The Best Aphrodisiac Foods for Valentine’s Day
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it's the time of year to be thinking about romance and how to wow your date with an exceptional meal that sets the tone for your big date night. Throughout history, a myriad of foods have been used to ‘help’ boost sexual desires, with some more scientifically supported than others. Some aphrodisiacs work by stimulating certain areas of the brain, which can lead to increased sensitivity or simply make you feel happier, while others have a more historic and symbolic meaning that is deeply rooted in our cultural memory. Whether you are looking to light a fire within or just hoping the night runs without a hitch, we’ve got libido-boosting foods to help get you into the mood.
So sit back and relax and let us take you through the most potent aphrodisiacs to include in your Valentine’s Day plans…
Hot chilli increases your blood flow and stimulates your senses by literally making your body feel hot. This increased sensitivity in your skin improves the feeling of touch and maximises the effects of stimuli while also boosting your libido.
Additionally, found within chillies is capsaicin which aids the release of endorphins within your brain. Known as the happy hormone, a surge of endorphins makes you feel good and present.
The ancient Greeks say that pomegranate was originally planted by Aphrodite, the goddess of love and is meant to symbolise female fertility and the consummation of marriage. They are associated with fertility and abundance due to their bright red colour and many seeds. The Greek goddess Aphrodite’s name is also where the very word aphrodisiac derives!
In 2011 a small study found that those who consumed pomegranate daily lowered their cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and a reduction in the body allows one to feel calmer and more relaxed, therefore helping you get into the mood that little bit easier as you unwind. Lower cortisol levels can also link to an increase in testosterone, which when elevated can lead to improved moods and increased sexual desire.
Created from the nectar of flowers, honey is a seductive ingredient and holds a strong claim to being the ultimate symbol of sexual fertility.
Made by honeybees, honey contains boron which has been suggested to regulate hormone levels. Additionally, honey contains nitric oxide which is released into the blood when people are aroused. Nitric oxide helps the blood flow and therefore helps ensure blood can swiftly get to where it needs to be.
Figs have been associated with sexuality across world cultures due to their shape and colour when sliced in half. In Ancient Greece, figs were a distinguished symbol of love - so much so that a new crop of figs was often celebrated by sexual rituals between the recipients.
Rich in amino acids, figs contain L-arginine which promote the production of nitric acid and therefore stimulate blood flow around the body - similar to honey. Drizzle honey on your figs to double up on your aphrodisia!
Full of vitamin A, vitamin B6, thiamine, iron and copper, okra is an incredibly healthy vegetable that works surprisingly well to help things along in the bedroom. Its high concentration of vitamin B6 and magnesium in particular will help improve your sex drive by acting as a natural relaxant while upping your libido. Additionally, okra is particularly potent as an aphrodisiac for women due to its moisturising capabilities.
Slice it and crisp it up as a side dish for your curries, or if that's not to your taste, score a handful of whole okra and leave them in a bottle of water overnight.
Red wine works in a number of ways to stimulate desire. Firstly, the ethanol from the alcohol stimulates your hypothalamus - a small but crucial part of your brain that is responsible for releasing hormones and sending them to your organs, therefore controlling your sexual drive.
Research has found that men who drink two glasses of wine per day had a significantly increased level of testosterone when compared to men who hadn’t drank any wine. This is thought to be due to the quercetin that is found in wine which blocks the production of an enzyme meant to flush the testosterone out of your body. A little extra testosterone means a whole load more sexual desire! However, red wine isn’t just one for the men. No matter your gender, consumption of red wine leads blood to rush to the surface of your skin, leaving you flushed. This effect doesn't stop with your rosy cheeks, instead rushing blood to your erogenous zones all over your body which increases sensitivity and arousal.