Get in the mood with our frisky feasts and learn about a Chinese New Year tradition that ushers into prosperity.
These seductive snacks will not only heighten your senses and have you craving for more action in the bedroom, but also help boost energy sharpen memory AND fight the flab.
Now’s here’s a reason to gorge on the chocs: Cocoa is packed with phenylethylamine, a powerful stimulant that makes us feel sexy, and in the mood for you-know-what. If you’re going the chocolate route, choose dark over milk for added health benefits that include lowering the risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate is chockfull of essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
You’ve heard that oysters pack a punch in the bedroom, but here’s why. These shellfish are high in zinc, a mineral that cranks up the production of testosterone, which is linked to a higher sex drive. The mollusks are also incredibly low in fat (containing an average of 4 grams of fat per serving) and help boost protein intake essential for tissue repair, immune function, and hormone synthesis.
A recent study conducted by a team at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University suggests that a daily glass of pomegranate juice can enhance the libido. In the study that involved 58 volunteers, a significant increase in testosterone was observed in the subjects who drank pomegranate juice daily over a two-week period. As an added bonus, the pomegranate juice ritual also lowered the blood pressure of the volunteers!
Who’d have thought that this fruit would be the answer to speedy arousals? Watermelons contain the phytonutrient, citrulline, which increases nitric oxide in the human body. This increase relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation, leading to that special rush. Watermelons are nutrient-dense and also prevent asthma attacks, regulate blood pressure, as well as improve both hydration and digestion.
The hotter the chilli, the bigger its impact. Fiery peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that gets the blood pumping, boosts circulation, and stimulates nerve endings which in turn heightens the arousal. Studies also suggest capsaicin that has anti-cancer properties and burns calories.
Packed in Omega-3 fatty acids that boost the production of sex hormones, walnuts make a wonderful addition to your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids found in these nuts also lower the risk of heart disease and boost our brain power. In theory, consuming walnuts can make you sexy and smart!
Did You Know?
The term ‘aphrodisiac’ is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, and beauty. Her Roman equivalent is the Goddess Venus. Among the most iconic representations of Aphrodite/Venus is Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus which port is the Goddess emerging from a clamshell. Its no wonder oysters are often associated with aphrodisiacal properties!
Specifically, the root and fruit of the plant were used by the ancient Egyptians and Homeric sorceresses who swore by its magical properties. The Y-shape of the mandrake root was associated with a woman’s thighs and pelvic area, hence the belief that it could boost fertility. In days of old, mandrake root was also carried as a talisman and used in potions to drug an enemy. Today, it is widely believed that mandrake root is poisonous.
It is a waxy substance that originates in the intestine of the sperm whale. It was used by ancient Egyptians as incense; its fragrance was believed to increase the libido of both sexes. Though whales are not harvested for ambergris (the substance of washers ashore), today’s perfumers use a synthetic compound to replicate the intoxicating scent of ambergris.
Grapes and wine made from grapes featured prominently in the sensual rites of Greek Dionysian cults, where intoxicants were employed to remove inhibitions and social constraints. The act of feeding grapes to a lover was and still is thought to be sensuous.
Fact or Myth?
Alcohol is often considered an aphrodisiac but in fact, getting liquored up may only serve to loosen your inhibitions but do little else. William Shakespeare hinted as much in Macbeth when he wrote: “it provokes desire, but it takes away the performance.”
However, red wine is indeed an aphrodisiac because it is high in resveratrol, an antioxidant that boosts blood flow and increases circulation before and after sexual intercourse. Remember, to reap the benefits of red wine, moderation is key.
Toss For Luck In The Chinese New Year
Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore, and parts of Southeast Asia often celebrate Chinese new year by tossing (and eating) yee sang (raw fish salad) for good luck. Though the origins of this practice are sketchy (it is not observed by mainland Chinese), the dish itself is thought to have roots in China.
In the coastal regions of China’s Guangdong (formerly Canton) province, people have been eating variations of raw fish salad for generations to celebrate the 7th day of Chinese Nw Year, dubbed Renri or People’s of birthday. The seventh day holds particular importance as according to Chinese mythology, this was the day goddess Nuwa (or Nuwo) shaped man from clay.
The dish is likely to have crossed borders through migration and trade, and by the late 20th century, tossing yee sang had become a highlight of the reunion dinners, especially in Malaysia and Singapore. The practice is so popular that these days, even non-Chinese participate in the tradition. This dish typically consists of slivers of raw fish, julienned vegetables such as carrot and turnip, crunchy crackers and a sweet-sour sauce.
The act of tossing the salad involves using chopsticks two lift the shreds of fish and vegetables as high as one can while wishing for abundance, prosperity, and good luck for the new year ahead.
Did You Know?
The use of homophonous syllables is prevalent in Chinese culture, and these words are often paired in everything, from the names of dishes to greetings inviting good luck. In Mandarin, the characters yu sheng (yee sang in Cantonese) literally means raw (sheng) and fish (yu). Yu also sounds like the word for abundance and sheng can denote ‘birth’ or ‘to rise.’ When combined, they figuratively mean ‘increasing abundance.’
To Do or Not To Do?
The Chinese traditionally observe superstitions especially during auspicious occasions such as Chinese New Year. Steer clear of bad luck by heeding these taboos on the first day of the lunar new year.
1. Say No to Knives and Scissors
Using a knife or scissors is believed to trigger disputes and quarrels among family and friends.
2. Sidestep Borrowing or Lending
Custom dictates that borrowing or lending money during Chinese New Year is always a bad idea. If you lend money, you will be doomed to suffer household losses, and if you borrow, you need loans throughout the year.
3. No Napping
Not only is this considered rude, but is believed that napping on the first day of Chinese New Year day will cause you to feel lazy and tired all year.
4. Don’t Touch The Broom
Sweeping and taking out the garbage are considered huge no-nos. Tradition has it that if you do this, you will inadvertently sweep away good luck and good fortune from the household.
We wish you love, light, and luck in the Chinese New Year or “Gong hei fat choy” (Chinese New Year in Chinese).