What in Chocolate Makes It an Aphrodisiac?

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When he first tasted this hot drink, he had been at the court of the Aztec emperor, Montezuma II. This beverage was a far cry from the ubiquitous hot drinking chocolate we have now. As there wasn’t any sugar cane then in Central America, it might have been sweetened, (if it was), with honey. Sugar cane wasn’t introduced in the South American continent before the mid-16th century.

Montezuma is reputed to have had a prodigious sexual appetite, and it’s believed that the Aztecs believed that this might result from the cacao bean along with the beverage. The evidence for the connection between chocolate and improved sexual performance is therefore purely anecdotal.

So, that is where the belief that chocolate is an aphrodisiac has its own roots. But is there any scientific evidence for this claim?

Scientists say that there are two substances in chocolate and the cacao bean which might increase sexual appetite; one is tryptophan, a precursor to the feel-good chemical dopamine. The next substance is phenylethylamine, which is a stimulant comparable to amphetamine. The latter material, phenylethylamine is discharged to the brain when people fall in love.

These substances are found in chocolate of all kinds in little doses, so it’s extremely unlikely that chocolate really has some aphrodisiac qualities. Dark chocolate has slightly more of these that white and milk chocolate, apparently. Scientists have researched the claims, but have found no evidence to substantiate them.

That having been said, however, most folks would not deny that eating chocolate, and letting it melt in your mouth, is a really pleasurable sensation. When we feel good, and are cosy and comfortable, we’re likely open to the possibilities of stimulation. If you’re not comfy and warm, you likely are not in the mood for any sort of dalliance. Think about all of the movies you’ve seen when a few lie in front of a log fire on a sheepskin rug and end up in each other’s embrace.

Chocolate isn’t an aphrodisiac based scientists, but since it makes us feel relaxed and good, there’s some circumstantial evidence to suggest, however erroneously, that chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

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