Ah, the apple, the temptation of Eve – the downfall in the Garden of Eden. But then, what pretty girl could ever pass up a shiny, lipstick-red, orchard-fresh fruit of the gods?
Are apples aphrodisiacs?
Like Eve, the ancient Greeks loved apples. Instead of slipping a ring onto a fair maiden’s finger, a Greek warrior was supposed to toss an apple to the–ah–apple of his eye. If she caught the fruit, the act was as good as an engagement.
And this is only one of a wealth of apple benefits, both as a symbol of love and as a healthy food.
Apple aphrodisiac history around the world
But apples were not just a fruit of temptation in biblical references and Greek mythology. The historic link between apples and love was celebrated throughout the world. Even in Hindu culture, apples were used in games of love.
According to Marilyn Ekdahl Ravicz’s Erotic Cuisine, a combination of thorn apples, black pepper, honey and long pepper was at one time used as an ointment. The sticky and fragrant mixture was thought to render the wearer irresistible.
In Medieval England, an autumnal celebration centered around the fermented fruit of the apple tree and the almost Bacchanalian merriment that would ensue. (The supposed purpose was to ensure a bountiful harvest, or so the story goes.)
Benefits to overall health
The flavor of a great apple is as satisfying as a delicious, juicy candy. But don’t let this fool you. These autumn fruits are superfoods wrapped in delicate skins.
The benefits of apples are many. High in antioxidants, their free radical-fighting power boosts natural anti-aging abilities while helping to fight cancer.
And although apples deliver a jolt of sweetness, they aren’t among the foods to give you a sugar high, then a crash. You see, apple offers high-pectin content. And pectin helps to keep a sugar rush at bay, preventing the hyper-high and depressing crash experienced from eating less healthy sweets. (Learn more about choosing the right sugars.)
But that’s not all. According to WebMD, apples also have the potential to support brain health. Lastly, apples support the immune system and gut health. One 2015 study even demonstrated that the fiber in apples can promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
The benefits of apples for sexual health
Benefits for women
A 2014 study revealed that apples may enhance women’s sexual function. This Italian study, in which over 700 women between the ages of 18 and 43 were divided into two groups, those who ate 2 apples each day and those who ate less than 1/2 apple each day, apple eaters performed higher on the Female Sexual Function Index.
The conclusion? Apple consumption results in a greater quality of sex life among healthy young women.
It might simply be that the fiber in apples reduced any bloating and made the women feel sexier. But it is also likely that the powerful antioxidants contained in the skin and flesh of apples had something to do with this reported sexual enhancement. There is some evidence that the antioxidants in apples can help improve circulation. This could potentially improve the likelihood of sexual arousal and sexual climax.
Benefits for men
As I mentioned, apples are linked with improved circulation. In fact, according to one study of middle-aged adults, eating one apple per day for just four weeks can reduce an artery-clogging substance in your body by 40%. Additionally, there is scientific evidence that the flavonoids in apples may reduce risk of stroke.
This is good news for men’s sexual health because the heart health benefits of apples can improve the likelihood of sexual arousal and reduce the chance of erectile dysfunction.
That being said, apples don’t seem to have quite the same benefits for men as they do for women. Unfortunately, there are no studies on whether apples impact the quality of men’s sex lives in the same way as women’s. So any predictions as to whether increased apple consumption would have the same reported effects on men are just speculation.
Can you eat apple seeds?
In case you’re wondering about that urban legend that eating apple seeds will kill you?
Eating the seeds of your apple isn’t going to hurt you. Yes, it’s true that the seeds of apples contain trace amounts of chemicals that will produce cyanide in your body. But you would have to eat approximately 150 seeds in one go to experience apple poisoning. (This obviously isn’t what got Snow White!) And since the seeds of your apple contain protein and fiber, eating the seeds of a single apple actually has the potential to add to the apple’s nutritional benefits.
Cooking and recipes
This article was written in 2010 and most recently updated in August 2023.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and not to replace medical care. It is important to consult your physician before making dietary changes. More information