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Mmm, the mighty aphrodisiac… Some mythical foods symbolize love and fertility and have been around for centuries. Whether you believe in their powers or not, here are some that might (ahem) perk up your Valentine’s Day dinner.
Setting the Tone
Creating the right atmosphere is part of a romantic evening — candlelight, music, a cozy table and your finest dishes. Get the kids, pets, parents or any other interruptions out of the house (my dog needs more attention than my kids sometimes). Once the mood is set, prepare to bring out the food.
In ancient times, the “law of similarity” reasoned that a food possessed sexual powers if it resembled the male or female’s special parts. Oysters were no exception with its similarity to the “hidden female treasure.” This seafood may have gained its reputation when doctors discovered zinc deficiency (oysters are very high in zinc), and began recommending it. Zinc is involved with taste perception and sexual organ development, but please, don’t start zinc supplements just yet — it won’t enhance what already you do or do not have.
Chocolate’s reputation as an aphrodisiac may have stemmed from the Aztec ruler Montezuma, who supposedly drank up to 50 cups of the chocolate drink before heading to his harem. He also gained a reputation for being an amazing lover, but was it really all that cacao? Rumor also has it that Mayans used cacao beans to pay for some female loving at the going rate of around eight beans per woman. There is no need to consume as much chocolate as Montezuma. Just an ounce of dark chocolate is all you need. The darker the chocolate the more antioxidants it has. (Learn more about chocolate.)
Champagne and wine usually are most popular for toasting love. Alcohol allows you to lower your sexual inhibitions and go for it! Unfortunately, too much alcohol also inhibits the physical response to sexual desire and racks up those calories — factor about 150 per glass. For a satisfying Valentine’s experience, your best bet is to stick to a glass or two.
We mean the mushrooms, not the chocolate candy. Folklore has it that Napoleon ate truffles to increase his sexual prowess. Some conjecture that truffles’ musky scent is reminiscent of male pheromones. Experts consider both the white and black varieties to be aphrodisiacs, but the rarer black one is thought to be more potent (though both are quite pricey).
The Vegetarian Society claims that feeding asparagus for three consecutive days to your lover will result in the most powerful libido boost. Great boiled or steamed, asparagus contains the antioxidants vitamins A and C. Vitamin A also helps create healthy skin and hair, desirable features in any lover.
The old butter verses margarine controversy is back in the spotlight. With many folks favoring wholesome, natural foods, margarine has now taken a backseat to butter. But can this full fat delight be part of a healthy diet?