How many times have you heard someone say that chocolate is an aphrodisiac? It seems that this claim is a pretty commonly held belief; but how true is it? While eating chocolate with your lover may be a romantic pastime, the question of whether chocolate has any real physical aphrodisiac effect is another question entirely.
A little bit of history about chocolate
It is generally accepted that the ancient Mayans and Aztecs of Mexico were the first civilizations to make chocolate based products, using the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree, although it was the Aztecs who were famed for using cocoa beans as currency as well as in their religious ceremonies. Legend claims that the Aztec emperor Montezuma would eat cocoa to provide greater sexual stamina and prowess, which seems to give credit to the claims by many today that chocolate is an aphrodisiac.
What does science have to say?
The cocoa bean is certainly packed with nutrients and is often classified among the “superfoods” we should include in our diet but does it have aphrodisiac qualities? Yes and no. The aphrodisiac properties of chocolate are based on two chemicals: tryptophan, which helps in the production of serotonin, the chemical in the brain that is related to sexual arousal, and phenylethylamine, a stimulant that is released in the brain when you fall in love. However, while chocolate is said to contain these aphrodisiac chemicals, they are in such small quantities that many scientists argue that they are unlikely to have any real quantifiable physical effect on the body and levels of desire. So far it would also seem that studies focusing on monitoring the effect of chocolate consumption in relation to sexual desire have been inconclusive, finding no definitive link between the two. Most scientists point to the psychological rather than physical effects of eating chocolate.
So, the verdict is inconclusive about whether chocolate is truly an aphrodisiac, although in practice, few will argue with the romantic qualities that chocolate brings to any amorous encounter.
Take a look at this video to find out what other foods are considered aphrodisiacs.