Looking to crank up the heat after a date night? You and your love can get in the mood vegan-style with our sexy menu of sensual and delicious meat- and dairy-free decadence.
But first, what exactly is an aphrodisiac? and they really work?
What is an aphrodisiac?
The ancient Greeks believed that certain foods, such as fruits and herbs, could increase one’s sexual desire, enhance performance, and even provide maximum pleasure. This is why the word “aphrodisiac” comes from the name of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
But an erotic concept is not unique to a culture. References to foods or remedies that increase sexual desire and performance are found in ancient Middle Eastern, Egyptian, African, South American, Roman, Chinese, and Indian records.
How well do aphrodisiacs work?
There is some evidence that certain foods can help improve sexual performance. For example, walnuts contain an amino acid called L-arginine, which can help increase blood flow to the genitals. But, that said, it will only help those who already have blood flow problems.
For everyone else, there is no real evidence that says any one food can definitely increase sexual arousal. But research suggests that a healthy diet can support a healthy sex life.
“Most stories surrounding the desire- and performance-enhancing effects of certain foods are anecdotal. But a good diet can help boost your libido and ensure your body is working well. A poor diet can lead to many health problems, which can be negative [affect] Your sex life,” writes Tara Gidus, MS, RDN Healthline.
What is the best vegetarian aphrodisiac?
Following a diet rich in plant-based, whole foods can help boost your sex life because, according to research, it’s one of the healthiest ways to eat. But what are the best vegetarian foods for sex?
Here, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite foods that have been labeled as aphrodisiacs in the past, and why. And at the end, we also talk about how to eat them together. A three-course meal awaits.
1 cashew nuts
This nut is one of the oldest-cultivated foods and has been considered a symbol of fertility throughout history. In fact, the tradition of throwing nuts at weddings dates back to Roman times – guests would throw nuts at the newlyweds. It is also believed that the smell of almonds arouses passion in women.
A delightfully spicy leafy green that is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, arugula has been hailed as a powerful aphrodisiac since the first century! Plus, it contains beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that fight free-radical damage and support overall health by nourishing our bodies.
Touted as an aphrodisiac as early as the 17th century, asparagus boosts potassium and folic acid, the latter of which boosts histamine production—a necessary ingredient for reaching orgasm for all sexes. In 19th-century France, grooms were served three courses of asparagus at their pre-wedding dinner.
Avocados are high in omega-3 fatty acids and potassium, as well as vitamin B6, which is known to increase male hormone production. They were considered so effective that Spanish priests forbade their parishioners to eat them.
Considered a symbol of fertility by Hindus, bananas have a sensuous shape and are full of potassium and B vitamins, both of which are necessary for the production of sex hormones. Additionally, bananas contain the male libido-enhancing bromelain enzyme.
This member of the mint family is believed to help promote blood circulation and stimulate the sex drive. In Moldavian folklore, a man who accepts a sprig of basil from a woman is destined to fall in love.
Chocolate is a major giveaway—the food is full of compounds including anandamide, a psychoactive feel-good chemical, and phenylethylamine, a chemical that releases dopamine in the brain’s pleasure centers and creates feelings of excitement and pleasure. Cacao also contains tryptophan, which is essential for the brain to release serotonin, a “happiness” chemical.
Believed to have been in the Garden of Eden, figs were also Cleopatra’s favorite fruit and the ancient Greeks associated them with love and fertility. Figs are a great source of flavonoids and antioxidants and some studies have suggested that figs may even increase sexual potency.
This member of the onion family contains allicin, a substance that increases blood flow. In both Hinduism and Jainism, garlic is believed to increase desire in addition to warming the body. But it is well known that this little bulb produces some powerful breaths when eaten. Flow clean on the first date.
This ancient starchy Peruvian root is well studied in terms of its ability to increase sexual desire and is considered a nutritionally powerful plant due to its fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron and selenium. Maca can help balance hormones in women, reducing menopausal symptoms while boosting sex drive. Often found in powdered form, it makes a delicious addition to many vegetarian recipes, but especially desserts. Maca’s earthy sweet flavor pairs well with raw cacao, enhancing everything from puddings to ice cream.
Rich in flavor and healthy fats, heart-healthy walnuts can help keep arteries flexible, which means better blood flow to certain parts of our body… and good blood flow is something we definitely want when it comes to mood. . Additionally, with more antioxidants than any other nut, walnuts support the body’s overall health and vitality, which is a great thing when it comes to maintaining and promoting a healthy sex drive!
Try all these mood-boosters together with this tasty treat. Start the evening with some almond stuffed mushrooms before moving on to an avocado salad with raspberry dressing. For the main course, treat your date to walnut, arugula and basil pesto pasta with rainbow chard alongside figs and hazelnut picada with roasted asparagus. Let’s not forget the dessert! Chocolate fondue with figs, bananas and strawberries and a chocolate ganache torte are two sweet choices for your lucky honey.