closeup of beets on a brown, wooden table

The aphrodisiac power of beets

Although at a glance or a nibble, this red root vegetable may not seem to be the most evocative of foods. But evidence of beets’ aphrodisiac power go waaaay back. In fact, the link between beets and the games of love are in evidence as sensually provocative murals on the ruins of Pompeii.

Need something more convincing? How about this: Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, ate beets to make herself more appealing. And, according to food historian Tori Avery, the ancient Romans sipped beet juice to promote that sexual feeling.

But it is only in recent years that beets hit the big time as an aphrodisiac in the modern world. Why? Because in 2003, the British Government awarded a 126,000-pound grant to a farmer to market beetroot as the new secret to vitality. (The Brits now have a website called Love Beetroot. It’s filled, as you might guess, with facts about this fertility food as well as a wealth of beetroot recipes.)

The root’s potency is in its high boron content. Boron is a mineral thought to influence the production of sexual hormones as well as improve the immune system.

Oh, and chew on this: Beetroot also shows evidence of isobutyl methoxy pyrazine, said to be the most powerfully stimulating smell on earth.

Need a good beet recipe? Try Diane Brown’s Brown Rice Salad with Leeks, Roasted Golden Beets and Orange-Maple Dressing.

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