Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiacs: Get in the mood with fruits & veggies

Love Potions May Be As Close As Your Neighborhood Produce Bin

Chocolate and oysters have long had a reputation as sexual superfoods, but if you’re on the prowl for a healthier love potion this Valentine’s Day, the fruit and vegetable experts at FruitAndVeggieGuru.com have an intriguing tip: replace that box of candy with a bag of carrots, a batch of bananas or a “lover’s salad” of fruits and veggies straight from your neighborhood grocery store. People have used fruits and vegetables to increase their sexual appetite for centuries. In some cases, the libido-building powers of these humble foods from the farm are believed to stem from their suggestive shape or color. In others, feelings of passion are said to be aroused by ingesting the vitamins, minerals and enzymes provided by nature’s cupboard.   With that in mind, FruitAndVeggieGuru.com recommends that you set the table for seduction with items like:

  • Apples – Thanks to Eve, apples have a long history as the fruit of temptation. In Europe in the Middle Ages, for example, it was said that a woman who wanted a particular man had to sleep with an apple under her arm and persuade the object of her desire to eat it the following day.
  • Artichokes – Simply eating an artichoke is a sensual experience, from stripping and dipping the leaves to slowly scraping the flesh off with your teeth. Catherine de Medici ate prodigious volumes of this vegetable and fed them regularly to her husband, King Henry IV, in part because of her belief in its aphrodisiac qualities. And Marilyn Monroe was the first Queen of the Artichokes even before she was anointed the ultimate sex goddess. That couldn’t be a coincidence.
  • Asparagus – Legend has it that asparagus “stirs up lust in man and woman,” as one long-ago herbal medicine proponent put it. One reason may be its shape. Another may be its nutrient profile, which includes ample doses of Vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and potassium. In any case, 19th century French bridegrooms were required to eat several helpings of asparagus because of its reputed love powers.
  • Avocado – This dark green fruit’s reputation as an aphrodisiac dates back to roughly 200 B.C., when it was reportedly used by Mayans and Aztecs to enhance sexual desirability. That reputation stands today, with over 60% of respondents in a 2000 survey by the California Avocado Commission saying they believe it is good for your love life. It is also a traditional remedy for erectile dysfunction.
  • Bananas – Aside from its obvious physical resemblance to a certain sex organ, the banana is rich in potassium and B vitamins necessary to the production of sex hormones. It also has sexual overtones in various cultures. People in some Central American countries drink the sap of the red banana as an aphrodisiac, for example, while Hindus consider the banana to be a sign of fertility.
  • Carrots – The ancient Greeks believed that this most prosaic of vegetables was a sexual stimulant. So, apparently, did the infamous Roman emperor Caligula, who is reputed to have fed the Roman Senate a banquet of carrot dishes in a plot to distract them from the business of state. And in Tehran in the 1870s, carrots stewed in sugar were used to increase male potency. The beta-carotene, antioxidants and minerals in carrots all contribute to their healthful properties.
  • Figs – As with bananas and carrots, figs have been regarded as aphrodisiacs in the popular imagination and even in erotic literature based on their appearance. They were reputed to be Cleopatra’s favorite food, are associated with fertility in many cultures (in part because they have up to 1,600 seeds per fruit), and have the highest mineral content of all fresh fruits.
  • Strawberries – They’re red, they’re juicy, they’re shaped like an edible heart, and they were the symbol of Venus – the mythological goddess of love. Put it together, and it’s easy to see why strawberries acquired the aphrodisiac label. The ancient Romans credited the fruit with whetting the sexual appetite, the French used to serve newlyweds cold strawberry soup to encourage romantic honeymoons.

In case you’re wondering, one fruit that is not considered an aphrodisiac in spite of its name is the passion fruit. Go figure. But if you want to stack the seduction deck, here’s a thought. Dip healthy strawberries in indulgent chocolate. Two aphrodisiacs in one bite: you can’t lose.

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