There are holidays that we immediately relate with food. Thanksgiving turkey. Easter eggs. And then there’s Valentine’s Day. FoodFacts.com isn’t surprised that we relate Valentine’s Day with many different foods … chocolate, champagne, caviar – the list goes on. Not surprisingly those foods are considered aphrodisiacs … foods that put you in the mood. We thought in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’d share the details on 10 aphrodisiac ingredients for your Valentine’s Day menu.
Oysters: Oysters are high on the list of aphrodisiacs because they are rich in zinc. The notion that oysters are an aphrodisiac dates back to the 18th-century, when Giacomo Casanova would consume dozens of oysters to spike his arousal. There’s also science to back it up: American and Italian researchers found that oysters have rare amino acids (D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate) that triggers a spike in hormones.
Avocado: The pear shaped fruit was considered to be an aphrodisiac by the Aztecs, as the fruit hangs from trees in pairs, similar to testicles. There could be some science behind this notion, as the fruit has high levels of vitamin E which helps keep your energy level high.
Chili Peppers: If you have a penchant for spicy food, then know that chili peppers are an aphrodisiac since they mimic the feelings of arousal by stimulating endorphins (the feel good chemicals in your brain), speeding up your heart rate, and making you sweat.
Honey: Honey contains boron, a chemical element that regulates hormone levels and boosts your energy naturally.
Coffee: A study published in the journal Pharmocology, Biochemistry, and Behavior found that the caffeine found in coffee stimulates your heart rate and makes your blood flow.
Arugula: While arugula doesn’t sound like a likely aphrodisiac, its abilities have reportedly been noted since the first century A.D. The leafy vegetable has minerals and antioxidants that block contaminants that would harm your libido.
Olive Oil: Filled with antioxidants, the oil has many other health benefits including heart health, good blood flow and a rich source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Pine nuts: Though these little nuts are expensive, it may be worth the high price for their aphrodisiac abilities.
Chocolate: Dark chocolate has been shown to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure.
Bananas: The fruit contains bromelain, an enzyme which Dr. Oz says triggers testosterone production, and the fruit’s potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels.
The holiday of love deserves the food (or foods) of love. So when you plan your Valentine’s Day menu, make sure you include a few aphrodisiac ingredients. You’ll make your meal more authentic to the holiday … and make your special someone feel even more special!