You are what you eat, and as Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re looking for dishes to help us feel some serious love vibes — while still staying healthy, of course! (No need to ruin those clean eating resolutions so soon.) Sure, we’ve all heard that oysters and chocolate are major aphrodisiacs, but a combo of raw seafood and bonbons doesn’t exactly sound like an appetizing meal to share with your sweetie. Thankfully, Urban Remedy founder and nutritionist Neka Pasquale clued us in to six healthy (and versatile!) ingredients that are sure to get your make-out meters jumping. So grab your boo, queue up a romantic movie on Netflix and prepare a Valentine’s Day menu for a date night in you’re sure to savor.
1. Beets: Did you know that the ancient Greeks believed Aphrodite ate beets to enhance her sex appeal? (Hey, we do love it as a natural cheek and lip stain.) The Romans also thought that beet juice promoted sexy-time vibes. Here’s why, scientifically speaking: Beets are full of tryptophan and betaine, both of which promote feelings of well-being and contentment. As Neka says, they’re “warming, nourishing and arousing!” Plus, when you consider the aesthetics of any dish, that deep red color just can’t be beet (sorry, we had to). Check out our 20 favorite beet dishes for menu inspiration.
2. Avocado: We don’t need science to tell us avocados incite feelings of longing within us. We’ve been obsessed with the savory fruit for-ever and will fall in love with anyone who makes a mean avocado toast. Neka explains that avocados are “rich in healthy fats and support your heart — especially when it’s beating a little faster than usual.” Their vitamin E also keeps your skin clear and boosts your immune system, so you’ll keep that flushed, healthy glow going all night long. (Though the wine helps too. And the cutie sitting next to you.)
3. Asparagus: Besides its, uh, phallic shape (we’re saying), asparagus also has the nutritional chops to back up its aphrodisiac rep. Neka explains that it’s “a great source of potassium, thiamin, folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamins A and C,” all of which cleanse your kidneys and urinary tract, giving you a major energy boost when you want it most. We’re really into the idea of making a super healthy asparagus, kale and broccoli soup that’ll keep us cozy without weighing us down.
4. Chai: This boozy vanilla chai bubble tea sounds so good — and it’ll make you and bae feel good too. “The warming spices in chai boost your immune system and increase circulation,” Neka shares, “stimulating and awakening your sexual senses.” You know what else increases circulation? A nice scalp massage. Hint hint.
5. Strawberries: “Their shape says it all,” Neka observes. “These sweet heart-shaped berries have been a symbol of Venus, goddess of love, since the ancient Roman era.” But their love-enhancing qualities are more than myth, Neka tells us: “With their remarkable antioxidant capacity, strawberries help to regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation and connect you with your inner sexy.” We suggest making this healthy (and super simple) Valentine’s Day fruit salad to give your dessert course a seductive boost.
6. Honey: There are so many healthy honey recipes we’re dying to try, and Neka thinks February 14 is just the day to experiment. “Honey can actually promote testosterone production in men and the use of estrogen in women,” she explains — essential components of a vigorous sex drive. Additionally, honey “increases levels of nitric oxide, which is released naturally in the blood when one is aroused,” and contains boron, which regulates healthy hormone levels.
Would you try any of these healthy ingredients as part of your Valentine’s Day dinner? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know which ones sound the best to you!
(Photos via Getty)