What’s an aphrodisiac?

What’s an aphrodisiac?
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

What’s in an aphrodisiac? Suggestive shapes and mind-altering compounds make the following foods so damn sexy.

Red Wine

Besides being intoxicating — literally — red wine contains resveratrol, which boots blood flow and improves circulation before and after intercourse.


Pure chocolate contains a host of feel-good compounds, including phenylethylamine — which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and peaks during orgasm.


Referred to by the ancient Aztecs as the “testicle tree.” Catholic Priests in Spain also found the fruit so overtly sexual that they forbade it. Good thing we don’t live there, am I right?


Not only are beets high in boron — which produces sexual hormones and improves the immune system — they play host to the isobutyl methoxy pyrazine compound; the most powerfully stimulating smell on earth.


This potent allium is full of allicin, which increases blood flow.


Long regarded as a fertility symbol, the aroma of almonds supposedly arouses passion in women.


More than just a sight gag, bananas contain the bromeliad enzyme, said to enhance the male libido.


The sweet stuff is loaded with boron, a mineral that helps metabolize estrogen and enhances testosterone levels, promoting sex drive in men and women.


These sexy spears are a great source of folic acid — which boosts histamine production necessary for achieving orgasm.


The stimulating scent of this sweet herb is said to set hearts aflutter. Also thought to boost fertility and promote circulation.


This fruit’s link with lust goes as far back as the Bible (Adam and Eve used the leaves to cover their private parts). An open fig is also thought to emulate the female sex organ.


Sultry shape and alluring mouthfeel aside, oysters contain D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate, effective in releasing sexual hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.