Arugula has many different names: Eruca sativa (botanical name), rocket salad, garden rocket, rucola, rucoli, rugula, colewort, and roquette. Rich in vitamin C and potassium and widely used in salads, arugula has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D., most famously in a poem by Virgil, “Moretum,” which contains the line: “the rocket excites the sexual desire of drowsy people”. For this reason it was forbidden to grow in monasteries during the Middle Ages. Gillian Reilly, author of the Oxford Companion to Italian Food, states that because of its reputation as a sexual stimulant, it was “prudently mixed with lettuce, which was the opposite” (i.e., calming or even soporific).
Artichoke is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are critical to proper body function and blood flow. Tough on the outside and soft on the inside, artichokes are well versed in the game of hard-to-get, but their history as an aphrodisiac is mostly due to mythology and the intimacy of eating it with another, pulling off the leaves to reach the center.
Greek mythology holds Zeus (King of Gods) responsible for the creation of the artichoke – botanical name Cynara cardunculus. Zeus fell in love with a beautiful young mortal woman called Cynara and wanted to make her a goddess. But her behavior was not goddess-like and furious Zeus turned her into spectacular flower and at the same time a thorny and difficult thistle – as stunning as she but untouchable.
Whether or not you believe in the romantic power of the artichoke, to include it into your diet is a great idea. A powerful antioxidant named silymarin found in artichoke has shown to positively influence liver health and boost liver functions by stimulating cell regeneration and scavenging for free radicals. Another cancer-fighting phytochemical found in artichokes is cynarin. It promotes the liver’s bile production, which helps break down fatty foods. The polyphenol-type antioxidants found in artichokes are thought to help prevent numerous types of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia. These antioxidants may help induce cell death (apoptosis) and slow the growth of cancer cells. [1, 2]
Though strawberries may not possess any magical aphrodisiac power, their beautiful colour, sweet flavor and heart-like shape make them the perfect seductive treat for sharing with your loved one. One legend says that if you come across a double strawberry and break it in half with someone special, this will bring true love in your life.
Besides, 100 grams of strawberries contain almost 100% of Daily Value of vitamin C – a well-known immunity booster, as well as a powerful, fast-working antioxidant. Strawberries can help with cancer prevention, since a healthy immune system is the body’s best defense. And not only because of that: they contain ellagic acid that has been shown to suppress cancer cell growth.
In the Bible, Adam and Eve clad themselves with fig leaves, and since biblical times they have long been used to cover the genitals of nude figures in painting and sculpture. Buddha achieved enlightenment under an old sacred fig tree. The ancient Greeks thought figs were sacred and associated them with love and fertility. Figs with their sweet dark flesh, marvelous texture to the tongue, honey scent, and erotic shape rumored to be Cleopatra’s favourite fruit. The Romans believed figs were a gift from gods. Fig fruits with many seeds represent fertility and sexuality in almost every culture. It is believed that an open fig emulates the female sex organs. But on the other hand, their leaves are associated with modesty. Isn’t it a paradox?
- Shu, Limin; Cheung, Ka-Lung; Khor, Tin Oo; Chen, Chi; Kong, Ah-Ng (2010-08-28). “Phytochemicals: cancer chemoprevention and suppression of tumor onset and metastasis”. Cancer and Metastasis Reviews. 29 (3): 483–502. doi:10.1007/s10555-010-9239-y. ISSN 0167-7659.
- Miccadei, S (2008). “Antioxidative and apoptotic properties of polyphenolic extracts from edible part of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) on cultured rat hepatocytes and on human hepatoma cells.”. Nutrition and Cancer. 60 (2).