Even though Feb. 14 is supposedly the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day doesn't have to mean getting frisky. It's totally cool to spend the day showering yourself with self-love (if you know what I mean), or simply throwing the best galentine's party you can imagine. But if you want to put a little extra oomph into your Feb. 14 plans with a partner, trying some of these foods that actually boost your libido might help to keep things extra spicy.
Figuring out what qualifies as as aphrodisiac isn't super cut-and-dry. Some foods can be linked directly to sexual arousal, while others are said to support your sexual health. “Consuming aphrodisiac foods may increase blood flow to the genitals, release natural bio-chemicals in the body to help you feel more aroused and relaxed, or provide nutrients that improve the health of the sex organs,” clinical sexologist Kat van Kirk, Ph.D., author of the book The Married Sex Solution, told Women's Health.
There's a bit of a disclaimer here, though: While these foods are tasty and have been found to promote ~getting in the mood~ in some way, each person's individual body will react differently, so Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND, a nutrition expert and associate clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, suggests you take these recommendations with a grain of salt, and figure out what works for your body. "A big sex organ is between the ears: your brain," he tells Elite Daily. "If eating a particular food makes you happy, then you may be more likely to feel frisky."
So, if you can't explain why Flamin' Hot Cheetos get you in the mood, but you just know they do, more power to you, friend. But if you want to give these delicacies a try, too, it certainly won't hurt.
If you like to get busy while listening to the '90s album Californication, you do you. But just FYI, edible red hot chili peppers have some legit potential when it comes to getting you or a partner in the mood. "They're a great food of seduction because they will make our tongue tingle and if you eat enough of them they'll release endorphins," Amy Reiley, a gastronomy expert and author of the book Fork Me, Spoon Me, told CNBC.
Just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before getting sexy, though, so you don't start burning in places you don't want to be, you feel me?
If you've long scoffed at the idea of munching on a handful of almonds and considering it a delicious snack, you might be tempted to rethink the unassuming nut when you hear about its potential benefits for getting steamy. "Long thought to be a sex stimulant, almonds are rich in several trace minerals that are important for sexual health and reproduction, such as zinc [and] selenium," says Julie Upton, MS, RD, a sports nutritionist and co-founder of Appetite for Health. "However, their best sexual attribute is that they contain mono and polyunsaturated fat and are low in saturated fat so they are heart-healthy."
"Delicate and delicious, strawberries are truly seductive, especially when covered in chocolate," Upton tells Elite Daily. Besides looking absolutely divine, the sweet fruit has some major sexual health benefits to offer, she explains. "They are an excellent source of folic acid, a B-vitamin that helps ward off birth defects in women and may be tied to sperm counts in men."
Speaking of chocolate-covered strawberries, it doesn't matter what day of the year it is; I firmly believe that chocolate is so decadent that it's always romantic. But science supports this belief, too: The sweet treat not only gives your mood a major boost, it also releases endorphins, explains Dr. Sonpal.
According to Dr. Sonpal, this summer fruit boosts blood flow, which is always a plus when it comes to getting between the sheets. In fact, researchers at Texas A&M University found that the relaxant effects of watermelon are similar to that of Viagra, so enjoy some of the beautiful red flesh as a light dessert.