Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers! If I’m being totally honest, I’m not the biggest Valentine’s Day person. Yes, I LOVE love and am far from a cynic, but it’s simply just never been my thing. However, whether you like the holiday or not, I will say, it IS a good reminder to spread the love and to show those loved ones in your life just how much you care. And it’s also a good excuse to buy those Dove chocolate hearts which I’ve been eating far too many of recently.
Another thing Valentine’s Day can be good for is your sex life! Yep, there I said it. It’s a gentle reminder to keep the passion alive in whatever relationship you’re currently in. Now, when it comes to sexy time, you have to be in the mood, right? And what if you’re not in the mood? Bummer for your partner.
I’m far from an expert in the aphrodisiac arena. I mean, yes, I know oysters fall under the category, but that’s about it. And can a food really ‘get you in the mood?’ Well, the answer is yes, and I’ve brought in someone today to weigh in on the topic. My close friend Marla Murphy (who you might remember from this interview) is a Registered Dietitian and knows the science behind said aphrodisiacs. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought this was a perfect time to learn a little about the topic. Take it away, Marla!
Working out and eating healthy can make anyone feel more self-confident, creative and adventurous, but those benefits can carry over to your bedroom, as well. Research has shown that couples who increase their heart rates together through working out are likely to have stronger sexual relationships than those who don’t.
But what about the foods we eat? We have all heard the term, ‘abs are made in the kitchen’, but what about sexual appetites? Are there certain foods that allow us to skip the gym and head straight to the bedroom? The answer is yes and no.
Aphrodisiac substances/foods have been around since the beginning of time and have been referenced throughout ancient literature, such as Adam and Eve in the garden of Aden, the forbidden fruits, and the fig being a symbol of female sexuality. The word aphrodisiac itself means ‘pertaining to Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love from Greek mythology.’ With deep-seeded roots in ancient history there have to be some facts we can be rest assured on, or at the very least, hopefully optimistic about.
Luckily, this is where food science steps in and highlights feel good nutrients like zinc, magnesium and B-vitamins (just to name a few) that can increase blood flow, energy levels, and sex hormones to inspire us this Valentine’s Day (and any other time). On the flip-side, some foods like bananas, chocolate and whip cream might not have aphrodisiac nutrients but they hint at sexual suggestion that can get us thinking bedroom thoughts.
Here is a short list of some lesser known edible aphrodisiacs and their potential benefits to spice up not only your kitchen but your love life, as well.
A well known aphrodisiac due to being a stimulant, getting our blood pumping, and heart rates up. This year try something different and reach for a clove infused tea like a chai tea or a chia tea latte. The lower amounts of caffeine will help you play it cool and ward off the bedroom jitters and allow you to relax and fall asleep after the party is over. Chia teas also contain cloves, an ancient aphrodisiac in its own right, and known for getting the blood flowing to all the right places. Added bonus: combine cloves with cinnamon; the effects are heightened and so is your bedroom experience.
What’s not to already love about avocado? Now add the fact that this nutrient powerhouse fruit contains healthy monounsaturated fats, B-vitamins (energy) and vitamin E (increase blood flow, youth and energy boosting properties) and this fruit is perfect for getting things going. Our favorite fruit is also known for decreasing inflammation so this is a great food to munch on to void feeling bloated in the bedroom.
Walnuts, Almonds, Flaxseed & Pumpkin Seeds
These nuts/seeds are packed with magnesium, known for lowering worries and anxiety, and increasing sex hormones in our bodies. Nuts are also rich in zinc, which helps with producing the hormone testosterone, and aids in producing sperm. The best way to get in your daily dose of this aphrodisiac is by throwing flaxseed into your morning smoothie, having nuts on top of a salad for lunch, and/or as a quick snack on the go. Your sex life will thank you and so will your body.
Not all aphrodisiacs are solely from nutrient powerhouse foods turning us on; sometimes the mere sexual suggestion of certain foods can put us in the mood by the way they look, their texture, and/or how you eat them. Figs give us a two-fold reaction. Not only are they packed with magnesium, but their juicy center, shape and overall appearance subtly reminds our partners of the female form and get our minds headed towards the bedroom.
One of the most well known aphrodisiacs is also a double trouble of sexual suggestion and all the right nutrients. Oysters are packed with the sex hormone producing nutrient zinc and a high amount of amino acids (D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate) that are currently showing promising results of increasing sex hormones. Oysters also contain B-vitamins with a high source of vitamin B-12 which increase blood flow and helps produce us with energy for late nights. The sexual suggestion of oysters feminine look and the way we enjoy them by sucking and slurping can also help spark bedroom inspiration, so this is not an aphrodisiac you want to miss.
Thank you so much, Marla, and Happy Valentine’s Day to all! xo