This month, love is in the air…and in the food! Some foods, called aphrodisiacs, have special elements that are said to enhance your romantic desires. (Read more about the history here.) Why not serve a few this Valentine’s night? Learn about some of the most popular after the jump.
It’s no wonder there are boxes of chocolate everywhere you turn in February! Chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac for centuries, and has become the go-to gift from one lover (or crush) to another. Perhaps it is one of the most popular aphrodisiacs because it is so versatile—whether you prefer it in solid bite-sized pieces, gooey, or in liquid form, chocolate never fails to satisfy.
Oysters are usually one of the first things that come to mind when you think about aphrodisiacs. This valentines day, try other seafood aphrodisiacs such as scallops, clams, lobster, and or vibrant salmon. Plus, these’re easy to make at home if you’re planning to stay in.
- Chili Peppers and Cayenne
Not only do cayenne and chili peppers spice up your food, but they can also spice up your night. For centuries, it has been thought that foods that tingle your tongue can, ahem, lead to other body parts tingling. Not only do these spices taste good, but they also quicken your pulse and may make you perspire.
Bright red and heart-shaped… Could there be a better aphrodisiac? Along with their sweetness and juiciness, strawberries contain antioxidants that can help get your blood flowing!
Of course, a banana’s shape can sort of speak for itself—but there is much more to the banana than just that! Bananas give great doses of potassium and vitamin B, which are helpful on any day, but are especially helpful on Valentine’s night. Potassium and vitamin B are both important in the production of hormones, and potassium is a key nutrient that helps muscle strength.
Avocados have been in the spotlight the last few years, but it turns out they have been used as aphrodisiacs for centuries! First deemed an aphrodisiac because of its sensual shape, science has recently found that the ancient assumptions are supported. Avocados contain vitamin E, which is said to boost your immune system and give skin a youthful glow, and vitamin B6, which is said to increase production of male hormones.
This delicious green veggie has also been considered as an aphrodisiac for centuries. In fact, there are tales that the French would eat it for every meal during the 3 days leading up to their wedding days. While that seems a bit over the top, eating some asparagus during Valentine’s dinner is the perfect way to get into the romantic spirit. With calcium, vitamin E, and potassium, you’ll be full of the energy that you need to keep the night going.
- Pomegranate Arils
It’s no secret that pomegranate seeds are a great way to get a dose of antioxidants, but many people don’t know that they are a great way to get into the romantic mood. Munching on antioxidants can help boost your blood flow. Plus, the deep pink color fits the holiday perfectly, and can make a delicious addition to any drink or meal.
When we are feeling drowsy or tired, coffee is what many of us turn to for a pick-me-up. Not only is the smell of roasting coffee considered to be a mood-maker, but a cup of coffee gives you a caffeine boost that will increase both heart rate and blood flow.
This sticky and sweet nectar has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries. In fact, that is how the “honeymoon” got its name. Honey contains levels of boron, which can help to stimulate testosterone production in men and estrogen production in women. So, make sure to add a drizzle of honey to whatever sweet treat you will be enjoying at the end of your Valentine’s dinner.
If you want to double (or triple) up on aphrodisiacs, here are some ideas:
- Strawberry, avocado, and balsamic toast (see above)
- Salmon seasoned with cayenne pepper
- Salad with avocado, asparagus, and pomegranate arils
- Frozen yogurt with bananas and honey
- Fruit salad with pomegranate, figs, and banana, all drizzled with honey
Check out our videos below for new ways to fondue and how to make aphrodisiac toast: