Science News

Romantic Menu for Valentines Day !

Sun, 10th Feb 2002

Part of the show Andrew Bradley discusses Organ Transplantation

This coming Thursday is Valentine's day - in case you didn't know already! And I'm sure some of you will be planning candlelit dinners for your other halves but don't know what to cook. So here are some top scientific tips to help you cook your Valentine's day dinner :
Oysters have been used as an erotic dish throughout history and would make an ideal choice for starters! They are rich in zinc, which your body needs in order to produce testosterone. Now testosterone is not something that just men produce - it's a sex hormone which stimulates both the male and female libido. Or if you're not too keen on oysters, try asparagus which is rich in zinc which also stimulates the production of sex hormones. For the main course use lots of chillis! Chillis contain a chemical called "capsaicin" which, as many of you will have experienced, makes you sweat, raises your pulse, and is responsible for the burning sensation produced by curry! Indeed, some researchers believe that eating spicy food makes your body release endorphins, which are chemicals that give you a natural high - just what you want for a Valentine's dinner. And of course you have to have a dessert - yes, you guessed! Chocolate - whether it be chocolate fudge cake, chocolate ice cream, strawberries and chocolate, whatever takes your fancy. Chocolate contains a chemical called phenylethylamine which some researchers call "the love chemical" as it stimulates your senses and gives you a sense of well being. More information is available under 'Aphrodisiacs' on our 'links' page.
Article about why we value sex so highly, and what purpose sex serves ?
Article about pheromones and how pheromones influence our choice of mate.
Kisses seem an innocent enough thing to give someone special on Valentines day, but are there any surprises that you need to watch out for ? Well, few people realise that Glandular Fever, or "kissing disease" is passed on through saliva, and once you have had it, you are infected for life and you could become infectious at any time, without realising it. The disease is caused by Epstein-Barr virus, a close relative of herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores. Most people are become infected as kids, often through sharing food at nursery school, although over a third of sufferers are infected when they are teenagers or young adults. It is not usually a serious illness, most people suffer from tiredness, swollen glands, and a sore throat lasting 2-4 weeks, but the older you are when you get it, the worse the symptoms tend to be, and the virus has also been linked to certain types of cancer. So if you've never knowingly had it, be selective over who you snog this valentines day !


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