“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” as the old saying goes. But will they inspire you to actually get closer to someone?

appleMuch has been made of apples’ amorous encouragement, and for a very long time. Their juicy ripeness, their lush sweetness, their rich colors, all these things have captivated the imagination for at least as far back as ancient Greece. It’s unlikely that Eve’s famous fruit was an apple, but the association of apples and forbidden knowledge is strong.

Add to that the joys of fermented cider and the bacchanalian revels of harvest, when apples are at their most bountiful, and it becomes hard to separate the ideas. But society and convenient timing are one sort of thing; how it physically affects a body is another.

Yes, apples are high in antioxidants and have the pectin to slow their sugar rush into a longer-term energy boost. Very healthy. Not what we’re talking about.

Or is it? Those antioxidants are one of a group of chemicals which help or actually stimulate blood flow to the genitals. So are polyphenols. Polyphenols and antioxidants are features of chocolate, wine, and apples. Coincidence? I’ve no idea, but they certainly do you no harm.

Someone got inspired by all this to do some science on the subject. Over 700 women in Italy, aged 18 to 43, took part in a study to determine whether daily apple consumption made any difference to their sex lives. The idea was to determine “whether there is a tie between daily apple intake and sexual function in a sample of healthy young sexually active Italian women, not complaining of any sexual disorders.” Now, this is my kind of science.

According to Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, after some time of being in either the daily apples or no daily apples group, the participants took the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) survey, 19 questions having to do with frequency, function, and enjoyment of sex. My impression is that this could have been much more scientifically objective, but as a general indicator it’s a good start.

The results were that the apple-eaters had “significantly higher total and lubrication domain FSFI scores” – which is very interesting indeed! While apples may not be a short-term aphrodisiac, they appear to have notable effects in the long term. Healthiness is to be expected with good, natural foods, but specific advantages to interest in and enjoyment of sex is a step beyond.

Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure.