How does food act as an aphrodisiac?

There’s something undeniably sensual about food – the way it tantalizes our taste buds and ignites our senses. But did you know that certain foods can actually act as aphrodisiacs? It’s true! For centuries, humans have sought out substances that can arouse and increase romantic response and desire.

These so-called aphrodisiacs work on the premise of a mind-body connection. They stimulate arousal, enhance performance, and trigger feelings of pleasure. And while many are still steeped in folklore, many have been backed up by science.

Take dopamine, for example – the neurotransmitter that’s linked to pleasure and reward. Certain high-protein foods, like leafy greens, nuts, and dark chocolate, can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, leading to feelings of happiness and contentment. Serotonin, on the other hand, is our feel-good chemical, and foods rich in tryptophan (an amino acid that helps build protein) can help boost its production. Think turkey, eggs, cheese, and nuts and seeds.

And then there’s oxytocin, the “love hormone” that’s responsible for bonding and affection. This chemical can be triggered by simple acts of touch or closeness, but it turns out that chocolate is also a potent source of oxytocin. The Aztecs and the Mayans believed in its aphrodisiac powers, and modern science has confirmed that it can stimulate the release of both oxytocin and dopamine.


Aisling Larkin Newstalk Aphrodisiacs

Newstalk Aphrodisiacs

Listen to my weekly chat with Kieran Cuddihy on Newstalk.

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Salted Caramel Sauce

There’s no denying the romantic spell of food, and the way it can help us connect with our bodies, our partners and our surroundings. So the next time you’re looking to spice things up, why not try adding some of these natural aphrodisiacs to your plate? Who knows – you just might find yourself feeling a little more amorous than usual! Listen to the podcast above to hear more!

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