Happy Valentine’s Day!

Aphrodisiac

/ˌafrəˈdɪzɪak/

Noun

“a food, drink, or other thing that stimulates sexual desire.”

a red love heart shape on white background composed of sparking glitter

As Valentine’s Day draws closer, what better way to stoke the flames of passion than with a romantic homemade meal?

Here are a few ideas to inspire you, coupled with a little bit of science from behind the scenes…

Oysters & Steak

These indulgent foods are perfect for a special occasion and contain high levels of amino acids and zinc. Both of these contribute towards hormone production and influence our levels of testosterone – and libido!

Oysters are also rich in the amino acid L-arginine, which supports healthy blood circulation and blood vessel relaxation.

Yes, steaks contain saturated fat…but cholesterol is not all bad! Avoiding it completely is not the best way to get healthy – at a base level, we rely on cholesterol for our hormone synthesis.

Focusing on organic and grass-fed meat where possible will provide a richer source of protein and nutrients to get those energy levels up for the evening ahead… (much better than a big bowl of pasta and an early night!)

Meal suggestion: Grass-fed steak, sweet potato chips with a pea shoot, avocado & balsamic salad

 

Chilli & Chocolate

Be prepared to feel the heat in more ways than one after adding some chilli to your cuisine – studies have shown that they increase levels of endorphins in the brain, otherwise known as the ‘feel-good’ chemical.

Add a bit of fresh chilli to sauces, dips and salads for an extra kick!

Chocolate has both mood-enhancing and stimulating properties – it promotes the production of dopamine in the brain, enhancing feelings of well-being, joy, and pleasure.

But before you reach for the Dairy Milk…a few squares of 70% dark chocolate should hit the spot.

Meal suggestion: Pan-fried garlic & chilli king prawns with coriander & lemon juice

 

Red Wine & Blueberries

Purple-coloured fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that help to keep our hearts and immune system healthy. This includes the grapes used in wine-making – any excuse for a nice glass of red…cheers!

Meal suggestion: Blueberry & Dark Chocolate Puddings *

*I found a great recipe here:

http://cafedelites.com/2014/08/20/blueberry-chocolate-pudding/

 

Honey & Nuts

Honey contains ingredients that contribute towards regulating our hormones; nuts are nutritiously dense and packed with healthy fats. Together they are a winning combination and ideal for a sustained energy release while you prepare for the big night ahead.

Meal suggestion: Almonds and honey are perfect to add to natural yoghurt for a healthy breakfast.

But don’t worry if there isn’t much romance on the cards for you this Valentines…I hope you still use it as an excuse to treat yourself to a nice dinner 🙂

Blank white heart with copyspace for your greeting to a sweetheart or loved one in a textured red glitter background symbolic of love and romance for Valentines Day

 

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