17 Foods That Are Known For Being Romantic
We’ve often heard the word “aphrodisiac” thrown around when referencing certain foods that put us in the mood. From oysters to pomegranates, there are some foods that, since historic times, have inspired romance, love, and passion. We’ve corralled together some of the most interesting and strange food items that are seen as romantic, and you’ll never think about these eats the same way again.
Aphrodisiac comes from the Greek root aphrodisios, meaning “pertaining to Aphrodite,” the ancient Greek goddess of love. It’s a substance that, when consumed, acts as a love drug and increases one’s sex drive.
Aphrodisiacs have been used for thousands of years to promote fertility in a marriage, and encourage newlyweds and couples going through rough patches to reconnect. Nowadays, aphrodisiacs are rarely prescribed by medical practitioners, as they once were centuries ago, and some aphrodisiacs have been scientifically proven ineffective. However, the allure of foods with aphrodisiacal properties still lingers, and many believe they’re just as potent now as they were when our ancestors used them to stir up passion between themselves and a lover.
Of course, some of the aphrodisiacs listed below may not make everyone feel some sort of way after eating them. Aphrodisiacs are often only affective on a case-by-case basis. But hey, if you’re into experimenting — in the kitchen that is — test them out and report back. We’re titillated to know if they work for you.
It’s kind of an odd thing that these slippery, slimy, half-shell appetizers supposedly make people want to dive into the sheets. Slurping down raw oysters has been linked to a heightened libido since Casanova’s time — and we can blame his recounting of his sexual exploits for making oysters such a popular date night app.
In his biography entitled The Story of My Life, Casanova claims that his enhanced sex drive was caused by his oyster-heavy diet. He reportedly slurped down 50 per day.
Although some studies have proved that oysters contain amino acids that seemingly promote the production of testosterone, there’s nothing really too sexy about oysters, from a science standpoint, that is.
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, was the first to plant a pomegranate tree. For thousands of years, pomegranates have symbolized fertility and abundance, and according to PBS.org’s The History Kitchen, some have even suggested that the forbidden fruit mentioned in the Bible was actually a pomegranate rather than an apple.
And supposedly, drinking pomegranate juice has been proven to increased testosterone in both men and women, therefore enhancing one’s sexual desire. However, this study from Queen Margaret University was funded by a pomegranate company, so we can’t say for certain that this finding is totally accurate. But hey — the placebo effect is real, right?
3. Chili Peppers
It probably makes sense to you that the spiciness of chili peppers can spice up your love life. For some, the heat of the chili pepper is too much to handle, and can sometimes cause tears of pain rather than tears of joy. But that heat can also release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, as well as raise the body’s temperature, quicken the pulse, and can put you in a good mood to do ~whatever floats your boat~, if you catch our drift.
Historically, Montezuma would consume a chocolate and chili drink before visiting his concubines in order to prepare himself for his daily… workout.
Listen, we’re not the first to suggest that asparagus may be an aphrodisiac due to its, well, suggestive shape. For centuries, people have been consuming asparagus in order to improve their sex life. The French supposedly ate asparagus at all three meal times the day before their wedding in hopes of performing at their best come the wedding night. And there may be some truth to its sexy side effects.
According to LiveScience, asparagus contains a mix of nutrients that boost energy. Cosmo also reports that the vegetable’s vitamin E can increase blood flow to the genitals.
Asparagus is a great detoxifier and can even help prevent some cancers. That, plus the supposed added sex life benefits, means there’s no reason we should avoid eating asparagus.
Honey has been used as a sexual stimulant since 500 BC when Hippocrates prescribed it to his patients to increase their sexual vigor. Honey was also linked to the Greek goddess of love and fertility, Aphrodite. And honey is even mentioned as a sexual stimulant in the Kama Sutra.
According to Asheville Bee Charmer, honey contains a high amount of boron and vitamin B. Boron reportedly directly affects the way our bodies use estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D, and therefore is significant in our sexual activities.
However, it should be noted that honey doesn’t contain enough boron for our sexual desires to be kicked into overdrive, so the theory that it’s an aphrodisiac at all is much debated about.
The prickly, strange-looking artichoke is honestly far from sexy in appearance, and truth be told, it’s aphrodisiacal qualities are most likely rooted in folklore rather than science. They were historically one of the favorite foods of the sensuous Catherine de Medici, wife to King Henry II. And legend has it that Zeus created the first artichoke when he turned a woman who rejected him into the prickly vegetable.
A 17th century French sexologist reported that women in Sweden would serve their husbands artichokes if they wanted sexual attention later that night. However, rather than anecdotal evidence, there isn’t much backing up the stories that artichokes inspire romance.
But hey, they taste pretty good, and a good-tasting food can put anyone in a good mood, right?
Since the Roman times, red beets have been used to boost one’s sex drive. And Ancient Greeks believed that if a man and a woman ate from the same beet, they’d fall in love. Perhaps the red color, which mimics a natural flush, helped convince people that they were aiding their romantic lives by consuming beets. But our modern science has revealed that our ancient ancestors were actually on the right track.
LoveBeets.com reports that red beets contain high amounts of boron, “which helps to increase the half-life, bioavailability, and efficient use of sex hormones.”
That, plus the fact that beets also contain betaine, a “good mood” substance, means that eating beets could lead to you getting it on.
In Ancient Rome, strawberries were associated with the goddess of love, Venus. And later, in France, strawberries were oftentimes given to newlyweds as a sign of good luck in fertility. Now, when dipped in chocolate, strawberries are a sensual snack that reddens the lips, making them extra sweet and kissable.
Not only are strawberries symbolically linked with romance, but they are also scientifically connected to intimacy and sex. They’re packed with vitamin C, which promotes blood flow and higher levels of estrogen.
They also contain magnesium, potassium, and zinc, each of which contributes to the heightening of both female and male sex hormones.
“Legend has it that eating a fresh fig while naked, in front of a woman, is one of the world’s most erotic acts,” according to Amy Reiley, via her blog Eat Something Sexy. In our opinion, it all depends who is doing the erotic act and in what context, you know?
However, even if watching a nude person eat a fig doesn’t turn you on, figs have always been linked to sexuality — especially female sexuality. Figs often represent a women’s unmentionables in historic writing and art. If the apple nor the pomegranate was the actual forbidden fruit, then it must have been the fig. Like strawberries, figs are filled with potassium and iron, both of which are vital for amping up one’s energy during intimacy.
Truffles, although rare in abundance, have become increasingly popular on the food market in recent years. Their presence in a dish makes that dish more alluring and expensive-tasting, and their smoky richness adds exquisiteness to the overall flavor of the meal they’re in. According to NapaTruffleFestival.com, truffles have been labelled as aphrodisiacs since the times of Ancient Rome and Greece. The conquerer Napoleon supposedly ate truffles to increase his “masculine potency,” the site explains.
“Those of us who have been so fortunate to taste the earthy, subtle, and slightly exotic notes of truffle may feel there’s more to the allure than simply a scent or a bit of protein,” Amy Reiley writes for the festival’s site. “And trust me, as an aphrodisiac foods authority, I hear a surprisingly large number of unsolicited, firsthand accounts of romantic encounters involving truffles.”
Reiley writes that the notable gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said of truffles: “Truffle. As soon as the word is spoken, it awakens lustful and erotic memories among the skirt-wearing sex, and erotic and lustful memories among the beard-wearing sex. This honorable parallelism comes not only from the fact that this esteemed tuber is delicious, but also because it is still believed to bring about potency, the exercise of which brings sweet pleasure.”
We’ll take his word for it.
It’s true — no one is turned on by the smell of garlic breath. However, eating garlic can help one with a myriad of medical issues from lethargy to a dull sex drive, apparently.
“Garlic contains allicin, which builds heat in the body and has been proven to increase testosterone,” sex expert and yogi Psalm Isadora explained to Harper’s Bazaar. “It’s useful for sexual stamina, and body builders use it for muscle growth.”
And the chemical substance that creates garlic’s aroma was proven to be one the same chemicals present in female sexual secretion. Weird, but true.
The connection between avocados and sex was first drawn by the Aztecs some thousand years ago. They reportedly called the avocado tree the “testicle tree,” and reportedly ate the tree’s fruit for fertility purposes.
Now we know that avocados contain vital nutrients for amping up one’s sex drive, including vitamin E (an intimacy stimulant, says MyAphrodisiacs.com), beta carotene, and magnesium.
Furthermore, avocados are packed with potassium — more so than bananas. Therefore, they can help a person maintain their stamina and energy during intercourse.
A 2008 study said that eating watermelon could have Viagra-like effects on the human body. But don’t go rushing to the grocery store just yet, fellas. Rather than cure erectile dysfunction, watermelon actually contains a high amount of citrulline, which benefits the cardiovascular and immune systems and , therefore, in turn, helps out with stimulation.
According to USNews.com, citrulline helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, similar to the active ingredient in Viagra. But, the researchers said the chemical isn’t as organ-specific as Viagra. And most of the watermelon’s citrulline is actually found in the rind.
Even so, watermelon has now entered the aphrodisiac cannon.
There’s a reason we give our significant others chocolates on Valentine’s Day. A 2006 study set out to “assess whether there is an association between daily chocolate intake and sexual function in a convenience sample of Northern Italian women.” The results were pretty surprising.
The researchers sampled 163 women and monitored their sexual function (Female Sexual Function Index [FSFI]), sexual distress (Female Sexual Distress Scale), and depression (Beck Depression Inventory and Center for Epidemiological Survey Depression Scale).
They found that women reporting chocolate consumption had higher FSFI scores than women who do not eat chocolate. However, when data is adjusted for age — most of the women who ate chocolate daily were younger — the FSFI scores are similar, regardless of chocolate consumption.
Eh, we like to think that chocolate makes us feel sexier, okay?
15. Pumpkin Seeds
Did you know that your favorite snack come fall is actually a famed aphrodisiac? We didn’t either. According to Blossom-Organics.com, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is vital for testosterone production and promotes a healthy libido in both men and women.
The high zinc levels can also improve mental health and enhance a person’s mood.
The site also notes that the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago once did a study and found that the mere scent of pumpkin pie actually improved penile blood flow in men and aroused some women. We had a feeling our love for pumpkin spice lattes was more than surface level.
Over the years, a lot of research has been done on the effects of caffeine on our libidos. A 2006 study from Southwestern University reports that caffeine can actually put women in the mood for sex and generally increases a woman’s libido. And another 2016 study from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston proved that men who drink two to three cups of coffee per day are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
Although, depending on how caffeine and coffee affects your body, the above results may not be true. But if you’ve noticed sipping on a cup of hot coffee makes you feel relaxed-yet-energized, rather than frazzled and anxious, then it may do wonders for your sex life.
Celery might not taste like much, but the veggie is actually spicier than it lets on, and eating it can actually promote a healthy sex life. As Amy Reiley writes on her blog, celery stimulates the pituitary gland, which releases sexual hormones throughout the body. And National Geographic states that celery has a subtle smell similar to androstenone, the primary male pheromone.
Our ancestors back in the Middle Ages knew celery was a potent stimulant, and one medieval scholar, Grimod de la Reyniere, wrote, “It is enough to stress that [celery] is not in any way a salad for bachelors.” Well then!
Furthermore, celery root was often used as a treatment for impotence and the French would cook the veggie into soup in order to inspire lovers to get on with it.
If this list has you excited to try some new things in the kitchen, then get to it. After all, if these aphrodisiacs worked so well for our ancestors, then we have no reason not to try them out for ourselves.