If you’re planning a romantic meal for Valentine’s Day, how about including at least one aphrodisiac on the menu? A plateful of oysters might be a little too obvious for many, but there are plenty of other foods that can be incorporated into a special meal without making your loved one feel like you’re ready to pounce before you’ve served up dessert.
Red or green chilli peppers are easy to add to a wide range of dishes and are supposed to mimic feelings of arousal by increasing your temperature, boosting your heart rate and making your brain release feel-good endorphins, whilst perfectly ripe avocadoes have been used as an aphrodisiac since the time of the Aztecs. If you fancy a spike of pleasure-inducing dopamine, add some high-quality fine dark chocolate to your menu, or try some fresh ripe bananas for a much-needed energy boost.
Pure, clear honey has both symbolic and physical aphrodisiac properties and is one of the most versatile ingredients around. Even a cup of a tasty filter coffee at the end of a meal can have the desired effect to get your loved one in the Valentine’s Day mood, as the caffeine boosts both heart rate and blood flow.
Some juicy watermelon slices make a great starter choice, as they are said to have a ‘Viagra effect’, while a pesto made with toasted pine nuts will be full of energy-boosting zinc, and some asparagus spears can boost the sex drive. Adding some extra-virgin olive oil can also increase the effects, as the Greeks believed that this was important to a man’s virility. Figs are a nutritional powerhouse and have many aphrodisiac associations, and strawberries are great for boosting blood flow throughout the body.