12 aphrodisiac foods to heat up your Valentine's Day

With the Day of Love approaching, why not rev things up in the romance department?

by: Jess
 
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We often associate eating, a basic human need with pleasure. Foods with suggestive colours, shapes, and textures often become known as aphrodisiacs; never underestimate the power of sensual suggestion!

Certain foods contain compounds that trigger bliss centres in the brain, stimulate hormone production, or simply promote physical and mental well-being.

Whether these foods intensify erotic feelings or not is a controversial topic. Maybe it's all in the mind; but they do say that the way to someone's heart is through their stomach!

1. Pomegranates
Increase levels of testosterone, the hormone that stimulates sexual appetite in men and women.
Try this: Pomegranate jelly and vanilla yoghurt pannacotta duo - An irresistibly light, guilt-free summer dessert.

2. Asparagus
Besides its phallic shape, asparagus is also packed with vitamins and minerals.
Try this: Gluten-free goat's cheese and asparagus tarts - Perfect for a romantic dinner.

3. Beetroot
A natural source of the feel-good substance betaine.
Try this: Roasted sweet potato and beetroot salad - Cumin-roasted sweet potato with feta and pine nuts.

4. Coffee
Coffee can increase levels the neurotransmitter, dopamine associated with the pleasure system of the brain.
Try this: Caffe Latte flavoured ice cream - To cool down when it's too hot for coffee.

5. Strawberries
Heart-shaped red beauties filled with sweet flavours and loaded with good-for-you antioxidants.
Try this: Strawberry sangria - Beautiful, colourful, and celebratory.

6. Honey
Newlyweds are sent off on a "honeymoon" as a wish for a sweet marriage.
Try this: Ginger, honey and papaya smoothie - A fresh, tropical and exotic drink.

7. Avocado
Avocados grow in suggestive-looking pairs on trees. Also rich in nutrients that give the skin a youthful appearance.
Try this: Roasted zucchini, corn and almonds with smashed avocado - A perfect meal for vegetarian lovebirds.

8. Figs
They are the ultimate paradox in sensual food; their many seeds represent fertility while their leaves are associated with modesty.
Try this: Camembert with figs and honey - Delicious parcels that make a fancy starter.

9. Chocolate
Loaded with mood-enhancing phenethylamine and tryptophan, it's no wonder chocolate is a stimulant.
Try this: Dark chocolate truffles - Melt-in-your-mouth decadence.

10. Oysters
These naughty shellfish are high in zinc, which is associated with improving potency in men.
Try this: Wild oyster and heirloom tomato salad - A sensual and glamorous treat.

11. Chilli
Hot and spicy; it creates warmth. Are you hot yet?
Try this: Fruit with chilli syrup and coconut ice cream - Spice up fruit with these interesting flavours.

12. Caviar
This rare delicacy of fish-eggs is a clear symbol of reproduction.
Try this: Mini chive scones with mango and caviar - Bite-sized mouthfuls of alluring luxury.

What is your favourite food to put you in the mood?

- Food24

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