Whether you’re planning a home-cooked meal or have a specific restaurant in mind for Valentine’s Day, you no doubt want to make the most of the event. Our list of natural aphrodisiac foods and beverages will give you an idea of what to look for to kick start your libidos.
So, do aphrodisiacs really work? Try sampling these aphrodisiac foods with your sweetie and see if the science holds true.
An aphrodisiac is any food or drink known to stimulate sexual desire. Of course, these items aren’t limited to special occasions – nor should they be. Keep this list handy for any night you’d like to have a little extra romance in the air.
These culinary aphrodisiacs are not only (mostly) easy to work with, but provide additional health benefits beyond revving up your sex drive.
The almond is a favorite among fitness enthusiasts. It belongs to a group of healthy nuts that are high in good monounsaturated fats. In ancient times, the almond nut was used a symbol of fertility.
The benefits of almonds extend beyond ‘good’ fats: almonds are naturally high in fiber and vitamin E. Almond oil in particular is said to have a sexually stimulating smell to boost male and female libidos.
Likely the most popular and well-known aphrodisiac, chocolate is a fan favorite for so many reasons. It is available in a range of flavors and pairs well with just about everything but vegetables. Naturally high in antioxidants, people that indulge in chocolate regularly report better mental and physical wellbeing than those that avoid completely.
Chocolate contains a stimulant called phenylethlamine, which interacts with the same parts of your brain that are excited by sex. The highest levels of this love chemical are found in dark chocolate, so try to find something with 60% cocoa or higher. If you or your mate isn’t a fan on dark chocolate on its own, look for moist chocolate cake recipes or make chocolate chip cookies with semi-sweet chips.
Consider adding sweet peas as a healthier component to your Valentine’s Day meal. Peas are not only low calorie and high in fiber, but they contain the same natural libido stimulant as chocolate!
Vanilla is a popular flavor for cakes and ice creams, but did you know that natural vanilla bean is one of the oldest aphrodisiacs known to man? Ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures used vanilla and chocolate specifically as a male libido and performance enhancer, or so the stories go.
Vanilla can be incorporated into your evening in several ways, from a traditionally flavored vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, or with vanilla bean ice cream on the side of a chocolate cherry pie. Try finding good quality vanilla, like the kind you find in the Duty Free shops from Mexico. Once you try real vanilla, the generic kind found in most grocery stores wont cut it.
Local raw, organic honey is a proven remedy to fight allergies. The properties of honey, being made mostly of pollen from the local area, act as a type of vaccine in your system. The ‘processed’ pollen stimulates your body to create antigens needed to fight seasonal allergy symptoms.
Honey is also one of the most potent and simple hormone boosters: it helps boost estrogen in women and testosterone in men, as well as making it easier to become aroused. Consider keeping a bottle of honey next to the can of whipped cream for some extra fun after dinner.
This superfood is most well documented as a having powerful antioxidant benefits. Eastern medicine uses pomegranates to help treat depression and boost the immune system. For its place on this list, however, pomegranates are known to boost genital sensitivity in both men and women.
It can be a tricky fruit to cut and deseed though. Watch the video below prior to opening one up so you don’t make a potentially clothes-staining mess.
Aside from being a naturally sweet and low in calories, watermelon is very high in electrolytes. Electrolytes are a much better choice than water to improve both hydration and circulation – circulation in all the right places, of course! Staying well hydrated in particularly important on days which you might be drinking alcoholic drinks and/or participating in physical activities.
A popular street food in the Philippines, this is definitely a food for the more adventurous food enthusiast. Balut is a partially developed fertilized duck egg that is boiled and eaten directly from the shell. Considered in many Asian countries to be a delicacy, Filipinos believe balut increases stamina and sex drive. The shape of balut and the fact that you have to suck the juices out before eating the meaty part also lend to its sexual association.
Cherries are another classically sexy food, but they also come with some truly healthy benefits. It is full of antioxidants and even antihistamines – a beneficial tool to have when you might be trying new foods. As a bonus for Valentine’s Day special effects, cherries are one of the few foods known to boost pheromone production (the hormones that make you horny).
Pro tip: Learn how to tie a cherry stem in a knot with your tongue (no hands) – this is easiest with maraschino cherry stems, but doable with regular cherries.
Besides their obviously phallic nature, bananas, like watermelon, are chock full of electrolytes to help improve hydration and circulation. As a bonus feature, bananas also contain a type of enzyme called bromelain. In addition to being a powerful digestive enzyme, bromelain is said to increase male sex drive and performance.
Enjoy the benefits of bananas by combining it with other fruits in a chocolate fondue, or with a homemade banana bread recipe.
Like pomegranate, figs can be a tricky food to work with. While you could buy dried or prepared figs at the store, you might consider incorporating figs into your meal preparations. Figs are actually very nutrient dense: high in fiber, potassium, and B vitamins.
As far as aphrodisiacs are concerned, few foods rival the reputation of the fig. Some legends say it was the fig that Eve asked Adam to eat in the Garden of Eden! Fresh figs are known for being sexually appealing across the board, especially because they can resemble a woman’s “unmentionables”.
Avocados are an incredibly nutritionally dense food, particularly in skin soothing vitamin E and hydrating potassium. Since avocados are also similar in appearance to male testes, they can be an erotic addition to your romantic meal (sorry if you’ll never look at them the same again!).
Try one of these amazing guacamole recipes as an appetizer to get your evening started.
As cliché as oysters can be, there’s a reason this popular seafood is associated with sexual desire. Oysters are full of the mineral zinc, which is essential to the production of testosterone and a healthy sex drive in both men and women.
Oysters can be fried, eaten whole on the half-shell, or prepared in any number of seafood dishes. Since they can be tricky, you could make the preparations a team activity for you and your loved one.
Seafood, especially salmon, are usually high in omega-3 fatty acids. These are good fats, which are known to boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is one of the more well known feel-good hormones associated with relaxation and a healthy state of mind.
Cooking salmon is fairly easy to do, but if you are able to get fresh salmon (VERY fresh), maybe try to make some sushi. Add chili peppers for an extra aphrodisiac boost.
Caviar, like oysters, is full of the testosterone-boosting mineral zinc. And like fresh oysters, good caviar is one of Mother Nature’s true delicacies. For hundreds of years, caviar has been considered the ultimate aphrodisiac.
What exactly is caviar? These salty, savory fish eggs are unlike any other food. One of the ultimate fertility symbols, the nutritional value of caviar is also hard to beat: high in protein and vascular dilating amino acids.
Although it can be an acquired taste, few romantic dinners would be complete without a bottle of red wine. While it’s well known that the alcohol in wine can be relaxing, red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol has become increasingly popular in recent years for the promise it shows in treating and preventing cardiovascular disease.
The reason resveratrol is so exciting as a supplement is because of how effective it is at improving blood flow and circulation throughout the ENTIRE body. So, as long as you feel safe and excited, enjoy getting tipsy responsibly.
Saved for special occasions, imbibing in champagne or sparkling white wine is one of the classiest ways to get tipsy on Valentine’s Day. Drinking out of champagne glasses also has a sexy connotation, especially at night. For the morning after, add some orange juice for a mimosa at breakfast.
True champagne must be sourced from Champagne, France. However, the same grapes grown and prepared the same way in other countries must be called “sparkling white wine”. Sparkling wines actually have the same antioxidant effects as red wine, and the scent of champagne/sparkling wine is said to be a powerful female pheromone replicate. Opt for the latter if you’re trying to get a similar effect and be frugal at the same time.
Cloves of garlic contain something called allicin, which is renowned for its ability to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. As it pertains to this article, however, the same component is said to increase blood flow. In fact, Egyptian priests in ancient times were forbidden from consuming garlic for fear they wouldn’t be able to control their desire.
Garlic isn’t the first food or seasoning that comes to mind for a romantic evening, due to its lasting effects on your breath. However, as long as you and your date both eat a tasty dish with garlic, it’s not likely to be noticed. If you want to be on the safe side, try finishing the meal with something minty, or take garlic capsules instead.
One of the core ingredients of Italian cooking, basil is known to specifically increase female libido when ingested. Basil’s notable aroma, however, can increase desire in both men and women.
The benefits of basil range from immune system support and anti-inflammatory properties to pain- and fever-reducing effects. So, even if you’re not planning to cook with it, keeping a fresh basil plant in your kitchen could end up being more than a tasty decoration.
Besides being ridiculously high in vitamin C, chili peppers also contain the carotenoid antioxidants, which are said to have insulin-regulating properties. Since you may want something sweet to counteract the spicy, serving a dish with chili peppers would be a great precursor to dessert.
The capsaicin in chili peppers is a natural aphrodisiac for both you and your mate. The pleasure-pain associated with capsaicin releases endorphins, and increases bloodflow – specifically to your mouth and lips.
This unique combination of feel good hormones and plumped lips also occurs when you’re turned on, so the visual effect on your date will strike them at a primal level.
If you’re feeling exotic, you could even try a chili-chocolate dessert to end the meal on a super sexy note.
The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that ups the heart rate and makes the blood flow. One study conducted with female rats and published in the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior suggested that coffee could put women in the mood for sex.