founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully
time we spiced things up a bit!
Oh no, not that kind of
spicing things up; I’m talking about the romance department, and
aphrodisiac foods that may come in handy before next Wednesday, St.
First you may ask, are
aphrodisiacs real? do they really have the power to induce an amorous
mood? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there's
no such thing as an aphrodisiac. But I'm here to tell you that history
and cultures around the world tell a different story.
Through the ages, some of
the world’s most tempting foods were treasured as aphrodisiacs. Some of
these foods have a suggestive shape. Many have arousing aromas or a
sensual mouthfeel. Some foods of love raise body temperature. And some
make the eater’s lips plump-up with kissable softness.
Just in case you're a
doubter, it won’t hurt you to read on a bit and decide for yourself.
|I am a believer because
there really is science behind the notion. My aphrodisiacs list is quite
long and contains foods that range from sweet to spicy and everything in
To tease you a bit with information, here is a trivia tidbit
for you; Add vanilla to your next culinary concoction to evoke euphoria,
or add a bit of Chile to really heat up the senses. I'm going to tell
you a bit about erotic foods that will trigger some Valentine excitement
Aphrodisiacs may well be the one thing that crosses all barriers; race, culture, ethnicity, and age.
Modern science has helped
us to understand that, in addition to an ability to caress the tongue or
lower inhibition, the majority of these foods have a proven nutritional
effect on the body. Many provide energy for a night of passion (ooh la
la). Some support the system that triggers feelings of love or arousal.
Yet others help to increase blood flow. And others offer the nutrients
to support hormone production. So, do aphrodisiacs really exist? Read
for yourself and you make the call. You already know where I stand on
Over the centuries, the
food most thought of as an aphrodisiac is perhaps the Oyster. Science
has proven that they are high in zinc - a nutrient that was lacking in
people's diets in days gone by - and thus eating them could improve a
nutritional deficiency and improve a person's overall health . . .
possibly increasing his or her sex drive?
Spicy foods have long
been considered to be sensual stimulants. There is some scientific truth
to this claim in that foods that are heavily spiced often contain
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper. Eating capsaicin can
cause a physiological response, increased heart rate and metabolism, and
sometimes even sweating. This invigorating spice has an exotic
reputation and a bright red color, which could be why it's considered an
aphrodisiac and a symbol of love. But there's scientific backing, too.
Chili peppers stimulate endorphins (the brain's feel-good chemicals),
speed up heart rate and make you sweat, which all mimic how you feel
when you're aroused. Why not serve Red Chile-Chicken Enchiladas and see
Okra is another reputed
vegetable of love. Rich in magnesium, it's a natural relaxant. It's also
full of iron, folate, zinc, and vitamin B, all nutrients that keep those
necessary body parts healthy and happy. A little gumbo, anyone?
As I highlight the top
foods to consume on or before St. Valentine’s Day, here are a few most
of us have never heard of before - including me. Crazy list, won’t you
- Rhinoceros Horn
- Deer Antler
- Alder Bark
- Gypsyweed Rose Petals
- Muira Puama
The food you
consume does have a direct impact on your body, affecting your hormones,
brain chemistry, energy and stress levels. Some foods have psychoactive
properties, others arouse because they are psychologically suggestive,
and some can actually increase blood flow. And if it doesn't have all
that aphrodisiac effect, at least it’s healthy and it will do you good!
So away we go with some suggestions for your
Menu Suggestion: Arugula Salad
with Olive Oil for Bread Dipping
or Rocket greens are a peppery plant documented as an aphrodisiac since
the first century A.D. The minerals and antioxidants found in dark leafy
greens like arugula have also been proven to block environmental
contaminates that could negatively harm libido. This ingredient was
added to grated orchid bulbs and parsnips and also combined with pine
nuts and pistachios. Arugula greens are very popular now and we see them
in numerous salads and pasta.
and their oil have been used for centuries for health. The Greeks
believed they made men more virile as well. Olive oil is a good source
of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are critical for a
healthy heart, blood flow and hormone production.
Menu Suggestion: Roasted Beets
with Tahini and Pine Nuts
have long been considered an aphrodisiac in many cultures. “Ancient
Romans believed that beets and their juice promoted amorous feelings.
Frescoes of beets decorate the walls of the Lupanare brothel in Pompeii.
Beets are a natural source of tryptophan and betaine, both substances
that promote a feeling of well-being. They also contain high amounts of
boron, a trace mineral that increases hormones in the human body.”
Dark Chocolate Mint Leaves and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
to each other for a healthy, vitamin C-packed dessert that helps keep
blood flowing to all regions of the body. If you come across a double
strawberry, be sure to break it in half with someone special. An old
legend promises that this will bring true love. Though they may not
possess any magical secrets, the antioxidants and phytochemicals in
strawberries help to reduce joint inflammation.
are full of potassium and are an antioxidant powerhouse. Wow, what
The bright gems called
pomegranate seeds are enclosed
in a thick rose husk are filled with antioxidants which support blood
flow. One study found that pomegranate juice had a positive effect on
are a superfruit packed with feel-good vitamins (A, C, and E),
potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and more. It also has melatonin, an
antioxidant to help regulate your heart.
are loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. It also contains
chelating minerals and the bromeliad enzyme, said to enhance the male
libido. Bananas are feel-good food; they also contain bromelain, an
enzyme which increases hormone production, and the fruit's potassium and
vitamin B elevate energy levels.
The king of natural aphrodisiacs, contains compounds including
anandamide, the psyochoactive feel-good chemical, and PEA (phenylethylamine),
the 'love chemical', which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of
the brain. PEA is said to help induce feelings of excitement, attraction
and euphoria. Cacao also contains tryptophan, a key component of the
neurotransmitter serotonin known to promote a sense of well-being and
relaxation. Chocolate is sensual, from its taste to its aroma, but dark
chocolate has also been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, which
induces feelings of pleasure.
Artichokes as a
Chai Tea instead of coffee
aphrodisiac reputation comes mostly from legend and the intimacy of
eating it with another, pulling off the leaves to reach the center. But
it is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are critical to
proper body function and blood flow.
After dinner, skip the coffee and reach for a cup of
The typical spices in this brew-ginger, cloves and cinnamon-will get the
blood flowing but the caffeine effect is less so you'll still be able to
drift off to sleep after your meal.
Fresh Asparagus Sautéed with
Garlic and Chopped Pine Nuts
An English herbalist from the 17th century, Nicholas Culpepper, wrote
that asparagus "stirs up lust in man and woman."
Asparagus is a
great source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and
thiamin and folic acid. Folic acid is said to boost histamine production
necessary for the ability to reach orgasm in both sexes.
is stinky, but more importantly it’s strong. Garlic is chockfull of
allicin, an ingredient that will increase blood flow. So, whip up an
extra-garlicky dish with the asparagus for your dinner and keep the
are high in energizing zinc and are also considered aphrodisiacs because
of the effort required to procure these oily gems from pine cones. Make
a pesto with pine nuts, basil and olive oil.
Fig and Honey
Challah Bruschetta with Lemon, Ricotta, and Honey
"Sweet, sticky honey is a great source of boron, a trace mineral that
helps the body use and metabolize estrogen. Studies have shown that this
mineral may also enhance testosterone levels in the blood."
So there you have it. Now it’s up to you. Plan a romantic meal and cover
your bets with foods containing what I believe are true aphrodisiacs.
About Paula Kraft . . .
Paula Kraft is the
founding partner of the DaVinci Inflight Training Institute located in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the founder/president of Tastefully Yours
Catering, an aviation specific caterer, located in Atlanta, Georgia for
over 35 years.
Paula is active with
many aviation and catering-related groups including the International
Caterers Association, the International Inflight Food Service
Association and is a board member of Women in Corporate Aviation. She is
the past chair of the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee Caterer’s Working
Group for 15 years perfecting unique catering training sessions for NBAA
conferences and events. Currently, she serves on the NBAA Flight
Attendant Advisory Committee and is a member of the Training and Safety
Subcommittee. Paula was a founding member of the Steering committee for
the creation of a European Flight Attendant Committee and conference and
serves as a subject matter expert to the board of International Standard
for Business Aircraft Handlers (IS-BAH).
Tastefully Yours Catering, she has been offering culinary
and food safety related training to the general aviation
community. With a strong dedication to improving catering
safety, risk mitigation and safe food handling, she
developed and introduced the concept of “catering safety
management systems”. As a certified food safety instructor,
Paula offers catering SMS and culinary classes for all
first-hand experience, business acumen, research, and
relationships make her an industry expert - one which allows
her to share information that will help raise the
professional training level for flight attendants today that
will reduce the risk of food-related concerns tomorrow.
From Paula . . .
I have coordinated
training programs and clinics for NBAA and EBAA conference attendees for
over 10 years, created mentoring programs for caterers and flight
attendants to broaden their aviation culinary skills, and to assist them
in adapting to the unique challenges and constraints found in catering
for general aviation. I recognize the need for training and have worked
closely with flight departments, flight crews, schedulers and customer
service reps at the FBOs to ensure that catering specific training
provides information and skills necessary to reduce risk while assisting
them in their job duties that include safe food handling, catering
security, accurate transmission of food orders, and safe food
production, packaging and delivery.
I fell into aviation
catering quite by accident. I was the in-house caterer and bakery
supplier for Macy’s department stores in Atlanta when catering was
ordered for a Macy’s customer which was soon to change my life. After
the client enjoyed the catering provided, I was summoned to the client’s
corporate office to provide several of the items delivered through
Macy’s to the executive dining room. Within a week, I was providing food
for the flight department and my first order was for the President of a
foreign country (as I was too be told soon after).
So, here I am, some 35
years later, still loving every minute of every day in aviation
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 8th February
2018 | Issue #450