An aphrodisiac is defined as a "food, drink, or drug that stimulates sexual desire." Some experts are skeptical of the very concept, and of course, there's no food or drink out there that's going to turn Mr. Wrong into Mr. Right or ensure you the date of your dreams.

However, a lot of how we feel does come down to what we eat, and certain foods are a little more likely to put you in a particularly loving mood. So, these fabled healthy aphrodisiacs might be worth experimenting with this Valentine's Day!


Asparagus was once thought to be such a potent aphrodisiac that 19th century French grooms would eat three full asparagus courses the day before their wedding in preparation for their big night.

Though the vegetable may have acquired its steamy reputation in part because it vaguely resembles a particular body part, its got a lot more going for it than its looks.

For instance, it's a great source of Vitamin E and folate, which are important for both men and women's reproductive health. The folate in asparagus may also enhance libido by stimulating histamine production, while the Vitamin E and potassium can enhance circulation—including to relevant areas.

So why not start off your next romantic feast with our Grilled Asparagus With Rosemary Sauce?

2. Red Wine

We've all heard about beer goggles, but there are a few reasons you may want to put on some "wine glasses" instead this Valentine's Day! Alcohol consumption of any sort has been shown to make people happier, more social, and less sexually inhibited and to increase women's subjective feelings of desire, arousal, and pleasure.

However, red wine seems to have a leg up: women who drank a moderate amount of red wine daily were found to have higher sex drives than both women who didn't drink and women who drank different types of alcohol. Plus, an enzyme found in red wine called UGT2B17 may enhance men's testosterone levels by blocking the processes that usually remove it from the body.

Compounds in wine like resveratol, piceatannol, and procyanins can also help improve your circulation and heart health and may offset some of the fat from the rest of your Valentine's meal.

Of course, you've gotta be wary of overdoing it; drinking too much can decrease both men and women's chances of arousal.

3. Strawberries

In ancient Greek myth, strawberries first grew on ground watered by the tears of Aphrodite as she wept over the death of her lover Adonis. You shouldn't cry over spilt strawberries, though; you should add this super-fruit to your Valentine's day spread!

The antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium in strawberries are all great for heart health and blood flow, and their sweet taste, bold red color, and heart-like shape are all just plain romantic. Why not try setting the stage for seduction with some Sweet Strawberry Soup or Dark Chocolate Flavored Strawberry Slices?

4. Chocolate

While studies haven't found that chocolate has a specific effect on libido, several have found that it can lead to noteworthy improvements in mood, partially because it contains small amounts of stimulant chemicals like phenylethylamine, theobromine, and caffeine.

It's also been known to lead to the release of endorphins and contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to feel-good brain chemical serontonin.

As always, the healthiest way to enjoy the benefits of chocolate is as concentrated cocoa powder rather than high-calorie candy. Why not try some aphrodisiac double trouble with these iced cocoa strawberries?

5. Coffee

What can't coffee do? It's a brain food, a diuretic, a fat-buster, and now, an aphrodisiac! Caffeine's mood and energy boosting properties make it an obvious choice for keeping romance alive, and research indicates it may even reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction in men.

One fascinating rat study showed that while caffeine didn't affect which males female rats chose to mate with, it did seem to make these female rats far more motivated to engage in sexual behavior overall and reduced the time they waited between rendezvous.

While we wouldn't recommend comparing your beloved to a rat, wooing her with a combination of cocoa and coffee like the one found in our Mint Chocolate Coffee Smoothie might really rev things up!

6. Avocados

The aphrodisiac reputation of avocados began with the Aztecs, who named the avocado tree the "ahuacuatl" or testicle tree. If you've never seen one, note that these big round fruits tend to dangle in pairs.

The Aztecs also wouldn't allow virgins to leave the house while avocados were being harvested, and avocados were once outlawed by Spanish Catholic priests because of their supposed sensuality!  

Avocados are high in vitamin B6, which is essential for male testosterone production. Nutrients like Vitamin E and B9 are also great for increasing energy, which spells bedroom fortune for lovers of either gender.

Add in some fertility boosting folate and mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acid, and you've got yourself one potent fruit! Why not put it to the test with our Salmon and Avocado Stuffed Tomatoes or Simple Guacamole?

7. Oysters

What do notorious beauty Cleopatra and notorious lover Casanova have in common? Apparently: an infatuation with oysters! Casanova was also said to have breakfasted on raw oysters daily and to once have seduced a virgin over a shared oyster meal.

Even Roman love goddess Aphrodite herself, who gives aphrodisiacs their name, is thought to have sprung from an oyster. Accordingly, one mouse study suggests that eating oysters may indeed enhance sexual function.

Oysters also contain zinc, which can boost testosterone and sperm production. Plus, they contain tyrosine, which is a nutritional precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine⁠—which plays a vital role in behavior, cognition, attention, and, most importantly, desire!


Celery is another somewhat phallic vegetable and another of Casanova's staples. However, modern science reveals that celery also contains the male pheromones androstenone and androstenol.

These, when consumed, may increase men's levels of testosterone and pheromones, a type of hormone that gives off a scent thought to entice females.

Other compounds in celery are thought to induce relaxation, and its high water content makes it a good choice for staying hydrated throughout potentially vigorous activities.

Best of all, you can enjoy celery for practically no calories! Why not try out another French tradition and prepare for the occasion with some delicious celery soup?

9. Apples

Maybe Eve knew something we didn't when she went after that apple. This "forbidden fruit" happens to contain phloridzin, one of a class of plant compounds called phytoestrogens that act like female sex hormones in the body, enhancing women's libido and sexual health.

A study done on Italian women found, accordingly, that those who ate one or two apples a day reported more sexual satisfaction. Polyphenols and antioxidants found in apples may also play a role by boosting heart health and circulation.

Historically, Greek warriors proposed marriage by tossing their beloved an apple⁠—if she caught it, it was as good as a yes. Meanwhile, in rural Austria, women were thought to be able to win a man's heart by convincing him to eat an apple that she'd held for a night in her armpit.

So, maybe don't try those two at home, but you could try to win his heart with some healthy Caramel Apple Pie or entice her with some Apple Chips!

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