The Mailbox: do aphrodisiacs really increase sex drive?

Dear Health Junction,

I’ve heard that certain foods are good for increasing sex drive.  Is this true?

From,

PM

Sexy Strawberry

Hi PM,

That’s a cool question.  Thanks for consulting with The Health Junction.

Horny Goat Weed

An aphrodisiac is a food or drink that is said to stimulate sexual desire.  According to “How Stuff Works”, aphrodisiacs work through two mechanisms; by stimulating the mind or by stimulating the physical body.

aphrodisiacs

I wasn’t able to find any studies that point to a definite relationship between the consumption of an aphrodisiac and a measured increase in sexual desire.  The FDA also claims that aphrodisiacs “have no scientific basis and are simply a myth”.

Banana

That  being said, we know that the mind is a powerful tool and that somethings can’t be explained by science.  A placebo can often have the same desired effect as an active drug.  So, here is a list of some known aphrodisiacs available at your local grocery store:

Aniseed:  includes an estrogen based compound.

Avocado:  apparently the Aztecs thought that avocados look like testicles.

Bananas:  aside from their penis like shape, they include a lot of potassium and B Vitamins which are needed for hormone production.

Basil:  this one is suppose to  boost fertility and increase circulation.

Cardamom:  indicated for impotence and contains a chemical called cineole that improve circulation.

Chocolate:  contains pleasure boosting chemicals such as serotonin and phenylethylamine.

Carrots:  based purely on its shape.

Chili Peppers:  contains capsaicin, a pain reliever.

Cucumbers:  based purely on it’s shape and pleasant smell.

Figs:  based only on the fact that figs resemble the shape of a vagina.

Garlic:  increases circulation.

Ginger:  increases circulation and has a pleasant smell.

Honey:  contains  B Vitamins which are required for hormone production.

Licorice:  interestingly, one study found that men who smelled licorice had a 13% increase of blood flow to the penis.

Good luck and keep the chili pepper away from your genitals,

The Health Junction

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

“Just as bees will swarm about to protect their nest, so will I ‘swarm about’ to protect my nest of chocolate eggs.” 

–  Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts, Saturday Night Live

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Green Smoothies 101 in 100 Words: A Veggietastic Breakfast Solution

What is the most important thing I’ve learned at school over the past 12 months?

what did you learn today

Drink more water and eat more greens.  Okay, that is technically two but lucky for you they’re both included in this next nutritional recommendation.  If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of adequate water consumption, click here and for information on why leafy greens are important, this will help explain things.

Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are the easiest way I can think of to get a huge dose of vegetables into your diet.  When starting your day of with one of these diddy’s you’re paving the way towards a full day of health eating.  The sugar content is extremely low because the only sweet ingredient included is fruit which is naturally occurring.  With a dash of complex carbohydrates and a whole lot of fiber, green smoothies will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent ravenous cravings later in the day.  Green smoothies are alkanalizing and are busting with vitamins and minerals.  Here is a recipe to get you started but the beauty of green smoothies is that the combinations are endless…as are the health benefits.

The Health Junction Green Combustion

  • 2-3 cups of leafy greens.  I like mixing red leaf lettuce and kale.
  • handful of frozen blueberries
  • half a banana
  • stalk of celery
  • 1/4th avocado
  • 1 scoop of vega energizing smoothie powder (I like the Choc-a-Lot Flavour)
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk + 1 cup of water
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • A couple of tbsp’s of hemp, flax, or chia seeds (optional)

Throw ingredients in the blender – it’s best to layer the denser foods (frozen blueberries, celery) on the bottom and the lighter ingredients on the top.  Pour in water and almond milk last.  I usually start blending on the ice crushing setting of my blender but do whatever works best with your home blender.

Pour into a large glass and sprinkle with some cinnamon.  This contains 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables!

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama)

 “Each of us has two “doctors”—the left and the right leg.”

– Vilcabamban philosophy on the importance of walking

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