Spice up your Valentine’s dinner

Here are some fairly common tidbits said to be aphrodisiacs:

Nuts and sesame seeds have an amino acid called L-arginine that enhances blood flow throughout the body.

  • Chocolate (70% or more cocoa) releases pleasure-enhancing endorphins in the brain. Researchers studying chocolate found it to contain phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are both “feel good” chemicals. They occur naturally in our bodies and are released by our brains when we are happy or feeling loving or passionate. It produces a euphoric feeling, like when you’re in love.
  • Oysters have zinc which produces more hormones in men and women. Recently, mussels, clams and oysters have been found to contain D-aspartic acid and NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) compounds, which may be effective in releasing sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
  • Licorice candy for women increases circulation throughout the body and can increase blood pressure. The smell can also be very stimulating.  
  • Chilies have capsaicin, which increases circulation and releases endorphins that make you feel good. Eating chili peppers generates physiological responses in our bodies (e.g., sweating, increased heart rate and circulation) that are similar to those experienced when having sex.
  • Garlic   (Just make certain you BOTH eat it!) increases circulation. Long ago, Tibetan monks were not allowed to enter the monastery if they had been eating garlic because of its reputation for stirring up passions.
  • Ginger has been deemed an aphrodisiac for centuries because of its scent and ability to stimulate the circulatory system.
  • Ginseng is another long-touted aphrodisiac. Recently, the Journal of Urology reported, “the Mean International Index of Erectile Function scores were significantly higher in patients treated with Korean red ginseng than in those who received placebo.”
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