Named for the Greek goddess Aphrodite, who is the symbol of love, aphrodisiacs are agents that serve to increase sexual desire. From times immemorial, people have sought such substances to perk up their libido.
Some substances touted as aphrodisiacs such as insect extracts and concoctions from the horn of the rhinoceros or the penis of the tiger are of questionable value and may even be dangerous; however, there are quite a few foods that have aphrodisiac properties. Take a look:
5 Aphrodisiac Foods
Asparagus is one vegetable that is known for its aphrodisiac properties; it is a rich source of many important vitamins of the B-complex group and vitamins A and C. One of its major constituents is folic acid which is necessary for greater synthesis of histamine in the body which plays a role in orgasms in both men and women.
Bananas also contain a lot of minerals such as magnesium and potassium besides the B-complex group of vitamins, that have a role to play in regulating sexual desire. Some studies have also found that the enzyme bromelain present in bananas plays a role in increasing libido in men.
Nuts: Of all the nuts, almonds that are a rich source of magnesium are also believed to have aphrodisiac properties. In fact, many ancient cultures consider almonds and bananas as symbols of fertility.
Oyesters: Legend has it that Casanova used to eat up to 50 oysters in raw condition every single day. Modern research seems to bear this out: oysters contain high concentrations of certain amino acids that play a role in the body’s production of the sex hormones. They are also rich in zinc, an element that is important to increase production of the hormone testosterone as well as sperm in men.
Chocolate, especially of the dark variety, contains chemicals such as phenethylamine and theobromine, which have been recognized to have sexual stimulation properties. No wonder then that chocolates are considered the classic romantic gift.
Physical Health and Libido
Often, a flagging libido may be a sign that something is not entirely right with your health condition. People with Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, thyroid and kidney disease and diabetes are known to suffer from low sexual desire.
If you realize your lack of libido is not from an emotional cause, it is time to visit a physician to rule out the presence of some underlying health condition. In some cases, medication for conditions such as hypertension and depression can also cause a lowering of the sex drive.
The Mind Matters, too
An important fact to remember is that sexual desire and libido have a lot to do with your state of mind. If you are relaxed, contented, at peace and in love with a partner, it naturally follows that you are more likely to have a better appetite for sex than if you are depressed or resentful.
Therefore, although there is nothing wrong with trying out different types of aphrodisiac foods, it is important to assess if your low libido arises from emotional causes. If you think this could be a factor, the solution is to consult a marriage counselor, a sexual therapy expert or your doctor to identify and deal with the underlying cause.
All said and done, it is fine to experiment with aphrodisiacs once in a while to perk up your sex life. However, if you find that you have to rely on them more often than not, it is time you visited your doctor to check for the possibility of an underlying medical condition.