Aphrodisiacs are foods known to elicit physiological changes like raising the body temperature or engaging certain senses. These changes are commonly linked to increased pleasure, which makes these food items popular for their effect on sexual desire.
This is backed by Greek mythology which claims that aphrodisiacs are simply the favorite foods of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. The foods are natural and lush, perfectly befitting of a goddess. They are:
- Dark chocolate
Other foods that are now regarded as aphrodisiacs include:
- Pine nuts
Where the list of foods considered aphrodisiacs overlaps with foods available in ancient Greece, there we have contenders for the foods that were truly Aphrodite's favorites. Oysters are, however, thought to have the strongest link to the goddess because, lore tells that she was born in the sea and brought to land by a scallop or oyster shell.
Still, the most logical explanation for the effects of aphrodisiacs is that "the placebo effect." While these items may cause physiological changes, their effects on a person's romantic interest is caused by prior knowledge of the history behind an aphrodisiac and the belief that it will have a positive impact on one's love life.
So, while most of these foods may not have a potent effect on your sexual desire, it is thought that knowing that they were Aphrodite's favorite is what gives them the "aphrodisiac" effect.