat, so essentially, when you eat a chilli, the body will be tricked into thinking that there is a fire going on in your mouth! As a response, endorphins, the body’s own painkiller will be released that also have the ability to make you feel good and relaxed. Even if there is no science to support chilli being an aphrodisiac, eating chilli can make things more hot and steamy as it can increase your body temperature and metabolism (a.k.a the chilli sweats). But that is as alluring as it gets with chilli.
Strawberries, with their heart shape and red colour, is said be an aphrodisiac. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, and one study showed that consuming more vitamin C can boost oxytocin levels and make things more heated in the bedroom! This study was done on vitamin C supplements and had a small sample size and other limitations, so it’s a bit far fetched to transfer the results from this study to strawberries being an aphrodisiac. However, vitamin C is an essential vitamin so it’s good to eat plenty of vitamin C rich foods such as strawberries but also spinach, potato and oranges for general well being. But, if you want to get in the mood, eating strawberries is a lot more seductive than tucking into a bowl of spinach…
Take home message on aphrodisiac foods: Most foods that are claimed to be aphrodisiacs are healthy and good to incorporate into your diet, but there is little to no evidence to support their effectiveness.
If you want to get in the mood, eat foods you like and that make you feel good + exercise and you’ll feel better instantly!
But if you want some recipes that contain some of these so-called aphrodisiac foods, check out these recipes
- Chocolate Mousse – Serve this mousse with loads of berries and you have the perfect dessert for any occasion!
- Chocolate Chilli Balls – Chocolate and chilli are a perfect match and these no-bake balls are a perfect snack when you need something sweet!
- Basil and Lime Marinated Strawberries – Basil and strawberries are a great combo, and this dessert is incredibly fresh and satisfying at the same time!