The perfect foods to eat

Before we start, be advised: scientific research on this subject is spotty, and often the alleged sexual powers of these foods are only substantiated by tradition or myth. Like many things in life, if you believe in it, it will probably work.

Phallic-shaped foods work wonders for the appetite. Gourmetsleuth.com suggests asparagus and carrots for your veggie course, and bananas to cover the fruits.

Carrots were used by early Middle Eastern royals for the purposes of seduction, while an Islamic myth tells of Adam and Eve using the leaves of the phallic-shaped banana flower—instead of fig leaves—to cover their naughty bits after their apple-induced revelation.

As for asparagus, it just looks really, really phallic.

Arugula, a bitter type of lettuce also known as “rocket,” may taste awful, but like the infamous Buckley’s, it works—it’s been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. Garnish your pasta or salad with it, and enjoy!

For an alternative and possibly better-tasting garnish, try sweet basil. This plant will stimulate the sex drive, boost fertility and improve your mental and physical well being. Pretty good for a few leaves!

Chocolate—my favourite—is an aphrodisiac that is said to release two chemicals, phenylethylamine and serotonin, which create feelings of euphoria. It also contains more cancer-fighting enzymes than red wine, so combine the two for a treat that’s sensual, tasty and an antioxidant to boot. It doesn’t really get any better than that.

Do you consider garlic breath to be a turn-off? Think again, friend! Garlic, which has historically been used to cure everything from the common cold to heart problems, is said to inspire sexual passion.

Gourmetsleuth.com suggests that a lightly garlic-flavoured pasta sauce could ignite sparks in the bedroom, but reminds the reader it’s important that you and your partner both partake of the stinky stuff. With garlic, apparently, it really does take two to tango.

Licorice root was used by the ancient Chinese for medicinal purposes, but it also stimulates love and lust, particularly in women. Be warned: its basic parts are 50 times sweeter than your average sugar, and its scent is especially powerful.

According to health.howstuffworks.com, Dr. Alan Hirsch, the director of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, conducted a study that examined the effects of smells on sexual arousal.

He found the smell of black licorice increased blood flow to the penis by 13 per cent. Interestingly, he also discovered that when the smell of licorice was combined with that of doughnuts, that percentage jumped to 32 per cent.

Oysters are nutritious and high in protein, but the Roman satirist Juvenal noticed something sexy about them. He described wild and wanton behaviour demonstrated by women after ingesting wine and “giant oysters,” which could conceivably be attributed to the resemblance an oyster bears to female genitalia.

For an equal-opportunity genital-imitation meal, serve avocados with your oysters—the Aztecs believed hanging avocados resembled testicles, and their word for the plant translates to “testicle tree.” Please be warned, I have no idea how good those foods will taste together.

Looking for the food described in erotic literature as “fruit nipples”? That would be raspberries and strawberries, which are perfect for feeding to your partner.

They’ll also give you a good dose of vitamin C, for those of you looking to improve your health and sex lives simultaneously. And hey, why not dip these berries in chocolate while you’re at it, for a dessert that’s both cancer-fighting and super-sensual?

—With files from gourmetsleuth.com and health.howstuffworks.com

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