The link between food and love has long been established. From taking a date on a fancy dinner to cooking your partner a three-course feast, for foodies there’s no better way to celebrate February 14 than with some edible indulgence. So strong is the connection that for centuries people have contended that some foods hold an amorous power that can bewitch both body and soul. Belief in foods’ aphrodisiac abilities is as old as time itself, but it is only a select few ingredients that are supposed to actually work. For anyone looking to spice up their Valentine’s Day, here is a list of the foods that are most likely to deliver a night you’ll never forget.
One of the oldest accepted aphrodisiacs, oysters have an undeniably sensual appeal. Not only are they high in zinc - essential in increasing semen production - but experts state that the physical slurping and sucking involved in eating them gives a psychological sexual boost. This makes a plateful of oysters the perfect Valentine’s starter.
It may come as a shock to learn that these great green globes are in fact one of nature’s most effective natural Viagras. Watermelons are rich in citrulline, a chemical that relaxes the blood vessels in the body in the same way that the best-selling drug does. This natural boost to your cardiovascular system is a great way to get the romantic juices flowing.
Chocolate's sensual appeal has been documented for centuries. Not only does it have the same melting point as the temperature of the human body, but it has also been proven to contain chemicals that help elevate serotonin levels. Though there is some scientific debate over its precise effects, there’s no doubt that nothing says “I love you” like a box of chocolates.
The Ancient Romans and Egyptians were the first to discover the aphrodisiac power of rocket and included the ingredient in a number of traditional love potions. While scientists today downplay the physical effects of the peppery plant, the leaves are still packed with nutrients that can act as digestive aids, leaving you more lively for evening activities.
Nicknamed the love apple, the tomato owes its aphrodisiac reputation to the superstition and mythology of the Middle Ages. With its bright red skin and sweet, juicy flesh, it’s easy to see how the fruit acquired such status. Beyond this, however, tomatoes also boast an impressive array of nutrients and are high in minerals that help increase muscle strength - essential for certain between-the-sheets antics.
Perhaps one of the lesser known but most effective of all aphrodisiacs, the maca root is also known by the suggestive moniker “Peruvian Viagra”. Scientific studies on animals have shown that it warrants this reputation, and contains chemicals that can increase stamina and heighten awareness when consumed.
The veracity of many aphrodisiac claims are a topic of much debate. Many scientists believe that any side effects are purely psychological and that there is no physical evidence to support their existence. However, since all of these ingredients are delicious irrespective of whether they work, we think there’s no harm in trying. At the very least, you can turn Valentine’s Day into a sexy scientific experiment.