In the spirit of Valentine's Day we consulted with Joburg-based sexologist Careen Rascher and asked her to offer up some tips on aphrodisiacs that will help get the romance going and keep the momentum!
She has quite a few handy and informative insights to offer about how the following aphrodisiacs can help you and your lover.
* Indulge in a slice of cold, crisp watermelon:
This juicy red fruit enhances sexual function in men and women. Watermelon is the natural Viagra. It contains citrulline which the body converts to arginine. Arginine boosts nitric oxide levels which relax blood vessels in the body. Relaxing blood vessels in the penis causes an erection. Increased blood flow to the pelvis causes engorgement of the clitoris, swelling of the labia and vaginal lubrication, preparing a woman for sex. Watermelon is fat free, and is a good source of vitamins A, B6, C and thiamine.
Eat it sliced, juiced or even as a frozen granita.
* Celery has several sexual benefits:
It contains a male steroid hormone called androstenene. Eating celery causes your sweat glands to secrete the pheromone androstenol which is sometimes used in scents as an aphrodisiac to attract women. Celery contains a combination of Vitamin E, magnesium, niacin, potassium and zinc which are all needed for optimal sexual performance. It also contains arginine, an amino acid causing dilation of blood vessels, like Viagra.
* Break open some fresh figs, the fruit associated with love and fertility:
Apart from their sexy appearance, figs also enhance the secretion of pheromones, those sexually irresistible chemicals signaling 'maleness'. Figs are an excellent source of certain amino acids that increase libido and improve sexual stamina. Figs are also full of free radical scavenging antioxidants.
* Sexual response begins in the brain, your largest sex organ; bananas, almonds, ginger and ginseng are just some of the foods that stimulate the sexual response in the brain:
Pine nuts have been used for centuries to make love potions.
Bananas contain the enzyme bromelain which increases libido and improves erectile function in men. Bananas enhance the production of testosterone needed for sperm production, and contain high levels of potassium and B vitamins which increase energy levels. Getting your man to eat a banana before sex will make the taste of his semen sweeter.
Almonds contain omega 3 fatty acids which help produce the male hormone testosterone, necessary for all aspects of men's sexual functioning and fertility. The smell of almonds is a great aphrodisiac so make sure to use almond oils for a sensual massage. Almonds are also rich in Vitamin E and B2, calcium and magnesium.
Ginger improves blood circulation so enhances sexual arousal in both men and women. It increases libido and helps prevent colds and flu which are definite passion killers. Eat ginger raw, add it to food or make your own ginger tea.
* Maca is a root vegetable found in Peru:
It is reputed to increase libido and improve sperm count. It's packed with vitamins, minerals and amino acids and it's a great energy booster. It's also a good source of fiber. Maca powder can be mixed into smoothies.
* Dark chocolate contains L arginine which enhances sexual function in men and women via nitric oxide, by promoting blood flow to the sexual organs.
Eating chocolate causes a rush of endorphins similar to the feeling of being in a pleasurable sexual relationship. It contains phenylethylamine which is known to stimulate the release of dopamine into the pleasure centers associated with an orgasm.Enjoy a fruity chocolate fondue this Valentine's Day!!