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3 Aphrodisiacs and Their Health Benefits

Do aphrodisiacs really work? Get the inside scoop on some well-known erotic edibles.

Having just finished celebrating one of the best Valentine’s Day ever at Cafe 207 with Mr. Man, it got me wondering whether the oysters, wine and chocolate we enjoyed deserved any credit. Could it be that aphrodisiacs really work?

The short answer: probably not.

No scientific evidence exists to support the claim the certain foods or beverages increase sexual arousal. What’s more likely at play is the placebo effect.

For those unfamiliar with the placebo effect, it works like this: Folklore tells us that eating oysters or chocolate with our lovers will ignite passion, so this knowledge primes our brains to put the appropriate signals into motion as we indulge. Low and behold, we find ourselves feeling randy, which fulfills the "aphrodisiac" prophecy but has nothing to do with the actual food or drink.

That’s not to say many so-called aphrodisiacs don’t have plenty to offer. See what nutritional benefits lay within some of history’s favorite naughty noshes.

Chocolate

Health benefits: Chocolate is practically a health food! Well, dark chocolate that is. And in very small doses, like one ounce a day.

Dark chocolate has less sugar and fat than milk chocolate. Also, it is much richer in antioxidants called flavonoids than milk chocolate. The flavonoids are what help prevent heart disease and stroke as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Why it’s considered an aphrodisiac: These flavonoids help promote blood vessel health, which means blood easily flows throughout the body (and in this case, to the sex organs).

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Laura Lee Bloor February 21, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thanks for your comment, Bo Bo, I appreciate your feedback. I realize Patch is a family paper, and I don't feel this post is inappropriate otherwise I wouldn't have submitted it. The term aphrodisiac is used pretty loosely, so I thought it might be helpful to separate facts from fiction. Laura Lee
Joker Joe February 21, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Laura, I was just kidding with you!!! I am fine with it.
Laura Lee Bloor February 21, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Haha, oops, my bad -- sarcasm doesn't translate well over the Internet. Thanks, Bobo! Laura Lee
Tom Sheltraw February 25, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Great Article Laura, thanks for sharing! That's a great, and true, point you make about how our mind fulfills the "aphrodisiac" prophecy. I have witnessed this strange conundrum working from 10 feet away once when I brought some dark "Dove" chocolate bars home for my wife :-)
Dan Avery March 01, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I really enjoyed reading this Laura. It's funny, and, as Tom pointed out, you make several good points about our minds and what they can do.

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