Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and instead of making reservations to some over-hyped trendy spot, stay in and prepare a “Lover’s Platter” full of indulgent aphrodisiacs. Pop some champagne, get that romantic playlist ready and feast on these 10 foods to get you in the mood for love this Valentine’s Day.
Dr. Christopher Calapai, DO, a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine gives us his interesting insights on these aphrodisiacs.
“Aphrodisiacs are foods that have certain chemical properties that could increase pheromones, estrogen of testosterone, estrogen, heightening our interest in sex,” explains Dr. Calapai.
To be considered a true aphrodisiac the substance must be consumed orally, must reliably increase libido or sexual desire and within minutes.
One of the most infamous aphrodisiacs oysters are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for fertility. Researchers have found that oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones. “Oysters offer a lean source of protein to help give you energy all night long. In addition to offering the body zinc, which helps blood flow and nourish sperm, there's scientific evidence that an amino acid found in oysters may directly raise sexual hormone levels," says Dr. Calapai.
With their phallic shape, bananas already look tempting and sensual; but they also contain bromelain, an enzyme, which Dr. Calapai says, triggers testosterone production. The fruit's potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels and the high sugar content gives the brain a kick! Melt some chocolate to add some sexy decadence.
Honey is made through pollination and secretions of many fertile bees worshipping their queen, just what every woman wants! Drizzled on certain body parts honey can be fun. It has a number of vitamins and it also contains boron, which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and the sweet and sappy sweetness provides a natural energy boost.
Packed with citrulline and lycopene, Watermelon may have a Viagra-like effect on the body, as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation. It may even prevent erectile dysfunction. It’s incredibly juicy, sexy and when dipped in chocolate is the perfect flavor explosion.
5) Pine Nuts
High in energizing zinc and fatty acids, which has been linked to a healthy sex drive, pine nuts are also considered aphrodisiacs because of the effort required to procure these oily gems from pinecones.
This peppery tasting plant has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. “The bite of the aromatic leaf might get you in the mood and the minerals and antioxidants found in dark leafy greens like arugula have also been proven to block environmental contaminates that could negatively harm libido,” explains Dr. Calapai.
7) Olive oil
Packed with antioxidants, olives and their oil have been used for centuries for health. The Greeks believed they made men more virile as well. “Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are critical for a healthy heart, smooth blood flow and stable hormone production, all needed to keep the brain, prostate and penis in good shape!” says Dr. Calapai.
Eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the fig has forever paradoxically symbolized both sexuality (the ripe fruit with seeds representing fertility) and modesty (the fig leaf). They are full of potassium and are an antioxidant powerhouse, sweet and delicate when eaten.
These bright gems enclosed in a thick rose-colored husk are filled with tangy sweet antioxidants, which support blood flow and clear thought. One study by The Male Clinic in California found that pomegranate juice had a positive effect on erectile dysfunction.
10) Chai Tea
Skip the coffee and end the night with a cup of Indian chai tea. The typical spices in this brew include ginger, cloves and cinnamon, all come from exotic places and certainly will get the blood flowing. Since it has almost no caffeine the stimulant effect is less than coffee allowing you and your lover to drift to sleep.