Mood foods to jump start the libido

Jun 17, 2003 3:07 AM

There’s an old adage that states: Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. The point, of course, is that showering your honey with sweet treats is, well, a sweet gesture, but you’ll speed up the urge to merge by plying her with pints of Cuervo Gold.

There may be a primitive truth to the axiom, but in a sophisticated city like 21st century Las Vegas, women are less likely to respond to such archaic techniques.

Moreover, some women may be impervious to 200 proof tequila and fail to respond at all (Worse yet, they could still be guzzling while you’re passed out cold!)

Thankfully, there are much more effective if not subtle means to stir the passions. They include certain mood-enhancing foods, beverages and herbs, which have been shown to dazzle the taste buds and crank up the libido.

Everyone’s heard about the aphrodisiac power of raw oysters. And although there’s probably plenty of myth associated with this legendary appetizer, oysters do contain a large amount of zinc, a mineral that is believed to boost production of sex hormones and heighten sexual stamina. Whether it’s the ocean taste or slimy texture, many women have been known to succumb to the spell of these zesty mollusks.

Women also respond to chocolate, although they mostly joke about how they can’t resist its decadent powers. The truth is chocolate contains phenylethylamine or PEA, a brain chemical that induces feelings of passion similar to those experienced during sex.

Chocolate also contains theobromine and magnesium, which help stimulate brain activity. There’s also a small amount of caffeine in chocolate, which helps with a mental boost. Now you know why resorts on the Strip place those chocolate mints on your pillow at night!

One caveat about chocolate: Don’t serve too much. In small doses, chocolate can be stimulating. In large amounts, it can create drowsiness and a feeling of heaviness — not the right prescription for a romantic evening.

Historically, fresh figs have been around since biblical times. And their shape, taste and texture have stirred the imagination of the ancient Turks and Arabs. Try serving one; if nothing else a fig will provide an instant shot of energy.

For some women, there’s something magical about vanilla, both in its taste and smell. In fact, women have been known to dab small amounts of the sweetly-scented liquid in strategic locations in hopes of driving their men wild with passion.

While I’m not suggesting that men use vanilla as an after-shave, you can burn vanilla-scented candles or vanilla incense to set the mood. Another effective use of vanilla is to serve a cup of coffee with a whole vanilla bean in it.

Coffee itself is powerful in its influence on after-dinner activities. In fact, a Michigan study showed that people who drank at least one cup of coffee a day had more sex than those who drank none. The reason? People who drink coffee are more alert and energetic — handy qualities if you have a long, pleasurable night ahead of you.

If you had to prepare one dish that would have the potential stimulating one’s affections, it’s probably a dish of angel hair pasta with truffles. One of the key ingredients is garlic, which stimulates the nervous system and kicks hormones into high gear. And truffles have been touted as a natural aphrodisiac for thousands of years.

If you prefer Asian cuisine, then try a noodle dish that’s heavily laced with fresh ginger, which has long been considered a spicy treat for lovers. It was used by the ancient Chinese to restore their sexual vitality, and it is said to sharpen the mind so one can focus his or her attention more attentively.

Finally, honey should be at the top of your mood food list, as it was with the ancient Romans. Once known as the nectar of the gods, honey is rich in B vitamins, which power the sex drive. With its sweet taste and syrupy texture, honey has long been used as an aphrodisiac. A good way to serve it is to drizzle it over breads, or mix it with herbs and spices and add it to a jasmine tea. Besides warming the heart, a nice cup of honey herb tea can heat up the desires.