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Chocolate as an aphrodisiac

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For centuries, chocolate has been revered not only for its delicious flavor, but for its purported properties as an aphrodisiac. What is an aphrodisiac? An aphrodisiac is something that increases sexual arousal or excitement.

Early Aztecs and hot chocolate
The Aztecs made hot drinks from chocolate – they thought it was a drink given to them by the Gods -- and believed in its power as an aphrodisiac; they shared their chocolate and its properties with the Europeans when they introduced them to this wonderful confection.  The famed lover Casanova is said to have drunk chocolate before seducing his women.

Chocolate's mood enhancing abilities
Does chocolate really have qualities to enhance romance and attraction or is it all just a myth? 
Researchers have discovered that chocolate has two mood enhancing chemicals as part of its makeup. These substances, Phenylethylamine and Seratonin, both naturally occur in the human brain. When a person is happy or experiencing pleasure – including the pleasures of love and lust – the brain releases Phenylethylamine and Seratonin into the nervous system. Once they are in the nervous system, they can improve a person's mood, increase the heart rate and blood pressure slightly and invoke pleasurable and euphoric sensations throughout the body.

When a person eats chocolate, these two chemicals act on the nervous system in the same way as they do when the brain releases them. So, eating chocolate can induce some of the same feelings that love does. In addition, chocolate offers an energy boost. Part of this can be attributed to its caffeine content, but the Seratonin also has an energizing effect. This increased energy can also improve longevity and stamina, which in turn frequently has the effect of increasing libido. All of these effects have been scientifically confirmed. So, technically chocolate is not an aphrodisiac because it is not a direct sexual stimulant. Chocolate may also be addictive for some people.

The stronger the chocolate...
It does not matter what kind of chocolate you consume; it is all in the strength of the chocolate. Whether you want to consume chocolate candy, a cake, torte or a chocolate soufflé, you can enjoy some of the delightful benefits of this treat.

The effects of chocolate
While the documented effects on the nervous system do not necessarily make chocolate an aphrodisiac, they do give it benefits similar to that of an aphrodisiac. In addition, chocolate is delicious. So, a gift of chocolate or sharing chocolate with a loved one may certainly enhance feelings of love and romance. One interesting fact is that chocolate has a stronger effect on the body chemistry of women than it does on men. What does this mean to you? If you are trying to invoke feelings of love in a woman, sharing some chocolate with her may have a positive effect and it certainly can't hurt! Worst case, you can give yourself a mood boost with your own chocolate dessert.




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