4 Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs (and if they work or nahhh)

Today’s post comes from ((305)) junkie and dietitian Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN. Learn more about Chelsey’s nutrition practice and healthy food blog here!

It’s that time of year again...that time when chocolate is in abundance, couples can make you nauseous AF, and break ups are on the rise… YUP, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. And whether you’re in a relationship or rocking your single status, one thing’s for sure: everyone is entitled to a healthy sex life! So while you’re checking out Yoga for Better Sex and making sweat sexy, don’t forget to eat sexy too.

For years, certain foods have been touted as aphrodisiacs. Named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite, foods with aphrodisiac properties are thought to contain specific properties that boost libido and sexual desire. But can you really eat a love potion to boost your sexual desires… or is it all a big ol’ mindf*ck?! 

Let’s find out if these 4 Valentine's Day aphrodisiacs work or nahhh…

Oysters Rumor has had it that eating oysters will stimulate your libido like WOAH because, after all, legendary Cassanova in the 18th century apparently used to pound oysters before his romp sessions...but will it work for you? Truth be told, the research is still meh on this one. Although a 2005 study tried to show that eating raw oysters, especially in the springtime (when oysters themselves are most active), can provide the greatest boost, some of the research is not 100% clear. Scientists describe two aspects that make oysters a rumored aphrodisiac: first, they contain amino acids (building blocks of proteins) that play a role in sex hormone production, and second, they are a good source of zinc, which may boost testosterone production.   Verdict: Try this one for yourself if you like the taste of oysters, but don’t be surprised if you’re not jumping into bed.

Oysters

Rumor has had it that eating oysters will stimulate your libido like WOAH because, after all, legendary Cassanova in the 18th century apparently used to pound oysters before his romp sessions...but will it work for you? Truth be told, the research is still meh on this one. Although a 2005 study tried to show that eating raw oysters, especially in the springtime (when oysters themselves are most active), can provide the greatest boost, some of the research is not 100% clear. Scientists describe two aspects that make oysters a rumored aphrodisiac: first, they contain amino acids (building blocks of proteins) that play a role in sex hormone production, and second, they are a good source of zinc, which may boost testosterone production.

 

Verdict: Try this one for yourself if you like the taste of oysters, but don’t be surprised if you’re not jumping into bed.

Chocolate There’s a reason those heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are EVERYWHERE around Valentine’s Day… First of all, who doesn’t like chocolate? But second, chocolate contains certain compounds that aid in the production of feel-good hormones (namely, serotonin), which can make you feel good...everywhere! Plus, research shows chocolate can relieve stress, improve your mood and add a little pep in your step (read: caffeine) that may help rid the bedroom blahs. Verdict: Chocolate’s libido boosting properties aren’t scientifically proven, but why not munch on a dark chocolate shaped heart to prolong that dance cardio high?

Chocolate

There’s a reason those heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are EVERYWHERE around Valentine’s Day… First of all, who doesn’t like chocolate? But second, chocolate contains certain compounds that aid in the production of feel-good hormones (namely, serotonin), which can make you feel good...everywhere! Plus, research shows chocolate can relieve stress, improve your mood and add a little pep in your step (read: caffeine) that may help rid the bedroom blahs.

Verdict: Chocolate’s libido boosting properties aren’t scientifically proven, but why not munch on a dark chocolate shaped heart to prolong that dance cardio high?

Red wine Red wine may be the sexiest alcoholic beverage out there, but scientific proof of its aphrodisiac properties isn’t quite verified. However, sipping a velvety smooth merlot -- in moderation -- can increase blood flow, provide a warm, tingly feeling, relax your body and reduce your inhibitions, turning on the sexiness. But remember, overdoing alcohol intake may thwart your performance in the bedroom! Verdict: Red wine may reduce your inhibitions, but there’s no evidence of it boosting your libido.

Red wine

Red wine may be the sexiest alcoholic beverage out there, but scientific proof of its aphrodisiac properties isn’t quite verified. However, sipping a velvety smooth merlot -- in moderation -- can increase blood flow, provide a warm, tingly feeling, relax your body and reduce your inhibitions, turning on the sexiness. But remember, overdoing alcohol intake may thwart your performance in the bedroom!

Verdict: Red wine may reduce your inhibitions, but there’s no evidence of it boosting your libido.

Spicy food Chili peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin that increases blood flow, promotes the release of feel-good brain chemicals (endorphins!), and even give your metabolism a little invigorating boost. Plus, if you’ve ever felt flushed or slightly swollen lips after eating your favorite spicy foods, you know that physical appearance mimics intense sexual desire. Verdict: Sprinkle cayenne pepper or red chili flakes on your Valentine’s Day meal and see if this libido-lifting food works for you!

Spicy food

Chili peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin that increases blood flow, promotes the release of feel-good brain chemicals (endorphins!), and even give your metabolism a little invigorating boost. Plus, if you’ve ever felt flushed or slightly swollen lips after eating your favorite spicy foods, you know that physical appearance mimics intense sexual desire.

Verdict: Sprinkle cayenne pepper or red chili flakes on your Valentine’s Day meal and see if this libido-lifting food works for you!

If you’re feeling the blahs in the bedroom, just believing that some of these foods may upgrade your bedroom desires can work wonders (hellooo placebo effect))! As for true aphrodisiacs? The science is still out on many of these, but why not try one or all of them and see if they reduce your stress levels, lift your mood or increase blood flow to reveal the sexual prowess in you.


Whether you're dating or single this Valentine's Day, we got'chu boo! Sign up for upcoming Yoga for Better Sex couples workshop in NYC or F*ck Love classes in NYC, DC, and Boston studios!