Sure, chocolate and wine are the staples of a romantic Valentine’s Day. But there are other foods to help you get your love on that won’t smash your diet plans. Look out for these romantic ingredients to add a kick to your dinner date this Feb 14th.
Turns out the Aztecs might have been onto something when naming the avocado ‘ahuacatl’, aka the testicle tree. This glorious fruit is packed full of vitamin B6, which is fantastic for your neurotransmitters — think hormone production. As well as assisting in making the happy hormones serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, vitamin B6 particularly assists in male hormone production. Avocado also contains potassium, which assists in regulating women’s thyroid glands. All this adds up to is an increased libido!
Forget strawberries, when it comes to romance reach for the other red fruit — watermelon. For men in particular, watermelon improves circulation and can help with getting and maintaining erections, due to its nutrients citrulline and lycopene. Lycopene can also be found in tomatoes, carrots and papayas — but not in strawberries or cherries.
Of course oysters are going to be in this list. While their status as aphrodisiacs has been debated, it’s a sound fact that raw oysters are high in zinc, which increase testosterone and sperm production. They also contain dopamine, which is known to increase libido. And let’s face it, the act of sucking a raw oyster from the shell, and the slippery mouthfeel, can also be quite sensual when done with a loved one.
This Chinese herb has been used for generations to aid in issues of erectile dysfunction, and while it’s not officially approved as a medicinal aid, it can’t hurt to try. And for the ladies, Korean red ginseng has been found to improve sexual arousal. A hot pot of ginseng tea could be the perfect way to top off an afternoon.
Sweet, juicy and just a little bit fancy, figs are high in amino acids to increase your libido and sexual stamina. They’ve been eaten in Europe for hundreds of years and can be served cooked or raw. For decadence, an Italian I know swears by this preparation: cutting them into quarters from the top, stopping half-way down, and stuffing them with blue cheese, closing them up again, wrapping them in prosciutto slices, and baking them until crispy (about 20 minutes).
6. Dark chocolate
Sure, chocolate is so over-the-top cliché that at this point it’s guaranteed to turn up on Valentines day. But there’s a good reason for it: it contains the alkaloid theobromine, similar to caffeine for energy and activity, and phenylethylamine, which is associated with feelings of being in love. Break out the dark stuff and bust out some moves to Barry White.
7. Nuts and Olive Oil
Not necessarily at the same time, but good quality olive oil and nuts such as walnuts and almonds are bursting with healthy fatty acids. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help the body maintain a healthy bloodflow and stable hormone production, keeping all of your organs in great shape and helping with maintaining erections. The scent of almonds is also (supposedly) an aphrodisiac in itself, so it’s worth a try.