Have you ever wondered why certain foods are considered romantic? Did you know the Ancient Greeks were all about prunes to get them in the mood? While you might think these myths have no scientific credentials, many foods eaten for centuries are aphrodisiacs, while others that don’t might surprise you!
Here’s a quick history of six romantic foods, just in time to do your grocery shopping for Valentine’s Day.
A cliche perhaps, but these slippery suckers really are an aphrodisiac. Scientists have found there are amino acids in oysters that kick off the production of sex hormones. They are also high in zinc, helping to promote testosterone production.
Science aside, there’s the whole ‘fancy’ aspect of oysters (and the sexy slurping). What once a food of the masses, with East Coast families cooking them for dinner nightly, are now a splurge-worthy delicacy.
Some lovers might consider garlicky breath the opposite of romantic, but the Ancient Romans were big on chickpeas. They even fed them to their prized stallions to enhance virility. Hummus has been made for thousands of years with dozens of origins stories: In fact, actual wars were fought over it.
The main in ingredient, chickpeas, are high in iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium, all which help boost sexual functions. Garlic has been considered an aphrodisiac since Ancient Egypt helping with blood flow to sexual organs, AND olive oil is healthy for plethora of reasons. It’s basically win-win for hummus during sexy time.
Caviar was Cassanova’s favourite food, so it was bound to get a romantic reputation. It’s connection to ancient kings and tsars have given it a luxurious touch of amour. Derived from the Persian word khavyar meaning cake of strength, caviar has been fuelling the flames for thousands of years. Even Aristotle wrote about the Ancient Greeks consuming fish eggs at lavish banquets, and the Russian elite made it a symbol of opulence in the 19th century.
Despite being known as the quintessential romantic food, Caviar has some scientific street cred. Its fatty acids help get blood pumping, contains more than 40 vitamins and minerals and is said to help prevent anemia in pregnant women.
Almonds were a sign of fertility for the Ancient Romans, and it’s said the smell alone kindles a lady’s passion. So, as it turns out, Marzipan cookies are great for Valentine’s Day!
Almonds have vitamin B6 which helps with male hormone production, and they also contain folic acid and fatty acids that bolster blood circulation to all the right places.
The food of the Aztec gods, Chocolate is by far the most popular gift on Valentine’s Day. Mayans used cocoa beans to pay prostitutes, Montezuma drank cocoa to help his sex life, and Spanish Conquistadores said the drinking chocolate they discovered in the Americas gave them strength.
Chocolate has antioxidants, serotonin and caffeine, but ultimately not scientifically proven to be an aphrodisiac because the levels of tryptophan (helps with arousal) aren’t high.
I know what you’re thinking. PRUNES???? Seriously.
The Ancient Greeks believed Eros, god of love, dipped his arrows in prune juice to ensure his targets fell hard. During the Elizabethan period, prunes were offered up at brothels to help get the motor running and protect against venereal diseases.
These days however, the actual scientific proof is less confident than when Shakespeare was knocking boots; they are great against constipation and they are high in potassium with helps all over the body.