Foods considered aphrodisiacs are those that aim to stimulate the love senses (sight, smell, taste, and touch). But can food, or even the simple act of eating, put you in the mood for love? The answer is yes but not in the way you might think.

Historically, foods considered aphrodisiacs were categorised by specific characteristic:

  • food that make you feel hot like chilli or curry
  • food that resemble genitals like oysters or carrots
  • eggs considered like reproductive organs
  • exotic fruits
  • food that stimulate the senses

Certain foods do have ‘feel good’ compounds, such as capsaicin in chilli peppers that enhance bodily sensations or antioxidants in fruits like cherries, pomegranates, figs and strawberries that improve your blood flow.

Here are eight of the most common foods said to be known aphrodisiacs. Whether they do put you in the mood or not is up for debate:

  • artichokes
  • asparagus
  • chocolate
  • figs
  • oysters
  • spicy chilli peppers
  • strawberries
  • watermelon

Experiencing an increased libido while eating these foods may be more of a placebo effect than anything else, but if a romantic dinner of oysters, asparagus and chocolate-dipped strawberries is on the menu for you and your sweetheart, then why not indulge?

There are five other qualities of foods thought to elicit sensuality:

  • smooth
  • rich
  • creamy
  • exotic
  • spicy 

So if you are planning a romantic dinner, try to serve  dishes with these characteristics.

Of course stimulating senses in general is the best way to set the stage for a romantic evening:

  • Sight: light some candles and display some flowers. In terms of food select dishes that visually suggest seduction to you and your partner. Consider colour, texture as well as taste, shape and smell.
  • Sound: set the mood with music, your favourite one or  those relaxing tracks that reproduce nature’s sounds.
  • Smell: fill the room with romantic scents from scented oils or candles.
  • Touch: add some finger food to your menu, eating is all about touching.
  • Taste: serve small portions of food to stimulate your partner without overwhelming him/her. Avoid very strong or  very spicy foods and choose a dessert subtly sweet trying to leave the mouth wanting more!

Remember with alcohol, less is more! Excessive alcohol is a sexual depressant but wine, taken moderately, may help your sexual desire!