How Aphrodisiacs Enhance Our Love Lives

      January 10, 2009 08:51

      American weekly magazine U.S. News and World Report featured an article on aphrodisiacs titled "The Science of Aphrodisiacs," reporting that "We've heard some flimsy claims about libido-boosting foods. But there's some sound science, too." Here are some scientific facts behind such libido enhancers.

      Oysters: Perhaps the primary reason oysters became a famous aphrodisiac is their resemblance to female genitalia. Oysters contain abundant zinc, a mineral that produces the male sex hormone -- testosterone-- and healthy sperms.

      Chocolate: Chocolate contains a small amount of serotonin and anandamide, substances related to feeling happiness. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2006, women who habitually eat chocolate on a daily basis scored higher on sexual function than those who did not. Some scholars argue that the result is misleading, because women who eat chocolate tend to be younger. No difference was found in sexual arousal and satisfaction between the two groups.

      Watermelon: Watermelons seem to function similarly to Viagra in treating erectile dysfunction, according to a study by researchers at the University of Texas. They found watermelons contain high levels of citrulline, known to be effective for treating cardiovascular diseases and the immune system. It relaxes veins and increases blood flow, just like Viagra does. However, scientists say watermelons do not relax veins in specific areas of the body, like Viagra does. Also, citrulline is mostly found in the inedible rind of the fruit.

      Hot peppers: Capsaicin, which makes peppers spicy, increases heart rate, sweating, respiration and blood flow, a reaction similar to when someone is sexually aroused. However, there is no significant relationship between capsaicin and sexual drive.

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