If you are looking to pepper your meal with aphrodisiacs, you need look no farther than your pantry. A surprising number of ingredients can claim an aphrodisiac history. But even among aphrodisiacs you have MVP’s. Here are my picks for stand-out sensual foods to serve your lover known to offer an almost immediate (and none too subtle) aphrodisiac kick for stirring up a night of passion.
1. Champagne (or Sparkling Wine)
Perhaps I’m a bit biased, but I cannot think of anything I would enjoy more at the beginning of a night of passion than the sound of Champagne filling a fluted glass, followed by that first heady sip tingling the tongue. The aromas of many Brut and Blanc de Blancs Champagnes and sparkling wines are said to replicate that of a female pheromone. The effervescence allows the alcohol to hit the blood stream quickly, offering that giddy feeling you often experience from the first few sips. Feeling giddy can make an excellent gateway to feeling frisky without the need for drinking the inhibition-lowering amounts often sought from other forms of alcohol. In the long term, bubbly offers all the antioxidant benefits of red wine and may also help support brain health.
2. Chile Peppers
The spicy little harlots of the food world, chile peppers’ aphrodisiac effects can be felt immediately and intensely. Just a nibble can cause the tongue to tingle in anticipation and the lips to swell to kissable plumpness. In addition, they can cause the cheeks to flush, which studies show equates to a sexual flush in the mind of your amour. Eat enough and chile can cause an endorphin avalanche. The experience, which some say beats a runner’s high, is energizing, mood elevating and body heat building. And with your temperature on the rise, the temptation to tear off unnecessary clothing can increase with every bite.
Possibly the most recognized aphrodisiac in the world, oysters have earned their reputation and are more than a cliche. A wonderfully lean source of easily digestible protein, oysters offer much needed energy for a long night of passion. They are rich in zinc, which supports blood flow, making orgasm possible. Zinc is also essential for testosterone production. Combine their nutrition with oysters slippery/sensual texture and an aroma which is not dissimilar to a female pheromone, oysters pack an aphrodisiac punch worthy of their international acclaim.
There are plenty of negatives attributed to caffeine, but the buzz of an espresso can become a potent aphrodisiac, given the right situation. Not only can coffee boost energy at a key moment, but it is noted as a mood elevator. What better way to get in the mood than to sip your way to a good mood? (In clinical studies, coffee has been proven to raise levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.) To add to coffee’s attraction, a recent study showed that coffee drinkers live longer than those who shun the sultry, dark brew. Could you think of any better drink to serve to the one you love? (… except maybe Champagne… )
I don’t think it’s permissible to make a list of aphrodisiac foods that doesn’t include chocolate. But chocolate may not be as nutritionally potent as you think. Certainly dark chocolate and cocoa contain age-defying antioxidants to help keep you looking and feeling your most fresh. However, in regard to those rumors of chocolate producing a happy hormone rush, an energy surge and orgasmic pleasure? Maybe not so much unless you’re willing to eat a couple dozen pounds in one sitting. That said, we did a survey in 2011, which showed that the power of persuasion is strong when it comes to chocolate. Of those surveyed, 69% believe in chocolate’s aphrodisiac abilities and 65% consider a box of chocolates an ultimate gift of love.
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