Benares top Aphrodisiac foods for Valentine’s Day
From oysters to chocolate, we have all heard the rumours of the aphrodisiac qualities of certain food groups. See a list of our favourite libido-boosting ingredients and get cooking for your loved one this February!
Capsaicin, the spicy substance that gives chili peppers their sting, stimulates nerve endings to release epinephrine, a chemical that increases heart rate and produces a tingling sensation. Spicy food warms you up, gets your heart pumping, stimulates nerve endings and increases the blood flow.
The easiest way to add spice to your favorite foods without going overboard is by sprinkling a bit of crushed chili flakes on your meal at dinner.
Chocolate contains a stimulant, phenylethylamine, which induces a sense of well-being and sexual attraction. Dark chocolate (greater than 65% cocoa) is also high in anti-oxidants, which decreases inflammation, reducing the risk for heart disease and many cancers.
The “heat” in garlic is purported to stir sexual desires by increasing the body’s production of nitric oxide, the chemical responsible for blood vessel dilation and essential for erection. Consider skipping the Viagra dose and savor a few cloves of roasted garlic instead.
Oysters have long been considered the food of love. The famous lover, Casanova, ate dozens of oysters a day, seducing a vestal virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips to hers. Oysters are a good source of zinc, a mineral needed for sperm and testosterone production.
Berries are high in Vitamin C, an important vitamin need for making sex hormones and chemical neurotransmitters for the brain.
Experts say that cinnamon heats up the body, which in turn boosts your sex drive. Its anti-inflammatory properties also normalise blood sugar. Mix crushed cinnamon in a glass of milk before going to bed.
We bet you didn’t know that the humble Indian curry is a great aphrodisiac. Studies say that spicy curry increases heart and blood pressure to levels akin to one reached during arousal. So the next time you make curry, add fenugreek in it, which is known to increase the production of testosterone.
Ginger is known to increase circulation and body temperature, which in turn increases desire.
Champagne is the perfect arousal drink because of the carbonation, you don’t have to drink as much and you feel the effects a lot quicker.
In the Arabian Nights, you can read of the use of this ancient spice as an aphrodisiac. The spice comes in pods, which you can grind for use as needed. Cardamom is warming and pungent, and can increase blood flow, which probably accounts for its aphrodisiac properties. It is also an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent. You can macerate ground pods in hot water to make a tea, like a classic Indian chai, or sprinkle it over a stir-fry or soup.
11. Chai Tea
Skip the coffee after dinner and reach for a cup of chai tea. The typical spices in this brew-ginger, cloves and cinnamon-will get the blood flowing but the caffeine effect is less so you’ll still be able to drift off to sleep after your meal.