Eat your way to better sex with this fun A -Z guide to aphrodisiacs
Head to the kitchen when you need a little help in the bedroom
A IS FOR ALCOHOL
A little nip is a great way to loosen inhibitions, but keep it to one or two drinks or you may miss the final act.
B IS FOR BANANAS
A great source of vitamin B6, which helps synthesise the neurotransmitter epinephrine that plays a role in orgasm.
C IS FOR CAYENNE PEPPER AND CHOCOLATE
The active ingredient is capsaicin, found in the dried fruit of chilli peppers. Consumed half an hour before sex, it opens the blood vessels, increasing flow to the sexual organs and making them more sensitive. Best consumed in chocolate, which also has arousing properties.
Chocolate contains tryptophan, a building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal, and phenylethylamine, a stimulant related to amphetamine, released in the brain when falling in love.
D IS FOR DOUGHNUTS
The Smell And Taste Treatment And Research Foundation in the US says doughnuts are one of the most alluring smells for men. That's what Thierry Mugler was thinking when he created his fragrance Angel.
E IS FOR EATING
Drizzle viscous liquid over your partner's body and lick it off. A sure-fire way to get the passions raging.
F IS FOR FIGS
Split down the middle and cradled in the palm, the fig's pink flesh is said to resemble a woman's sweet spots. It's said the ancient Greeks found figs — full of iron and potassium minerals — invaluable in their copulation rituals.
G IS FOR GINSENG
Which means "man root" and seems to work in Asian cultures, though US researchers remain sceptical of its powers.
H IS FOR HONEY
A source of boron, a trace mineral that helps the body metabolise oestrogen, the female sex hormone.
I IS FOR IODINE
Essential to the thyroid, which regulates the metabolism, and important for energy levels. Deficiencies weaken the sex drive. Shrimps are a good and sexy source (not when used in a measurement sense).
J IS FOR JASMINE TEA
The smell of jasmine signals spring and "twitterpation". It's a natural stimulant.
K IS FOR KAVA KAVA
A tea made from this compound, taken an hour before lovemaking, is said to stimulate the genital areas of both sexes.
L IS FOR LIQUORICE
Apart from the sexy sounding name, it stimulates the female sex glands and boosts hormone production. Also contains lots of plant oestrogens.
M IS FOR MUIRA PUAMA OR "POTENCY WOOD"
Considered a potent herbal aphrodisiac and derived from a shrub native to Brazil, it's a nerve stimulant that enhances sexual function.
N IS FOR NUTMEG
Early Hindu cultures believed nutmeg's warming properties stimulated sexual appetites and its sweetening effect on the breath increased attraction.
O IS FOR OYSTER
They have a suggestive look and taste, and oysters really are aphrodisiacs, largely because of their zinc content. See Z.
P IS FOR POMEGRANATES
The seeds of this luscious red fruit improve blood flow and are said to increase genital sensitivity. For increased arousal break open the pod and eat. Avoid punnets from Woolies.
Q IS FOR QUAI, OR DONG QUAI
A herb in the celery family native to China, Japan, and Korea, quai is considered the ''female ginseng" because of its balancing effect on the female hormonal system.
R IS FOR ROSE ESSENCE
The smell elicits an emotional response that promotes feelings of wellbeing and sexual happiness. Some even claim it helps relieve impotence.
S IS FOR SEA CUCUMBER
High on the list of exotic aphrodisiacs, it is a slimy, sausage-shaped creature that stiffens and squirts liquid. A delicacy in China.
T IS FOR TRUFFLE
The rare, earthy fungus has a pungent flavour with a reputation for being an aphrodisiac from ancient Roman times. The smell is thought to mimic androstenone, which attracts the opposite sex.
U IS FOR UNICORN ROOT
Believed to combat sterility in women.
V IS FOR VANILLA
The smell has a euphoric effect. When consumed, vanilla combats sexual debilitation by having a positive effect on the central nervous system.
W IS FOR WATERMELON
According to sciencedaily.com, this "lycopene king" has a Viagra-like effect on the body as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation.
X IS FOR XANTHIUM SPINOSUM
A plant extract believed to raise the libido.
Y IS FOR YOHIMBE
Locals believe that the herb, extracted from the bark of a West African tree, causes erections by stimulating relevant nerve centres in the spine. Don't overdose, though, as too much will kill you.
Z IS FOR ZINC
Essential for active sperm production and hormone metabolism. A deficiency of the chemical lowers testosterone levels and leads to decreased zipper usage. Also good for boosting resistance to Covid-19.