“Do aphrodisiacs really work?” is a question on many couples’ lips. Could it be that you’re enticed by the sensuous shape of a pear, or the phallic stature of a banana, as opposed to their sexually liberating ingredients, or can these foods really play a part in your sexual habits?

As the secret to a more satisfying sex life continues to torture men and women, many have turned to natural supplements or over the counter products to kick their libido into gear.

Aphrodisiacs were first sought out as a remedy for various sexual anxieties including fears of inadequate performance, and a need to increase fertility, and here are our top picks for erotically fulfilling foods:

5) Chocolate

Chocolate is sensual from its taste to its aroma. Referred to by the Aztecs as “nourishment of the Gods”, chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect neurotransmitters in the brain and a related substance to caffeine called theobromine. With high levels of serotonin in the brain following eating chocolate, it is thought to play a role in sexual desire. Dark chocolate has also been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure.

4) Pine nuts

Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as medieval times. They are high in energising zinc, a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency, and also linked to a healthy sex drive. Make a pesto with pine nuts, basil and olive oil, or serve pine nut cookies with a dark espresso for a stimulating dessert.

3) Strawberries

Strawberries are a healthy, vitamin C-packed sweet and light dessert that helps keep blood flowing to all regions of the body. They are the perfect food to hand feed your lover, and you can add some whipped cream for good measure – although not proven to boost libido, it is sure to put you in the mood.

2) Honey

Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey inducing cures for sterility and impotence. Honey has long been thought to rejuvenate marriages, and has been linked to the word ‘honeymoon’ due to a centuries old transition where the happy new bride and groom drank an alcoholic beverage called mead. It contains boron, helping regulate oestrogen and testosterone levels and providing a natural energy boost.

1) Oysters

The King of the aphrodisiac is the oyster, since it was documented by the Romans in the second century A.D. Their notorious reputation has seen dining couples indulging for years. They contain amino acids and serotonin, which trigger the production of sex hormones, and are supposedly great for love and fertility. Oysters contain zinc, which is needed to produce testosterone, and are thought to have an overall large role in an individual’s response to pleasure. Finally, an additional hypotheses is that the oyster resembles the female genitals.

And finally, the perfect liquid acquaintance to your aphrodisiac meal: a glass or two of wine! In moderation, drinking wine can be an exotic experience, relaxing us and helping to stimulate the senses.

If you’re still sat on the fence, then tucking into our five chosen goodies for ‘experimentation’ won’t hurt you, and will make for a very sexy picnic.