closeup of wheel of cheese with slice taken out and sitting beside it on a cutting board

The Aphrodisiac Benefits of Cheese

Dairy is not necessarily a food group evocative of sensuality. Yet cheese is a delicacy of European culture. And it is said by some to resemble the scent of a woman. Although most cultures around the world don’t really talk about Gouda or Cheddar in romantic terms, it is embraced in Italian culture as an aphrodisiac–and with good reason. The benefits of cheese include phenylethylamine, or PEA. If PEA sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a compound often linked with chocolate’s aphrodisiac effects. But what most people don’t realize is that cheese can trigger the brain to produce ten times as much PEA as does chocolate. And PEA is believed to be responsible for that hormonal rush during sexual intercourse.

The scent of cheese can be arousing

One of cheese’s most surprising attributes was brought to light by an Australian researcher and physician, Dr. Max Lake. Dr. Lake performed extensive studies on the connection between sexual arousal and culinary scents. And with regard to cheese, in his book Scents & Sensuality Dr. Lake commented, “The vaguely sexual odors of certain cheesesThe Aphrodisiac Benefits of Cheese - how dairy gets sexy 1 may be pleasant to both men and women.” In addition to the PEA provided by a serving of cheese, Lake surmises that part of this ancient food’s appeal is its lusty scent. In fact, the five-carbon fatty acid that gives most cheeses their flavor is a close relative to a female pheromone.

Cheese makes you more kissable

Lastly, one of my personal favorite benefits of cheese is its ability to keep your mouth healthy and fresh. Cheese helps produce saliva. This cuts down on gum disease. And the calcium in cheese helps keep your teeth strong. And let’s face it, a healthy mouth is a kissable mouth.

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