For a heart-y appetite

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Valentine's chocolate

Long before Viagra, men were trying to find ways to perk up their sex lives. In ancient times, there were many foods thought to put people in the mood. The old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” may be based somewhat in fact — and apply to women as well.

Some foods, such as liquor, lower inhibitions. Others, such as chocolate, release endorphins, chemicals in the body that bring on a feeling of well-being. Some foods are high in zinc, necessary for sperm production. And some foods thought to act as quasi-aphrodisiacs are:

  • Almonds have been a symbol of fertility throughout history. The aroma is thought to induce passion in a woman.
  • Aniseed was used as an aphrodisiac by the Greeks and the Romans, who believed that sucking on the seeds increased sexual desire.
  • Avocados derive their name from the Aztec term “Ahuacuatl,” which translated means “testicle tree.” The fruit hangs in pairs on the tree.
  • Bananas, both the fruit and the flower of the tree, have a suggestive shape. The fruit is rich in potassium and B vitamins, necessities for sex hormone production.
  • Chocolate contains chemicals thought to affect neurotransmitters in the brain and a substance related to caffeine called theobromine.
  • Coriander, the seed of the cilantro plant, is an aphrodisiac that dates back to the tales of the Arabian Nights.
  • Fennel is a source of natural plant estrogens. The Egyptians used it for libido enhancement.
  • Garlic is said to stir sexual desires. However, both partners need to partake, unless of course, one of them is a vampire.
  • Ginger stimulates the circulatory system, and a little more blood circulating in the areas of desire couldn’t hurt.
  • Nutmeg was highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac. In quantity, nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect.
  • Oysters have a reputation as an aphrodisiac that dates back to the second century A.D.

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