It is a pretty commonly held belief that chocolate is an aphrodisiac; after all, how many times have you heard someone refer to chocolate having an effect on the sex drive? Have you ever wondered whether or not it is true? While you might enjoy eating chocolate together as a romantic pastime, the issue of whether or not it can be considered a physical aphrodisiac is another question.
A little bit of history about chocolate
It is a generally accepted fact that the Mayans and Aztecs of Mexico were the first to make chocolate based products using the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree. The Aztecs even used cocoa beans as currency and in their religious ceremonies. An Aztec legend states that the Aztec Emperor Montezuma would eat cocoa to imbue him with greater sexual prowess and stamina. This would, of course, seem to give some credit to the claims made by many today.
What does science have to say?
The bean of the cacao tree is certainly full to the brim with nutrients, and is very often classed among the “superfoods”. But does it really have aphrodisiacal qualities? Well, yes and no. The aphrodisiacal properties found in chocolate are based on two chemicals; phenylethylamine, a stimulant that is found in the brain when you fall in love, and tryptophan, which helps to produce serotonin in the body. Yet these chemicals are found in such small quantities that many scientists say that it is unlikely that they would have any real effect on the body.
So far it seems that the effects of chocolate consumption upon sexual desire are, in fact, inconclusive and no definite link has been found. Yet many people in practive do find it to be an aphrodisiac, and so scientists suggest that this may be a psychological effect.
In conclusion, it really depends upon who you ask when looking for an answer to the question of chocolate’s possible aphrodisiacal status. Scientists think it’s unlikely, but few will argue that chocolate brings a certain romance to any amorous encounter.