30 Aphrodisiac Recipes To Get You In The Mood This Valentine's Day
Sex has a slew of health benefits, like keeping your immune system in check, lowering your blood pressure, and it totally counts as exercise. But sometimes we're just too tired to make the effort. Enter aphrodisiacs. The science is mixed on whether they alone can get you in the mood but some foods have long been considered the antidote to a lazy libido. (True story: Herbs like basil, mint, and saffron were banned in medieval Spain because they were used in "love potions.") We say it couldn't hurt. Here are foods to add to your Valentine's Day or any day meal and make it a frisky one.
Asparagus is high in vitamin E, which can increase blood and oxygen flow to your privates (ahem), and also high in potassium, which can increase your body's production of sex hormones. Make it with garlic (another rumored aphrodisiac) in this Keto Cheesy Garlic Roasted Asparagus Recipe or any one of these asparagus recipes.
This asparagus on pizza dish will satisfy your senses and your love. (via Half Baked Harvest)
Serve up an aphrodisiac in bed for double the fun. (via Forks & Foliage)
Salmon (and Walnuts)
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for your heart and your libido (it creates the building blocks for estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone production). Walnuts are also an excellent source of omega-3s, which make this Walnut-Crusted Salmon recipe a win-win.
One pan + 30 minutes = a delicious dinner to serve with little clean up! (via Feel Good Foodie)
Here's another sheet pan salmon dinner to sweeten the night. (via A Spicy Perspective)
Add an Asian-flavor twist - the foil seals in the flavor and ensures a tender, flaky texture. (via Culinary Hill)
Give this mild-tasting summertime veggie a try with blackeyed peas or on pizza in our roundup of Okra recipes. Okra, AKA gumbo or ladies' fingers, is rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which can help you naturally relax (and perhaps get in the mood), while nutrients like iron, folate, zinc, and vitamin B are also beneficial to the health of male and female sex organs.
Cherries contain anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that reduce inflammation and help keep your sex drive healthy — in which case, we'll have two of these Mini Heart Cherry Pies!
For dinner, wow your SO with this amazing steak dinner that's salty and sweet. (via Half Baked Harvest)
This 2-ingredient "adult" Slurpie is the perfect drink for a romantic night at home. (via Salt & Lavender)
One study found that pistachios could help the male sex drive. Serve up this Chocolate Orange Cake With Pistachio Mascarpone Filling And Chocolate Ganache from Wyldflour (chocolate is another aphrodisiac) for your next celebratory or romantic night. And if you're just in the mood for pistachios, try more sweet and savory recipes in our pistachio recipe roundup.
Top pistachios on this beautiful cheese plate to get the party-for-two started. (via Feel Good Foodie)
Lemon Pistachio Loaf
Serve up for dessert or breakfast to start the day with a little love. (via Cozy Cravings)
As if we needed a reason to eat up these gluten-free avocado fries it turns out avocados also contain high levels of energy-lifting folic acid and vitamin B9, as well as vitamin B6, which helps increase testosterone production. Avocado dessert recipes anyone?
This savory dish is made with Italian sausage, mushrooms, jalapeños, avocado, and love. (via Cilantro Parsley)
Cayenne contains capsaicin, which can cause a physiological response similar to what you experience during sex: increased heart rate and metabolism, even sweating. Get that loving feeling with these Cayenne Churros.
Try this healthy vegan meal with a kick of cayenne. (via Munching With Mariyah)
Flavor this Louisiana-style gumbo with cayenne and love. (via Pink Owl Kitchen)
Oysters are high in zinc, which can improve the overall health and sex drive of someone deficient in it. They also contain dopamine, the brain chemical that boosts desire. These Deep Fried Oysters are perfect as an appetizer or dessert to (ahem) the main course.
If you prefer to go raw, this Champagne Mignonette is everything. (via The Endless Meal)
Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
Comfort food with celery mixed in is a dish to serve with love. (via RachL Manfield)
Mini Pot Pies With Black Lentils, Fennel, And Thyme
And celery...how cute are these dishes?! (via Two Spoons)
Saffron has been used to reduce stress, enhance mood and has been shown to act as an aphrodisiac in men and women who take antidepressants. Learn how to use saffron in the kitchen and try out recipes like paella (mmm…) in our saffron recipe roundup.
This is a vegetarian pot of gold, so good! (via Chef Bai)
There are many more foods that could get you in the amorous mood (ginseng, apples, honey and more), but in general if you're happy and healthy (and well-rested!) your chances of getting it on are quite good. Still, tasty foods and drinks never hurt for a fun night in!
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Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.