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Food & Drink Features

Will balut get you in the mood? A beginner’s guide to aphrodisiacs

While there are many stories that swear by the stuff that gets them in the mood, a lot are urban legends at best. Here’s a few of them, albeit attached with both a disclaimer and a hearty hope that you enjoy sexy times ahead.
Joyce Reyes-Aguila | Feb 10 2019

Human beings are always searching for ways to be better everywhere—including in bed. Research by In “Medical Mythology: Aphrodite (Venus),” the Mayo Clinic narrates the history of our quest to identify types of food which help arouse sexual desire, more commonly known as aphrodisiacs. The institution says fish, vegetables, and spices, are traditionally popular selections.

“It’s food or drugs that help stimulate sexual desires,” nutritionist-dietitian Fia Batua narrates to ANCX. “No food has been scientifically proven to stimulate the sexual organs, but these selections mimic the feeling,” she explains. “They set someone’s mood, which then stimulates the mind and body. This is translated as a heated, passionate feeling that can be likened to how you feel when you eat spicy food.”

But do they actually work? The Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Brent Bauer writes there is “little evidence to support the effectiveness of most substances thought of as natural aphrodisiacs.” He adds that while chocolate, spicy food, and saw palmetto are claimed to affect libido, research has shown them to be largely ineffective when it comes to producing a sexual response. Batua, a culinary medical nutritionist, advises those with heart problems or high blood pressure to be wary of the aphrodisiacs they try. Medical experts like Bauer still recommend consulting a doctor who is aware of your medical conditions and can help identify ways to enhance sexual health.

There is no harm in trying, though. So with Valentine's Day approaching, we’re listing aphrodisiacs popular and otherwise. With this list comes our fervent hope that they do work for you because, well, many believe that February 14 is not just about the day but, perhaps more importantly, the night.

Oysters

“Eating these helps increase blood flow,” says Batua. The sea creatures are rich in zinc that help raise testosterone levels in men and also contain varying levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is considered a main chemical of pleasure. Science has yet to prove the accuracy of its effects on the libido and many believe that the actual of experience of eating oysters affect one’s sexual drive. Aloysa Hourigan, a senior nutritionist with Nutrition Australia, told abc.net that aside from the composition of food, its taste, shape, and the way it is consumed can influence its effect on an individual. She adds that sometimes all it may take is serving food in a conducive environment. 

Photograph by Paula Borowska on Unsplash

Balut

It may not be the most visually enticing choice, but its calcium and protein content make certain people feel more energetic. That popular Filipino ditty certainly posits so. Those in search of stamina can try it, but a more earnest examination of its “functional nutrients” was just started by the Department of Science and Technology last year.

Photograph from @insidedavaocity on Instagram

Alcohol

“Its moderate consumption may improve a person’s mood,” explains Batua, who is also a sports nutritionist dietician.” The right amount can make any person feel more relaxed, forget about certain inhibitions, and put them in the mood. Conversations are usually enjoyed with a bottle of wine—and who knows where that could lead? 

Photograph from Pexels

Coffee

A cup of espresso or a serving of café affogato for dessert can do the trick. Caffeine or unsweetened tea can boost energy, reveals Batua. Paola Sandroni, MD, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic told webmd.com that the sexual benefits of caffeine can be misleading because it just generally stimulates the central nervous system. Still coffee drinkers may want to get a shot or two if it helps them deliver.

Photograph by Jason Wong on Unsplash

Dark chocolate

Preferably a blend that is 70 percent dark chocolate, suggests Batua, as it contains cacao to help relax the muscles, and ease any tension in the mind. It also elevates the mood and can make a person feel good instantly as it contains phenylethylamine, a mood booster.

Photograph from Pixabay

Spicy food

“These stimulate endorphins that trigger positive feelings in the body, increase the heart rate, and make you sweat like crazy, the fitness coach explains. Amy Reiley, author of Fork Me, Spoon Me and Romancing the Stove and Cordon Bleu master of gastronomy told cnbc.com that chilis are a good way of wooing spicy food lovers. “They’re a great food of seduction because they will make our tongue tingle, and, if you eat enough of them, they’ll release endorphins,” she says. “Chili peppers also can cause your cheeks to blush, your lips to plump up and may increase the level of heat at the table, quite literally spicing up your date.”

 

Photograph from Pixabay​

 

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